While the online world may seem to be a vast, limitless environment of information and retail therapy, the truth is quite a bit different regarding the number of sites we actually see – and then visit. Recent statistics indicate that 91.5% of search queries will NEVER go beyond the third page of a Google search. With numbers like these, it’s easy to see why it’s imperative that you do everything possible to ensure that your business is exposing your website to as many searchers as possible, and that you rank as high as possible on the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). In 2020, one of the best ways to do that is to make your website ADA-compliant.
Improve SEO Efforts
Gone are the days of robotic search engines that only look for keyword indexing. While employing keyword strategy is still an important aspect of website accessibility, most search engine pages – especially Google’s – are evolving and adopting a crawl strategy that reflects the human intention behind the search. One of the key mandates of WCAG is to make your site accessible to screen readers (which are used by many people with disabilities). Screen readers “crawl” a website page the same way search engines now do.
With this in mind, it’s clear to see that if your website meets WCAG standards, its appeal to these search engines and screen readers provides the potential to drastically improve your SEO efforts. Along with this, utilizing meta tagging, video transcripts, and alt-tags – all WCAG recommendations – has been shown to contribute a significant boost to SEO, as SERPs consistently favor websites that use this approach.
Increase Your Target Audience
Let’s say a person with a vision impairment is trying to access your site using a screen reader. If you’re not using alt tags on the images of your products or services, then the screen reader will not be able to read your information. Or, if you have a great video on your site that demonstrates how well your products beat out a close competitor’s, but the video doesn’t include captioning, then deaf people doing research on products (like yours) will be unable to understand how superior your company’s offering really is.
There are more than 50 million people with disabilities in the United States alone. If your website isn’t ADA compliant, you are potentially alienating 19% of the country’s population from becoming customers or clients because they are unable to fully access your website. It’s a pretty simple equation; these are potential customers and clients that may be interested in what your organization and website have to offer, but because they can’t properly access your site, they will move on to one of your competitors that does. Why not make sure they stay on your site? If you’re not sure where to start, working with an experienced ADA compliance team like WCASG can help. Together, we can chart a plan to bring your site to full compliance, opening your business up to millions of new customers who are likely spread the word that your website is fully accessible.
Enhance Your Brand’s Reputation
Companies that have made their websites ADA compliant have received a lot of positive PR and have been able to utilize that PR to expand their audience and customer base to demographic areas they had been unable to break into prior to their site upgrade.
Making your website ADA compliant can benefit both your bottom line and your brand’s standing in a variety of ways. By showing that you’re actively upgrading your site to be ADA compliant, you publicly demonstrate that you and your company care about being inclusive and are committed to ensuring that your products and services are available to all people. Additionally, blogs and service review pages like Yelp! are including ADA compliance categories in their rating systems for online businesses, so the steps you take now to bring your site into compliance will improve your brand reputation in the future.
WCASG can help you do just that. Whether you’re looking to start right away and address immediate issues on your site with our exclusive WCASG App or plan to do a top-to-bottom ADA upgrade of your site using our highly-experienced development team to assist, we can help you bring your site up to code – and ready for more business.
Invest in Website Usability
The old maxim that you only have seconds to make a first impression has never been truer than on the web. Website searchers typically spend less than 5 seconds on a site that doesn’t provide them with the information they’re looking for or isn’t easy to navigate.
The upgrades involved in bringing a website up to ADA compliance code don’t just benefit disabled patrons. Investing in making your site more “user friendly” by including alt tags (which help in improving SEO results), superior navigation, and drop down menus that are easier to understand benefits everyone using your site. Once you make these changes, your Analytics team will be happy to see your conversion rates rise and your bounce rates drop.
Avoid Lawsuits and Penalties
As we’ve discussed before, ADA compliance isn’t an option anymore; it’s the law. Any online content created or added after January 18, 2018, must be at least upgraded to pass WACG A-level compliance, with a goal and plan in place to become AA-level compliant. Many prestigious, international brands such as Nike, Foot Locker, Harvard University, and even Kylie Jenner, have been recently hit with ADA compliance lawsuits – and all of them have lost.
To avoid a costly and image-damaging lawsuit, it’s best to start developing your ADA Compliance Plan now. WCASG has helped many companies chart a course for bringing their website into full ADA compliance. We’d be pleased to work with you, too. Give us a call, or send us an email today!
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