Why You Want Your Small Business Website To Be Accessible

Did you know that 1 in 7 Ontarians have a disability? There are programs that exist to help people read your website even if they can’t see it. Let’s work together to make their life easier. Accessibility is about making your website user friendly for EVERYONE. Your website represents your brand 24/7. More than 75% of your traffic is checking out your website from a tablet or mobile device.  Does your website look great on every device? I bet your competitors websites do, and if not, that’s your chance to get ahead of the game. Responsiveness is nothing new but it has been a slow process for majority of people to understand the significance of it. Disability or not, if someone can’t see your website on their phone, they are leaving your website and going to your competitor! Our Web Designer Jess talks about how important Responsiveness is. 6 Tips From Our Web Designer. 

You genuinely care that all people have access to your awesome brand and information!

Are visitors on your website using a keyboard? Do your videos have closed captioning? Are they using a device that requires a mouse? Do they have high speed internet? (Yes, there are still people who do not have high speed internet) Most rural communities do not get the same privileges as those living in the city. Some of these questions are things we take for granted but as a website developer we need to be aware of all usability features. If your customer lives in a rural community with slow internet maybe that 30 min movie on your home page that explains everything about your product is not the greatest thing ever. Images and videos take longer to load. That doesn’t mean you go back the olden days of text only websites but we do need to provide alternatives. Images and videos are the “in” thing right now and they are not going anywhere anytime soon, for obvious reasons…..they make your website look awesome and interactive! We even advocate for Why You Need Great Photography For Your Business. 

However, if an image doesn’t load can the visitor still understand what your website is about? Can someone using an ipad understand where they need to click or do they need a mouse to hover over a link to find out?

When planning out your website keep in mind who your audience is and make as easy as possible for them to access your information. If we don’t, they will just leave your website and go to your competitor anyways who is making it easy for them. As already mentioned, 1 in 7 Ontarians have a disability. That’s a lot of people. We want to make sure everyone, disability or not, is able to access information.Keep these questions in mind when planning your website:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What device do they use to view your website? (desktop, tablet, phone)
  3. How technically inclined are they?
  4. Are they located in city or rural communities…or both?

As well as considering the technical aspects, we do need to think about the colour scheme. Can someone who is colour blind easily find information on your website? If you are indicating something by colour coding make sure you have an alternative for this as well.

Your website can rank higher on Google

Google is a blind user. Your ranking is based on a lot of accessibility features. Proper headings, alt tags for your images, descriptive text for your links….. You don’t currently have the ability to hover on your tablet or phone to see where the link is going to take you so make sure people understand and want to click on your links based on the text you provide. Don’t mislead people – you will just piss off Google and your users. There is a whole GIANT  list of how to make your website accessible. Check out the standards at W3 for the full list. 

You don’t want to get sued

Yep, it’s the law! You need to practice accessibility in the workplace.

To be successful in business I truly believe you need to genuinely care about people. You are taking something you are passionate about and providing a value in some way. Even if you don’t care that everyone has access to your products or services…the government sure cares. Penalties for Corporations who do not comply to Ontario Accessibility Standards could be charged fines ranging from $500 to $15 000. These numbers are just for Small Business Owners. Larger Corporations and the Government have more strict standards to comply to. Essential Accessibility Tips For Your Website can help you check if your website is accessible. If you need further help feel free to reach out to one of us at Siva Creative.

Here’s to making our world more accessible!

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