A screen reader is a piece of assistive technology that reads out a web page, or screen, to anyone who wants to use it – mostly it’s people with impaired sight.
There is a direct link between the way a screen reader can clearly communicate your web pages to you, and the strength of your SEO.
In a nutshell, Google reads a web page the same way a screen reader does. Pages with correctly structured code are easier for google bots to read, and so rank better in search results. It really is as simple as that.
Almost everyone has a screen reader
Whether they know it or not, most people will have access to a screen reader to test their own site out with. They are free, and easily installed into some modern browsers, and already a feature on most smartphones and other browsers. For example, all Chromebook laptops will have it already installed – you just need to turn it on.
Whilst most businesses are still catching up with making their websites accessible – the tech community at large have been making sure people have the tools to access software, hardware the Internet for a long long time!
You could test your own website out right now
Having the right tools at hand is all very well until they can’t do their job properly.
See how a screen reader makes sense of your own website by putting it to the test. Most people use Chrome as their web browser, so let’s use that as the example.
Simply go here (link below) and press ‘add to Chrome’.
Once installed, go to your website and listen! To some extent, you are now experiencing your website like a lot of other real users would. Although we can never fully replicate the experience of others – it does help to develop some empathy for other users.
Are you happy with the interpretation? Is Google?
Get in touch now and ask us what we think.
I also explained in a video, which is hosted on our Youtube channel. Here it is: