If you aren’t on board the accessibility train by now, you aren’t honoring your current and potential customers like you should.
Imagine going to your favorite brand’s website and not being able to engage with the content because the language is too complex, the links aren’t working, or the keyboard navigation isn’t enabled to accommodate your needs. It would ruin your user experience, let alone your overall customer experience.
Keeping your content accessible to everyone that comes to your website is crucial. Here’s why.
More People Can Experience Your Brand
You’re unlikely to turn away an interested customer and not let them experience what your website has to offer. Unfortunately, that’s how it feels to visitors who can’t interact with your content because of accessibility issues. Your online content needs to be accessible to everyone so that more people can experience your brand.
Level the playing field. Accessibility considerations come in all shapes and sizes, from catering to people with vision loss to sensory issues. This also means more people can easily consume your content, such as someone that would simply rather watch your brand video in public with the sound off and captions on.
It Incites Long-term Customer Relationships
When your content is accessible, it helps you build a positive brand reputation. Alignment with consumer values typically results in long-term customer relationships.
Consistently creating online content that’s accessible to everyone lets people know that they can count on you to get the content they need, when and how they need it. They look to you to provide relevant, mindful content without issue. When they thoroughly enjoy your content, they’ll keep returning for it and your brand.
Your Competition’s Content Isn’t Accessible
As of 2022, 96.8% of websites have accessibility issues. There are guidelines set by the World Wide Web Consortium that detail the requirements for an accessible website. The majority of content online does not meet all of these standards, so chances are your competitors have not yet achieved full website accessibility.
Even if your competition is working toward a more accessible web presence, they probably aren’t there entirely — let alone striving for the highest level of accessibility. Regardless of the industry, that leaves an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition and attract more customers because your content is accessible.
How To Ensure Your Content Is Accessible to Everyone
Editing your website for accessibility may seem daunting at first. Take it one step at a time, starting with the following three tips.
Use data to learn about your content and audience
Collecting data is and will continue to be critical in any organization. In this case, collecting and analyzing data to improve content accessibility is one of the most important first steps to take.
Using business tech to grow your pool of data, you can extract meaningful insights about your target audience’s behaviors, needs, interests, accessibility experiences, and lifestyle. This will help you understand what you need to do to ensure your digital content is accessible to your unique audience.
You can also determine which content performs the best and worst in terms of engagement. Find out where traffic is coming from to view that content and at what point users disengage from your site. Even test different layouts to see which performs the best and decreases bounce rate.
Set up data analytics tools on your digital channels if you haven’t already. Program your tools to collect internal and external data, like government and social media data. Gathering both kinds of information will give you a full scope of how to better your content. You can make your content much more accessible when you know what that means for your audience.
Keep your content and layout simple
Opt to use as little jargon as possible and clearly define your company’s purpose in layman’s terms. Not only should the content you produce be straightforward, but the way you lay it out should be, too. Keep the way you lay out your content on pages simple. Content should be placed logically throughout a page in a way visitors expect. Use white space appropriately so content blocks are easily identifiable.
Regarding written content, refrain from using out-of-the-box typography and font colors. Stick with black or other colors that contrast with your site’s background. Color deficiencies and vision impairments make odd-colored fonts harder to distinguish. Use simple font styles, such as serif fonts. Use short sentences and paragraphs, break up text with headings, and use simple language to make your content digestible and easily navigable.
Also, when including web forms, consider long forms to boost conversions by improving accessibility. Long web forms are fantastic for getting to know your customers and visitors on your site and, when submitted, are a clear indicator that you’re producing good content.
But forms mean nothing if they exclude specific individuals because of differing abilities, experiences, or backgrounds. Break down your long web form with a multi-step approach. And ensure your fields are clear with placeholder text.
Educate yourself on accessibility details that matter
There are so many details to cover in accessibility. As tedious as the learning curve may be, you need to educate yourself and your team on all the accessibility details that matter to your target audience.
Make sure you cover the following to ensure every piece of digital content you publish is available for everyone to enjoy whether they’re living with a disability or not:
- Web accessibility basics;
- Digestible content best practices;
- How to write a solid meta description;
- How to enable keyboard navigation;
- How to include alt text on images and closed-captioning on videos;
- How to ensure all written material has an audio or visual alternative;
- The most appropriate font sizes and types for accessibility standards;
- How to format images and visual elements so they are responsive to mobile devices.
Ensure all the accessibility details are checked off before content ever goes live.
There are many reasons your online content needs to be accessible to everyone, but we touched on a few of the major ones above. Consider these reasons and tips above when you embark on your journey to ensure your online content is as accessible as possible. If you’d like to chat about ways to improve your website accessibility, contact us now.