Building an Inclusive Internet Through ADA Website Compliance
Inclusiveness is an integral factor for every business. Our society has come a long way to fight discrimination and create a world with equal opportunity for all. The same is true when it comes to website accessibility.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. This allows them to have equal opportunities in all areas of public life like schools, jobs, transportation, access to public & private places, and telecommunications.
Websites are considered a place of public accommodation by the US Department of Justice. Hence, all websites must now be ADA compliant or risk being penalized by the law.
The Importance of ADA Website Compliance
The risk of a lawsuit should not be the only reason for building ADA-compliant websites. Having an accessible website opens the doors for potential new customers and creates an image of a caring and inclusive company.
ADA website compliance produces the following benefits:
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Better conversion rates
- Increase number of target customers
- Better website usability
- Improved company reputation
- Higher SEO score
Showing That You Care
Imagine the frustration of landing on a website and discovering that what you’re looking for is hard to find. For many people with disabilities, this is a regular occurrence. Often, they land on a page with text that is too small or images that are meaningless because the alt tags were just an afterthought. Assistive devices like screen readers do not help much if the website is not configured properly.
By creating ADA-compliant websites, you show people with disabilities that you care about them and are sensitive to their needs. You create a culture of inclusivity for your customers and your company. You contribute to a progressive society that values equality.
Optimizing Your SEO Scores Effortlessly
When you achieve ADA website compliance, you meet major SEO guidelines which reward your website with a higher SEO score, translating to higher search ranking and better website visibility.
There are a lot of different ranking signals which makes it difficult to optimize for SEO factors. But by developing a website accessible to all, you will almost effortlessly create an optimized site.
When you make your website ADA-compliant, you create:
- Text that’s properly formatted and easy to read
- Headings that describe exactly the content that follows
- Images that are properly labeled with alt tags
- Videos with transcriptions, narrations, and captions
- Responsive layout that adapts to any device
When your website is accessible, users tend to stay longer and consume more of your content. This sends a strong signal to search engines that your website is highly relevant, thus increasing its search ranking.
Taking the Next Step
There’s no debate that you need an ADA-compliant website. The increase in lawsuits filed against websites that failed to comply is a stark warning to those who keep ignoring this mandate.
Whatever path you choose, remember that compliance is not an option. It is a requisite to stay relevant and serve your customers the best way you can.