What is Website Accessibility and How Do I Implement It?
Website Accessibility is a critically important area that every business owner with a website should be aware of and prioritising.
What is Web Accessibility?
Accessibility means that a disabled person can access or benefit from your website, and it is about ensuring that your website is inclusive, accessible and mindful of all users. Ultimately, you need to make sure that your website can be used by everyone – regardless of permanent or temporary disability.
Not only does this mean that all users are able to use your website, but it also informs your audience that your business wants to share content and products with every individual. This allows your brand to gain respect and increases your brand reputation.
Having an accessible website also helps your SEO and organic ranking in the SERPS, as Google is more likely to favour an accessible website over one that is not.
How to Make Your Website Accessible
1. Use Readable Fonts
With so many fonts to choose from online, it can be tempting to go for the fancy and attractive options – however keep in mind that these are often less accessible.
This is because some cursive fonts can have overlapping letters, which makes them difficult to read for those with impaired eyesight. Instead, stick to easy-to-read fonts that are large enough for everyone to read.
2. Use Contrasting Colours
Colour contrast is a critical component of website accessibility. This means that your content needs to be readable on your website. Ensure that there is sufficient colour contrast between foreground and background elements.
3.Use Alt Tags
Alt Tags are small descriptions added on to your images in the back end of your website that describe the image in detail. This allows screen readers to identify the image and read out loud to visually impaired people what the image is about. You can find out more on how to implement Alt Tags in our Alt Tag Blog Post.
4. Use Header Tags Correctly
Header Tags come in the form of H1, H2, H3 etc, and are used to structure your page and tell Google about the most important content in order to rank your page. They also give screen readers clues on the importance of information. Make sure you use them in the correct order.
5. Create Accessible Forms
Use descriptive and well positioned labels for each input field within a contact form, to help users to input information in the correct boxes.
6. Use Descriptive Link Text
Screen readers rely on the text of a link to determine where the link leads. Link text should be easy to understand and easy for users with speech recognition software to remember and repeat. For example, a link should be seen as ‘Read About Us’, rather than ‘Read More’. Using descriptive text explains the context of links to the screen reader user.
7. Preserve Functionality for Visitors Using Just Keyboards
Users with mobility challenges often cannot manipulate a mouse with precision. Because of this, they usually access the web using a keyboard, a special keyboard overlay or other devices designed to ease access to the web. This means that complex menus, slideshows or pop-ups that require a mouse-over action remain inaccessible to these visitors. To avoid this, you need to consider keyboard-only site visitors. To navigate using a keyboard is by using the ‘Tab’ key, which jumps to areas on the page that have a ‘keyboard focus’ – such as buttons, links and contact forms. Therefore, you should ensure that all web content and navigation can be accessed using the ‘Tab’ key.
8. Make Your Videos Accessible
Ensure that your videos have accurate captions, as well as transcripts. You should also ensure that the audio is loud enough so that those with impaired hearing can watch.
Starting accessibility changes from scratch can be a daunting task, so why not make the changes whilst undergoing other website changes and resigns. Alternatively, you can make the changes one step at a time over a period of time – such as one set of changes everyday, to finish them in a couple of weeks. We also offer Website Design services, so if you’re looking for a new or re-designed website, get in touch with our team today!
We offer great, affordable websites, along with SEO to help your website be accessible.