One of the purposes of the world wide web was to help people to search and share information. Since its inception, the Web is being used for numerous purposes like social networking, sharing data, pictures, videos, etc. World wide web accessibility is crucial since it is about making the web available for everyone people including those with visual or auditory impairments.
Even though many people can not use pictures, video clips, sounds, applets, etc directly, they may still use pages that include, although some people can not use images, movies, sounds, applets, etc directly, they may still use pages that include comparable information. As sites become more interactive and more visual, sites also need to become easier for screen readers to read. There are a number of tools and services available to help increase the accessibility of websites – these include web development suites and accessibility checkers. Net accessibility is becoming a common challenge for online marketers. Companies have an enormous opportunity to increase product sales simply by implementing some basic web accessibility strategies. Creating web pages with web accessibility in mind also helps with site SEO because it makes it easier for computer systems to interpret the web page.
To increase the accessibility of your website, there are a few simple guidelines to follow. You can see how similar to SEO best-practices these principles are.
– The inclusion of descriptive alternative text for images is a great 1st step to better the accessibility of a site. Such as, the text equivalent of an up arrow that links to a table of contents might be “Go to the table of contents”. Sometimes an equivalent should describe the look of visual content or the sound of auditory content.
- Both accessibility and Search engine optimization principles state alternative text should not be used in decorative images.
- It’s a good practice to not use generic linking text such as ‘click here’ and ‘this site’ because it will be difficult for screen readers to interpret the hyperlink context.
- The page title tag is also important to both accessibility and SEO – it should convey the purpose of the page to the viewer.
- Header (H) tags should be used to describe a webpage (H1) or new sections or subsections (H2-H6) for both accessibility and SEO.
- Each page must have proper META tags defined (encoding, language).
- And each web page should pass HTML validation.
Needless to say there are many more things one can do to make web pages 100% accessible, but with these types of basic steps we will have a good base to build on for website accessibility.
Links for some of the world wide web accessibility and usability guidelines and information