If you've run a business for any period, the chances are that you've considered ways to improve your online visibility, expand its reach, and broaden the brand's appeal. However, have you ever thought about Web accessibility? As the name implies, it revolves around the process of making one's digital assets more equitable to use and comprehend for those who have disabilities that would otherwise prevent them from experiencing the World Wide Web in a way that everyone else can.
Because the differently-abled account for a sizable market portion, their exclusion from brands and digital marketing efforts can lead to missed opportunities for generating sales. More importantly, you'll fail in ADA compliance and risk steep penalties for the violation. Therefore, you must use accurate realtime captioning, include alt text, utilize headers, and other strategies to make your digital marketing content robust, understandable, perceivable, and operable.
Why is there a need for Web accessibility?
Statistics show that at least a billion people experience disabilities in one form or another. At least fifteen percent of the global population makes up the disabled community, roughly the size of China’s population. And the numbers are expected to increase as the generation of baby boomers age, making the need to cater to disabilities that are age-related and vital to those whose target audience includes this group.
It makes no sense to deny access to such a considerable digital marketing demographic. Unfortunately, however, many overlook the process of making more accessible online advertising content and websites, considering it as a pointless and tedious exercise. In doing so, they forego the host of advantages that Web accessibility yields, not the least of which is greater user experience and improving the site’s search engine optimization process.
Accessibility, SEO, and user experience
Many of the basic principles and foundations of Web accessibility include meaningful headers and titles, clear labels, and hierarchical structure. If they sound familiar, that's because they're also essential to SEO or search engine optimization. Beyond aiding website navigation and improving user experience, it enables an online domain to elevate its search rankings.
Similarly, the inclusion of a site map can be an excellent reference point for users to get around the site's Web pages. It's also helpful to individuals who need to use a screen reader when browsing the Web, allowing them to understand better the content within the website and how they're organized. Additionally, it will enable search engines to easily index and scan the site.
The addition of alt text to audio, video, and images via transcripts and closed captions won't just make the material more accessible. Still, it'll build a better picture of the site for the robots of the search engines. In other words, digital marketing principles like SEO and UX are intertwined with Web accessibility.
The reason why many find the prospect of putting accessibility into practice with digital marketing is the misconception that it requires a considerable amount of expert knowledge, elaborate work, and a sizable financial investment. However, it doesn’t always have to be the case, and any investment towards Web accessibility will lead to remarkable returns.