9 Reasons Why Accessibility Wants to Kiss Your SEO. - Flarespots

9 Reasons Why Accessibility Wants to Kiss Your SEO.

Published on February 11, 2021 – By Rick Vargas.

Why Making Your Shopify Store Accessible Helps Your SEO?

Making sure that Shopify stores are accessible and usable for everyone must be a priority for anyone who owns an online store. But what if it helps your SEO as well?

In February 2020, WebAIM (webaim.org), a non-profit organization based at the Center for Persons with Disabilities, used its Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool WAVE to analyze the rendered DOM of web pages after scripts and styles were applied, to assess barriers that users with disabilities would experience on those pages.

This study found that 90% of homepages had detectable WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) failures.

The main causes of those failures were text low contrast, missing alt texts, and empty links.

With this in mind let’s see some areas that overlap between SEO and Accessibility:

1. Page titles 

Page titles provide context and help users to understand what the webpage is about. Also, they appear as the main headline in the search results.

Titles help users to identify if the information on a page is relevant to them, they also differentiate content when multiple tabs or pages are open. Screen readers rely on page titles to explain to users when they navigate between pages.

Best practice tip: optimize page titles with users in mind instead of just keyword stuffing for bots.

2. Headings

Headings tags go from H1 to H6. Just like search engines, assistive technologies use headings to navigate websites and move through sections of the content.

Best practice tips:

  • H1 tags provide an overview of the main topic of the page.
  • Make sure to use only one H1 tag per page.
  • Make sure that all the other headings are relevant to the content beneath them, and never use headings if there is no text beneath.

3. Breadcrumb links

Breadcrumbs allow users to navigate back to previous pages or to the top-level content. So that users can trace back through the path they took to navigate to the page they are on.

They also provide a better user experience, especially on large websites with complex navigation structures.

Both search engines and screen readers use breadcrumb links to know how a site is structured.

Best practice tips:

  1. Place breadcrumbs in the same location across the entire website, in the case of Shopify, your store should have this functionality built-in by default.
  2. Like anchor links, it’s important that breadcrumb links are descriptive, especially for screen readers to tab through them.

4. Sitemaps

Sitemaps help users to find the content that they are looking for, especially if the site has complex navigation.

They are vital for accessibility because they provide an overview and access to all the important pages on your Shopify store.

  1. In the case of SEO, they are also vital because they help search engines to find pages within your site, especially if they are not linked anywhere.

5. Anchor texts

Anchor texts describe the content that is found on the page that they link to.

Screen readers tab through a page and inform users when a link is found before announcing the anchor text.

Search engines also use the anchor text to understand the context of the destination page.

Best practice tips:

  1. Write relevant text on the anchor link according to what is contained on the destination page.

6. Website Navigation

It’s common to see users navigating and interacting with your Shopify store with the mouse or touchscreen. However, navigation links are built so that they can be read by keyboards and screen readers.

Best practice tips:

  1. Avoid confusion between your clients and search engines when interacting with your Shopify store, make sure that you only include primary pages on your navigation links instead of the entire site.

7. Alt Text

Alt texts provide textual alternatives for users with visual impairments.

They are read aloud by screen readers, so it’s vital that they are accurate and relevant to what they are describing.

When crawling images, the search engines get important information from alt texts, therefore is way more efficient to use them to describe accurately their associated image instead of just stuffing keywords on them.

8. Readability

If your Shopify store offers a great experience when customers visit it, then search engines will detect those interactions and put your store in high positions.

This is why it’s very important that your store uses simple and readable texts, a clear and organized structure, as well as mechanisms that allow users to find the exact information that they are looking for when visiting your store.

9. User Interactions

Search engine crawlers such as Googlebot are unable to perform physical interactions like clicking buttons or opening accordions.

Screen readers are also unable to do this unless they are directed to do so by the user.

Best practice tips:

  1. Make sure that search engines and screen readers read the context without the need to perform user interactions. You can achieve this by adding descriptive texts to your code.
  2. Avoid using interactions to reveal content, unless hidden content is included within the source code in a way that both crawlers and screen readers can see them.

These are just some examples of why and how making your Shopify accessible impacts your SEO also helps you rank higher on search engines. For more information, please read below.

 


For more information please read:

To learn how to convert, retain clients & improve your SEO, without spending your marketing dollars please follow this link: https://www.flarespots.com/unique-method/.

To learn more and solve your website accessibility issues please visit: https://www.flarespots.com/convert-with-accessibility/.

Visit our resource page: https://www.flarespots.com/learn/.

Contact us on social media or write us at contact@flarespots.com.


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