As a digital marketer, you’re constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to enhance your website’s SEO performance. While you may already be focusing on improving SEO, click rates and bounce rates, there’s one crucial aspect that often goes unnoticed – web accessibility. By integrating web accessibility into your marketing strategy, you can unlock a hidden treasure trove of conversion rate optimization. In this article, we’ll explore the untapped potential of web accessibility and guide you through four steps to boost your clients’ website performance.
The Untapped Potential of Web Accessibility in Marketing Strategy
Web accessibility is a powerful component of a holistic marketing strategy that has the potential to significantly boost performance and engagement. Surprisingly, many of your competitors may not have added web accessibility to their repertoire, giving you an instant advantage by implementing it. But what exactly is web accessibility, and is your clients’ website accessible?
Web accessibility refers to designing and developing websites that are easy to understand, navigate, read, and use for everyone, including people with disabilities. By embracing web accessibility, you can achieve the following benefits:
- Expanded Site Reach: By making your clients’ websites accessible, you ensure inclusivity and provide a superior user experience for all. With an estimated 1.3 billion people living with some form of disability, implementing web accessibility can potentially attract scores of new users to your client’s target audience.
- Dialed-in User Experience: By refining the web experience to cater to each individual’s unique requirements, especially for those with disabilities, you create a faster and cleaner experience for all users.
- Improved Navigation: By eliminating barriers that hinder smooth navigation, you optimize the on-site link structure, making it easier for users and search engine bots to navigate the website.
These benefits align with important ranking signals, such as SEO and Core Web Vitals (CWV), making web accessibility a game-changer that fosters digital equality and drives tangible marketing results.
Step 1: Add Alt Text for Improved Search Visibility
Search engines have a soft spot for accessible websites. When your clients’ websites are accessible, they effectively communicate their content to search engines, improving their search visibility. One key aspect of web accessibility is providing alt text for images.
Alt text, or alternative text, is critical for conveying information in images to users who rely on assistive technology. It allows screen readers to describe the content of images, ensuring that visually impaired users can comprehend the context.
To write high-impact alt text and enhance search visibility, follow these best practices:
- Understand the purpose of each image and classify them as informative, decorative, functional, or complex.
- Write detailed alt text for informative images, describing the essential information and emotional implications.
- Use “null” alt text for decorative images that lack meaningful context.
- Describe the functionality of functional images without explicitly describing the images themselves.
- Provide alt text that accurately describes the information conveyed by complex infographics or diagrams.
Writing alt text for hundreds or thousands of images manually can be time-consuming. An automated solution, like UserWay’s Image Alt tool powered by AI, can save you time and generate alt text effectively.
Remember to keep alt text under 125 characters, ensure accuracy, avoid using images of text (except for logos), and provide meaningful and functional alternative means of usability.
Step 2: Create Clear Header Structure for Increased Rankings and Content Understanding
Clear heading structures play a crucial role in aiding both screen readers and search engine bots. By organizing headers in the proper order, you improve accessibility and potentially see a boost in rankings.
To optimize your clients’ header structure, consider the following best practices:
- Place main and secondary keywords strategically to improve search engine understanding and user comprehension.
- Balance SEO and accessibility considerations when using keywords in headers, ensuring they are simple and easy to understand.
- Tag headers (H1, H2, etc.) in the correct hierarchy for optimal navigation by screen reader users.
- Maintain sequential order when laying out headers, avoiding skipping from H1 directly to H3.
A well-structured header hierarchy not only enhances web accessibility but also contributes to improved search rankings, helping users find the information they need quickly and easily.
Step 3: Strengthen UI/UX by Removing Accessibility Barriers
Accessibility directly influences the user experience of a website, making it a crucial ranking factor. With a staggering 88% of visitors vowing never to return after a poor site experience, prioritizing accessibility becomes essential.
To ensure user-friendly experiences for all, especially those with disabilities, consider the following UI/UX best practices:
- Employ certified testers who use assistive technology to create real use cases and identify accessibility barriers.
- Schedule manual testing at least once or twice a year to maintain high usability standards as your content evolves.
- Augment manual testing with automated scanning tools that continuously monitor your web pages and alert you to any changes in usability.
Digital accessibility platforms like UserWay offer a comprehensive solution, combining automated accessibility scanning, monitoring, and alerting with manual audits by IAAP-certified auditors.
By removing accessibility barriers, you create a more inclusive and user-friendly website, resulting in improved performance and a higher chance of attracting and retaining visitors.
Step 4: Naturally Improve Conversions with Web Accessibility
Solid conversion rates are the ultimate measure of a campaign’s effectiveness. By integrating web accessibility into your clients’ websites, you can see a significant boost in conversions. Let’s explore a case study that demonstrates the impact of web accessibility on conversion rates.
Case Study: Natural Intelligence’s Conversion Boost with UserWay
Natural Intelligence, the company behind popular websites like Top10.com and BestMoney.com, faced a challenge in making their sites accessible and performance-driven. By partnering with UserWay and leveraging the power of AI-powered web accessibility solutions, they achieved significant improvements in their metrics:
- Click Rates: Increased by 1.0%
- Bounce Rates: Decreased by 0.5%
- Earnings per Click: Boosted by 2.4%
- Earnings per Visitor: Rose by 3.5%
The connection between web accessibility and higher conversion rates is not coincidental; it is consequential. Natural Intelligence’s client sites became more inclusive, engaging more users and building credibility.
When striving for conversions and revenue growth, ask yourself: Is web accessibility an integral part of your digital strategy?
By following these four steps and incorporating web accessibility into your marketing approach, you can unlock the full potential of your client’s websites and drive remarkable results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: How does web accessibility impact marketing strategy? A: Web accessibility expands your site’s reach, improves user experience, and enhances navigation, aligning with important ranking signals. It fosters inclusivity and drives tangible marketing results.
Q: How can alt text improve search visibility? A: Alt text provides information about images to search engines, improving their understanding of your content. By writing high-impact alt text, you enhance search visibility and increase the chances of higher rankings.
Q: What are the best practices for creating a clear header structure? A: Strategically place keywords in headers, balance SEO considerations with accessibility, tag headers correctly, and maintain a sequential order to aid screen readers and improve content understanding.
Q: How does accessibility influence UI/UX and website performance? A: Accessibility directly impacts the user experience, and a poor site experience can lead to visitor dissatisfaction and high bounce rates. By removing accessibility barriers, you create a more user-friendly website, resulting in improved performance.
Q: Can web accessibility improve conversion rates? A: Yes, web accessibility has been linked to improved conversion rates. By making your clients’ websites more inclusive, you engage a broader audience and create a positive user experience, ultimately leading to higher conversions.
Remember, integrating web accessibility into your marketing strategy is not just about compliance; it’s about unlocking the full potential of your client’s websites and driving remarkable results. Embrace web accessibility today and witness the transformative power it has on your website’s SEO performance.
Photo credit: Mikael Blomkvist