The Importance of Accessibility with SEO
When it comes to SEO, there's an ever increasing focus on user experience, which includes accessibility. The search engines, particularly Google, are now putting far greater weight on accessibility and it's likely that accessibility metrics will form a considerable part of any future algorithm updates, which means it can impact your SEO performance and page ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Factors to consider with Accessibility, SEO and your website optimisation
Accessible Web Design and User Experience (UX / UE)
Considering the huge amount of traffic served via mobile devices now, a strong user experience and well considered design is paramount to ensure your website remains accessible to a wider audience. Simple to use navigation, well spaced buttons and links, legible fonts, strong contrast between text and backgrounds etc. These are now ranking factors with Google, so it pays to get it right.
Metadata, such as 'meta title' and 'meta description' have always been a vital factor in successful website optimisation, but they are also very important when it comes to accessibility. Consider your audiences that may rely on assistive technologies, such as screen readers, and you'll soon realise the importance of good metadata in connection with optimising your site for accessibility.
The importance of 'Alt text' on images
For those who are reliant on screen readers and other assistive technologies, making sure all your images have a valid and human readable 'Alt text' value is a very important factor. This means that when an image can't be 'seen' by your audience, a good Alt text will describe the image to the user in the context of where it appears.
The importance of Link titles and Anchor Text
The objectives here are the same as the above inasmuch as providing your users the ability to navigate and understand the links in your content. Give your text links a 'title' and be sure to name your anchor text so the destination of the link is clear. For example, if you're linking to a collection of special offers, don't put 'Click here' on your link anchor text - put 'Special Offers', which makes it abundantly clear that the link goes to 'Special Offers'. After all, 'Click here' tells your user nothing about what they're 'clicking here' for!