If your business has a website, ensuring an inclusive space isn’t a choice; it’s a necessity. Website accessibility will make sure that you’re not alienating any of your potential clients. It also ensures that anyone can interact with it and get value from your digital presence. If you want to make your online presence more accessible, starting with an audit is a good idea. Read on as we explore why it’s essential and how you can start today.
Why Conducting a Website Accessibility Audit?
Many countries have implemented accessibility standards, so it’s important to be aware of these and adhere to the rules and regulations. Non-compliance is a fast way to tarnish your brand’s respectability and can even have legal consequences.
A Broader Audience
It goes without saying that an accessible website means a larger audience. Ensuring usability for people with any type of disability means opening the door to a much vaster and more diverse client base. This is also a good way to ensure your website aligns with your brand ethics.
When ensuring your website is accessible, you inadvertently make it more user-friendly. A well-structured and inclusive website benefits everyone, not only those with disabilities. Inclusive, clear navigation and readability can increase engagement and encourage return visits. It can also help improve your SEO, as websites such as Google tend to value accessibility very highly.
How Conducting a Website Accessibility Audit?
First, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the accessibility guidelines in your area, including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). These will provide you with a comprehensive framework for what constitutes an accessible website and can help you identify areas for improvement.
Choosing an accessibility plugin is a quick and simple way to begin making changes. When choosing a website accessibility plugin, select features such as screen reader support, keyboard navigation, audio descriptions, and more. Selecting a plugin that can be easily implemented and adapted to various languages is also important.
You’ll also need to ensure that it’s possible to move through your site using a keyboard alone. Check your forms for accessibility and provide any instructions on your site that are clear and easy to follow.
Test with Real People
If you’re struggling to see your website through the eyes of others, why not organize some real-life user testing? Conducting usability tests with real people who have a range of disabilities can help you identify any weak spots that you may have missed. This can be a unique opportunity to see how people interact with your site.
Review your Content
Ensuring your content is well-written can also aid with accessibility. You should also ensure that your content is written in plain English and any jargon is explained. Providing captions for images and videos ensures adaptability for various users.
Web accessibility is an ongoing process that you should regularly monitor and seek to improve your website. As technology evolves, so do best practices for accessibility, so staying vigilant is key.