Broaden Your Website’s Reach with Accessible Content

Broaden Your Website’s Reach with Accessible Content

If you could take some simple steps to increase the likelihood of a million new users visiting your website, would you do it? What about 55 million? That’s the estimated number of disabled persons in the United States alone. Worldwide, the estimate is 650 million. By making your website accessible to all, you broaden its reach, increase traffic and expand potential sales.

The number of persons affected by accessibility issues grows daily, and many disabled consumers are Internet users. A significant faction is the so-called Baby Boomer generation, the fastest growing demographic globally. It is estimated that by the year 2020 there will be over one billion senior citizens worldwide. They may experience limitations as part of the aging process, including hearing loss, reduction of fine motor control and reduced visual ability. Such limitations are less of an impediment to website users when sites are made accessible.

Making it easier for users with disabilities to interact with your site content does not necessitate a costly website redesign; there are measures that you, as a content provider, can take to make their experience a positive one.

Here are a few for you to consider:

  • Use alternative text for non-text images. Provide alt text descriptions of pictures, graphs, maps and other images so that all users, including those using text-only browsers and blind users who rely on screen readers, will know what the image illustrates.
  • Provide a text equivalent to color when used as an indicator for critical activities. Users with limited vision or those who are color blind will be unable to proceed if you tell them to Click on the green button. When considering colors, use this website filter tool to see how your pages will look to a color-deficient user.
  • Furnish users with closed captions of your video content. Users with hearing impairments may find your videos meaningless without captions. If it’s impractical to add closed captions, consider publishing a transcript of your videos.
  • Consider how you word instructions. Phrase your instructions so that users with limited vision can take action without relying on the relative position of the content. Telling a blind user to Click on the link below is not useful; specify the name: Click on the Subscribe button.
  • Think about link size. Users with limited fine motor coordination can become frustrated with small links and can find the links difficult to click. Use an easy-to-read text size, separated from other content on the page, to make navigation simple for these users.
  • Make image verification friendly. If you use a CATPCHA challenge or similar image verification, keep in mind screen readers cannot read these images. Include an audio version of the challenge image, or use a simple question that a human would understand but a computer would not.

Implementation of these steps has the added advantage of making your content easier to find and index by search engines. Thinking about how disabled users will experience your site and taking measures to make it accessible can not only benefit your business, it can benefit everyone.


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