Last week I overhead my wife working on an accessibility audit with the help of a blind man using a screen-reader.
He was trying to navigate a Shopify store to make a test purchase and it was eye-opening how confusing it was to use even the basic features of the Shopify store. If he was a real customer, he would have abandoned early into the process.
This store was using one of the better premium themes too. It wasn’t one of the freebie Shopify themes.
Accessibility issues seem to finally be coming to the forefront now. They’ve always been important but very few people paid attention to them years ago.
Part of the reason is due to a handful of attorneys starting class action lawsuits against ecommerce stores.
Beyond avoiding lawsuits and costly settlements, making your Shopify store accessible is a good goal. The wider the range of people who can use your store, the wider your pool of customers, and the more who can order from your store.
Plus accessibility improvements often cross over with SEO and web performance so fixing a problem in one can often improve the others.
There a bunch of tools to learn about your own accessibility but Google’s own website quality tool, Lighthouse, includes a few accessibility reports. It’s not the best tool but it’s an easy way to get started.
Much of web accessibility involves making it easier for software to understand and translate your webpages.
That’s very similar to how Google Search’s crawlers work, they are reading the webpages and converting what they read into the data that powers Google Search’s algorithm.
That’s why having high-quality structured data in your store is important.
The structured data helps Google’s algorithm which makes their job easier.
You can either audit, code, and test your store’s structured data by hand or install JSON-LD for SEO and have the structured data you need for several types of Rich Results.
It’s already helped a few thousand Shopify stores with their structured data and it could help you too.
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