How Web Accessibility Translates into a Stronger Bottom Line

How Web Accessibility Translates into a Stronger Bottom Line

April 12, 2023

Two years ago, whilst idly browsing Twitter, I came across this tweet by Kim Krause Berg, CPACC (Accessibility Core Competencies) and one of the earliest pioneers of SEO and accessibility, which instantly piqued my interest.


I will come to my answer later but one of my biggest concerns as an SEO professional is when someone says, “let’s optimise this website for Google”. The fact of the matter is without people, i.e your customers and users, there cannot be any business. However, the question remains–why should accessibility matter to your bottomline?

In the UK alone, one in seven people or an estimated 15% of people are neurodivergent and according to Family resources survey, in the 2020-21 financial year, 14.6 million people had a disability. In short, not everyone who accesses the great web is able-bodied or has a brain function that is considered “normal”.


Core Web Vitals: User Experience vs Human Experience

Ever since Google announced Core Web Vitals as a core metric, focus on user experience has increased. It is limited to performance metrics such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). But user experience is not relegated to only these factors.

User experience comprises performance, design, easy interface, speed, privacy, security and accessibility. In short it is about creating a human experience.


Web Accessibility: Focusing on Human Experience

As SEOs, we should combine UX, Design and Accessibility as a default in our strategies and should focus on making the wider audience feel included and accepted. Because accessibility is a human right.

So how do we do that? Common problems that cause accessibility issues include but are not limited to: inability to complete tasks such as filling out a form, viewing a video, purchasing a product using a screen reader, long complex issues causing cognitive overload, and colour blindness to name a few.

1)  Adding alt text to images

Alt text or alternative text describes an image. Having worked with partially blind and speech impaired people, I can vouch that adding this text helps them immensely to understand an image and its context to the content better. Using this along with other aspects of image SEO also ensures Google discovers and ranks your images properly. In short, it opens up another area to rank for–images.

2)  Adding video transcriptions

This aspect is almost always overlooked but with videos including shorter versions of videos becoming more popular forms of content, adding video transcriptions is an easy way to make your videos more accessible.

Transcriptions, especially non-automated written ones help: people with visual and hearing difficulties, people who are in ‘silent’ zones, people who are light sensitive.

Additionally, transcriptions help Google understand the content better which helps in discoverability and ranking.

3)  Accessible video formats

The other way to make video content more accessible is it easily integrates with the main content of the page. Adding relevant captions, descriptions and audio descriptions all help visually impaired people understand content on the go. Additionally, properly formatted videos help with core web vitals, one of the many ranking factors.

4)  Page structure

A good page structure is not just liked by Google but people too. Things like Page titles and header tags provide better context about the content. Additionally, assistive technologies or people with cognitive impairments can easily skim through the content or jump to more relevant sections with the help of tags.

5)  HTML Sitemaps

Websites with complex navigation can be challenging to navigate especially for neurodivergent users. HTML sitemaps provide clear access to all the key pages thus aiding accessibility.

6)  Breadcrumb links

Breadcrumb links act as secondary navigation, helping users to navigate between different pages quickly. It helps search engine crawlers and screen readers understand how the site is structured thus helping people with accessibility needs better.

7)  Improving readability

Improving readability by adding features like ‘estimated time taken to read’ and summary boxes may seem like an afterthought but it massively improves user experience. Adding simple details like ‘ estimated time taken to read; helps neurodivergent people especially ADHD people feel less overwhelmed whereas adding things like summary boxes which gives key information quickly reduces cognitive load.

These elements not just help neurodivergent people but is known to reduce bounce rate and improve page interaction–factors essential for organic performance.


The Internet and websites cannot have a one-size fits all approach and many accessibility factors mentioned here are common sense things that will not improve your organic performance but show your brand as reliable and resourceful.

Not only are these SEO metrics essential, but they also serve to strengthen your brand and enhance support among your target audience.

If you are interested in accessible and scalable SEO strategies contact us for more details.


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