Implementing accessibility best practices on your website allows people with disabilities to consume your content and engage with you to the fullest extent. Many businesses are also realizing the many additional benefits of web accessibility.
Digital marketers, for example, are discovering that accessibility improves SEO (search engine optimization). There's a related aspect that hasn't received much attention: accessibility improves bounce rates.
What is a bounce rate?
The bounce rate of is the percentage of people who land on one page of your website and leave without visiting another.
It isn't a perfect metric and it isn't always accurate, but it can be an important measure of how engaged website visitors feel with your site, whether they think they're in the right place, whether they think you have what they want, and whether they'll convert as a contact or customer. Web visitors make their initial determination within seconds. So, especially when considered as part of the big picture of important site metrics, bounce rate matters.
Bounces are not a good thing, so like a golf score or a pitcher's earned run average, a lower number is better.
How does accessibility reduce bounce rates?
Roughly 25% of U.S. adults have a disability that impacts a major part of their life, and for many, it impacts how they use websites. An accessible website is one that is usable by people with disabilities and any assistive technology they might use, like screen readers.
When a person lands on a web page, the general state of its accessibility is usually judged pretty quickly.
- Is the page titled?
- Are there headings in the code to help organize the content?
- Do images have alt text?
- Is the site keyboard accessible?
- Do the colors have enough contrast?
Almost immediately, people are going to begin to find out the answers to these and other questions. If the answer to any of them is "no," people are going to leave, not click through to another page.
The more people that can't or feel like they can't use your website or use it with confidence (or don't want to waste their time finding out) and thus immediately leave to visit a more accessible competitor, the higher your bounce rate will be.
Conversely, making your design clear and understandable, both visually and cleanly in the code, makes people more likely to stick around. Welcoming visitors with a user-friendly design, easy-to-read fonts, and well-organized and well-coded content lets them know you value their business and you value them.
Here to help with all your accessibility needs
When you're ready to improve usability through accessibility, talk to us. Or, get started with a free and confidential website accessibility scan. We look forward to helping you achieve, maintain, and prove digital compliance.