Why Website Accessibility is So Important & How to Make Your Site More User-Friendly

Hundreds of perfect clients are searching for your business right now. But they won’t be able to find it if your website blends in with your competitors’ or is frustrating to use. Think of your brand’s website as a virtual storefront: it needs to capture the attention (and actually be helpful) to your target audience. Whether you think your website is user-friendly or not, it’s time to focus on website accessibility to ensure you’re reaching all the clients you can be.

Why Should You Care About Website Accessibility?

No matter your current web traffic, improving website accessibility will expand your client pool and boost your audience’s experience with your brand. (Who doesn’t want that, am I right?) Clients are more likely to choose your business over and over again if your website is easy to find and simple to navigate. 

Related: How To Create A High Converting Landing Page That Works Every Time

But there’s more! Improving your website accessibility raises your ranking on Google, too. The more people using your website, the easier it is to find it. So, even clients who aren’t exactly sure what services or products they need (or who to contact) can find your business after a simple Internet search.

How Can You Track Website Accessibility for Your Business?

Never gamble the growth of your business on a hunch—instead, gather hard evidence to inform your most important decisions. Data will tell you with certainty if your website accessibility is optimal or not. 

Check the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) Accessibility Principles to understand what makes a website easy to find and desirable to use. The WC3 mentions three key components that require your attention: your web content, types of user agents (different access browsers), and authoring strategies or platforms.

You should also look into WAVE, a free Website Accessibility Evaluation Tool that pays special attention to web users with disabilities. Just enter your business website address into their accessibility tool to understand how folks with visual, hearing, or cognitive impairments experience your website. 

And of course, it’s absolutely essential that you pay attention to your own online business metrics.

4 Simple Ways to Improve Your Website Accessibility 

Ready to revamp your business website? Your visitors will thank you—and your business is sure to grow.

Here are a handful of helpful tips to improve your website accessibility:

Make it Easy on the Eyes

It’s common to get creatively “carried away” in the early stages of your business website design. However, there’s a fine line between attractive, tasteful branding, and an all-out mess. You don’t want your visitors to run away in search of their sunglasses when they arrive on your landing page. 

Choose high-contrast colors and plain fonts that are easy to read. A lighter background with dark lettering is common and works best for a professional website. 

Include your branding with a compelling (but simple) logo, jazzy headers and subheaders, or colorful navigation bar. When in doubt, ask your friends if the colors and fonts you’ve chosen are in fact user-friendly.

Related: How to Improve Website User Experience & Keep People on Your Site for Longer

Utilize the “Alt Text” Feature on Your Images

The “Alt Text” feature enables you to add a blurb of information to all the images within your website, increasing your odds of being found via Google search. 

Effective Alt Text should be:

  • Detailed but succinct
  • Descriptive
  • Utilizing some keywords (but not too many)
  • Related to the rest of the page
  • Specific (use proper nouns whenever possible)
  • Shorter than 125 characters

A good example of an Alt Text description for a visual on your website, used to illustrate your effectiveness as a social media manager, might say: Line graph that shows 50% growth in followers with the help of social media manager. 

Browsers who stumble across the image during a Google search may be intrigued by your services and click to your page faster than if they had to find you in a sea of written results. 

Check That Your Website is Mobile-Friendly

Make it part of your regular routine to visit your business website on different devices. Mobile phones are especially important to the success of online businesses, as many consumers and clients of every variety browse their phones throughout the day.

Most of your website design process probably took place on a desktop, so you need to make sure the same bells and whistles translate to other screens. Failure to do so means inferior website accessibility and fewer clients for you.

Related: 10 Reasons Why Your Website Bounce Rates Are High

Don’t Skip Over Video Captions

Video captions are a great way to ensure your product or service messaging is coming across in the videos you share on your website. 

Think about how you experience videos from other websites on your phone. Have you noticed the sound is usually muted when you scroll past a video? This is an automatic setting across many platforms. Plus, most phone-users don’t want random sounds pouring from their devices. (How else could we cyberloaf guilt-free in the middle of the day?)

Most of your target business clients aren’t giving cinema-level attention to your videos, regardless of what you hoped for when you uploaded them. When you caption videos on your business website, you enable your visitors to understand your purpose without forcing them to raise the volume. You increase your odds of being seen and understood by potential clients.

If you haven’t checked your website accessibility, your business can’t reach its fullest potential. Take the time to experience your business website with fresh eyes to understand what needs improvement.