Our client was looking for a tool to help manage their 13,000+ page Sitecore website. Pages are continually added and are modified by multiple content authors, so they needed a tool to help identify and organize issues that arise.
Siteimprove is a tool that provides solutions for overall website optimization. Sites are regularly crawled to detect issues that affect content quality, accessibility, SEO, performance, and more. The dashboard organizes each area and displays the site’s overall score. This helps prioritize and triage issues to the teams responsible for site management.
For brevity reasons, I’ll be focusing on the accessibility feature. Accessibility is important to us at LC as it affects users with disabilities. There are over 60 million users with disabilities in the US alone. We believe in making web content accessible to everyone.
Accessibility Improvements within Sitecore
Siteimprove found an issue where two links with the same name went to different pages. Links should be distinguishable by their text to make it clear they lead to different destinations. These links were in the footer and resulted in over 43,000 occurrences. By simply changing the name of one of the links, our client gained 0.43 points back to the overall accessibility score.
Siteimprove found a larger and more complex issue with improperly nested headings. Headings should be nested to give an accurate representation of the content on that page. For those with disabilities, screen readers can view a list of all the headings found on a page. Other users prefer to tab through all headings to find information quicker.
To fix the 30,186 occurrences of this issue, we first cleaned up headings within the code. Still, 10,000 issues remained in the Sitecore content. Luckily, we were able to write multiple scripts that automatically swapped out any incorrect headings.
This was a large effort with an even larger reward. Not only did the accessibility score go up 0.83 points, but SEO also improved, as headings can indirectly influence rankings by making content easier and more enjoyable for visitors to read.
These examples are only a couple of the issues that we fixed. Siteimprove’s accessibility tool helped our client increase their accessibility score by 10.6 points. That may not look like a lot, but each resolved issue gained an average of 0.6 points. That’s a lot of fixed issues.
Increasing the score is one thing, but knowing that major barriers have been removed to make the client’s digital presence inclusive for all is a big win for everyone.