Christina LeVasseur | Top 5 Accessibility Fields SEO Impacts
- Editor’s Note
- Beyond Sight Magazine Cover
- YouTube Video
- Introducing Christina LeVasseur
- SEO & Accessibility
- Title Tags
- Alt text
- Connecting With Christina
- Image Description
Because our SEO recommendations can impact accessibility, we share ownership and responsibility in the accessibility of those items.~Christina LeVasseur
I’m very excited to introduce you to today’s Cane EnAbled guest, Christina LeVasseur an SEO Consultant who understands the importance of accessibility in SEO practices. When I met Christina I shared with her my apprehension about SEO because it’s so complicated. She understood and broke it down into manageable pieces that I can begin implementing now. I encourage everyone who manages a website to listen to this list of 5 best practices that will increase accessibility and SEO. Enjoy! ~Steph
Beyond Sight Magazine Cover
Introducing Christina LeVasseur
Hello, my name is Christina LeVasseur, and I am an SEO Consultant. I’m a white female with short to medium dark brown hair, and I’m wearing glasses. I’m recording this video from my home office, which behind me is a picture of Denver’s Union Station. And in one corner is a desk with a slim black monitor on it and in the other corner a guitar.
I want to first thank the Bold Blind Beauty team for inviting me to share this video on SEO and accessibility. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. A simplistic definition is that SEO is what can help your business to appear prominently in search engines such as Google.
And before I get into it, I want to share my journey into accessibility, which began in the middle of 2020. I had at that time signed up for a campaign that match Colorado business owners with marketers that could provide free marketing guidance. I was paired up with the business owner of an adaptive fashion marketplace to provide her free SEO consultations. And it was during our chats when I was asking her questions about her business, who her audience is that I learned how COVID had impacted deaf and disabled people. And we were all forced to engage more online, whether it be for work, school, or fun.
SEO & Accessibility
Unfortunately, I learned that the number of websites that are inaccessible is immense. And I even began to realize that the SEO industry had something to do with that. And this will be a hot take. But I believe that SEOs have been part of the problem. But I also believe that SEOs can be part of the solution.
We are in a great position to be part of these efforts, since we influence several accessibility related fields. And it is my belief that when we prioritize digital accessibility, we just so happen to also help SEO efforts. And that’s not always the case when reversed.
Some of our SEO recommendations can impact important website elements, which directly impacts accessibility. And because our SEO recommendations have that power, we share ownership and responsibility in the accessibility of those items. Let me say that again, because our SEO recommendations can impact accessibility, we share ownership and responsibility in the accessibility of those items. And on top of that, it is not enough to provide accessibility related recommendations using popular technical crawlers, Chrome extensions, or tools alone. We need to include the very people we are trying to support that can audit and conduct actual user testing.
And some of the accessibility related fields that SEOs can have an impact on include title tags, headings, links, alt text, and multimedia. And of course, that’s not an exhaustive list. But those are some of the biggest ones. Let me break that down.
1. Title Tags
So number one, first up are title tags. These are those blue links that are in Google and the text in the browser tab. These arguably carry a ton of SEO weight and they are also important for accessibility as they are the first thing a screen reader user hears when a page loads. They need to accurately describe the content of the page. And they should also be succinct, they should be unique, and they should not be left blank.
Number two is headings. These are important as they provide semantic structure not just for a search engine bots, but for screen reader users using them as anchors. And ideally, there should only be one h1 tag. And ideally, it should be at the top of the page. And they need to make sense and follow a hierarchy. And it’s also a really good idea to not have headings skip levels, meaning do not go from an h1 tag to an h5 with nothing in between.
Number three, we have links. Whether you’re linking to and from a page on your website to another page on your website, or you’re linking from your website to a different website. It helps users and search bots to navigate through the web links need to make it abundantly obvious as to what the next page is about. Should a visitor click through. Do not use ambiguous text such as click here and read more Are and link text should also be easily distinguishable from surrounding texts with at least a three to one color contrast.
4. Alt text
Number four, we have alt text this is the text that describes the image. The primary purpose of alt text is for accessibility, not SEO. screen reader users depend on this field to understand what’s in an image and navigate visuals on the web. It needs to be accurate, succinct, and contextual, do not include visual details that are not presented in the photo for the sake of SEO.
And then the final thing for today is multimedia which includes videos and podcasts. And these are great as they provide another way for visitors to absorb information. And depending on the media being used, and when, there are certain web content accessibility compliance levels to follow, and media alternatives that need to be included such as captions or transcripts. And when crafting this, write out the spoken word verbatim include the ums. Write out important background sounds such as eerie music or something maybe banging in the distance, and use proper spelling and grammar.
So I’m going to end it there to keep this video short. But please note that the advice above is not an exhaustive list of best practices, it is a starting point. And it is my belief that when we truly lead with our users above search engines, we’re helping to make the internet more enjoyable for everyone. If you have any questions on the information provided from this video, please reach out to me Christina at media sesh (mediasesh.com). That is Christina@mediasesh is m-e-d-i-a-s-e-s-h.com. And I could also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn. Thank you
Connecting With Christina
Like what you’ve read and want to chat about it? Join us in the Bold Blind Beauty Facebook group.
- The header, Beyond Sight Magazine, and YouTube thumbnail photos are identical and show a headshot of Christina with a slight smile. She is a white female in her 30s who has straight dark brown hair with light brown highlights. She is wearing a black and grey sweater with a multi-color flannel pattern scarf. Text on the cover reads “Beyond Sight July 2022 | Cane EnAbled | Christina LeVasseur.”
- YouTube Video Description – In the video, Christina is wearing glasses and she’s recording the video from her home office. Behind her is a picture of Denver’s Union Station and in one corner is a desk with a slim black monitor on it and in the other corner a guitar.