Semantic Markup, SEO and Accessibility
According to W3 Schools, semantic elements are elements of code with a meaning. A semantic element describes its meaning to both the browser and the developer.Semantic markup is the overall clarity of elements and their uses.
- Examples of semantic elements: (form), (table) and (article); these elements clearly state their content.
- Examples of non-semantic elements: (div) and (span); while these elements can have affects on the website, they need further defining and do not clearly state their content.
Search Engine Optimization
As stated in the Google Search Engine Optomization Starter Guide, is the process of changing elements in a website in order to garner more traffic by making the site easier to find. In other words, SEO allows organizations to maximize their web presence by increasing the site’s ability to cause “hits” in search engines.
Accessibility standards for the information technology environment have been created by the Access board and are referenced as Section 508 Standards. These laws apply to electronic and information technologies used by federal agencies. They take into account performance of the technologies and have certain criteria to determine functionality ratings. Section 508 was implemented on December 21, 2000 and continues to recieve updates to this day.
Keeping it all in Mind
Each of the aforementioned topics are extremely important when creating a website, and they all must be kept in mind to promote success. Semantic markup will allow the code of a website to be more legibile both by the programmer and the computer. Semantic markup limits the need for unlabeled elements and reduces mistakes and redundancies. SEO must be considered by all companies who wish to have a successful web presence. The difference between being the top of the list and on the fifth page of results is all in the details. While Section 508 deals specifically with technology procured by the government, accessibility is something that must be kept in mind. Just because a programmer makes a website on a desktop does not mean that most of the website’s users will be doing the same. The increased use of tablets and smartphones has brought an entirely new aspect to accessibility. Keeping these aspects in mind will greatly increase the odds of success on the internet.
- Google International. (2010). Search Engine Optomization Starter Guide. Retrieved May 1, 2017, from https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/www.google.com/en//webmasters/docs/search-engine-optomization-starter-guide.pdf
- Section 508 Standars. (n.d). Retrieved May 01 2017, from https://www.section508.gov/summary-section508-standards
- SEMANTIC ELEMENTS. (n.d). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.w3schools.com/html/html5_semantic_elements.asp