There are many reasons why you should improve your business’s accessibility, as it can be a major contributor to your overall success. It might seem to you that ensuring that your business, especially your website, is highly accessible would be a nice thing to have – but for many potential customers, it is all but essential.
Accessibility has quite a broad spectrum and covers many different areas. So, the chances are that there are some which you may not have even considered, such as how different people view colors or how easy certain fonts are to read – especially when colors are involved.
Of course, even just making the online part of your business accessible can also improve other areas of your business quite drastically as well, even if it is not a direct requirement. For that reason, you should start taking steps to make improvements in these five key areas.
Start by introducing your products and services to a wider audience
By improving your business’s accessibility online, you are opening your doors to far more potential customers than you have done previously. According to the World Health Organization, as many as 1 in 6 people in the world experience significant disability. Even based on that one statistic alone, you can see at a glance how many paying individuals you are potentially neglecting and excluding from your website, business, and services.
Of course, you should still act within the boundaries of your niche market. Otherwise, any additional traffic gained will not be ‘quality’ traffic and will not result in any additional sales. It will, however, cost you more money to get these individuals into your sales funnel only to have them leave soon after.
Next, improve the user experience of every website visitor
As you work to improve your website’s accessibility, you are more than likely to find that you are also improving the user experience of your visitors. This is also a ‘must have’ for your website as it will actively affect your website’s performance. Slow-loading pages are far from good – or, for that matter, acceptable. They frustrate your visitors, induce high bounce rates, and therefore ruin the chances of your hard-found and often expensive traffic converting into sales.
User experience all comes down to this; excellent accessibility for all, easy to use, good looking fast-loading pages, interesting original content, and credible information. Failure to do this will result in visitors clicking away and going to your competition instead. Chatbots can provide a lot of help here, as they can act like a sales assistant and guide a customer to where they want to go or answer any questions they might have. In addition, having an FAQ section on every page can also keep your visitor with you and not turn to Google to find out what they need to know.
You should also improve your ranking in Google and other search engines
Although having your website fully accessible to all those with disabilities is not a direct requirement of search engines such as Google to improve your page rankings, it will most certainly help due to improved user experience overall. Google and other search engines regularly update the criteria that websites have to have in order to become more desirable.
These criteria can include page loading times, content, and usability, as well as, more recently, additional factors like the amount and quality of AI-generated content. Paying careful attention to these factors could improve your page rankings for relevant keywords and therefore have your website found far more easily by those individuals looking for what you have to offer.
A competent SEO team or agency will be able to help you here, either on either a consultation basis or, if you prefer, perform any work that will need to be done on your behalf. Getting the professionals involved here is another ’must’ as trying to do your SEO yourself can lead to wasted time, effort, and money.
Always stay compliant with the ADA law and WCAG guidelines
Of course, it is not just in the physical world that you have to ensure accessibility for all of those interested in your business, you also have to make the online side of your business fully accessible too. Laws such as the ADA (American Disability Act) state that all businesses should be accessible to those individuals with disabilities. While the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has set out specific accessibility guidelines in the form of WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
You should do as much research as possible in this area. As already discussed, you will not appreciate many of the lost opportunities for your business until you know more about the challenges some of your visitors might face when ordering one of your products or services.
Finally, ensure that you know all the products available to you
When thinking about improving your website to cater to more people with disabilities, you must understand all the available products. In fact, you will find that there are so many products available on the market that reading some reviews, such as Top 5 Accessibility could make your mission that much clearer and provide you some insight into how these products work.
Using an expert service like this can fill in so many gaps in your knowledge, as well as potentially save you money and allow you to complete any improvements much more quickly.
To wrap everything up
Apart from just being the right thing to do, making the online side of your business more accessible is good business. There are certain legal boxes you need to tick, but going above and beyond these will have knock-on effects when it comes to improving the experience of all your website visitors and keeping in Google’s good books.
You will need to rely on experts to help you achieve this, especially when it comes to finding the best products and features to add to your site. Any investment you make in this area is likely to be paid back several times over in extra sales, and if you are one of the few sites offering these improvements, a number of loyal customers as well.
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