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ADA compliance for websites
ADA Compliance

ADA Compliance for Websites: SEO-Driven Accessibility Guide

Rich Emanuel photo
Richard Emanuel
Post Published:
March 15, 2024
Post Updated:
March 15, 2024

Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to navigate a website? Maybe the buttons were too small to click on mobile, or the text was blurry and hard to read. Imagine that experience for someone with a visual impairment or difficulty using a mouse.  For them, inaccessible websites can create a major barrier to information and services.

That's where ADA compliance comes in. But did you know that making your website accessible isn't just the ethical thing to do, it can actually boost your SEO? (We'll get to that in a bit). Keep reading to learn how creating an inclusive online experience can benefit everyone.

Key Takeaways

  • AI rewriting is a powerful tool that can help you create SEO-infused content and save you time.
  • AI can identify relevant keywords, improve readability, and suggest content variations.
  • When using AI rewriting tools, it's important to provide clear instructions, fact-check the output, and edit with a critical eye.

Understanding Website Accessibility

WCAG Guidelines

Ever wonder if there's a rulebook for accessible websites? There is! The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are a set of international standards developed to ensure websites are usable by everyone, regardless of ability. 

Here's the thing: WCAG has three conformance levels (A, AA, and AAA). Level A is the basic foundation, while AA is considered the most widely recognized standard for accessibility. Reaching AAA provides the highest level of accessibility, but it's not always achievable for every website.

Now, let's dive into the core principles of WCAG, also known as POUR:

  • Perceivable: All information on your website should be presented in a way that can be perceived by at least one sense. This means using alt text for images, providing transcripts for videos, and ensuring color contrast is sufficient for people with visual impairments.
  • Operable: Your website should be functional for users who rely on assistive technologies like screen readers or voice commands. For someone navigating your site with just a keyboard – can they access all the features and content?
  • Understandable: The information and user interface of your website should be clear and easy to understand. Avoid technical jargon and use plain language whenever possible.
  • Robust: Your website should be compatible with a wide range of assistive technologies and devices. This ensures your content remains accessible even as technology evolves.

SEO Benefits of ADA Compliance

Improved User Experience & Engagement

So, you land on a website looking for information, but the text is tiny and blurry, the buttons are too close together, and there's no way to navigate with just a keyboard. Frustrating, right? Here's the thing: inaccessible websites create a negative experience for everyone, not just people with disabilities.

Accessibility features, on the other hand, make your website user-friendly for all visitors. People are more likely to stay on your site, explore your content, and even convert into customers if they find it easy and enjoyable to use. And guess what? Search engines take user engagement into account when ranking websites! So, by creating a positive user experience through accessibility, you're giving your SEO a boost.

Increased Website Usability & Crawlability

Search engines rely on a process called "crawling" to understand your website and index its content. A well-structured, accessible website with clear navigation and semantic code is much easier for search engine crawlers to navigate and understand.

Here's why:

  • Clear Navigation: Think of a website with a confusing menu and hidden links. Search engines would struggle to find all your content. Accessible websites use clear menus, breadcrumbs, and logical page structures, making it easy for crawlers (and users!) to find everything.
  • Semantic Code

Semantic code uses meaningful tags to describe the content on your page. For example, instead of a simple <div> tag, you might use an <h1> tag for a heading or a <p> tag for a paragraph. This clear labeling helps search engines understand the context and structure of your content, ultimately improving your SEO ranking.

Reaching a Wider Audience

Did you know that over one billion people worldwide have some form of disability?  That's a massive audience you might be missing out on with an inaccessible website.

By making your website ADA-compliant, you're opening the door to this vast potential audience. People with visual impairments, motor skill limitations, or cognitive differences can now access and interact with your content. This translates to increased website traffic, more potential customers, and a wider reach for your brand. The best part? The SEO benefits of reaching a wider audience snowball over time.  As more people engage with your website, search engines take notice, potentially boosting your ranking and attracting even more visitors. It's a win-win for inclusivity and SEO!

Making Your Website ADA-Compliant: An SEO-Friendly Approach

Accessibility Audit & Evaluation Tools

So, you're ready to make your website more accessible? There are a bunch of free and paid tools out there to help you conduct an accessibility audit and identify areas for improvement. 

Here are a few popular options to get you started:

This free tool built into Chrome helps you identify accessibility issues and offers suggestions for improvement. It's a great starting point for a quick website checkup.

This free web evaluation tool by WebAIM checks your website for a variety of accessibility concerns. It provides a color-coded overlay highlighting potential problems and offers detailed explanations for each issue.

This free online tool allows you to analyze your website for various accessibility standards, including WCAG. While the free version offers a basic scan, paid plans provide more in-depth analysis and reporting.

Optimizing Images & Multimedia

Ever come across a website with images that just say "image1.jpg"? Not helpful, right?  For people who rely on screen readers, descriptive alt text is crucial for understanding the content of images.

Here's the deal: alt text is a short description that appears when an image can't be displayed. It's like giving your images a voice! But the benefits go beyond accessibility. Search engines also use alt text to understand the content of your images, which can actually boost your SEO ranking.

Keyboard Navigation & Focus Management

Imagine trying to navigate a website with just a keyboard – no mouse clicks allowed!  For users with motor limitations, keyboard navigation is essential. This means ensuring all website elements, like menus, buttons, and links, can be accessed and activated using the keyboard.

But here's the SEO bonus: Search engines use keyboard accessibility to crawl and understand your website structure. Clear focus indicators, which show what element is currently selected with the keyboard, not only improve user experience but also help search engines navigate your site more efficiently.

Color Contrast & Readability

Color can be a powerful design tool, but it's important to use it thoughtfully for accessibility. People with visual impairments may have difficulty seeing text with insufficient color contrast between the text and background. For example, light gray text on a white background can be a nightmare to read.

The good news? There are free online tools that help you check the color contrast ratio of your website text and background. Ensuring sufficient contrast not only makes your website more user-friendly but can also indirectly improve SEO by keeping users engaged with your content.

Clear & Concise Content Structure

Clear and concise content structure is key for readability, and guess what? It's also great for SEO!

Here's how: Using clear headings, subheadings, and bullet points helps break down your content and makes it easier for users to scan and find the information they need. Search engines also use this structure to understand the hierarchy and organization of your content, which can positively impact your ranking.


So, what have we learned? Making your website ADA-compliant isn't just about legal requirements; it's about creating an inclusive online experience for everyone.  And the SEO benefits are a sweet bonus!

By focusing on accessibility features like clear navigation, descriptive alt text, and proper color contrast, you're not only building a user-friendly website but also laying the groundwork for strong SEO performance. Remember, accessibility is an ongoing process. Regularly check your website for potential issues and stay updated on the latest accessibility best practices.


  1. What is AI rewriting?

AI rewriting is a technique that uses artificial intelligence to rewrite content. This can be done for a variety of purposes, such as improving clarity, expanding content, or optimizing for search engines.

  1. How can AI rewriting help with SEO?

AI rewriting can help with SEO in a number of ways. For example, it can help you identify relevant keywords, improve readability, and suggest content variations. All of these things can help your content rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

  1. What are some of the best practices for using AI rewriting tools?

Some of the best practices for using AI rewriting tools include:

  • Providing clear instructions to the AI tool
  • Fact-checking the rewritten content
  • Editing the rewritten content with a critical eye
  1. What are some AI rewriting techniques that can be used for SEO enhancement?

Some AI rewriting techniques that can be used for SEO enhancement include:

  • Using synonyms
  • Improving clarity through restructuring
  • Expanding content
  1. How can I get started with AI rewriting?

To get started with AI rewriting, you can sign up for a free trial of one of the many AI rewriting tools that are available online. There are also some AI rewriting tools that offer paid plans with more features.

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