If you have a Web Accessibility barrier, you are considered to be harboring a barrier to your growth.
When you have great accessibility, your brand is perceived to have positive energy, which is something that appeals well to most users online.
Statistics given by Web AIM show that 98% of US-based websites are not accessible.
The reason behind this is that many businesses do not consider this a critical digital marketing factor.
However, even though it does not have the bells and whistles of other digital marketing techniques, there are several reasons why and how your brand should be accessible across the internet.
It is a common task for marketers to come up with various strategies to widen the business reach of the company. However, they always overlook website accessibility, and this time of negligence leads to the business being shut off from a very large pool of potential customers.
What Exactly Does Web Accessibility Mean?
Web accessibility attempts to make sure that the Internet is usable, accessible, and of great benefit to anyone online.
It considers that some of the people using the internet may have certain disabilities and that companies are doing all they can to address messaging issues that resonate with these disabilities.
This is the only way that a website can have equal benefits for everyone who comes across it.
For example, having a voice article, or podcast to run in conjunction with a written piece means that the information can be consumed by the blind, those who are hearing-impaired, and those with normal sight and hearing.
Right now, web accessibility is very important, but unfortunately, it is the last thing that most marketers think about when they are constructing a website. Many times, accessibility is swept under the rug.
The World Web Consortium, also known as W3C, has already spent a lot of time and resources coming up with a dedicated web content accessibility guideline, which is aimed at making the internet more accessible, but these are usually overlooked, and digital inclusivity has become somewhat obsolete.
Now, this, on one hand, acts as a barrier to accessibility by all internet users, and on the other hand, it serves as a barrier to the growth of your business, especially when talking about people who may have some form of disability.
Here is an article that shows the importance of inclusivity (accessibility) when it comes to creating social media marketing campaigns.
Why is Web Accessibility So Important to Modern Digital Marketing Campaigns?
When you pay attention to Web Accessibility, you also enhance the customer experience. You Open up new avenues for the growth of your business, you improve marketing results and you increase your revenue generation channels.
#1: Web Accessibility Increases Your Market Reach
According to statistics, 15% of the world’s population is disabled. It also comprises a very valuable market group that has a lot of buying power.
When you have a website that pays attention to accessibility, you increase the volume of people who interact with your business, and these 15% become part of your target audience.
When you embrace web accessibility, you include a whole new community of people to interact with. You can then turn them into loyal customers, who you might have missed without accessibility.
#2: Web Accessibility Improves SEO
As you may be aware, the value of your website improves your SEO. This means that the website should be secure, have a lot of valuable information, and be accessible to everyone.
Yes – Everyone!
The search engine algorithms consider websites that embrace inclusivity to be more authentic sources of information and give them a better ranking.
This means that when you enhance the accessibility of your website, you are augmenting your online SEP efforts. This may help you reach the top of the SERPs, and this will improve your traffic and revenue generation.
#3: Web Accessibility Improves User Experience
Today, the User Experience of a website is very important to marketers, since it is a core factor of digital marketing and is directly related to conversions.
Basically, the best practice in UX optimization is to perform in-depth research into the needs of your target audience and then give it to them.
When you look at people who have slightly different abilities, then common sense dictates that you must also cater to their needs in order to give them a great user experience.
They will be able to interact with your website and benefit from it.
When you include web accessibility into your website design, you are boosting the usability it offers, which is at the core of user experience.
If you have optimized all other aspects of UX, when you enhance the usability just a touch more, then this might tip customers’ satisfaction towards your website and away from your competition.
This means that you will get more traffic, high conversion, and ultimately a better revenue stream.
#4: Web Accessibility Improves Brand Perception
When you adopt web accessibility, you are perceived as a strong ambassador of digital inclusivity, and this resonates well with users and builds a positive perception.
I bet you want people to perceive your brand in a positive manner, don’t you?
It is a trend today for people to first look at your business value before they can interact with it fully. Having a well-defined stand as far as inclusivity is concerned will show your business as being one that is compassionate, has empathy, and believe in equal opportunity for all.
This is how you build a community of like-minded people around your brand, and these people will contribute to your revenue.
Your Handy Checklist To Start Off With Web Accessibility
You should take web accessibility as one of your priorities right from the start and not an afterthought. This is something that should form part of your digital marketing strategy.
Here are some of the ways in which you can begin making sure that your website embraces digital inclusivity and will have a larger impact on your target audience.
#1: Optimize for Several Languages
Accessibility barriers are not just limited to people who may have permanent, temporary, or situational disabilities. It also aims at making sure that people from all languages and cultures can benefit from the content that you put on your website, or from your products or services.
Statistics show that only 4.8 percent of the world uses English in communicating. This means that a larger part of the population uses others languages, and having SEO done in several languages will help cater to some of these people.
Many companies are having pages translated to other languages to improve accessibility.
#2: Embrace Voice Search
Today’s devices are coming up with several assistants who can be used in voice search. You no longer have to type in a search query. All users have to do is speak to their devices and they will get the results they want.
If you want your website in those results, then you must optimize for voice search.
This is a great avenue for you in your aim to become more inclusive. Voice search will unlock a whole world where you can easily interact with people who cannot or may not want to search in conventional ways.
You can look into this article to understand more about how AI is used in optimizing a website, including Voice Search.
Here are some little things that you can do to optimize your website for Voce Search:
- Use keywords that are naturally used by users in voice search – these include descriptive, specific long-tail keywords.
- Use content that will answer specific questions instantly.
- Make sure that your “Google My Business” Account is optimized.
- Create FAQ pages that are directly targeted at Voice Search
- Make use of SCHEMA. This is a code that makes it easier for search engine algorithms to read the content of your website.
#3: Make use of Alternate (ALT) Text
Alt-text is a great way of letting visually impaired visitors understand what a web image is all about.
This is the reason why you should optimize all your images by adding ALT text. This will make the website information more palatable to a wider range of people, and this will ultimately enhance your user experience ranking.
Here are some tips that you can follow when creating ALT text.
Make sure that there is a keyword in it, and that it is descriptive in form. If there is no audio description needed, and the page loads slowly, users will be able to understand what the image is all about.
Make sure that you have great structured data, especially when you are running an e-commerce site. This makes sure that people are able to get alt text that includes the color of products, type, size, etc.
#4: Make Great Use of H-Tags to Organize the Hierarchy of Your Website
It is important that you have a hierarchal layout so that your web content is easy to read.
This is a critical part of web accessibility and therefore SEO.
With great hierarchy, your website will be easy to read for people who have certain cognitive disabilities, or even people who have very short attention spans.
This will make them more satisfied with your website and improve your UX ranking.
#5: Make Good Use of Color and Contrast
This is where you use contrasting colors for foreground elements so they are clearly visible on top of the background elements.
This means using clear colors for the font of your content, so people can easily read it without straining.
The font should also be large enough so that it can be legible, even to people who have a visual impairment.
When it comes to fonts, text resizing is also a great way to make sure that the text is legible for all people – they can basically set up with font size is clear to them.
#6 Other Tips
- Make sure that you allow people to navigate the website using the keyboard. At times, people may not have the dexterity required to use a mouse.
- If you have video content, then do create captions so those who cannot hear can read about what is being said in the video.
- Create content that can be viewed across various platforms. This is especially crucial in this modern world where many people use mobile devices to access the Internet.
- Make good use of lists. These are especially best for people who love to skim across points just to get the main gist of what is being said.
- Allow your site visitors to control, the audio of your videos. If the videos are set to autoplay, then make sure that the audio is set off by default, and the user can increase the volume to their preferred levels.
Today, Web Accessibility is a necessity when it comes to digital marketing.
However, very few people pay attention to it, especially when compared to other marketing techniques, which promise higher reach, more positive perceptions, and increased revenue generation.
However, if you can be able to improve your web accessibility, you will have a slightly upper hand over such businesses. You will be able to cater to a specific market segment that many ignore.
When you look at the benefits that can be derived from web accessibility, you will wonder why you did not adopt it in the first place.
Today’s value-driven shoppers may be drawn to your store, simply because it offers inclusivity.
Having an inclusive marketing strategy is a very great thing to do, but it will only bear fruit when you make a conscious effort to enhance the digital accessibility of your business.
So go ahead and make sure that your website is inclusive, and become one of the pioneers who are looking to make the internet an equal opportunity landscape for all.