Do you know about WCAG? Did you know that making your website WCAG compatible will also improve its SEO? Read on to find out more.
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What is WCAG?
WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. It is designed to make websites accessible to a large variety of web users. The wide variety of website users includes people with various physical or visual disabilities. Following the WCAG Regulation begins at the developmental stage of the website.
Thus, the coding of the website needs to be WCAG compliant. There are several techniques that the developer of your website can use. It will help various screen readers and search engine crawlers deliver content appropriate for the users’ needs.
Here are a few of those techniques. This guide can check if your website meets the aforementioned guidelines. Unfortunately, most digital marketers and web developers do not follow the WCAG guidelines. It is even more unfortunate that many marketers and developers do not understand this vital fact.
Following WCAG guidelines will make your website more competitive. It is because search engines prefer accessible websites more. The entire list of guidelines is available in detail on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
WCAG Compliance Overview
There are 3 levels of WCAG compliance. They are A, AA, and AAA. The first level is the easiest to achieve. As long as your web developer is aware of the guidelines and has some experience in making websites accessible, they will be able to comply.
As mentioned earlier, search engines prefer websites that are accessible. When websites are accessible, it helps search engines like Google meet their objectives. And that is to deliver the most optimal experience to its users.
When Google comes across a website that is accessible, it does not need to discriminate against the user’s needs. It will make its algorithm rank accessible websites higher. Other search engines prefer relevant and functional websites, a website that the user can navigate easily without worrying about their special needs.
Here are a few of those elements that you can implement
An ALT TEXT is nothing but a text string that is attached to an image. If the image on the website cannot be displayed for any reason, the search engine will display the alt text instead. The website will still appear to be faulty, but the browser will be able to understand the element that was supposed to be present.
In terms of SEO, you need to make sure that the ALT TEXT matches the image’s title. It also needs to be related to the main keywords on the page. When a screen reader comes across the page for a visually disabled user, it can describe the image.
There will be cases when a YouTube-hosted video is displayed on your website, and you are using the embedded IFRAME. The displayed video needs to have audio captions. It is required so that a deaf or hard-of-hearing user can follow the video. It is easier to comply when the video is up on YouTube, but the rule needs to be followed if you are hosting the video natively as well.
A well-made navigable website is not only navigable by the user but also by search engines. One of the easiest ways to implement this is to have heading hierarchies like H1, H2, and H3. H1 is always nested within H2, and H2 is within H3. It helps with the organization of topics on a website. Screen readers can organize the website for a visually impaired person with these tags.
A website also needs to be navigable only by using the keyboard. All the clickable elements on the website need to be tabbed. When the tab button is pressed on the keyboard, the cursor needs to cycle through all the clickable elements. It is necessary for users with certain motor disabilities who cannot use a mouse.
Now that you know these basic techniques, go through all the elements of your website and look at the source code. When you see the element in the lines of code, look for the necessary tags. If it doesn’t have the tags mentioned above, contact your developer, as these are some of the most basic techniques of WCAG. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the Chrome browser. Right-click on the element you want to analyze and click on “inspect.”