Accessibility is the practice of creating content that can be used and viewed by a wide range of people. Going beyond the use of screen readers, accessibility is making sure your content is easy to understand, read and navigate.
You need to take into consideration that some of your visitors may be visually impaired. If the contrast of your site is insufficient, people that have problems with vision may find reading your content difficult. The World Health Organisation estimates there are 217 million people who fall under the category of having moderate to severe vision impairment. With this in mind, consider the contrast between text and backgrounds when designing your website. Both your visitors and Google will take note. To test your website, take a look at this colour contrast checker.
Search engines don’t take the score of your content’s readability directly into their search ranking algorithm. However, the readability of your content will affect how a user behaves on a page, and this is what Google is interested in. To improve readability:
- Use descriptive headings
- Simplify text
- Use capital letters sensibly
- Avoid decorative fonts and italics
- Avoid full width text
- Be generous with spacing
Readability should never take a backseat; apply these simple practices and you’ll be a step closer to creating that perfect user experience.
You can check the level of your site’s readability with a SEO Review Tools’ readability checker.
Attaching alt text to images you upload to your site is important for a few reasons.
- Screen readers will read the alt attribute to help visually impaired users better understand an on-page image.
- Alt tags will be displayed in place of an image if an image file cannot be loaded
- Alt tags provide Google with better image context, helping with indexing your images properly
Using alt text on your images can make for a better user experience, but it can also help with your SEO efforts. Along with implementing file naming best practices, alt text offers another opportunity to include your target keywords. But be careful, only use target keywords where necessary, you don’t want to be penalised for keyword spamming.
Google understands a page like a user would. Prioritising content visually will let Google and your users understand the order of importance. This can be done using h1, h2 and h3 tags inside the code of your website.
A single h1 tag should be used per page. No more than one. This tells search engines, as well as users, the page’s primary subject. The h1 tag is often the first piece of content on a page (page title) so usually the first piece of content a user will read. So, not only does the h1 need to be appealing to search engines (this can be done by adding keywords toward the front of the heading) but to users as well. This will ensure your visitor knows roughly what they are about to read.
Following the h1 should come your h2 tags to organise the rest of the page content. These sub-headers give both search engines and users additional information about what the page is about. You can use this header several times throughout a page and should use h3’s to further segment your content. Here’s an example of how this could be done:
- H1: The link between UX and SEO
- H2: Accessibility
- H3: Colour contrast
- H3: Readability
- H3: Alt text
SEO and UX equal Success
Hopefully, you can now see that SEO and UX go hand-in-hand when creating a successful website experience for both human visitors and search engines. Remember there will always be room for improvement. Always test the changes you make to your site, monitor the data and evaluate how these changes are performing over time. Good luck! (not that you’ll need it after reading this) If you have any questions, contact us and we’ll be happy to answer them for you.