There’s no doubt about it, Canadians care about social change. The 2020s are going to be a decade of sweeping social change.
As a business online in this great coming decade, you have a unique opportunity to make the world — and the web — a better place. You can do this through website accessibility.
But what exactly is an accessible website?
This article will walk you through everything you need to know and understand.
Website Accessibility 101
Website accessibility is the process of ensuring that your website is navigable and understandable by all internet users.
People with disabilities and impairments may come up against problems on certain pages. These people are just as important as able-bodied people. Any company would do well to make sure they’re capable of using their site.
User experience is important for publicity and SEO. The more time people spend on your site, the higher you’ll be ranked by search engines.
By showing those with disabilities and impairments that you care about them, you’re more likely to keep them around on your site.
How To Adjust
Accessibility isn’t about upending your site to accommodate those with disabilities. Instead, it’s about making a few additions here and there to make sure all can enjoy your site.
No one would suggest that you get rid of the stairs to your building, but they might request you to put in a ramp for wheelchair accessibility.
Make Sure Your Website Can Be Perceived
People won’t be able to enjoy your website if they’re not able to understand what’s on your page. Make sure the colors and brightness of your screen are vibrant and legible enough for those with vision problems to make out, and for those with severe vision problems to use a text conversion program.
Space your text out neatly and clearly. Never align-justify your text, and ensure that your text resizes yourself depending on the user’s screen.
Use the HTML language function, so that text-to-speech programs can be used.
Optimizing your website’s perceivability also helps those with mental impairment.
Make Navigation Easy
A website that’s tough to navigate isn’t accessible. To create a website that can be enjoyed by all, add as many quick navigation options as possible.
Reduce the number of times people need to click by adding lots of links. If any portion of your site isn’t reachable in three clicks, your website isn’t accessible enough. Set up hyperlinks that customers can navigate each of your pages, press buttons, and fill out forms without a mouse.
Make Content Understandable
The writing on your website should be quick, clear, and concise. The Hemingway app is a great resource for rooting out excessive writing. If you have to, employ a content writer who specializes in producing clear content quickly.
This is a great example of why accessibility is an improvement to our world. Clear, concise writing might be what people with certain disabilities need to understand your content, but at the end of the day, it’s going to help you communicate what you need to say more efficiently.
Organize and structure your website in a way that’s easy to understand. Easily readable content doesn’t mean much when it’s posted on a page that’s confused and jumbled.
Many strides in the world of website accessibility are feats of improving website functionality. Able-bodied people are able to navigate sub-optimal pages, while disabled/ impaired people are often not.
Improve your website functionality, and you improve accessibility. By optimizing, you’re helping everyone.
Offer Text Alternatives
Text proves challenging to myriad impairments and difficulties. While there are options to make it easier for them, offering different types of media is also a great way to show that you care.
Offer video and podcasting options for a catered, specialized experience that defers from the world of text. Podcasting is the new blogging after all, and these updates can help you take your brand into the 2020s.
Extend to Social Media
Having a wonderful website isn’t the only important part of succeeding in the digital age. You also have to make sure you take your business to social media.
This is true of accessibility as it is to everything else. Apply all of the above principles to all of your social media campaigns. Disabled and impaired people are just as active on social media as anyone else, and showing how accessible you are can easily spread good publicity about your brand.
You might not be able to make all of your social media posts as accessible as the content on your website. This isn’t your fault. Your social media page is hosted on somebody else’s website.
However, on social media, you can demonstrate and advertise just how accessible your website is. Don’t do this in a braggadocious way; emphasize that you have these options available because you care.
If you get this right, you might have disabled and impaired people — as well as their friends and allies — sharing your content across the internet. Good intentions lead to free advertising, as word of mouth is still the most important publicity you can have.
Understand Website Accessibility
As you can see, the world of website accessibility will help you expand your customer base and show those with disabilities that you care. If you want to make the world a better place, you can start by setting your website up so that all sorts of customers can access it.
For a free website accessibility audit, contact us today.