Website Accessibility: What You Need To Know
The internet is the primary source of information for people all across the globe. While the average user may take the visual content of a website for granted, for people with disabilities, barriers can make much of the content on the internet inaccessible. In an effort to make the world wide web more accessible for everyone, regardless of ability, businesses must ensure their websites are up-to-date with the latest website accessibility best practices.
What is Website Accessibility?
Website accessibility refers to the design and development best-practices that all users need to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with a website. The most widely accepted standards for website accessibility are the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. These standards provide guidelines for developing websites that accommodate users who rely on assistive devices, adding a layer of usability and improving the experience for all users.
Why Should You Consider Website Accessibility?
In the interest of making the Internet a better, more accessible place for all users, regardless of impairment, website accessibility should be a high priority for many reasons, including:
- Ease Legal Risks — Nearly 20 lawsuits regarding website accessibility were brought to federal courtrooms in the U.S. during 2018 alone. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) doesn’t specify websites as a place of business; however, an increasing number of lawsuits have been filed against companies that don’t have accessible websites. We suggest taking action to prevent litigation by addressing accessibility issues on your website, maintaining an accessibility statement, and providing options for users to contact you when they encounter issues on your website.
- Improve Website Performance — Making accessibility updates on your website can have a positive impact on overall performance, including usability and search engine optimization (SEO). Adding alternative text (aka “alt text”) to your photos, for example, helps individuals with visual impairments understand the images on your website. This also ensures search engines recognize the purpose of your content, helping your overall SEO performance.
- Reach a Wider Audience — By ignoring website accessibility best practices, you may be missing out on the nearly 20% of users who have a disability. Adhering to website accessibility best practices and providing easy access to information about your property ensures all visitors have a good user experience.
- Stand Out From Your Competition — If a potential renter can’t understand the content on your website, they will likely move on to another property in the area. Ensuring your website meets these guidelines helps your property stand out from local competitors who have yet to invest in website accessibility.
- Show Your Customers You Care — Take the steps to make your website more accessible and show your customers you care. You’ll reach a wider audience with a website that communicates your focus on providing a positive experience to your customers.
Ensure Your Website Meets Accessibility Standards
Website accessibility isn’t just about avoiding potential legal issues, though lawsuits are on the rise. Providing a positive user experience for all customers is good for business and good for increasing the accessibility of the Internet at large. G5 provides guidance to help you understand how various elements on your website may impact accessibility. Even minor updates to images and text can impact website accessibility.
Schedule a strategy session with G5 to learn more about website accessibility.