Accessibility Is the Missing Link in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Apr 16, 2020 | Anthony Frasca Accessibility Is the Missing Link in Your Digital Marketing Strategy

What do you think of when you read the terms “web accessibility and ADA compliance”?

(It’s okay, you can be honest.)

For many of us, anything to do with compliance evokes images of checkboxes, regulatory boilerplate, and endless forms to fill out.

While it may seem like a lot of hard work, what if we told you that accessibility and ADA compliance is about more than just ticking boxes?

In fact, done right, making your website accessible and compliant could expand your reach and increase your visibility. And, most important, it will be sure that your site provides access and usability to all users of the internet..

Ready to learn how accessibility can become a powerful weapon in your digital marketing arsenal? Here’s everything you need to know.

Why accessibility really matters

It’s easy to assume that web accessibility is something you’ll simply take care of later. After all, if it’s not a legal requirement, why does it matter so much?

Well, in some cases, it can matter a lot.

Here’s a recent example: in late 2019, Domino’s Pizza was hit by a lawsuit which was all about accessibility. Or, to be more specific, the lack thereof.

Essentially, a man with blindness – Guillermo Robles – sued the pizza outlet for non-compliance to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

Domino’s had failed to include “alt tags” on their images, which are used by specialized apps to ‘read’ the pictures on the site. Without these accessibility features, Guillermo couldn’t order his pizza – leaving Domino’s on the hook for a pricey settlement.

Reframing accessibility in a digital-first world

As the Domino’s lawsuit proves, there are some solid legal reasons to make your website accessible to everyone – but there are other benefits, too.

So far, we’ve looked at accessibility and ADA-compliance as something you should do in order to avoid problems – but could it be a marketing tool, too?

We think so – and here’s why:

More than 15% of the US population is now over the age of 60. This demographic is far more likely to require accessibility features, so if you don’t provide them, you’re losing a big slice of potential customers.

Between 5% and 10% of the population is colorblind. If you run a business which relies on visual selling, you can miss big opportunities by not accounting for those who see color differently.

There are more internet-enabled devices than ever. It’s now possible to shop online using everything from your smartphone to your fridge (probably) – so having a responsive website which adapts to screen size is vital.

Subtitles are useful for everyone. Whether a potential customer is hard of hearing or simply doesn’t want their volume turned up, allowing them to view your content with subtitles makes perfect business sense.

3 “Why aren’t we doing this already?” reasons to act on your website’s accessibility

It should be clear at this point that web accessibility and ADA compliance is far more than simply a good thing to do. Opening up your website to as many people as possible will expand your potential audience, reach new customer segments and supercharge your digital marketing.

Still not convinced?

Beyond the sheer increase in potential customers, here are 3 compelling reasons you should consider getting your website compliant – and fast:

  1. It speaks to your company’s moral compass. Corporate social responsibility, or CSR, is more important than ever before. When social media posts and user reviews are just a few clicks or taps away, web accessibility is something you can’t afford not to do. In even more simple terms: you wouldn’t open a physical storefront that wasn’t accessible to all. Your website should be no different.
  2. You’ll save yourself from potential legal hot water. As we saw with the example from Domino’s Pizza, even if you’re not required to be compliant with your website, there are still exceptions – and the consequences can be severe. If only to make sure you’ve legally covered your back, working on your accessibility is worth the time.
  3. You’ll give your digital marketing a jumpstart. Every business in the country has, at some point, spent some time thinking about what Google wants. But SEO isn’t magic – it’s science. And it looks as though ADA-compliance is now officially a ranking signal for Google’s search engine. What does this mean in real terms? It’s simple: websites which are accessible and ADA-compliant will appear higher in the search results.

Ready to level-up your website and boost your marketing strategy?

Here at Harvey, we know that website accessibility and ADA compliance probably aren’t at the top of your to-do list. But, as we’ve discovered, there are plenty of reasons why it’s something you should invest in.

Beyond simply being a good corporate citizen and opening the doors to everyone, it should be clear that making these changes to your website can give your digital marketing a big boost, too.

Don’t know where to start? We’re here to help.

Drop us a line today and our expert team will explain how website accessibility can fit seamlessly – and effortlessly – into your digital marketing strategy.


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