Having a strong online presence is now more important than ever, and your website is the foundation of all your branding strategies. Even with pristine social media pages and a polished Google My Business listing, all your marketing and advertising tactics are heavily reliant on your website.
This is why it’s important that you make your site fully accessible. It’s the only way you’ll be able to reach all your target audiences and achieve overall marketing success. This simple guide will cover everything you need to know about website and branding accessibility, including actionable tips and recommendations.
What Is Website Accessibility?
Branding and website accessibility is more than having your site available on search engines. It’s about making your website usable by everyone and ensuring web users can utilize your services, learn about your business and contact you with ease.
When the internet was built, it was aimed at making digital information accessible to everyone, including those with physical impairments. This is especially important because around 1 billion people suffer from some form of disability, and this translates to 15% of the world’s population.
Making your website accessible ensures that everyone can interact with your brand, ultimately increasing your reach.
How to Improve Accessibility in Your Marketing
As a business, you need to be proactive when it comes to making your website inclusive. The good news is that the adjustments needed are often minor, but their impact is profound.
There’s one major way in which you can improve your branding and website accessibility;
Redesigning Your Website
Your website is your business’s online home and is usually the #1 conversion tool. Most marketing managers tend to focus on advertising creatives and end up forgetting that most of the traffic will be directed to the website.
If your site isn’t inclusive, redesign it to increase your marketing campaign’s overall success. The new website should accommodate people with disabilities such as color blindness, motor impairments, blurred vision, epilepsy, blindness, and muscular degeneration.
According to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), there are 4 key elements of an accessible website;
1. Perceivable: your site content should work jointly with the user interface to ensure that all web users can comprehend the presented information. This can be achieved by;
- Provide time-based media alternatives.
- Including text alternatives for all graphics.
- Creating adaptable content that’s presentable in various ways without altering the important information.
You should also make the web content distinguishable so that users can easily hear or see the site content.
2. Operable: the components of your user interface shouldn’t require so much interaction that a web user is unable to navigate your website. Some of the operability guidelines you should implement include;
- Making all elements accessible using a keyboard.
- Avoid designing content in a way that can trigger physical reactions like seizures.
- Allow enough time for users to interact with the site content.
- Provide input modalities that allow functionality beyond using a keyboard.
Make your website easy to navigate so that users can find information with ease.
3. Understandable: the user interface should be easy to operate and the web content readable. Ensure the web pages are predictable and allow for input assistance to help users avoid making mistakes as they navigate your site.
4. Robust: your website content should be easy to read by a diverse number of users. Use assistive technologies to make your site compatible with current systems, e.g., by making it mobile-friendly.
Top Benefits of Having an Accessible Website and Brand
The benefits of website accessibility aren’t limited to enabling people with impairments to interact with your website. This is the direct impact it has, but you can also enjoy advantages such as;
1. Broadening Your Market Reach
An inaccessible website locks out around 15%-20% of your prospective customers. That’s lost business! By implementing the WCAG, you open your business up to new audiences, increasing your market penetration and reach.
2. It’s a Great PR Strategy
Making your site accessible shows that your business is inclusive and paints your brand in a positive light. It makes you appealing to audiences that often feel left out, and they’re most likely to recommend you to their friends & family.
3. It Enhances Your Site’s Visibility
SEO is more than using a few keywords in your content. Search engine bots also consider the usability of your site before ranking it. While the exact details of how ranking is done are unclear, your rankings will take a nosedive if your bounce rate is high. By making your site accessible, you encourage people to spend more time on it. Search engine bots then translate this as an indicator that your site has relevant content and are likely to rank you higher.
4. It Promotes Business Growth
Web accessibility will increase your conversion rate, which will translate into more business growth. People with impairment are also often part of organizations that could highlight your website as being inclusive. This kind of free marketing will drive more people to your business.
Effective Recommendations on Creating Accessible Branding Materials
Work with your website and graphic designer to increase website accessibility by;
- Including site readers and auditory cues for the hearing impaired.
- Adding alt text on images and videos for blind people.
- Contracting the background color and text color to accommodate colorblind users.
- Using a 44×44 pt allowance for touch control because it works well with assistive devices.
- Use text blocks to prioritize text clarity.
You should also use readable fonts, include transcripts in all audios & videos, and make your website responsive to users on mobile devices.
Fulfill Your Website Accessibility Needs
Website accessibility is the future of branding and marketing strategies. It highlights your brand values, makes your business usable by diverse audiences, and ensures that those who visit your website can complete the desired action, e.g., make a purchase or book an appointment.
If people with impairments can’t interact with your site, you’re limiting your business’s market reach and hurting your SEO efforts. Follow the WCAG guidelines and prioritizing these elements during logo design, website redesign, and branding to enjoy marketing success.