Does Accessibility Affect SEO?

Although accessibility is not a direct ranking factor, there are a few ways that accessibility practices can have a positive impact on SEO.

First, what is website accessibility? It is simply the practice of ensuring that your website is accessible for everyone. This means understanding the barriers that could prevent users from accessing your website and taking steps to remove them. This includes all types of disabilities, environmental barriers (i.e. not being able to play a video’s audio due to being in a library), situational barriers (i.e. poor internet connection), or temporary impairments (i.e. having a broken hand).

There are a few SEO initiatives that directly improve accessibility, such as:

  • Readability: providing content that is easy to digest is helpful to users with cognitive disabilities and can also improve search rankings
  • Video transcriptions: Including transcripts with videos improves the indexability of video content while also helping blind and deaf users to watch videos without interruption
  • Alt text: Including image alt text makes websites more inclusive to blind users and also helps Google to understand the relevance of the image better

As you can see, there are many ways that improving the accessibility of your site can have an indirect impact on SEO. Additionally, a critical ranking factor for Google is user experience. By improving accessibility practices across your website, you are also improving your users’ experience. This, in turn, can lead to a boost in rankings.

For more information on improving the accessibility of your website, check out the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines that are promoted by the ADA.

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