When it comes to making your website into the ultimate user experience, there are many factors that you want to consider. One of the top priorities from the beginning should be maximizing your website accessibility.
Just like in the physical world, where accommodations need to be made for people with disabilities or impairments, the same applies to the online world. When your website is accessible, it means that all the components of your website—from the shopping experience to the technologies incorporated—cater to all. This includes those who need extra support regarding auditory, cognitive, neurological, speech, and visual impairments.
The craziest part regarding website accessibility is that not even two percent of current websites are accessible by the official guidelines. Now is the perfect time to care about website accessibility and ensure that anyone who uses your website gets a great experience.
But how can you ensure that your Shopify search results are accessible? What are the actual standards? Are there any tricks to remember when building out your website?
All these questions and more are something that we are going to answer.
Understanding the Standards
You need to keep a few things in mind when it comes to ensuring that your website meets the current website accessibility standards.
First, you want to make sure that your website is perceivable. This means that in addition to your text, there should equally be text alternatives and captions that support those with disabilities.
Second, you want to make sure your website is operable. This means that your website is constructed in a way that is easy to navigate, added keyboard functionality, and the ability to find your content is straightforward.
Third, you want to make sure your website is understandable. Everything on your website is very clear—from font size and selection to the ease of changing or editing errors.
Finally, you want to make sure your website is robust. This means that you have tested your website and ensured it is compatible with the range of technologies required for those with disabilities.
Why You Should Care and Try to be Accessible
For those wondering why all the extra effort should be put into making your website accessible, it is as simple: the more people have a good experience, the more customers you will end up having.
Not only do accessible websites help with growth, but it can also help keep you protected from any legal issues that may arise. It is a great way to safeguard yourself on numerous levels.
It is also important to remember that recent laws have made accessibility an actual legal requirement. For example, Netflix now has to add descriptions to visuals after the National Association of the Deaf formed a lawsuit. The other list of companies who have found themselves in similar situations can go on and on.
How it Benefits Your Business
So let’s discuss the positive stuff. When your website is accessible, you will benefit your business in so many ways. First, you will automatically expand the growth of your potential audience. If your website is easier to experience for most people, then the chances are they will be on your website for longer!
Not only does it grow your audience though, but it will also equally automatically improve your SEO performance. The search engine algorithms are set up in a way that rewards companies who have made their website more accessible. This means that you will show up higher in the results and equally thrive when it comes to audience growth.
To perform well regarding your SEO performance and accessibility, you can do simple additions like creating meta descriptions and page titles, using alternative text with your imagery, and following the color rules that enhance readability. You should also check that a machine can read all your content.
More People Need Website Accessibility Than You May Realize
Did you know that over sixty million adults in the United States suffer from a disability? This means that there is nearly thirty percent of the population desperately needs websites to enhance their accessibility. If you make your website cater to them, imagine how your brand reputation will improve. Let alone the audience pool you can tap into that your competitors are not.
Embracing website accessibility is something all companies should be striving to do. It just requires a little extra time and effort—with a big result for the outcome! You will thrive, your customers will thrive, and the online world will become more accessible.