Website accessibility has become more than just a considerate practice—it’s a necessity.
Beyond promoting inclusivity and equal access, there’s benefits that come with ensuring your website is accessible.
Why Accessibility Matters
Website accessibility is not only about catering to individuals with disabilities but creating a seamless user experience for everyone.
Enhanced User Experience and Engagement
Accessible websites are synonymous with user-friendly interfaces. They are designed with clarity and ease of navigation at their core, which significantly enhances the user experience. The content is readable, the navigation is intuitive, and the website functions are straightforward, making the website enjoyable and engaging for everyone.
Extended Reach and Audience
Accessibility is akin to inclusivity. When your website is accessible, you’re opening your digital doors to a broader audience, including the elderly and those with disabilities. This inclusivity not only reflects well on your brand but also significantly expands your potential customer base.
Improved Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Ranking
An often overlooked benefit of web accessibility is its positive impact on SEO. Accessible websites have well-structured content, with proper headings, alt text for images, and meaningful link text, all of which are elements that search engines use to understand and rank content.
Legal Compliance and Risk Mitigation
Numerous regions across the globe have laws and regulations in place advocating for digital accessibility. By adhering to the legal standards of web accessibility, businesses show a commendable level of responsibility and also avoid potential legal repercussions. This proactive approach towards accessibility compliance not only mitigates legal risks but also showcases a brand’s commitment to inclusivity and equal access.
Making the Right Moves
Website accessibility is a massive topic, with varying needs and approaches.
It can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be if you take a structured approach.
1. Educate Your Team
Make sure your team is educated on why accessibility matters – give practical examples that apply to your product, services and customers.
Encourage a culture of inclusivity and continuous learning so the focus goes beyond meeting the accessibility standards, and instead is about providing accessibility.
2. Understand the Standards
Familiarise yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
They provide a framework on how to make your website accessible.
3. Think Accessibility from the start
It’s simpler and more effective to build accessibility into your website from the onset rather than retrofitting it later.
Make sure to consider accessibility in the design scope for your website – for the build and ongoing maintenance.
4. Engage Experts
Consult with accessibility experts to ensure that your website is compliant and user-friendly.
This often involves specialist testers and software developers.
5. Continuous Improvement
Accessibility is an ongoing commitment. Regular audits and updates are necessary to maintain an accessible website.
Website accessibility is not just a nicety
Website accessibility elevates the user experience, ensuring that sites are easy to navigate, read, and engage with.
But remember that accessibility isn’t a one-off task. It requires an ongoing commitment.
Making your website accessible is not just the right thing to do—it’s a smart business decision that benefits everyone involved.