Whether you are starting a new website or social media platform, accessible content will always be vital for success. The accessibility options make the content suitable for people with impairment, which is a huge chunk of the audience. And by not implementing the accessibility feature, you’ll be missing out on a lot of traffic on your website or page.
Consider this, in 2020 around 15 percent of the world’s population had some form of disability, which is one billion people! Furthermore, in 2021, around 75 percent of Americans with disabilities revealed that they use the internet daily. Do you see now how much traffic and audience you might end up losing if you don’t make the website accessible?
In a WebAIM study in 2021, it was revealed that on the home pages of the top 1,000,000 websites, there were over 51 million accessibility errors. These errors vary from low contrast text to missing alt text for the images on the website. It’s expected that websites with full Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Level 2 compliance will outperform their competitors by 50 percent in 2023.
To be successful in the years to come by, businesses must create accessible content as much as they can. Here are some useful tips and tricks to make better accessible content in 2022.
Use Relevant Link Texts
Always bear in mind that some percent of your audience relies on assistive devices like screen readers. This assistive software often jumps between links by generating a list of links on the page. Therefore generic hyperlink text like click here or also ready is pretty useless when it comes to accessibility. Ensure that the hyperlinks on your page clearly state what they are linked to and what they do.
Further, try to integrate link text into the content naturally and use meaningful keywords. Also, make sure that the link text reads well independently of the text on the page. Moreover, try to hyperlink links to meaningful words instead of inserting the entire raw link in the text, because screen readers will then read out the entire link to the user. This is inconvenient in case the links are too long.
Transcripts or Captions for Audio and Video content
There’s a huge section of the audience that either can’t hear well or speak another language. It’s important to include transcripts and captions for the audio and video content on your website or social media platforms.
There are several services free or paid, which let users convert speech to text using speech recognition technology. There are powerful apps like BIGVU that let creators insert closed captions to any video with just one click. With such technology available in 2022, it’s important to include them in all content you post on your website or page.
Always Add Alt Text for Images
If you are wondering what an Alt text is, it’s an alternate text added to the image attribute to describe what the image is about. This should be very crisp, clear, and helpful with the flow of text on-page.
In addition to making images accessible, the Alt text also makes them SEO optimized. Describe the image perfectly in the Alt text and if there’s some text on the image, write the same text in the Alt text. Lastly, if the image leads to a link, the URL must be added to the Alt text.
Clear and Structured Content
The main purpose of creating accessible content is to help assistive devices used by people. Therefore, it would be best to use content that has clear and simple sentences. If there are multiple acronyms in your content, try expanding them to make it easier for screen readers to pick up.
Additionally, to keep the content simple yet meaningful, use shorter paragraphs, use clear headings, and structure important points in bullets. This way, assistive devices will be able to read the content easily and move from section to section in a natural flow.
Lastly, ensure that your page titles are unique and concise while providing the most relevant information about the page. The page title can be accessed within the HTML structure of the webpage.
If you are a social media page, there are different accessibility options provided by major social media platforms. Twitter allows alternate description, Instagram allows alternate description as well as unlimited captions, Facebook and YouTube offers automatic close caption, and so on.
The accessible content will not only make your website or page easily accessible but also improve the search ranking. The best way to optimize your content for accessibility is to imagine how different audiences will perceive your content and figure out a solution.