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7 Tips to Improve Accessibility for Better WordPress SEO: A Guide

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Every website owner wants to attract as many visitors as possible. However, have you considered how accessible your website is to everyone, including those with disabilities? Improving the accessibility of your WordPress site not only makes it more user-friendly for all but it also enhances your SEO performance. Dive into this guide to learn actionable steps to bridge the accessibility gap and improve your site’s visibility.

1. Understanding Website Accessibility

Web accessibility means ensuring that your website is usable by everyone, regardless of physical or cognitive disabilities. Search engines, like Google, prioritize sites that offer a better user experience, which includes accessibility.

By considering accessibility, you’re not just complying with regulations or being inclusive but also optimizing your site for search engines.

2. Importance of Accessibility for SEO

  • User Experience (UX): An accessible website provides a better user experience for everyone. Sites that are easier to navigate and interpret keep users engaged longer.
  • Bounce Rate: Users who can’t access or understand your content are likelier to leave. An increased bounce rate can signal search engines that your content isn’t valuable.
  • Broader Audience Reach: By making your site accessible, you’re opening up to a wider demographic, which can increase your organic traffic.
  • Improved Site Structure: SEO best practices and accessibility often go hand in hand. By enhancing your site for accessibility, you’re also making it more crawler-friendly.

3. Steps to Improve WordPress Accessibility for SEO

  • Use Themes Designed for Accessibility: Many WordPress themes come optimized for accessibility. By choosing these themes, you’re already a step ahead.
  • Include Alt Text for Images: Alt text ensures that users who rely on screen readers can understand the context of an image. Moreover, alt text can be an SEO ranking factor.
  • Ensure Contrast: Ensure good contrast between text and background colors. This helps users with visual impairments and keeps your content legible and engaging for everyone.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Ensure all site elements can be navigated using a keyboard. This not only helps those with motor disabilities but also improves the overall UX.
  • Use Semantic HTML: Proper heading structures and use of HTML tags, like <nav> for navigation, help screen readers interpret content. It also makes your site more understandable for search engines.

4. Plugins to Aid in Accessibility

The beauty of WordPress lies in its vast array of plugins, several of which can assist you in enhancing site accessibility.

  • WP Accessibility: This plugin helps fix common accessibility issues in your WordPress themes.
  • One Click Accessibility: As the name suggests, this plugin offers many features with a single click, such as font resizing, contrast adjustments, and more.
  • Accessible Poetry: This offers solutions for common accessibility issues and includes an on-screen reader.

Remember always to check plugins for compatibility with your current WordPress version.

5. Regularly Test Your Site’s Accessibility:

Just as SEO requires continuous efforts, maintaining an accessible website also demands regular checks.

  • WAVE: The Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool (WAVE) is a free tool that provides visual feedback about the accessibility of your content by highlighting potential issues directly on your web page.
  • AXE: Available as a browser extension, AXE is a tool that tests your website for accessibility flaws and offers solutions.
  • Manual Testing: Beyond automated tools, navigate your site using only a keyboard or a screen reader. This hands-on approach gives you insight into real-world accessibility challenges.

6. The SEO Benefits of Captions and Transcripts

Multimedia content, like videos, has become a critical aspect of many WordPress sites. For accessibility:

  • Add Captions: Closed captions benefit the hearing impaired and enhance user engagement and comprehension. They can also be indexed by search engines, providing an SEO boost.
  • Provide Transcripts: Transcripts, a text version of the video content, not only cater to the deaf community but also give search engines more content to index.

7. Use ARIA Landmarks

Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) landmarks help define specific areas of a page, like navigation, main content, or banners. These landmarks:

  • Assist screen readers in understanding the structure.
  • Improve SEO by clarifying the site’s structure for search engine crawlers.


Incorporating accessibility into your WordPress site fosters inclusivity and offers undeniable SEO benefits. With the rise of digital content consumption, ensuring your site is accessible to everyone becomes a moral and strategic imperative. Begin with small steps, test regularly, and soon you’ll have an inclusive site that ranks well in search engines.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What is the connection between accessibility and SEO?

    Both focus on providing a better user experience. When a site is accessible, it offers quality UX, which search engines reward with better rankings.

  2. Are there WordPress themes designed specifically for accessibility?

    Yes, numerous WordPress themes are designed with accessibility in mind, ensuring that your site caters to a broader audience from the outset.

  3. How often should I check my website’s accessibility?

    Regular checks, preferably monthly, ensure that your site remains accessible, especially if you frequently update content or features.

  4. Does improving website accessibility improve its loading speed?

    Not directly. However, many practices that improve accessibility, such as optimized images or clean code, can also boost site speed.

  5. Are plugins enough to ensure complete accessibility?

    While plugins can help, they’re not a magic bullet. Manual checks and ongoing efforts are essential.

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