Website accessibility is a ranking factor

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An important yet commonly overlooked part of performing on page search engine optimization is ensuring that your website doesn’t have any accessibility problems. A majority of websites have one or more accessibility problems. Having a accessibility problem can affect how search engines spiders crawl your website, and how your visitors react to your website.

Some of the commonly overlooked problems fall into one of five categories.

Broken Links – Broken links effect your website’s impression on your visitor. When they click on a URL they are expecting a result, and a page not found error is unlikely to win their confidence. Some analysts also surmise that search engines will give your website a negative mark for broken links, as it relevant to the quality score of your website.

Adhering to W3C standards – Ensuring that your website meets this standard will help ensure that you can reach the greatest number of browsers possible. While it is nearly impossible to adhere to all browsers old and new, keeping to the W3C standard gives you the greatest chance of success. W3C is a set of standards for the web. While it’s not official and browsers like Internet Explorer will often go outside of the W3C standard, most of the newer browsers out there adhere to it (Firefox etc…)

Landing Pages and Forms – A website root page is considered the beach front property of the website. In corporate environments departments will fight for a spot on the homepage. Yet, many small businesses make the mistake of putting up a landing page containing something like “click here to enter.” Your website’s most relevant, and important data should always be showcased on the homepage. In the end it’s all about balance. Most people do not read web pages they scan it, so keep it short relevant and to the point.

File Page Size – Keeping the file size of your webpage down is still important. Many people have forgotten this golden rule. Even though more and more people are switching to high speed internet webpage size still matters. Smartphones may be faster than 56k but they still have trouble downloading heavy pages. Google limits a pages cache size to keep its own bandwidth in check. If your website is too large chances are that some of your data is not getting indexed.

Speed and Downtime – The worst time your website can go down is when Google is crawling it for information. The search engine spiders visit your webpage on their time, and a missed opportunity can mean a few weeks in between indexing. If your webhost is extremely slow it will also be noted by the search engines, and it can affect your position. If you are looking for ways to optimize your website you might considering installing Google Page Speed plug-in. It will automatically analyze your website and give you suggestions to increase your websites speed.

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