Web accessibility is important for small businesses because it allows everyone, including people with disabilities, to access and use their website. By making your website accessible, you are ensuring that your customers can reach you and that your site is inclusive.
There are many ways to make a website accessible, but some common methods include adding alt text to images, using clear and concise language, and providing transcripts of audio or video content. These are just a few of the many ways that you can make your site more accessible for everyone.
Making your website accessible is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes good business sense. By ensuring that everyone can use your site, you’re opening up your customer base and making it easier for people to do business with you.
What is web accessibility?
Like the name suggests, web accessibility is the act of making a website accessible to to more people – including those with various forms of mental and physical disabilities. Some of the most common practices for making a website accessible is adding alt tags to images, using short and concise language, and using a color scheme with strong contrast ratio. There are however a lot more technical things to consider as well like page load time, tab index, and harmonic content layout.
The benefits of web accessibility
A common misbelief around web accessibility is that it’s only important for people with disabilities, this is not true and these are some of the reasons why:
- Slow internet speeds and mobile devices. – People living in areas with poor cell service will have slower download speeds which means it’ll take longer for them to fully load a website. This might make it difficult for them to use your website as they would have to wait several seconds for your site to load.
- It improves your search engine rankings. – Search engines like Google factor in hundreds of values when ranking your website, and one of these factors is your accessibility score.
- More user-friendly. – Because accessibility isn’t just important to people with disabilities it will also improve your website’s overall user experience. In fact, I’d argue accessibility is simply a standard part of a good UX.
Why your business need an accessible website
As we’ve established throughout this article accessibility isn’t just a gimmick or a bonus feature – it’s a necessity for any business’ website. By making your website accessible, you can reach a wider audience and create a better user experience for everyone. To summarise, here are three reasons why your business needs an accessible website:
- Accessible websites are good for business. – If you want to stay competitive, it’s important to make sure that your website is accessible to as many people as possible. Not only will most likely improve your conversions, an accessible website will also give you a larger potential customer base and make it easier for people to find and use your products or services.
- You’ll avoid legal trouble – Businesses operating in the public sector often have very strict accessibility guidelines they have to follow. And there are recorded events of large public-sector organisations being fined millions for not adhering to these guidelines.
So there are direct monetary incentives for your business to have an accessible web experience.
The future of web accessibility
In recent years, web accessibility has become an important topic in the design world. More and more people are realising the importance of making sure that websites can be accessed by everyone, regardless of their ability or disability.
As we move forward web accessibility will only continue to become an increasingly important factor to consider when designing and developing your business’ website. The question of if your website will be accessible might soon not even have to be asked – it’ll just be the default.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to web accessibility, but there are a number of resources available to help you make your website as accessible as possible. Some of these are:
- The A11yProject – https://www.a11yproject.com/
- Web accessibility initiative – https://www.w3.org/
- Webflow accessibility checklist – https://webflow.com/accessibility/checklist