Will using more inclusive language help you rank better in 2023?

Jan 13, 2023 by
Will using more inclusive language help you rank better in 2023?

Inclusivity and accessibility are buzzwords that have been gaining in popularity in recent years as we become a generally more inclusive and accessible society. But what does making content more inclusive actually mean and how will it impact your SEO results in 2023?

The good news is that it’s really quite simple. Content is only successful if it can be easily digested by as many people as possible and while making your text larger and more readable is certainly one way of increasing accessibility, the most obvious way to make your content more inclusive is to make it simpler.

Keep it simple

Whatever your target audience, the more people that can read and understand your content, the better. That’s why Google tends to favour content that’s written in plain and clear English. Never use a four-syllable word when a two-syllable word gets the same point across. This ensures content is not only easier to translate but that dyslexic individuals and others who might struggle with big words are included in the conversation.

Keep it respectful

Another key consideration when it comes to inclusive language is avoiding potentially offensive or egalitarian language. Of course, what one person finds offensive might amuse or engage another but, generally speaking, inclusive language steers clear of words and phrases that could be perceived as denigrating a particular group of people. There is always the chance that certain corners of the internet could accuse you of being “politically correct” or “woke” but you’re not making a statement here, you just want your message to be heard and engaged with by as many people as possible.

Keep it relevant

When considering inclusivity in your content, also be aware that definitions and keywords are always changing. For example, “Asperger Syndrome” might rank more highly than “neurodiverse” even though the latter is a blanket term. Try to remain on top of the latest terms and avoid using outdated labels as you might end up unexpectedly using offensive language.

Examples of inclusive content

Non-inclusive: schizophrenic.

Inclusive: of two minds, chaotic, or confusing.

Non-inclusive: fell on deaf ears.

Inclusive: was not addressed.

Non-inclusive: lame.

Inclusive: boring, uninteresting, uncool.

Google cares about inclusivity

Google themselves have stated openly that “Everyone should be able to access and enjoy the web” and they are “committed to making that a reality.” This means accessibility and inclusivity are always being considered and will continue to be implemented in their web crawlers to a greater extent.

Given that most businesses don’t even consider accessibility as a major concern for their websites, this allows you to stand out from the pack. It’s never been easier to start either, with tools such as Yoast now offering inclusive language analysis. This will analyse your text and pick out any potentially non-inclusive phrases.

Walking the tightrope

Inclusivity and accessibility might not be tied directly to your goals but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be prioritised. The more accessible your content is and the fewer people it immediately turns away, the more discoverable your site will be.

It might take time to lock into the right mindset and figure out how to make accessibility a part of your everyday SEO toolbox but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll not only be improving your SEO but improving the world ever so slightly too.