Why Is Web Accessibility Necessary for Your Online Business?
The inflow of web traffic is one of the essential things for any online business. That is why most of them employ several measures to ensure a steady inflow of visitors on their websites. Most of them use SEO techniques to rank their websites higher or use social media marketing.
However, several of them forget the importance of web accessibility for online businesses. Several of them are unaware that almost one-fifth of the American population lives with a disability of some form.
Online businesses that do not optimize the accessibility of their websites could lose out on the revenue from people with disabilities as well as those who are sympathetic to them.
Surveys have shown that the annual business from people with disabilities can be up to $6.9 billion annually.
There are several other benefits of making a website accessible. In this article, we are going to discuss some of them in detail.
Better User Experience
Although most online businesses focus on the user experience of their visitors, making it accessible can add further benefits. There are several features of accessibility that focused on the user experience, such as
- Keyboard navigation
- Voice search optimization
- Better content structure and readability
- Captions for the videos
- Optional screen contrast ratios
Optimizing website accessibility does not only benefit the user experience of people with disabilities but several others as well.
Elderly people often suffer visual impairment or are hard of hearing. So they can benefit from the screen adjustments and captions on videos.
People who are recovering from eye surgery will also enjoy the accessible features. Surveys have shown that people who do not speak English very well use captions on videos.
Surveys have shown that websites with accessibility features have 12% more engagement and 26% lesser bounce rates.
Better Search Engine Optimization
Although very few people know what algorithms are used by Google to rank websites higher. Most SEO experts agree that the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1) and search engine optimization techniques often overlap. These are a few specific ways in which accessibility can improve your SEO.
- Search engines cannot crawl through images and Flash files. To make your online business accessible, you will have to provide alt-text attributes to the relevant image on your website. That means search engines will be able to crawl through that information to rank your website.
- There can be several videos on your website that have vital information about your products and services. Search engines cannot gain access to information in videos. To make videos accessible, you will have to provide captions and audio transcripts. Search engines will be able to crawl through that information, and that can improve your ranking.
- To make your website accessible, you will have to ensure that your content is better structured with proper headings. These actions are also favorable for search engine optimization and can increase your rank.
- When you optimize your website’s accessibility, you will have to embed your content with metadata. Although it does not affect your search engine optimization, the metadata can come in handy when it matches the questions asked by your potential customers on search engines. Your website can appear in the featured snippets and outrank the number one position on the search page.
Better Brand Image
In the current world, online businesses have to face stiff competition. The COVID-19 pandemic has knowingly increased the number of eCommerce businesses and online stores because brick and mortar stores do not generate enough revenues anymore.
To survive in these conditions, you will need to give your audience a reason to choose your business over your competition.
When you enhance the accessibility of your website, you provide a statement that speaks about your commitment to fight discrimination against disability.
Your stance to support a social issue can enhance your brand image and attract customers who sympathize with people living with disabilities.
You can also publish your statement on social media pages to increase your brand’s reach.
Avoid Expensive Lawsuits
- More and more businesses are facing expensive lawsuits these days for not making their website accessible.
- Although there is no specific section on the Americans with Disabilities Act, federal judges have indicated that websites fall under article III of the law.
- It states that any public area must be accessible to people using any form of assistive technologies, such as screen readers, voice readers, Braille displays, so on and so forth.
- To make sure you comply with the ADA, you must make every element in your website accessible, at all times
- The legal and moral demand for making a website accessible is rising gradually. And so are the number of lawsuits against those failing to do seo.
- But now that you know the benefits of making your online business accessible, you will surely feel encouraged to optimize your online store.
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