How low accessibility effects your website ranking

Safalta expert Published by: Ishika Jain Updated Thu, 10 Nov 2022 02:41 PM IST

Highlights

There has historically been a correlation between accessibility and high rankings in Google's SERPs, even though accessibility is not now taken into account in Google's ranking algorithm. Due to this overlap, it makes sense from a commercial standpoint for marketing firms to incorporate accessibility into their SEO plans.

We are aware that Google uses hundreds of ranking criteria to determine where a URL will appear in SERPs (SERPs). Because it's challenging to quantify, Google claims that website accessibility is not an important ranking criterion. Is there a connection between SEO and accessibility if that is the case? Even while there may not be a direct connection, there probably is an indirect one that is indirect. Metrics related to the user experience are crucial here. What precisely is the correlation, and what should a website owner anticipate?
Let's discuss website accessibility guidelines and their purpose. It is essential to acquire the necessary understanding of digital marketing, which is in high demand right now.

Table of Content:
The purpose of website accessibility guidelines:
Where Do Websites Have the Most Accessibility Issues?:
Not As Accessible As You Might Think, Amazon:
Etsy: Generally Accessible and Effective:
Nordstrom: In the lead:
How Performance and Accessibility Interact in Lululemon:
Web accessibility Key Learnings:
Developing a Website Accessibility Improvement Strategy:
1) Select a system for managing content with accessibility support:
2) Include a description in the image's alt text:
3) Organize your content logically:

The purpose of website accessibility guidelines:
The correct thing to do is to create accessible websites that are simple to use and understand for all visitors.

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Unfortunately, that doesn't always reflect the real behavior of website owners. It's not done maliciously. In actuality, ignorance of the subject is mostly to blame. Given that everyone's concept of "accessible" is different, how can one even start making their website accessible? Website accessibility guidelines come into play in this situation. The best practices for accessibility are established by these standards. Therefore, rather than developing what they believe to be accessible, website developers and designers can be confident that the methods they use are compliant with established standards.

Where Do Websites Have the Most Accessibility Issues?:
The confluence of design and accessibility is where websites struggle the most. In other words, site designers and developers believe they must give one task priority over another. Several typical instances of this include:
  • Flyouts or pop-ups that could be perplexing to users or screen readers
  • Visitors who are blind may have trouble reading text on photos with insufficient contrast.
  • Images with text that is too small in size
  • Nested complex navigation
  • Ill-organized tables
  • Not having a "skip to content" link
Not As Accessible As You Might Think, Amazon:
A global powerhouse like Amazon must-have website accessibility down pat. Unfortunately, our analysis shows that's not the case. When it relates to the total number of accessibility problems, Amazon ranks second on our list. As of this writing, there are 114 minor accessibility issues, 18 serious accessibility issues, and one major accessibility issue.
Here are the distinctions between these classifications to context:
  • The majority of users of assistive technology, such as screen readers, screen magnifiers, and refreshable braille displays, are prevented from utilizing the website by critical difficulties.
  • Users may experience difficulties or more annoyance as a result of serious faults, but they may still be able to utilize the website.
  • Smaller numbers of people may experience minor problems, which can be frustrating.
We must also take other domain ranking variables into account to fully grasp the effects of accessibility and SEO. As a result, we examined website domain statistics from the previous six months. Amazon has kept up a domain rating of 96, 18.8 million backlinks, as well as 179,700 referring domains over the past six months. In specifically, their ranking profile reveals 73.7 million organic keywords and around 900.9 million monthly visits from organic traffic. To focus even more, in June 2022, Amazon had 13.25 million keywords that were ranked in the top three spots. 13 million of those keywords are not brand-related.

Etsy: Generally Accessible and Effective:

Like Amazon, Etsy is a marketplace. In contrast to Amazon, which offers a wide variety of produced goods, Etsy concentrates on handcrafted and vintage goods. Etsy has 68 accessibility concerns in total, one of which is significant, and two of which are serious. Etsy has held onto the second-highest domain position on our list—93—for the past six months. Additionally, it has 204.7 million backlinks with 1.1 million referring domains. Particularly when glancing at keyword statistics, Etsy appeared for 37.2 million relevant keywords including over 247.8 million visits from organic traffic each month. How about the effectiveness of keyword ranking? 2.76 million keywords are listed in positions 1 through 3 on Etsy as of June 2022. 2.74 million of them are unbranded. How about the effectiveness of keyword ranking? 2.76 million keywords are listed in positions 1 through 3 on Etsy as of June 2022. 2.74 million of them are unbranded.

Nordstrom: In the lead:
The online shopping sites Amazon and Etsy have a plethora of brands (or millions, in the case of Amazon). On the other side, Nordstrom is an online storefront. How does it contrast, then? With such a maximum of 42 accessibility complaints, Nordstrom has the fewest accessibility concerns of any website on our list. Compared to the other online sites we analyzed, Nordstrom has no major or critical accessibility concerns. Nordstrom receives an 87 in terms of domain rating. The e-commerce site includes 79,100 referring sites and 5.4 million backlinks. With about 43.2 million visitors each month from organic traffic, it also performs for 3 million organic keywords.

How Performance and Accessibility Interact in Lululemon:
Athletic wear & lifestyle clothing company Lululemon was established in the 1990s. It gained popularity among yoga practitioners, but it rapidly spread to all types of athletic and leisure clothing. Lululemon runs an online storefront that is comparable to Nordstrom's. Lululemon is the least safe website on our list, having a total of 133 accessibility concerns, according to the analysis of those issues. This comprises 49 grave concerns in addition to three critical ones. Unsurprisingly, Lululemon does have the lowest domain rating (82) on our list. Lululemon has sustained 1.1 million backlinks, 30,000 referring sites, and 489,900 organic keyword positions during the past six months. Due to this, Lululemon receives over 8.3 million organic website visitors each month. Lululemon only has 12,800 keywords in position from one to three when focusing on June 2022. Only 1,900 of them are unbranded.

Web accessibility Key Learnings:
This section of the article aims to quantify the impact of website accessibility on website rankings. To do this, overlapping keywords were used to compare each website's keyword ranking indicators. What did we discover? We reduced it to around 2,900 overlapping keywords that appeared in positions one through three by using the Keyword Gap tool in Ahrefs. These are the results for every one of the four websites out of those roughly 3,000 keywords: Position one through three of the search results for 2,470 keywords were held by Amazon, Etsy, Nordstrom, and Lululemon respectively. Position one through three of the search results for 479 keywords were held by Nordstrom. 

Developing a Website Accessibility Improvement Strategy:

A website must meet the following criteria to be compatible with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), as stated by The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C): Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust. How do we determine what is accessible given that these phrases are subjective? Fortunately, WCAG outlines that in great detail. You can follow several methods to comply with ADA website compliance criteria. These are among the most crucial factors to take into account if you're just starting.

1) Select a system for managing content with accessibility support:
E-commerce platforms are not all created equally. Some organizations encourage accessibility more effectively than others. Decide on a new content-management system with accessibility in mind, and be sure to include it on your redesign checklist, if you're in a position to do so. Utilizing accessibility tools including alt text, anchor text, high-contrast typography, and content organization will be simple with an accessible platform. Additionally, it might include accessibility features in its HTML structure or grant users full access to the HTML files so they can do it themselves.

2) Include a description in the image's alt text:
Approximately 50% of digital content is made up of images. As a result, they must be taken into account when adding accessibility features to your website. Using descriptive alt text for your photographs is one approach to enhance them. An image's alt text serves as a textual summary of its contents. A website or blog post provides a description of what it does and the context in which it functions.

3) Organize your content logically:

To identify what text must be read in what order, screen readers and other web accessibility technologies significantly rely on HTML. This kind of software, as well as visual readers in general, benefit from a logical content organization structure. This includes the header, navigation, main, sidebar, and footer elements that make up the page's structure. It also provides content organization similar to that seen on a blog post or product page. The use of header and subheading tags, such as H1, H2, etc., is part of this.pla

 

Does Google ranking factor in accessibility?

The performance of searches is significantly impacted by many of the accessibility best practices. WCAG compliance is not currently a direct ranking criterion. However, accessible websites usually score better in search engine results than their rivals for one straightforward reason: When websites function as intended, users are more likely to utilize them.

Is accessibility a factor in SEO ranking?

According to Google's Search Advocate John Mueller, accessibility enhancements have no immediate effect on a website's search rankings. This was said at a March 25 hangout for Google Search Central SEO office hours.

Does SEO factor into accessibility?

The features that enhance accessibility and SEO performance overlap quite a bit. You increase your chances of being found in search by making your web pages accessible to everyone. Google Lighthouse is a tool for raising the caliber of online pages.

Why is accessibility crucial for SEO?

The fact that accessible websites improve user experience and make the material available to a much wider and more varied audience is one of the most significant advantages of online accessibility for SEO.

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