Accessibility guidelines are a key element of web design for both people with disabilities as well as those with physical or cognitive limitations. Essentially, you want to make sure that everyone can access your site and take advantage of your services. But how can you know whether or not you’re meeting that goal? What tools can make your content more user-friendly? Are there any sites you can use to monitor your measure your adherence to accessibility guidelines?
The Importance of Accessibility Guidelines
In order to make SEO practices accessible, there are many factors to consider. Accessibility guidelines include everything from a well-defined heading structure to descriptive link text. However, text alternatives and site navigation are some of the most important aspects of a user-friendly website. Let’s start by covering these two topics.
Do You Offer Text Alternatives?
More than likely, you have images, multimedia and other visual content on your site. While some visuals can be decorative or supplementary, others are essential for relaying important information. Regardless, everyone should be able to understand what your visual content is trying to convey. This is where alternative text options such as alt tags come in. Web page designers insert alt tags into the visible body text or HTML to describe images and other visuals on your site. If you have video content, it’s also a good idea to include captions for the dialogue. This way, users who wouldn’t be able to see, hear or understand your content otherwise can comprehend it easily.
Can All Visitors Navigate Your Site Easily?
Next, you want to make sure that your site navigation is clear and easy to follow. From the start, your main page should clearly indicate how your site can be navigated. If a user has to go to a separate page just to reach your link menu, that can bog down their experience. Try putting everything front and center so it’s completely accessible.
Put yourself in the shoes of different members of your audience as well. Will older individuals be able to read your text? For instance, are your buttons legible, or is the font too ornamental? As far as accessibility guidelines go, you should also consider a range of devices. Can users browse your site easily on a smartphone? These are all things you should keep in mind while adding content to your site.
Accessibility Checkers That We Recommend
Maybe you think your site currently meets most accessibility guidelines, but you’re not 100% sure. Here are a few accessibility checkers you can use to optimize your site moving forward:
- Dynomapper for accessibility evaluations, sitemap generation and more (free trial available)
- WAVE for an effective in-browser evaluation tool
- QualityLogic for automated, manual and remediation testing created by visually-impaired engineers
Because You’re Busy Co Can Help You Meet Accessibility Guidelines
Because You’re Busy Co knows how to create relevant, engaging and accessible content for your business. We specialize in creating websites, blogs, social media posts, and newsletters that are compelling and consistent with your brand. Partner with us to keep your online content up to par so that you can get back to doing what you do best – running your business. Visit us online or contact us today at 410-324-3934 to get started.