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Is Your Website Accessible? It Should Be
2019-12-09
Old Moon Digital

A whopping 71 percent of people with disabilities report leaving a website immediately if it is not accessible to them.

If your website is not accessible, think of all the potential visitors you’re losing each day? There are hundreds of millions of people who maybe clicking away from your website in favour of your competitors.

Clearly, accessibility is important if you want people to visit your site and stick around long enough to buy something. There are plenty of other reasons to make accessibility a priority, though.

Read on to learn more about why you should create a more accessible website for your business.

What Does It Mean to Have an Accessible Website?

If your website is accessible, that means that individuals who have disabilities can use it. For example, you may have tools in use that allow those with visual impairments to understand what’s on your website, or you may have technology designed to benefit those who are hearing impaired. Accessible websites accommodate people with all kinds of disabilities, from auditory and visual to cognitive and physical.

Benefits of Website Accessibility

There are plenty of reasons to focus on website accessibility, including the following:

Avoid Legal Troubles

Many people don’t realize that they could be subjecting themselves to potential legal troubles because their website is not accessible.

Over the last few years, there’s been an increase in the number of lawsuits filed against companies because their websites are not accessible to those with disabilities. To avoid finding yourself in this position, it’s best to be proactive and work to make your website available to all.

Reach a Wider Audience

More than one billion people throughout the world have some kind of disability. If you design your website so that it caters to these people, think of how much larger your audience will become?

People will flock to your site if they know they can access ease and won’t have to jump through hoops to consume content or learn about your products. This, in turn, can work wonders when it comes to improving your bottom line.

Create Positive Associations

Placing an emphasis on website accessibility creates a lot of good PR for your business, too. People will start to know you as a company that values all customers and wants to accommodate everyone who visits their website.

This, in turn, helps more people to learn about what you have to offer and will likely increase the number of people who want to check out your business. As a result, you’ll likely see an increase in sales, too.

Boost Your Search Engine Rankings

Finally, taking steps to make your website more accessible is good for your search engine rankings, too. A lot of the practices that improve website accessibility (more on those in a minute) are good for overall search engine visibility. If more people are spending time on your website and aren’t immediately clicking away (as people will often do if they have a disability that a website can’t accommodate), that’s good for your bounce rate, which is also good for your SEO (search engine optimization) in general.

How to Make Your Website Accessible

At this point, you’re probably convinced that emphasizing accessibility is a good idea. You might not be sure where to begin, though. Here are some easy-to-implement practices that everyone can use to start increasing the accessibility of their site:

Provide Text Alternatives

Start by providing text alternatives to help everyone who comes across your website understand your content. Some examples of text alternatives include the following:

●      Provide alternative text (or alt text) on images

●      Provide transcripts for audio files

●      Provide captions and clear written descriptions for videos

These strategies also help people who want to consume your website content in a different way. For example, maybe someone wants to watch a video but can’t turn on the sound for their work computer. They can still watch the video with captions and understand your message.

Write the Right Alt Text

When you’re writing alt text for an image, be as descriptive as you can. Provide plenty of contexts so people know what the image is even if they can’t see it. If you’re sharing an image of a chart or graph, include the data that’s described in the chart or graph in your description. That way, the person visiting your website gets all the relevant information.

Organize Your Content

Be careful when it comes to organizing the content on your website, too. Use headings, bullet points, and clear titles to make your content clear and easily readable. This helps people to get the information they need without having to dig through paragraphs and paragraphs of text.

Be Intentional with Links

Be smart about your linking strategy, too.

When you’re linking to another webpage, be clear about why you’re linking to that page and provide context so people know whether or not they should navigate away from your website or not.

Use clear anchor text rather than vague phrases like “click here” or “learn more.” Don’t use URLs as link text, either, as they don’t provide information to your website visitors.

Choose Colours with Care

When choosing the colours for your website, think about how they affect the readability of your site. For example, if you choose white lettering on a yellow backdrop, it may be very difficult for anybody, but especially those with vision impairments, to figure out what you’re saying.

Don’t just choose your favourite colours and throw caution to the wind when designing your site. Use contrasting colours so that everyone can see and understand your content without having to strain their eyes.

Start Focusing on Accessibility Today

As you can see, there are lots of benefits that come with making your website accessible to people of all abilities.

Now that you know more about the importance of accessibility, it’s time to start making some improvements to your website.

Keep the tips listed above in mind as you begin and you’ll have no trouble creating an accessible website that helps to boost your business.

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