Make Your Website Accessible 5 Reasons You Need To Make Your Website Accessible
Why make your website accessible. Why should I make my website accessible is a question we get asked a lot. It’s a good question to be fair, so we wanted to take the time to answer it for you. The top 5 reasons to make your website accessible are listed below:
Expand your reach, your audience, and potential client base
While it would be wonderful to live in a completely altruistic society where firms were not constrained by the need for money, this is not how the business world actually operates. Although there may be some initial costs associated with making your website accessible, there is unquestionably a strong financial rationale for taking the step.
According to estimates, one in every four Americans has a disability. 61 million adults, to be exact! The figure is even more astounding if your business is worldwide in scope. Naturally, providing for the needs of those 61 million adults with impairments immediately expands your potential market by 25%. Making your website accessible to more people ultimately makes you money.
Reduce the risk of litigation and bad publicity
Making your website accessible and compliant with the ADA is required by law if your business is covered by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Your business runs a serious risk of being sued in court if you don’t comply.
There were almost 2,200 civil ADA claims brought in 2019 especially because of problems with website accessibility. Around 21% of those 2,200 were the subject of several lawsuits. These figures do not account for the much higher number of businesses that settle after receiving demand letters but before a lawsuit is initiated. Tens of thousands of dollars may be spent on settling an ADA lawsuit, and hundreds of thousands of dollars may be spent if litigation is necessary. You cannot afford to take the risks of non compliance.
Getting the edge on the competition
Accessibility is a key differentiator and/or equaliser for websites. In addition to increasing the market share mentioned in point #1 above, you now have a sellable advantage from your rivals. If your competitors are already available, you have now balanced your competition and lessened their advantage.
Civic responsibility and social Inclusivity
In Point 1 we explained the benefits of having your website accessible, but you still might not be convinced. Redefine your position so that it emphasises inclusivity and civic responsibility if the increase in market size is not convincing you. Make your website user-friendly even if you don’t stand to gain financially from doing so. It’s the ethical thing to do.
Maintain your page rank and future proof your SEO
The search engine optimisation and page ranking of your website may be enhanced by using accessibility best practises. Many of the same development approaches that search engines need when assessing page ranking are also required by accessibility requirements. These characteristics may include:
- Using H1 H2 H3 headings correctly
- Ensuring HTML is correct
- Content should be easily readable and logically structured
- Including a Site Map for easy crawling
- Proper titles on pages
- Instructive unique meta descriptions on every page
- Descriptive alt tags on images
It is widely speculated Google has already included accessibility in their page ranking algorithm or plans to do so in the future. If they haven’t done so before, it stands to reason that they will in the future. In other words, ensuring the accessibility of your website will protect your current page ranking in the future. By now, it should be obvious why making your website accessible is advantageous.
For an in depth look into accessibility, Laura Geley, who is a senior UX/UI designer and member of the prestigious Awwwards jury who specialises in UX solutions for eCommerce, has written this excellent article UX and the Importance of Web Accessibility
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