4 Benefits of Web Accessibility

By Ashley Orndorff, aka Marketing Geek business marketing meeting - people sitting around a table covered in charts, papers, and laptops

Your website is the representation of your business online. It’s important for all of your customers and potential customers to be able to access it and use it. That’s where web accessibility comes in. Here are a few benefits of web accessibility:

1. Web Accessibility Provides Better User Experience

User experience is paramount to the success of your website.

Not only does web accessibility means all users can access and successfully navigate your website, but it also means that you’re offering a good user experience to those users.

Approaching your website with accessibility in mind ensures that you are offering a good user experience across the board and are not causing friction for a portion of your audience.

2. Web Accessibility Standards Help Your Website Stay Within Legal Requirements

Aside from making sure you provide a good user experience to all your users, making sure your website is accessible ensures your site stays within legal requirements.

The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 in order to protect people living with disabilities from discrimination. The law applies to public and private spaces, building codes, transportation, telecommunication, government, and employment.

Although it tended to refer to physical “access barriers” when it was first passed, it now also applies more and more to the web, especially websites. The Department of Justice released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the act in 2010 to include the internet and have been expanding and clarifying jurisdiction in that area ever since.

In May 2011, the U.N. (United Nations) Special Rapporteur submitted a right to access report stressing that “There should be as little restriction as possible to the flow of information via the Internet, except in a few, very exceptional, and limited circumstances prescribed by international human rights law.”

Media coverage at the time suggested the report had declared access to the web a human right.

5 years later, in 2016, the United Nations Human Rights Council released a non-binding resolution to reaffirm what was released in the 2011 report and further condemned the intentional disruption of internet access by governments.

All of this may be on the government level and high profile cases on the consumer side have had mixed results, for now, but the message is clear – no obstructions to accessing the web.

That goes for your site too.

Depending on your industry, you may be currently required to meet certain accessibility requirements and standards by law. Even if you are not currently required by law to do so, you likely will be in the not-so-distant future.

3. Good Website Accessibility is Also Good for SEO

Search engines love accessible sites!

Some of the things you do to make your website more accessible, like creating easy navigation, adding image alt tags, providing captions and/or transcripts for video, and more, also tend to be SEO best practices.

This often results in a website that has better functionality and usability, is more easily crawled by search engines, and offers a better user experience overall.

And, because user experience is so important to SEO, good website accessibility can help your site be more relevant, authoritative, and competitive in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

All of this allows you to reach a wider audience with your website and provide them with a great experience with your brand that will encourage them to come back again and again.

4. Improving Website Accessibility Can Help Grow Your Business

If your website is working for your business, it should be driving people to purchase and use your products and services.

By improving accessibility on your website, you help ensure that everyone can access your site, explore the content on it, and then use it to contact you or make purchases.

This can positively affect your bottom line and help grow your business.

Web accessibility matters to your customers, so it matters to your business for several different reasons. There are several ways to make your website more accessible.

Sometimes, you can improve your accessibility with just a few small tweaks. But, if your website is outdated, it may need more than that.

If it’s time for your website to be updated or overhauled, contact us for a meeting of the MINDs to discuss how we can help you get up to date and back on track!

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