Jan 23, 2019
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Making the Content More Available For the Visually Impaired

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Going by the global estimates, approximately 1.3 billion live with some or other form of visual impairment. There was a time when such visual impairment could have hampered the online screen presence but today’s tech advancements means anyone can go online and look the latest news, the next vacation destination, and new food reviews.

The idea behind inclusive marketing is creating such content that anyone and everyone can access. This is the kind of marketing that takes into account all the factors like race, gender, income, language, sexuality, ethnicity, age, religion, and ability. Marketers can no longer formulate strategies thinking that it will work for people from all works of life. They need to engage intelligently with the individuals by considering their eccentricities, personalities, and demands. Part of this form of marketing is ensuring that even the visually impaired can access the online media.

The online search engines will not magically make the images and videos accessible to everyone. You need to incorporate certain things in the content and advertising to ensure everyone understands the things on the screen.

Optimization of the images through strong alt text descriptions

Alt text offers the textual alternative to the non-text content, like infographics, graphics, images, and the likes. The alt text descriptions increase the internet accessibility for even the vision impaired. When a screen reader comes across an image online, the alt text provided is read aloud by it ensuring that the image is understood by the user.

Alt text is also good for SEO as search engines like Google and Bing can get more information about specific webpages. The more info that can be scanned by them, the better is your chances of getting a high rank in search engine result pages. Screen readers and web crawlers cannot analyze images and can only understand text. So, an accurately described image can improve the rankings.

Tips for writing alt text descriptions

  • Be accurate and concise in describing the functions and content of the image
  • Do not repeat the information already present in rest of the page
  • Use the text within the image as alt text, if the image only consists of text
  • Do not use “graphic of…” or “image of …”
  • Include the function of the image if it is a link to something

Optimize for creating friendly URLs, file names, and image titles

The file name helps the screen readers and search engines understand the relevance of the image. Before uploading the image to the CMS, ensure that the filename describes the subject matter of the media, and utilizes that as a chance of including the target keywords if apt. Take time to write good and sensible image titles and URLs.

Utilize schema markup data for media/images

Bing, Google, etc. use schema markup data for providing better search results. It offers additional context to the search engines, through structured data markup or HTML coding, for the improvement of the knowledge pane that can be read aloud as a featured snippet.

Accessibility to PowerPoints, videos, and PDFs

Consider the following tips for making the content accessible to the visually impaired.

  • Creation of accurate video transcripts for the page
  • Increase of engagement using close and open captions for the videos

For PDFs and PowerPoints documents

  • Create search engine friendly filenames to optimize the titles with keywords
  • Add alt-tags for charts and images within PowerPoint or document
  • Complete description field as it will acts as Meta description
  • Include the company name in author field
  • Protect the documents to prevent editing by others
  • Include internal links and backlinks with the target keywords

Accessibility of modern marketing

Inclusive marketing is about creation of content and information that represents everyone, including the people who are visually impaired. Following the tips mentioned above will help in making accessible to all and also improve the content’s quality to offer better user experience.

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