Website accessibility

Accessibility is crucial for search engine optimisation (SEO) across different platforms like WordPress and Shopify for several reasons.

What is website accessibility?

Web accessibility involves designing and developing websites to be usable by all visitors, including those with disabilities, impairments, or limitations. By creating a more accessible website, you not only improve the user experience for everyone but also enhance your search engine rankings and attract more traffic.

At the Website Boutique, we believe that accessibility is of utmost importance, and we strive to design websites that offer a welcoming and inclusive experience for individuals with low vision, hearing difficulties, or motor disabilities.

Website accessibility best practice

When making your website more accessible, consider design elements such as colour, layout, images, and multimedia presentation. A consistent and easily navigable site structure and organisation are vital. Functional enhancements include keyboard-only navigation and user-controlled customisation options, such as page magnification and avoiding auto-play or timed content.

Accessibility and SEO

Accessible websites positively impact SEO in the following ways:

1. Improved user experience: Accessible websites cater to a diverse audience, including people with disabilities. Search engines like Google prioritise user-friendly, accessible websites in their search results.

2. Enhanced crawling: Accessible websites are easier for search engine bots to crawl and index, resulting in more accurate indexing and higher rankings. Properly structured headings, descriptive link text, and alt tags for images facilitate crawling by Google bots.

3. Positive impact on rankings: Search engines consider website accessibility as a ranking factor, meaning accessible websites are more likely to rank higher in search results.

4. Wider audience reach: Accessible websites cater to a broader range of users, including those with disabilities, potentially leading to increased traffic, engagement, and conversions.

5. Compliance with regulations: By making your website accessible, you not only improve your SEO but also ensure compliance with accessibility regulations like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), reducing the risk of legal repercussions.

In conclusion, accessibility plays a significant role in SEO for platforms like WordPress and Shopify. By ensuring your website is accessible, you can improve user experience, enhance crawling by Google bots, positively impact search rankings, reach a wider audience, and comply with regulations.

Website accessibility audits & tools

An accessibility audit is a comprehensive assessment of your website’s accessibility, conducted using both manual and automated methods. At the Website Boutique, we employ a combination of tools, including the Lighthouse website audit tool and the Wave web accessibility evaluation tool, to audit our clients’ websites.

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool designed to enhance the quality of web pages. It can be run on any web page, whether public or requiring authentication. Lighthouse performs audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, SEO, and more. Wave, on the other hand, is a suite of evaluation tools aimed at helping authors make their web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. These tools can determine if a page meets accessibility guidelines, such as sufficient contrast ratios for text elements or screen reader compatibility. We use the results from these tools to generate a report with actionable steps to improve accessibility.

By incorporating accessibility audits and utilising tools like Lighthouse and Wave, you can ensure that your website meets accessibility standards, ultimately benefiting your SEO efforts and providing an inclusive experience for all users.

Website accessibility action list 

Make sure your page design is clear and well-organised.  
All images should have descriptive alt-text and videos should have captions.
 Offer text transcripts as alternatives to videos and other multimedia. 
Background and text colours should have a contrast ratio based on the point size.
Colour should not be the only way that information is conveyed.
Site layout and navigation should be intuitive, consistent and predictable.
Users should be able to navigate using their keyboard only.
Avoid timed content and auto-play.