Reasons why your website should be ADA compliant6 min read
As soon as your site goes live, anyone in the world can see it, right? Well, not exactly. You see, one in five people in the US have a disability. And if your site isn’t compatible with screen readers, your videos don’t have captions, and if it doesn’t offer extended screen-time out options, you’re cutting your market down. On top of those, there are many more reasons why your website should be ADA compliant. But before we dive into them, let’s see what ADA is in the first place.
The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA for short, was signed in 1990. It’s there to ensure that people with disabilities get equal opportunities as everyone else. It has been present in the physical world for quite some time, so you’re probably aware of it.
However, it’s quickly becoming one of the vital things to keep in mind when designing your website. If you don’t involve it in your process, not only will you be losing customers, but you might get a lawsuit. And if after all of this you still aren’t sure if this is worth looking into, here are some advantages of doing so. We’re hoping that these will convince you.
You’ll increase your target audience
You already know that if you test and improve your website’s usability, people will visit it a lot more. So, you’ll get more traffic and therefore more customers. But if your site isn’t ADA compliant, you’re missing out on millions of potential customers who can’t access it due to their disabilities.
Among 50 million of them who have such problems, some will be interested in what you have to offer, for sure. But if they arrive at your website and can’t navigate through it, they’ll quickly leave. They’ll find a competitor’s site that they can use, and they’ll buy from them. And that’s a scenario you want to avoid.
Let’s say, for example, that you have a video that shows all the benefits of your product. It’s a great way to inform your potential customers why they should choose you. However, if it doesn’t have captions, people who are deaf can’t get anything from it. And the same goes for alternate text under the images. You want to have it so a screen reading tool can describe the picture to a blind person. This way, no one has to miss out.
ADA compliance will improve your SEO
Search engine algorithms are smarter than ever before. They crawl websites with a human intention, and they do it very well. Now, we have dealt with SEO predictions for quite a bit. And since we know the direction in which SEO is going, we know for a fact that Web Content Accessibility Guidelines are vital for it.
The reason for this is simple. SEO crawlers work in a similar way to screen readers. So, if your site is well optimized for accessibility, search engines will like it as well. The more time you spend on meta tags, alternative image text, and video transcripts, the better your score will be. And with a higher score comes a higher rank. It’s as easy as that.
It can help your reputation
Increasing your target audience by millions is one of the reasons why your website should be ADA compliant. So, yes, you’ll get more customers. But on top of that, these people will know how valuable they are to your business. After all, they might have been searching the web for days before they found your website. And if they couldn’t use any of the other sites, they’ll be glad they’ve got to yours.
Naturally, they’ll want to share their experiences with their friends and family. Hence, even more people will find out that you made sure your site was ADA compliant. The fact that you put in extra work to make it available for everyone will set you apart from your competitors.
So, making your site ADA compliant can get you some positive press. People are happy to work with someone who cares about others. And this way, they can be sure that you do.
You’ll get better website usability
No one likes to use a website that has a poor user experience design. But ADA compliance will help you avoid all the mistakes that you might have made otherwise. Your site will be more operable and navigable, and you’ll see lots of benefits from that. And not only you. All your users will notice the upsides, and you’ll be meeting WCAC guidelines, which is the ultimate goal.
If you make your pages easier to understand, anyone who visits your website, disabled or not, will be able to find what they’re looking for. Thanks to this, you’ll convert more leads across the board. Users will trust you more, and you’ll get a reward for that.
You can avoid penalties
The original text of ADA didn’t mention websites. However, that’s because they weren’t so widely used back then. But these days, when pretty much every business has a website, they need to make them accessible for everyone.
A couple of years ago, a ruling was issued declaring the official standard of website accessibility. So, all updated pages on any website must be at least grade A compliant. In case you’re wondering, grade AAA is marked as the highest.
Not a big deal, you might think. But many esteemed brands that have been hit with big lawsuits wouldn’t agree with you. Foot Locker, Brooks Brothers, and even Kylie Jenner got sued for the lack of ADA-compliant websites. So, our advice is to find cost-effective help for your business’s web-based projects and start fixing things around your website. It’s in your best interest.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why your website should be ADA compliant. More people will visit it, you’ll get more customers, and your position on the SERPs will go up. But if you really give it your best shot, you can get even more. Sometimes, respect and gratitude can be the most valuable things in the world.