The internet is generating billions of dollars in sales to businesses, brands and websites on a daily basis. With so much competition out there and billions of dollars being spent on paid advertising and site content and enhancements, is enough attention being spent on user engagement and site compliance?
While these are all often hot topics of discussion for site owners and businesses, itâ€™s now a more serious issue than ever before with the introduction of legislation and regulation in reference to how site accessibility must be accomplished and applied to all websites.
Making sure your site is 100% compliant and accessible by ADA and WCAG standards is now a must, and if you are just hearing about this for the first time, you can thank us later. And if this is the first time you are hearing about the possible legal action and guidelines in reference to ADA/WCAG, you are not alone.
According to accessiBe, a leading web accessibility solution, â€œBased on a survey of 10 million pages, 98 out of 100 internal pages do not comply with WCAG standards.â€ — is your website and business in this same group of non-compliant sites?
With site accessibility now being more important than ever before, we didnâ€™t want to just say itâ€™s a good practice to have in place, we wanted to instead provide you with five of the most important reasons why you must make sure your site is compliant sooner than later.
1 – Itâ€™s the Law
Of the many different reasons why your site needs to be ADA/WCAG compliant, this one is likely the most important to your business. In fact, if your site isnâ€™t accessible and compliant to all audiences, itâ€™s likely only a matter of time before lawyers start sending demand letters and potentially taking legal action against you.
Thanks to the power of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), itâ€™s now a requirement and law for businesses and brands of all sizes to cater to the needs of those with limitations and disabilities.
In a recent article on Forbes, they discussed how Target was just one of the recent big brand names that has fallen victim to the regulations mentioned above.
Target discovered the pain of ignoring the accessibility issue when it paid an estimated $10 million in fees and remediation to settle a lawsuit filed by a prospective customer who could not navigate its e-commerce platform.
If big brand names canâ€™t get around the website compliance and regulations, what chance do the smaller players have. This is why every site must be 100% ADA/WCAG compliant.
2 – Itâ€™s the Right Thing to Do
More than anything else, itâ€™s just the right thing to do. Just because we are doing business on the internet, it doesnâ€™t mean that we have to forget that different audiences have different needs.
After all, if you were a local business with a storefront, wouldnâ€™t you make sure there was wheelchair accessibility to your store? If not, you would be limiting a lot of potential customers from your businessâ€¦ and with that in mind, here are some stats to further stress how many individuals there are with limitations and disabilities in their daily lives and who are likely already trying to access your site and online business.
- 57 million people in the United States have a disability
- 19.9 million people have difficulty seeing or a partially/fully blind
- 7.6 million people are deaf or hard of hearing
- 10.1 million people have difficulty lifting or gripping
- 1 out of 5 people in the US who have a disability are protected by the ADA
With this in mind, you are probably now more likely to take action and make your site fully accessible knowing that a great majority of people out there have personal issues that can prevent them from using your site and services to the fullest extent.
3 – Make Your Site Accessible for Everyone
As a business, you make money when people come to your site and have the ability to read content, click on ads and shop through your site. If you donâ€™t have a fully responsive and compliant site, you are immediately wiping out a good percentage of potential site visitors, leads and incoming revenue.
While most businesses and brands are focused on the importance of proper site navigation, meta tags and ranking higher in the search results, what good is it if you are immediately alienating a percentage of your audience?
In order to make your site accessible for all audiences, ADA/WCAG compliance definitely comes into play.
4 – Improve Site Engagement and Numbers Across the Board
In addition to making your site accessible by audiences, you are also opening your business for more leads, sales and incoming revenue. Way too many businesses and brands are focusing on creating the best site content and experience possible, but not focusing enough on making sure itâ€™s accessible to all users.
In fact, according to QuickSprout, some of the most effective ways to offer perceived benefits to an audience is through the use of authentic interaction with an audience and bringing a human element to digital marketing.
The idea and concept of creating such content is great, but only if ALL of your audience can take advantage of it.
Through the use of complete site accessibility, not only will this allow for your site to be accessible by all audiences, it will also make the process of ordering and completing actions as much easier and seamless process as well.
5 – Itâ€™s Easy and Puts Your Brand Above the Competition
The last data point and reason we have for making your site ADA/WCAG compliant, is that itâ€™s actually quite a simple and fast process–when done correctly.
Thanks to the power of software, automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the internet has completely changed the way we all live our lives and conduct processes on a daily basis. Thanks to all of these power technologies and advancements, site owners can also make their sites fully compliant without the need to hire a design or code to completely redesign their sites.
Through the use of a web accessibility tester like aCe or WAVE, site owners can run a quick compliance audit on their site to see what areas might be quick and easy triggers against the existing regulations in place. Site owners can then attempt to make any of the recommended changes on their own, but it likely wonâ€™t make their site 100% compliant.
To fully make a site compliant and meeting all of the requirements in place by the ADA and WCAG, itâ€™s recommended to utilize an Accessibility Adjustment tool.
To speed up and summarize the process and value of the tool, site owners just need to add a line of code to their site. Once this is completed, site visitors can start customizing their own site experience based on their existing limitations, disabilities and needs with the simple click of a button through the accessibility adjustment tool that appears as a small icon at the bottom of a site.
And best of all, this process can be completed within the first 48 hours of signing up.
Web Site Accessibility Today, Tomorrow and Forever
Having read through five different reasons on why site accessibility is now more important than ever before, are you ready to take the next step in making your business compliant?
If you answered yes, thatâ€™s a great move not just your business, but also for everyone trying to access and use your site on any given day.
So, with all of these resources and technologies readily accessible for making your site 100% ADA and WCAG compliant, are there really any excuses left for not making the change today?