Why it’s more important than ever to have an ADA accessible website in 2019.
There are a lot of things to factor in when you are building a new website or assessing your existing one.
Page speed (how fast your website loads on both desktop and mobile devices), website structure, page titles and keywords, meta descriptions, images, and more! The list goes on and on.
In addition to aaaaall of those things, we’re going to add one more.
Make sure your website is ADA compliant.
What does it mean for your website to be ADA compliant?
ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, requires certain businesses to make accommodations for those who have disabilities. If you’re a large enough business, I’m sure you are already well aware of the ADA regulations that you legally need to follow in your office and business, which can include things like wheelchair accessibility or providing braille menus if you are a restaurant.
But, no matter your business size, it would behoove you to have your website ADA compliant.
When your website is ADA compliant you allow it to easily be found by those who may be visually impaired or have other limitations in searching the web.
Why do you want an accessible website?
Other than making your website accessible to persons with visual, hearing, and even mobility handicaps, making your website ADA accessible will also allow it to be crawled more effectively by search engines and be found by the increasing number of voice searches that are happening on mobile devices. Win-win-win!
How do you make your website ADA compliant?
First, if you didn’t design your website and really aren’t sure if your website is already compliant, you can check it here: https://webaccessibility.com/
While there are no clear legal accessibility guidelines for websites to follow, there are some good practices that are wise to put into place.
- Use alt tags for all images
Alt tags are descriptions that are embedded in the image so users with visual limitations are able to hear a description of that image. Alt tags should include a brief description of the image and perhaps what is relevant in its placement and usage.
EXAMPLE: We are using this image as an example for this post, and made our alt tag read “ADA compliant website with a backlit keyboard. ”
We were able to effectively describe the image and the context (or keyword) of this post.
- Create transcripts for all videos
Providing this is a great SEO practice as well, as search engines can’t read what you are saying in a video. There are great transcription services out there if you don’t have the time to do this yourself.Pro Tip: Transcribing a video can make for a great blog post!
- Make your website easy to navigate
Users with mobility concerns may have trouble interacting with your website if your buttons are too small or your navigation is too complicated. Make sure that your website is laid out as user-friendly as possible. Have you ever visited a website where you can’t easily find the navigation bar? Or you have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to contact the person or service? It’s frustrating!
There are many companies that can work with you on usability. We’re one of them, so give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about the usability of your website.