Make sure your digital content is accessible for ALL.

In a few of the workshops I have been running recently I touch on the topic of Web Accessibility.

 

Web Accessibility is¬†the name given to making websites and online content usable to people with disabilities and removing barriers to the way they experience the internet. With an ageing population and the internet as the ‘go to’ for most of us web accessibility is something that I think is increasingly important – a few simple tweaks could make a huge difference.

 

Not only is web accessibility important because it allows¬†everyone to use/read/get value from your website or online content; it also greatly helps from a digital marketing perspective when it comes to your website’s SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

 

Here are 3 SIMPLE tips to help make your website more accessible:

 

Make sure your digital content is accessible for all.1. Web Design
Depending on how easy the website is to use, navigate and find the information or product you’re looking for is mostly down to the overall design and layout.
Good website design that helps with accessibility has:
  • clear and consistent layout
  • hierarchical structure
  • clearly labelled information
  • meaningful headings/subheadings/titles
  • concise chunks of relevant information
Someone who is partially sighted may use a web reader to help read aloud the content on a website. Therefore by displaying content in a clear and consistent way under headings and subheadings the web reader can differentiate between the paragraphs of information which makes it easier to understand.
Not only do these points help with web accessibility, it is also great practise when it comes to SEO.

 

2. Contact Details
It’s important when listing your businesses or personal contact details to give various options so that people with disabilities can get in touch easily.
Therefore it’s worth providing a direct telephone number, email address and online contact form as well as links to any social accounts. This ensures making contact is possible.

 

3. Visual Content

Similar to that of web design, the visual content within your website must be clearly laid-out and labelled. This means you should provide alternative text or transcripts for any images showni.e. clearly describing what the image or diagram is showing in relation to the context of the website. Similarly any video content should have subtitles as well as alt text or transcripts. This makes content accessible to users who are visually or hearing impaired.

As search engines rely on text to provide information about a web page, this will also help to build up a more complete picture of your site and therefore improve SEO.

W3C is a great online resource for even more tips about web accessibility.