Your business website is an invaluable tool to connect with your customer base and make sales. However, you need to make sure that web accessibility is a priority. Ensure that your website is accessible to everyone – even individuals with various types of disabilities.
If you run a business where your customers come to visit, you probably have handicap parking, ramps, and compliant bathrooms. You may wonder, how do you make your website accessible to people and why is web accessibility important for your webpages? Here’s everything you need to know.
What is web accessibility for your company website?
Some people experience permanent, temporary, or situational disability. This can affect their ability to use websites. For people with vision problems, hearing and speech issues, and other disabilities, using a website can become a struggle.
For the visually impaired, you can ensure that the information on your web pages can be viewed through a screen reader, while the deaf can read the text of videos and other sound bites through text transcripts. When you add a comment section, people who are mute have a way to interact without speaking.
These features can easily make your business website accessible to the handicapped. Plus, it can increase your customer base.
Why is web accessibility important?
In 1990, the United States passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The goal was to end any discrimination against people with various disabilities. Some discrimination issues were simple things that made it impossible for disabled Americans to enter or shop at a store, such as steps or the lack of an elevator.
Businesses have made great strides towards making their storefronts available to everyone. But what about your business website? Does the ADA even cover things such as websites?
In 2010, the ADA Standards for Accessible Design were published. This act included electronics and new forms of communication that weren’t prevalent in 1990. Yes, this published act means that the ADA includes your company website.
So not only is it important that you focus on website accessibility for all possible customers, but you also don’t want to find yourself in the middle of legal action because your website isn’t accessible. You may need to make some changes to your company website to make your website ADA compliant.
Benefits of web accessibility
Web accessibility is essential to keep your company in compliance with all government regulations, but it also offers other benefits for your company. Before you begin redoing your website, you need to know that website accessibility offers tangible benefits for your business. These benefits include:
- Enlarges your possible customer base.
- Keeps your company ADA compliant.
- Helps in avoiding possible lawsuits under the ADA.
- Ranking higher in search engine results.
- Increasing your conversion rate.
- Creating happy and loyal customers.
- Enhancing the performance of your website.
These benefits are all going to make your business stronger and help you grow your customer base.
Essential features of a web-accessible company website
You might not even know where to start. What features do you need to add to your business website to make it accessible? There are some essential features that you need to add to keep your website accessible. Here are a few things to do:
- Create an accessibility guide and statement.
- Make the keyboard user-friendly layout to make it easier to navigate.
- Create alternative text for each image on your website. This is a text written into the website’s code that briefly describes the image.
- Provide transcripts for all audible files, including videos.
- Limit automatic media and navigation. Automatic media is images, video, or voice files that automatically load on your website.
- Follow the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) guidelines.
It’s beneficial to invest in your website to ensure it’s web accessible for everyone. You may need some help with coding and designing your updated website. Need more information on making your website 508 — the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 includes the 508 section added in 1997 that requires companies and agencies accepting federal funds must make electronics and information technology (IT) accessible — or ADA compliant? Contact us at (210) 354-1661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.