One of the most important contributions to improving web accessibility you can make is to follow best practices in terms of the page structure. Screen readers and other assistive technologies take advantage of semantic markup to provide end-users with a rich and consistent site experience. The WYSIWYG editor creates the semantic markup for you so you need to be aware of the tools for structuring your content.
Create an Outline of your Content with Headings
Use headings to break up blocks of text; this makes it easier for users to scan content and find what they need. Headings also communicate content relationships and hierarchies, so always use headings in order.
- Be short and direct
- Be able to stand on their own and understood out of context
- Avoid jargon, abbreviations, cleverness, and technical terms
- Be search engine friendly
Highlight Key Information with Lists
Like headings, use lists to break up chunks of text. Since lists often contain important information, they can be a cue for both assistive technology users and search engines about the significance of the content.
Write Link Text That Makes Sense Out of Context and the Destination Clear
A page full of “learn more” and “click here” links negatively affects your site’s usability, the accessibility of your content, and is a missed opportunity to optimize copy for search engine optimization (SEO).
Alternatively, descriptive link text helps all users. Instead of “learn more” for a link to a conference registration page, for instance, write, “Register for the Name of Your Conference.”
Descriptive links are particularly important for adaptive technology users who may hear a list of links on a page, and because users may not see a link in the surrounding context. For example, how your content looks on a desktop is different from the way it looks on a mobile device.
Follow a Few More Best Practices for Web Content
- Write clear, simple, and effective content Define acronyms.
- Content should be written in an easy-to-read, conversational style.
- Put the most important content in the first paragraph.
- Write short paragraphs and minimize unnecessary words Sentence structure should be simple and varied.
- Use active voice instead of passive voice.
- Choose lists over long paragraphs. Lists to make your content easier to scan
- All caps. In addition to being perceived as shouting on the web, all caps makes it difficult to distinguish the shapes of letters and thus more difficult to read.
- Large sections of text or content just for the sake of having content. Say what you need to say and end it there.
- Block Quotes on content that is not a quote.
- Small text style on content other than footnotes, disclaimers and caveats.