As the Internet grows, it becomes increasingly important for companies to design accessible websites. An accessible site is one that is easy to read, browse, and understand by everyone, regardless of their abilities. Whether they’re colorblind, hearing impaired, or unable to use a mouse, individuals with disabilities can struggle to take advantage of all that the Internet has to offer. Excluded from many sites, they often find themselves unable to pay bills, purchase products, or access important resources. Because of this, the Department of Justice has declared that websites are public accommodations and must be accessible to people with disabilities.
How do you ensure that your website is accessible and ADA compliant? Even the introduction offered by the Web Accessibility Initiative is a challenge to read. So, how can you be certain that your site isn’t inviting legal problems? Thankfully, modern software solutions have dramatically simplified compliance and accessibility. A good web design agency can implement software that ensures your site adheres to WCAG 2.1 guidelines and, more importantly, that it’s accessible to everyone. But, why should you care about making your website compliant? Let’s look at a few – only a few – of the major advantages.
Avoid legal risks with ADA compliance
In most cases, companies simply overlook accessibility requirements. However, that doesn’t change the legal requirements, which apply to organizations of all sizes, from small, mom-and-pop shops to prolific, global corporations. If you’re subject to accessibility laws, you could be risking your company’s future by ignoring them. By creating an ADA compliant website, you can mitigate your risk of legal complications, avoid disastrous fines, and safeguard your business.
Accessible sites improve search rankings
More than anything, Google wants to deliver content that searchers find useful. It wants to provide its users with helpful, accessible content that can be consumed by anyone. For that reason, it’s begun prioritizing accessible websites on its results pages. When building your website, you should focus on clean navigation, clear contrast, readable font sizes, and concise alt text on all of your images. In addition to these, there are a host of other considerations that can be implemented by a professional web developer. But, the bottom line is that focusing on creating a website that is ADA compliant is a no-brainer, as it helps with your site’s visibility on search engine results pages.
Outshine competitors with accessible design
Being successful online is, largely, about creating a favorable image. If you look at the Internet giants, you’ll notice they’re always attempting to position themselves as caring, thoughtful, and invested in positive social change. Whether they’re spearheading charitable initiatives or donating to good causes, their endeavors aren’t entirely altruistic. Just like small businesses, they’re trying to gain a competitive edge. They’re trying to create press and outshine their competitors. By creating an accessible website, you position yourself as a considerate, inclusive company. Pushed out through press releases and social channels, this messaging may be enough to elevate you in the eyes of potential customers.
Compliant websites have a bigger audience
Individuals with disabilities represent a large portion of Internet users and their buying power is significant. Without accessible websites, this audience can’t engage with companies. They just can’t shop in stores that don’t welcome them. More than anything, an accessible site is an invitation. It’s a billboard announcing that everyone is welcome. When you focus on building a site that can be used by anyone, you invite a segment of the population that is – sadly – often overlooked. And, with a purchasing power of more than $200 billion annually, it’s a good business decision to create a great online experience for everyone, including people with disabilities.
Accessible websites are the right thing to do
In this post, we’ve outlined a number of reasons that accessibility is important. But, above all else, it’s important because it’s the right thing to do. We shouldn’t exclude people from online experiences because of their ability levels. We shouldn’t ignore whole populations because they require additional accommodations, especially when it’s so easy to provide those accommodations. Imagine being unable to shop, pay your bills, or learn how to cook a steak online. Picture a world where you – through no fault of your own – are excluded from the things you love. A compliant website is your way to contribute to a fairer, kinder, and more inclusive world for everyone.
Need help taking your website to the next level?
At Creative Marketing Group, we are passionate about our work. We believe that the Internet is for everyone. We’ve gone to great lengths to identify software that can be used to ensure complete, ongoing website accessibility. Our solutions are easy, comprehensive, and completely hands off. So, if you’re ready to have an ADA compliant website without any hassle or heartache, contact us today to get started.