Your website is a key point of entry to your business. A successful business website is accessible to as large a number of people as possible, which is why accessibility should be one of your top priorities for your website.
Is your business website as accessible as it can be? While you might have covered some of the basics, it’s important to make sure that you cover all basis and provide the most inclusive experience possible, for all users.
Take a look at some of the following considerations for making your website as accessible as possible to hit the right note with your visitors.
Consider the varying accessibility needs that exist
Unfortunately, your website isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ destination. Accessibility has many different requirements, with different needs for different people. Some of the main areas of accessibility to consider are:
- Motor skills (that could affect moving a mouse, etc)
- Photosensitivity (conditions such as epilepsy)
- Cognitive abilities
There are different ways to manage your website’s accessibility. While most of it will come from awareness and being active on your part, you can also get help through the right CMS (content management system). Information on the best CMS for accessibility is scarce, but Media Access Australia has a great guide to the accessibility of different CMS. By making your website as accessible as possible, you can appeal to the largest audience possible.
Improve your navigation
The layout and navigation of your website can have a significant impact on someone’s readability. If they can’t use your website because it’s difficult to read or because the navigation is poor, you risk losing their interest immediately. A strong layout and navigation doesn’t just benefit those with accessibility needs, but all visitors to your website.
A quick look at some web accessibility tips for designers can help you understand some of the principles that help to create accessible web pages.
Alt-text is the practice of adding descriptions to images. This is good practice from an accessibility point of view, allowing people with visual impairments to be able to hear a description of the image. Alt-text can also boost your SEO, helping you to boost your search engine ranking and improve your website’s visibility. Many people rely on alt-text, and it should be an important part of your web content planning.
Use subtitles and captions on your video
Video content can bring life to your website, making it more visually appealing than a page of text. While having audio is important for your video, it’s also important that you cater to those who can’t hear the audio, through captions and subtitles. This can help people who are hard of hearing or deaf, as well as those who’d prefer not to listen to the audio.
Subtitling requires additional effort, but it’s something that should be a normal part of creating video. You can get your audio and video transcribed by professional transcribers TakeNote to ensure accuracy and speed when it comes to producing your video. A transcript of the audio can also help you create simple subtitles that can make your video accessible to many people. In addition to English subtitles, you might want to consider adding subtitles in other languages, especially if you do business overseas.
Factor in different browsers and devices
Building an attractive, accessible website is one thing, but is it suitable for a range of different browsers and devices? To make your website user-friendly, you need to ensure that it features a responsive web design that adapts to the type of browser being used. Most content management systems provide easy responsive design features to minimize the work required to ensure a responsive website.
When creating responsive web content, it’s also important that you factor in choosing the right image and video sizes for your website. You should consider having a variety of sizes to provide the best user experience and get into the habit of testing your web pages before you publish.
A welcoming and inclusive website is important for your business. It will help users with varying accessibility needs to receive your content, which can also help to increase how many people visit your website. As a responsible and forward-thinking business, accessibility should be a key consideration for your website, and any other ways that you communicate with your clients and customers. Is your website being as accessible as it should be? Plan a review to ensure you’re up to date on the latest practices and make your website available and inclusive to everyone.