Top 5 Benefits of Website Accessibility
December 12, 2019 - Boston, MA
Accessibility isn't just about avoiding lawsuits. It's smart business.
The importance of website accessibility is growing. Smart business owners are getting ahead of it and reaping the benefits of accessible web design.
1. Avoid Legal Issues
Many articles about website accessibility center around legality and the ADA, citing a rise in the number of lawsuits and large settlements or fees. This can be unnerving, but the reality is the likelihood of a lawsuit against a small business is very low. Most lawsuits come from high profile NY law firms targeting large corporations in pursuit of big settlements. However, courts have made it clear that websites are subject to ADA regulations, and civil action could be taken if a website does not provide proper accessibility, typically defined by WCAG guidelines. You can reduce exposure to legal consequences by making your website more accessible in accordance with those guidelines.
2. Gain More Customers
Fact is, a larger portion of your customer base than you think includes people with 'disabilities'. We're not just talking about blindness. Visual impairment alone is a wide spectrum, with acuity diminishing in our 40's, colorblindness affecting 10% of men, and everyone these days subject to digital eye strain. In addition, there are countless cognitive and physical conditions - including temporary and age-related - that make it harder for a person to use a website that isn't built for accessibility. By providing a better user experience for all, you'll increase customer loyalty, engagement, and patronage of your business.
3. Best Your Competition
Accessibility is still not widely adopted in web design, with nearly all websites failing even basic accessibility tests. When you emphasize accessibility, you can proudly broadcast it, letting people know you're a business that goes the extra mile and cares about its customers. This doesn't just impress people with disabilities. Almost everyone applauds the idea of making things accessible, and enjoys doing business with companies with strong values.
4. Improve Your SEO
Think about this for a minute - Google is blind. When Google crawls the web and ranks websites, it's not being done by a human being, it's being done by Googlebot - a digital reader that analyzes the code and provides a picture of what's on the page - just like a screen reader assisting people with disabilities. So when a website is built for accessibility, it's also Google-friendly. Accessible websites must be well-structured, user-friendly, and built to modern standards. These are all factors in Google's ranking algorithm that directly affect SEO.
5. Help People
You're in the business of helping people. It's the foundation of all business. People part with their money because you make their lives better, or you help them accomplish something. Making your business more accessible simply extends this service. Helping others, especially those often overlooked, elevates you both professionally and personally. It's not just about lawsuits and compliance, it's about service and excellence. And if that doesn't make your business better, what does?