• A11Y

6 Actionable Tactics For Boosting Content Accessibility

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 7 min read
6 Actionable Tactics For Boosting Content Accessibility

Intro

Would you say your content is accessible?

If you care about all your readers, then the answer should be positive.

Paying attention to whether all your visitors, regardless of their potential disabilities or methods for accessing the internet, have a great user experience will result in better content engagement. Besides including an often-overlooked audience of people with visual impairments or some kind of reading disorder, boosting content accessibility will also affect its overall performance and readability.

So, accessible content will keep your readers engaged, which will translate to better brand awareness, more effective lead nurturing, and lower bounce rates. Consequently, all this will positively influence your conversions.

Here are six tactics to help you make your content more accessible and inclusive.

1. Get Interactive

Traditional content formats such as blog posts, images, and even videos, although marketing staples, tend to treat the audience as passive recipients of the intended message. But, if you want to truly engage your prospects and create an almost immersive experience for them, then interactive content is a must.

This content is two-way, as it allows users to participate in its creation, which also makes it highly personalized. Different people will get different results based on the data they provide. Plus, they will have fun in the process.

Apart from being entertaining, interactive content such as calculators, product configurators, or product recommendation quizzes adds tremendous value to users by helping them solve a certain pain point very quickly. So, instead of inundating your audience with tons of information presented in a table layout and forcing them to read through all of it and do their own calculations, let them figure out variables and provide them with straightforward solutions.

Another benefit of such an approach is that you’ll be able to obtain highly accurate customer information, understand your audience’s preferences better, and boost engagement.

MarketBeat’s Dividend Calculator is a great example of implementing interactive content and facilitating an otherwise complicated calculation. Their readers can easily find out how much income they can generate with their dividend stock portfolio over the years. The result is also illustrated through graphs and charts to make it even easier for people to analyze the growth of their assets on an annual basis.

Get Interactive (Source: MarketBeat)

2. Avoid Walls of Text

Nothing scares readers away more than massive blocks of text.

Plus, people don’t read online the same way they read books. It would be more precise to say they actually rarely read online — 79% of them skim and scan instead. And your content should reflect these preferences.

Serve your readers with bite-sized chunks of content consisting of simple, short sentences and paragraphs that are easier to follow and comprehend.

If you spot an overwhelming wall of text in your blog post, use the following methods to break it up and boost the readability of your content:

  • Organize your ideas around subheadings so that your readers can quickly find the information they need.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Declutter your content and give it some breathing room by leveraging negative space.
  • Use visuals to make your content easier on the eyes and better communicate your message using fewer words.
  • Use a larger font size to improve readability and cater to the needs of the members of your audience with vision impairment.

Peerspace’s post on 2022’s best photography blogs is a great example of a site minimizing walls of test using imagery. This particular tactic (placing a screenshot every 80 to 100 words) is extremely easy to implement and the most common chunking method among bloggers.

Avoid Walls of Text (Source: Peerspace)

Zomasleep, on the other hand, manages to achieve a high level of readability in their lengthy post on mattress size and dimensions simply by chunking their blog post into short sentences and paragraphs without using visuals.

Their tactics also include a generous amount of whitespace, large fonts, balanced line spacing, and wide margins. The post is also highly scannable, thanks to logical subheadings and proper formatting principles. All these factors allow for an effortless read.

The post is also highly scannable, thanks to logical subheadings and proper formatting principles (Source: Zomasleep)

3. Let Imagery Speak When Words Aren’t Necessary

Poetic as this tactic may sound, it’s actually very powerful for improving content accessibility, comprehension, and usability.

Our brains are wired to respond to images, which is quite logical given that 93% of human communication is visual. It’s also worth mentioning that posts with images generate 650% higher engagement than those consisting of text only. So, it’s safe to conclude that including imagery in your content will pique your audience’s interest and hold their attention much better than a long-drawn-out blog post.

This is particularly the case when you have to explain a complex concept or illustrate how something works. It’s much easier for people to understand what you want to say if you use images.

When it comes to accessibility, SEO principles usually insist on offering text alternatives for images so that people with visual impairments who use on-screen readers can hear what’s depicted on a particular image. However, from a different perspective, providing graphic alternatives for text will accommodate people with reading disabilities and make the content much easier to understand.

This Presetlove page about Free Lightroom Presets** **is a great example of this approach. A long-form text-based article hardly feels that way because they use so many images. Images speak for the content and each item is described, but the words are almost unnecessary because the images are so descriptive and accessible.

Let Imagery Speak When Words Aren’t Necessary (Source: Presetlove)

4. Write for Your Audience

Understanding your audience, their preferences, and their needs is a crucial requirement for creating effective and engaging content, as well as ensuring accessibility.

Therefore, before you start writing, take the following steps.

Build Buyer Personas

Ask yourself who you are creating content for and identify your buyer personas or fictional representations of members of your target audience. If people purchase your product or service for different reasons, create several personas that match each of these groups.

Use demographic information such as their age, level of education, income, purchasing power, behavioral patterns, pain points, region, language, and preferences to add as much detail as possible.

Once you learn more about each of these buyer personas, start tailoring personalized content that will resonate with them.

Speak Their Language

To connect with your audience on a deeper level, learn to speak their language.

Check their social media posts, pay attention when you’re talking to them, and analyze the language your competitors use to pick up on the common terminology and phrases your audience uses. Adjust your tone as well, because certain audiences expect to be addressed formally, and cracking jokes or using slang won’t sit well with them.

This will allow you to build rapport and better get your message across.

Take Their Level of Industry Insight into Account

Are you talking to beginners who are still learning the basic industry concepts or experts?

It’s only logical that you won’t serve these two categories the same content. Think about adding value and crafting relevant content that will move the needle for each buyer persona. Both newbies and experts should know more about the topic after reading your blog post or watching your video.

5. Include Video and Infographics in Long-Form Posts

We’ve already discussed the benefits of using images to make your content more accessible and engaging. Other visual formats are equally or even more effective.

Infographics are, for example, 30 times more likely to be read in their entirety, unlike regular blog posts. Video can also pack a punch when it comes to the decision-making process. 8 out of 10 people bought a piece of software after watching the brand’s video.

Many long-form posts are supplemented with a video or an infographic, that’s basically the same content repurposed as a different visual format. This way, people who don’t want to read a lengthy piece or have a hard time consuming written content due to a certain disability can access the same information.

Visme offers the same content both as a blog post and a YouTube video so that their audience can choose whether they want to read or watch/listen to it.

Include Video and Infographics in Long-Form Posts (Source: Visme)

Venngage transformed their blog post on 16 different visual content marketing stats into a detailed infographic. The first part of this long-form piece includes the infographic. Below it, there’s a stat-by-stat breakdown of the survey. So, readers who prefer scanning can get the condensed information quickly, and others who want a more elaborate analysis of the results aren’t left out either.

16 visual content marketing statistics to know for 2022 (Source: Venngage)

6. Remember Your Long-Form Landing Pages

While not content in the true sense of the term, some landing pages are going to contain a ton of words. This could make them inaccessible, which is a big problem since engagement is even more important on landing pages than on blog posts. As a result, their conversion rates might suffer.

To avoid such a scenario that will render your lengthy landing page ineffective, implement all the accessibility tips we discussed in this article. However, since landing pages have a somewhat different structure than the traditional content, it’s also crucial to adjust specific page elements in line with the accessibility requirements.

Apart from following the best content accessibility principles such as whitespace, the interactive tool for creating customized e-cards and messages, plenty of colorful visuals, and a video, ThankBox also focuses on the UI and UX to make their Online Group Birthday Card landing page work. Although it contains** **almost 2,000 words, which is a lot for a landing page, this example leverages collapsed FAQs, large fonts, subheadings, and table layouts wherever possible.

Remember Your Long-Form Landing Pages (Source: Thankbox)

Wrapping Up

Although you’ll score some brownie points with search engines for making your content accessible, that shouldn’t be the main reason for following the tactics we explored. However, providing your audience with exceptional user experience should be.

Making it possible for everyone who lands on your blog in search of information to access your content is a worthwhile effort. You’ll show your prospects you care, build loyalty with them, and ultimately boost your engagement and conversion rates.

Felix Rose-Collins

Felix Rose-Collins

is the Co-founder of Ranktracker, With over 10 years SEO Experience . He's in charge of all content on the SEO Guide & Blog, you will also find him managing the support chat on the Ranktracker App.

Try Ranktracker for FREE