Why Web Accessibility is Important For Your Small-Business Website
Every business wants its website and digital assets to be easily accessible by all – the more traffic the better. Unlike cities like Houston and Chicago which have serious traffic problems but that is another topic.
But have you given a thought to the fact that a section of your target audience might include individuals with disabilities? More importantly, is your business website designed for easy access by those who are differently abled?
If your answer is “no,” then this might be a good time to get started. But before we get down to highlighting why web accessibility is important for your small-business website, it is important that you first understand the meaning of “web accessibility.”
What is Web Accessibility?
Web accessibility is based on the idea of ensuring that websites and digital tools are designed in a manner that makes it easy for individuals with disabilities to fully access a digital site or tool – much like anyone else.
Currently, there are a number of assistive technologies such as speech-recognition software, hands-free technology, and screen reader among others, which enable people with disabilities to access and navigate the web.
By focusing on making your business website accessible, you can effectively remove any technical barriers which could potentially limit access to your site and content to people with disabilities.
Limited Web Accessibility Equals Missed Opportunities
Were you aware of the fact that 1 in 5 individuals in the US has a disability? However, a substantial section of commercial websites are not designed with the necessary tools and features capable of supporting assistive technologies.
As a result, these sites miss out on the opportunity to have their content translated into usable format for people with disabilities. If a consumer with a disability is unable to access your website, they will move to your competitor in a jiffy. This is not ideal. Even in the age of a healthy economy with low taxes this is not something that you want.
And it’s not just your website, you also need to ensure that your business mobile app(s) are easily accessible to individuals with disabilities. Integrating assistive technology solutions within your mobile app design is becoming more critical given the space “mobile” enjoys today.
Ensuring Web Accessibility for All
Now that you know why web accessibility is important for your business, let us look at some of the key aspects of web accessibility for all.
To begin with, partner with a web design or digital agency with proven experience in web accessibility so you know that your site design addresses key accessibility standards and is ADA-compliant.
Ensure your site content can be accessed via a screen reader as well as provide text-only alternatives for pictures and images and necessary color contrast for individuals with any kind of visual impairments.
Individuals with a hearing disability will require captioning for video or audio content.
Individuals with limited dexterity or hand mobility should be able to navigate using keyboard only navigation or voice input.
If you feel your website is compliant with all accessibility guidelines, then have it tested by a WCAG validator or checker. On top of this, you could work with a web accessibility partner for a human-based complete audit check of your business website.
Visit Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to know more about how you can ensure complete web accessibility for your business website.