Don’t Exclude Valuable Customers: Make Your Website Accessible

Don’t Exclude Valuable Customers: Make Your Website Accessible

By Jackie Edwards

It makes sense that businesses need to be universally accessible, right? You might be upset if the local gas station didn’t have a ramp in addition to stairs. And so would the government. The ADA covers strict regulations about public spaces and how accessible they are for disabled members of the community.

Website accessibility is just as important. Think of your website as if it is your storefront. In many ways, it is. You would want your physical store to be inviting to everyone, and the same goes for your virtual presence. Elevate your business and stop excluding a significant portion of the population by making your website accessible.

What Is Website Accessibility?

Website accessibility refers to making a website available to all people, including people with cognitive and physical disabilities. Think about people with hearing, sight, or memory loss. Also, consider people who do not have the motor dexterity to use a mouse.

Why Is It Important? The Financial Impact

If you are a solo entrepreneur or small business owner, you likely have been working on a website that will allow you to sell a product or service. Your website might help you introduce yourself, communicate with customers, and perhaps even make direct sales. All of these are a part of your sales funnel that directly affects the profit that your business makes.

When you offer a website that is accessible to all, you can reach more people and therefore make more sales. You will not only be reaching out to the disabled population. Your efforts will also make your site usable for the elderly, people with outdated equipment, and people with short term handicaps due to accidents and medical procedures.

In addition, experts state that accessible websites need fewer customer support services. This cuts down on costs. One further benefit is that the changes that you make to your website so that you reach a wider audience can also help you rank higher as people search for your services or product.

How To Make Your Website Accessible

What steps can you take to make your website accessible? Here are the actions that will make the most impact.

Visual Impairments

Give users a site that has a lot of contrast. If you have a blue background, for example, don’t use text or navigation buttons in a color of the same tone.

Instead, your text, navigation cues, and images should have high contrast. A white background with black lettering is a great example.

Auditory Impairments

When you provide videos embedded in your site, always offer captions at the bottom. This will also help people who need to watch your videos on mute due to circumstances like viewing while in bed while a partner sleeps.

Cognitive Functioning Limitations

Provide easy-to-use controls for any of your content that starts automatically. For example, image sliders should be easy to pause.

Physical Disabilities

Some people are not able to use a computer mouse, but they can use a keyboard. For these users, make sure that your website can be navigated with the keyboard alone, using the tab key as well as arrows.

What’s Next?

Take steps to make your business universally accessible. This sends a positive social message about you as a business owner. It can help you attract new customers and ultimately earn more profit—and there are other financial benefits as well. Take action now. Revise your website so that it is more accessible.

Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career in finance and banking, but after becoming a mom refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she's not writing, she volunteers for a number of local mental health charities and also has a menagerie of pets to look after.

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