Web accessibility is a civil right and it helps create an enjoyable digital customer experience — but is it worth it? You may have heard the benefits extend beyond customers service, causing many companies to prioritize accessibility. Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon, Yahoo, and Twitter all share a commitment to website accessibility. They’ve joined the growing number of companies reaping the benefits of the expanded audience reach, improved SEO, increased legal protections, and more that accessibility provides. But, still, is website accessibility actually worth all the time and effort?
Part one of this series highlights four main considerations to help answer that question.
Brand and company culture
Google’s accessibility initiatives are widely touted and have created a positive brand image for the company. A positive image builds brand advocates — loyal customers who recommend your brand above all others to their inner circle.
Companies that commit to accessibility can create a sense of loyalty both inside and out. Accessible websites present opportunities to share what your company has to offer to all people and prevent you from missing out on talent. They demonstrate a commitment to diversity, inclusion, integrity, and corporate social responsibility that encourages everyone have a stake in company culture.
Accessibility advocates are fighting harder than ever for their right to electronic information. 2019 continued the trend in surging digital accessibility litigation. Companies with ADA compliant websites can prevent lawsuits and the potential loss of millions of dollars.
Audience reach and SEO
The market of people with disabilities consists of over 1 billion people worldwide, a spending power of more than $6 trillion. The annual discretionary spending for people in the US who have disabilities is over $200 billion. Every accessible website is an opportunity to expand your audience reach and your revenue.
When customers can navigate your website, they’re more likely stick around. They’re also more likely to find you. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) often overlap search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. Since Google and other search engines are largely text-based, they’re able to find and index closed caption and transcript text, for example, increasing the chance that users will discover your site. Web accessibility makes an interface easier to navigate and improves the bounce rate.
The bottom line
Brands are losing billions when they ignore accessibility. A 2016 survey by the United Kingdom’s Click-Away Pound found that millions left a retail website due to accessibility challenges, an estimated loss of £11.75 billion ($15.38 billion USD), a number that grew in 2019 to £17.1 billion ($22.13 USD). When larger segments can learn about your product, contribute to your website content, and access your services, it literally pays to ensure your website is accessible.
HERE TO HELP BRING YOUR DIGITAL PRESENCE INTO ACCESSIBILITY COMPLIANCE
Talk to us to learn all the ways we can help customize an accessibility strategy to meet your unique business needs. Or, get started with a free and confidential website accessibility scan. We look forward to being your accessibility partner.