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Search Engine Optimization
With the advancement in the technology and introduction of new range of devices, new possibilities are opened for accessing the Internet. Every website owner wants to be more visible on search engines and social networks. SEO’s of most companies understands the benefits of ‘accessibility and Search Engine Optimization’. They know what they are, and how they matter so much. More efforts are being made to make the content findable, accessible and understandable by masses on the whole range of devices(small PC Computer, tablets, Phone, Gaming devices, TV, E-reader, voice-controlled computer in a car) they use. A website is built to accommodate all, thus they are device independent, and their user interface is prepared to fit to all the devices.
Webmasters install various browser development tools to evaluate screen readers of various platforms like Windows, Mac or Linux. Using the HTML5, they are now having better semantic markup and accessibility standards, thus making the website more users friendly and easy to manage by web developer and also it is easy for search engines to read content. Google and other search engines still don’t’ understand videos and images, so it becomes very essential, that they are properly marked up. People pull the content and share it on various social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. The site which is easily accessible becomes more shareable.
Now, there are accurate and descriptive headers, images and links with proper markup and nice accessible menu (both single level and drop down) with the unordered list.
Accessibility Tools for Web Developers
To check the accessibility issues and SEO, standard tools are available with all the modern web browsers, which proved to be very handy tools in the website building process. Most of the users browse on IE, Firefox or Google Chrome. They have the ability to add on Add-ons or Plug-ins.
Tools available on Firefox – Search Engine Optimization
From Addons.mozilla.org, accessibility testing tools can be installed.
Developer Tools – with this tool, objects visible in a browser can be turned on or off like, if you want to view the site without CSS then disable All Styles, similarly, you can view the page without images or other objects. This is done to test the various markups for the objects.
Firebug – once installed, a button appears in the right corner of the browser and when clicked it provides the CSS output in the right of the browser.
SenSEO – to reveal the hidden SEO info of a page. Firefox reveals the information like title, description, and keywords of a page, web address, type of text, encoding, size and meta tags, by right-clicking anywhere in the page and select View Page Info. This is the information which searching engines are viewing and with SenSEO, what search engine sees can be unveiled. Search engines and Social Networks like Facebook or Google+ captures the text from meta-data provided in the page, which can be controlled.
Accessibility Checks – Search Engine Optimization
- Language Check: In the HTML tag, put <html lang=”en-US”> to tell the search engine and text speech browser, that the content is in US English. If it would be in some other language, a browser will detect the language and offer translate option. If the page contains the multiple languages, then codes for those languages must be embedded. These codes can be referenced from the site w3schools.com
- Proper Meta tags: Provides additional information to a page, which is basically hidden in a browser but provides information to search engines. Each page must have a proper title and description. A description must be brief less than 160 characters; you can try to embed the primary keyword in both title and description. You can add keywords also, but they are becoming less important to search engines.
- Use HTML5 semantic codes: HTML is now in the 5th iteration thus the name HTML5. Start using the new tags provided in HTML5, they are easier to understand and prepare your page for future added functionality in browsers. The codes are now meaningful and provide the info about the content.
- Give proper heading and descriptions to the different sections (menus, content, sidebars, and footers) of your page to make them clearly defined and separated. They can be hidden or taken out of context for a normal browser viewer looking for content. You can shift them away from the screen by positioning absolute and padding it to -9999px.
- Use of ordered or un-ordered list for related and sequential content which should appear together like menus, comments, and gallery.
- Use Title attribute in links and images after hyperlink reference for additional information. Similarly, ‘alt’ attribute is also necessary for images as per standard compliance; they provide a description in text format about the image. If an image is a link, then alt text must be same as the title of the link.
- For multi-level content, use headings h1 to h6 – which makes a page easier to navigate, easy to parse and easy to understand for both people and for search engines.
- Use <strong> to strongly emphasized instead of <b> and <em> for emphasis instead of <i> – Both the tags <b> and <i> are having the stylistic approach but they don’t put any weight on the web, as what action to be performed. Using the CSS, <em> (font-style:italic;) and <strong> (font-weight:bold;) can be also stylized.
- Use of <blockquote> to indicate quotation – If the content is from some other website or want to divert the attention of the user that somebody has said this text. This validates the text as it can be linked out to the source to be more transparent. Use the <cite> tag when the content refers to the other source. Link the source so that viewers can reach there. Now, this can be used as the best strategy to get the links from other sources.
- Use <small> tag for copyright statements, conditions, rules and legal disclaimers.
- Use the <meter> tag to display the data range like “8 out of 10”. <meter value=”8” minimum=”1” maximum=”5”>. Very good tag for the sites, displaying the ratings, reviews etc.
- <abbr> tag for abbreviations and acronyms to provide extra information. Once the reader will have mouse over on it, a little pop-up will display extra information about it.
Be on top of search engines on a win! Win! situation.