SEO is an important aspect of web design because you want your site to rank in search. Many websites get so focused on creating a website for robots that they forget the real intent of SEO is for humans. Google’s mission is to maximize access to information and to help people find the information they want. Not every human user reads a screen. Assistive technology, such as a screen reader or closed captioning, can help every user access your website. Let’s discuss SEO and ADA compliance.
Why Organic SEO Is Important
Organic SEO is when people come to your site through search on their own volition. You didn’t create an ad to drive traffic, but someone visited your site without advertising. Organic SEO is about optimizing your site so that it shows up in search when someone is looking for your product or service. It should be an important part of your digital marketing strategy.
Why ADA Compliance Important
The Americans With Disabilities Act celebrated its 30th birthday in 2020. If you have a brick and mortar building, you probably thought about making sure that everyone could enter your store safely. The ADA is about prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities. Stated positively, it’s about accommodating people regardless of their abilities. Businesses and employers need to meet certain standards to make sure their environments are accessible. Website ADA is picking up momentum, because many individuals cannot access certain websites without assistance. ADA compliance is enforceable under the law. ADA website accessibility lawsuits are on the rise. If your website isn’t ADA compliant, you are ignoring some customers and leaving yourself open to a lawsuit or fine by the government.
Combining SEO and ADA Compliance
Business owners need to value ADA compliance in web design not out of fear but to improve the customer’s experience. SEO values user experience as part of the algorithm that ranks your site. Sites that are ADA compliant have elements that make it easy for users to access content. Content on a website much be accessible on the device the user is using to access the content. Users must also be able to clearly understand the navigation of a site, as well as the information. ADA compliant sites are robust, adjusting to different technologies.
There are many things a website owner can do to be ADA compliant. Using headings intentionally and formatting logically can help with navigation. You can offer text for non-text content, such as describing a picture or infographic. Many of the ADA compliance best practices support good SEO, too:
- Meaningful titles – advise humans and search engines what the page is about.
- Headings – break down content into sections, screen readers and SEO use headings to navigate content.
- Lists – another way to structure the page for both accessibility and SEO.
ADA compliance strategies translate well into SEO strategies, but not all SEO strategies make for great ADA compliance. Overusing keywords or keyword stuffing doesn’t make sense under ADA compliance. It’s one more reason you should write to humans when doing SEO instead of getting bogged down in technical SEO.
SEOPro, a local Bay Area SEO and digital marketing firm, understands the difficulties in combining SEO with ADA compliance, but we believe that it’s vital your online marketing strategy. We have solutions to get your website to comply with ADA while still appealing to the masses. Contact us today for more information.