Web accessibility is much more than a popular trend. It is a doctrine of the 21st century web that every respectful website should follow.
This is well understood by the creators of top site-building frameworks — consider, for example, Drupal 8’s improvements to meet web accessibility standards. Today, we will discuss in detail why website accessibility is important for your business.
First, what is website accessibility?
Website accessibility is defined as its ability to be conveniently used by people with various kinds of impairments (visual, auditory, cognitive, etc.). They should be able to access the site’s information and navigate through it with no barriers.
In website accessibility, multiple aspects are important such as:
- friendliness to screen readers
- clear heading structure
- use of ARIA attributes in HTML
- informative link texts
- images provided with descriptions
- audios and videos provided with transcripts, captions, or explanations
- keyboard navigation
- readable fonts
- good contrasts
- handy webforms
- easy instructions
and so much more.
The accessibility requirements are stated in the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Their fulfillment is achieved by website development and design teams, but there are also recommendations on creating accessible content for content editors’ everyday practice.
Reasons why website accessibility is important for your business
Your brand building
Having an accessible site is like telling the world that your company is inclusive, attentive to all customers, respective of best practices, and in step with the times. This highlights the quality of your brand and attracts customers and partners who want to be part of a good culture. On the contrary, the lack of accessibility today can be a reputation killer.
Protection against lawsuits
Another valid reason why website accessibility is important is that you don’t want to attract lawsuits. They are possible according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) whose main principle is that everyone should be provided with equal access and opportunities.
The number of web accessibility lawsuits filed in federal courts under Title III of the ADA has exceeded 10,000 in 2018. It shows steady growth and is forecast to grow further.
In 2019, there has been a notable case against Beyonce over her official website’s accessibility. The suit claims that the site (beyonce.com) violates ADA and prevents visually impaired people from accessing the information and buying concert tickets. This was referred to as “unlawful discrimination.”
Website accessibility increases your potential audience by including more users. You may be surprised by how many more:
- According to the World Health Organization, about 15% of the world's population has some form of disability.
- Here are more striking statistics by CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) saying that 26% (1 in 4) adults in the US have some form of disability. Would you leave a quarter of your potential customers outside? The answer seems pretty obvious.
It’s important to add here the people who are browsing your website with a slow Internet connection, perceiving your content with a different native language, suffering from a temporary injury, and so on. They all benefit from accessibility too.
If more people can conveniently use your website, more people can reach conversions. The case above with buying tickets to Beyonce’s concerts is a vivid example.
Every step in the buying, subscribing, registering, and other procedures on the site should be accessible. This is achieved by accessible form field labels, error messages, CTA buttons, and so on.
Better SEO rankings
The more friendly your site is to assistive technologies like screen readers, the more it is appreciated by the search engines.
- the proper hierarchical structure of headings
- ALT text describing the contents of images
- informative meta descriptions
- audio transcripts
- video captions
and other best web accessibility practices.
Use of advanced technologies
Here is an irresistible argument as to why website accessibility is important. Friendliness to assistive software like screen readers opens the way for your website to integrate with Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and similar technologies. You are on the track of the future.
Your website’s overall quality improvement
It’s important to say that web accessibility best practices overlap with general website development, design, and content creation best practices. Web accessibility and usability are intertwined. So by achieving good website accessibility, you also get a site that is better in every way for all audiences.
Make your website accessible today
As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why website accessibility is important for your business. It’s time to make your site accessible, and the ROI can be immense.
Our web agency will conduct a website accessibility audit on your site and discover the smallest stumbling blocks that hamper its accessibility. And, of course, we will fix all the issues comprehensively. You can also contact us with individual tasks on known website accessibility issues.
Our team has developers, designers, QA engineers, and SEO experts, each of which can add their expertise to making your website accessible. Let’s do it!