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Accessibility & SEO

Did you know that just by making your website accessible you also are boosting your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts AND improving your organic search rankings? Pretty awesome, right?

DubBot scans and tests for six in-page elements that affect both accessibility (A11Y) and SEO. You access the list of those elements by clicking the SEO icon located on the left hand menu of the page.

Left hand menu options on a page in DubBot.

 

Page Title

  • SEO - Title tags are the second most important on-page factor for SEO, after content. Page Title signals to the search engines the subject of your webpage.
  • A11Y - Page Title helps users with disabilities more quickly understand the subject of your webpage. Page Titles are the first page element announced by screen-reading software.

Length of Page Title - 30 - 60 characters

  • SEO - "Google typically displays between 50 and 60 characters in the search results based upon it’s pixel cut off point of around 580 pixels in the desktop results." ~ Screamingfrog. A good rule of thumb is minimum length - 30 characters or 285 pixels, maximum length - 60 characters or 575 pixels.
  • A11Y - Screen reader users would prefer not to listen to a verbose page title so they can decide if the page content is what they are looking for.

Page (Meta) Description

  • SEO - This description shows up (and is indexed) in the search results when a user searches on a term or phase that is contained in your page description.
  • A11Y - Screen reader software reads the Page Description to the user so they can understand what the page is about.

Page Description is Between 120 - 160 Characters

  • SEO - Although Google doesn't set character limits for Page Descriptions, it does limit the number of characters displayed to users on the search engine results page (SERP).
  • A11Y - Screen reader users would prefer not to listen to a verbose Page Description to find out what your page content is all about.

Page has Headings

  • SEO - Proper use of headings creates text of higher quality, which is better for your users, which improves your SEO.
  • A11Y - Headings describe the organization and importance of content on a page. Web browsers and assistive technologies use headings to help provide in-page navigation.

Page has One H1 tag

  • SEO - Properly structured and written H1 tags have a significant impact on how well your content ranks in search engines. H1 tags are essentially your page title so make sure your H1 heading matches your HTML title tag.
  • A11Y - H1 headings provide important navigation points for users of assistive technologies, allowing them to easily find the main content of the page.

H2 - H6

  • SEO - "Header tags are helpful for users and search engines. For your users, they give them a preview of the content they’re about to read. For search engines like Google, they provide context on what your page is all about and provide a hierarchy." ~ Search Engine Journal
  • A11Y - "Use the H1, H2,…H6 tags as indicators of section headings and subheadings within a document, not just as formatting elements. Screen readers in particular may just scan a page for appropriate H1, H2 and H3 elements." ~ Accessibility at Penn State

"Like headings in print content, header tags are used to title or introduce the content below them. HTML header tags follow a hierarchy, from <h1> to <h6>:

  • H1 tags are used to denote the most important text, such as the main theme or title of a content.
  • H2 and H3 tags are commonly used as subheadings.
  • Finally, H4, H5, and H6 tags may be used to provide further structure within those subsections."

~ Search Engine Journal

Resources

Maggie Vaughan, CPACC
~ friend of DubBot, A11Y practitioner in higher ed