Today I thought about website accessibility and wanted to share. I was asked several times about building new websites today at the 6th anniversary WPN Global celebration. I am not a web developer so I am not the right contact to ask website questions. Kimberly Shivler from KimTeachesTech.com is. But the first thing that came to my mind was website accessibility and my challenge as an SEO expert to work on new websites that aren’t set up right or so dysfunctional that they need to be re-built before the sites can be SEO optimized for the search engines.
What Is Website Accessibility In The Eyes Of Google?
You want to make sure that your website is accessible and functional for the search engines. This depends on web development and SEO settings that have to be in place to make this possible.
If somebody builds a site for you – or you build a site on your own – but the website isn’t set up right in the first place, two things can happen regarding your website accessibility:
- The search engines cannot or have a hard time to access your site.
- No matter what you do and implement to be found by the search engines you won’t get the full SEO benefit out of it.
The most common mistakes I see people or companies make when I think of website accessibility is that
- they set a website as “not visible for the search engines” in the WordPress settings when they build a new site. And then forget to uncheck the box when they are ready to upload the site. It’s the same when you unlock your front door but tell your visitors when they ring the door bell that they should come in.
- the site’s load time is so high that the search engines don’t wait but leave. And the online visitors too! This can be influenced through bigger images, videos hosted on the site, a huge amount of plugins (especially social media plugins, directly connected with your social media account), and many more things that slow your website down.
- the site is built without a plan. Unstructured content pages, all set up on the same level with the same value. The search engines find the homepage but have a hard time to get deeper into the site.
- there is no sitemap on the website and the search engines only find some but not all pages and blog posts available.
- they have hundreds and hundreds of links on their homepage. Especially if you do affiliate marketing it can happen that these outgoing links are the first ones found by the “spiders”. Guess what? The “bots” will follow them and leave your site to access the landing page you direct them to.
If you believe that the scenarios above are rare, think again. I would say 95% of the websites I audit have at least one but in most cases many issues why the search engines cannot access them at all or barely make it through the homepage. Let an expert do a site and SEO audit for your website to make sure that the foundation for your site is set up right. For sure I would prefer it is me you contact. Not only because I offer this service 🙂 but also for having the chance to educate you what you can do to prevent SEO errors and mistakes in the future. Some things are tough to figure out on your on as an amateur because you don’t have the tools and knowledge in place. Making sure your website is accessible is for sure one of them. Did you every have the problem that your site wasn’t accessible? Please share below so we all can learn and grow together!