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Nathan Gaidai
Table of Contents

What do SEO, UX and Accessibility Have in Common

Table of Contents

UX and SEO have always been essential parts of the web designing process. In recent times, accessibility is becoming more necessary in the process. It is extensively impacting the online business sphere, causing a redesign of websites. Its impact has also been visible in areas besides web design, such as search engine optimization, user experience, and the development of tools to support web design.

Because it has been proven that the vast population has been denied access to a significant part of online businesses, while this field has been experiencing rapid expansion, it becomes crucial for web developers to consider accessibility-minded web design. There are many ways to do it, including following the imposed guidelines, using accessible web design practices, and using accessibility tools.

Given the importance of this topic, our blog will deal in detail with accessibility design, its impact on SEO, and user experience. Lastly, we will share tips and tricks on making your site more accessible and which tools provide you best results on this path.

Let the accessibility journey start!

The Basics of Accessibility

Accessibility is a concept that is becoming more closely related to web development and equal access to technology. A variety of disabilities require different adaptations. Therefore, regardless of whether you have a disability affecting your vision, hearing, cognition, and motor functions, the website you want to visit should be designed to make its content accessible.

Suppose we set the basics of accessibility, or to be more precise digital accessibility, we can discuss that it is simply the adaptations for an app/website/software to make it adaptable to people with disabilities. It also means that other groups benefit from assistive technologies, such as those using mobile devices or those with slow network connections.

Accessibility infographic

Assistive technologies that help people with disabilities have become more widespread recently. These developments include tools that make navigating and interacting with a website more accessible.

Accessibility to its core is about equality of chances and human rights. It is about assuring that all people have equal opportunities to access your website. That’s why the accessibility of web design is a very noble cause.

Why is Web Accessibility Important?

As mentioned, accessibility principles are based on equality and human rights. But it is not all about that. Web accessibility is not only ethical but also a business principle on top of the legal requirement.

Regulations regarding accessibility have been developed in several states, both in the USA and worldwide. In this way, governments want to force developers and businesses into more inclusive policies.

If we focus on the U.S., the Workforce Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that “electronic and information technology developed, procured, maintained, or used by the federal government be accessible to people with disabilities.The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to ensure that people with disabilities are not subjected to discrimination.

The Act is accompanied by Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), comprehensive standards for web content developers and others who require web accessibility standards.

As we turn our attention to the economic benefits of accessibility, it is crucial to remember that an extensive part of the general population has a disability, either permanent or temporary. In the United States, the purchasing power of assistive-technology internet users is worth more than $350 billion. From an economic perspective, ignoring millions of potential customers would be a mistake.

Lastly, applying accessibility principles is very lucrative for your business. According to the newest data, 61 million adults in the United States live with a disability which makes it 26 percent (one in 4) of adults in the United States have some disability. By applying the accessibility standards, you are making your product available to many new customers, increasing your company’s revenues in the endnote.

Accessibility and UX

UX – user experience is a principle used in designing products. The aim is to put the user at the center of the problem-solving journey and create a product that is easily accessible and understandable to the target group. It is a human-centric approach to solving problems through product design.
Accessibility and ux infographics

UX baseline of understanding and adapting your approach to the user connects to the need of people with disabilities by implementing accessibility requirements in the web design.

The Universal Design Principles is used as a base for UX designers to improve website accessibility by employing when building or redesigning a website. It can be done using assistive technologies or by implementing certain practices prescribed by mentioned legal requirements.

Practices That Foster Both UX and Accessibility:

The following are just some of the suggestions that foster accessibility. This list will be continued in further sections of the blog, but we strongly advise consulting ADA and WCAG requirements which elaborate further on the features that should take part in web design.

  • The design of features implemented on the website should accommodate a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.
  • All features should be designed and communicated in a manner that is understandable to users regardless of experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.
  • All features should be based on principles of efficiency, following size, color, and space requirements suitable for all users.
  • Designing product outlines using shapes makes it approachable to all users.
  • Design patterns, such as menus, should have a set of HTML semantics and ARIA attributes to be suitable for accessibility tools.

Accessibility and SEO

Implementing the best practices connected to Search Engine Optimization has become a day-to-day activity of all businesses expanding virtually. SEO practices are applied to reach more customers and increase your revenue since they foster your content to rank higher in search engine results and become more accessible to users.

What do seo ux and accessibility have in common

If you seek to reach a more comprehensive network of customers, then accessibility should also be your focus. SEO practices reflect on this sphere of web design as well.

To better elaborate on how accessibility ties to SEO practices, it is essential to note that some of the most relevant tools to boost your SEO result include:

  • Creating the alt text for the featured image
  • Inserting embed images and videos
  • Applying headings and title tags
  • Providing external and internal links
  • Developing a mobile-friendly website
  • Providing various ways to find content, such as sitemaps

These features overlap with the accessibility practices that help people with disabilities navigate your website more easily.

Features to Look For When Applying Accessibility Practices

Alt text, in the first place, is a great practice that helps engine crawlers understand the image’s context. More importantly, in the accessibility context, it creates a textual alternative for users with visual impairments. These are further connected to the usage of videos and images, which need to have subtitles/alt text to be recognized by accessibility tools.

We are moving forward with titles and headings relevant to SEO and accessibility. If we talk about page titles, they are used to set the context and help users to understand our content. Screen readers use the exact identification principle.

The headings used in the webpage’s content have the same role – providing the page’s structure. Similarly, engine crawlers and assistive technologies use headers to navigate the page, making it greatly important for both functions on the website.

When it comes to anchor text, its primary use is to describe content linked to the page you are currently reading. In an accessibility connotation, it helps screen readers to inform users when a link has been found.

Like anchor text, links have been essential to SEO for many reasons. There is a direct connection between the quality/quantity of links and traffic generated to the site. Similarly, links are an essential part of developing accessible web design.

Link text should be enough, but some visual designs do not allow for descriptive link text. Many developers use CSS to hide the extra text visually but expose it to screen readers or use the aria-described by attribute, which provides the additional text for a screen reader besides the link text.

Many people use mobile phones as their primary device for web searches, which is why many web developers use mobile-friendly practices to approach many customers. It represents people with disabilities who use accessibility gadgets that apply the same principles as mobile phones when accessing the webpage.

Lastly, sitemaps are helpful for anyone to find the content. This feature helps crawlers find links to other pages in the SEO context. On the accessibility note, sitemaps provide an overview and access to all pages on the site.

Useful Accessibility Tools


UserWay is a company that developed a variety of tools that can help you achieve accessibility standards regulated by law. Their main product is the Accessibility Widget, which combines all other accessibility tools and provides an excellent level of alignment with legal requirements. UserWay offers additional products, including Scanner, Inspector, Audit Content Moderator, Contrast Checker, Accessibility Statement Generator, Dyslexia Font, PDF Remediation, Video Remediation, and Recover Your Embed Code VPAT – Voluntary Disclosure. It is an excellent and comprehensive tool suitable for any stage of web development.

Google Chrome Accessibility Developer Tools

Google offers a variety of developer tools that can help your website meet accessibility criteria. It features 17 audit rules and a pane primarily focusing on accessibility audits. Developer tools include a library of accessibility-related testing and utility code. Some of the components that Google offer are:


Stark program has been a great tool to inspect contrast levels in your designs with Contrast Checker. It focuses on finding color alternatives with Smart Color Suggestions while offering Vision Simulations to understand better users requiring these tools. The great advantage of Stark is its ability to be added as a Chrome extension.

The A11y Project

The A11y Project offers web development resources that help foster accessibility. It includes accessible menu items, SVGs, dropdowns, accordions, forms, buttons, and anchor links. Everyone can access the A11y project’s underlying code stored on GitHub and use it to increase the accessibility of their web design.

The Axe Program

Axe is a great testing tool that helps websites and HTLM interfaces secure their alignment with legal requirements on accessibility up to 80% during the development process. Similarly, the Axe can be used as an audit tool that filters issues and uses a comprehensive methodology. Added value is that it also tests the regular functionality of your website. Axe is also available as an extension.

Chrome Lens

Another visual impairment simulation and auditing tool worth your time are the ChromeLens. It is a Google extension that can be helpful with web accessibility development. In its variety of functions, the most prominent ones include:

  • Lens (Vision Simulator) that provides interaction with a website as a blind or a colorblind person.
  • The accessibility Audit function helps discover elements that do not comply with legal requirements.
  • Tab-tracker option that permits navigating website solely using the keyboard.

Screen Readers

Screen readers are the most used tools comprising software adapted to blind or visually impaired people. It transmits whatever text is displayed into a preferred form. The readers can test accessibility since they can offer an overview of the page’s flow, the document’s readability, and many more.

Final Remarks

Understanding the importance of accessibility and applying its legal requirements have numerous effects on web design and businesses. Therefore we hope our blog helped you understand the extent of accessibility features’ impact on UX and SEO practices. Also, we hope that our tips and tools can help you improve your website and contribute to your future web designing process.

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