How Improving Website Accessibility Can Become Your Competitive Advantage

Whether you offer eCommerce services, run a SaaS business or blog for a living, website accessibility can bring a plethora of benefits to your brand and market penetration. According to Interactive Accessibility, 57 million US citizens have some form of disability which prevents them from actively participating in online content, including cognitive impairment, hearing and vision issues as well as difficulties with lifting or grasping objects.

Website accessibility can bring a competitive edge to your brand unlike any form of paid advertisement or marketing strategy. With that said, let’s take a look at which positive outcomes you can look forward to if you decide to optimize your website for increased accessibility.


Basics of Website Accessibility

Let’s start with some basics of accessibility and what it means in regards to website optimization as a whole. In short, the process of optimization related to accessibility revolves around ensuring that people with impairments can enjoy your content and services to their fullest. Website elements such as design, layout, choice of fonts, colors and other visual elements all play a large role in the process.

According to W3C, an optimized website has to abide by four basic principles of accessibility: perception, operability, understanding, robustness. Abiding by these principles will not only ensure that your site is understandable, legible and perceived by any user. It will also bring a competitive advantage to your doorstep and make sure that your website stands out from the industry in an important way. Some of the accessibility features you should consider integrating into your website going forward include:

  • Keyboard browsing optimization
  • Clear sitemap design
  • Alt-text on all multimedia
  • Careful choice of color combination
  • Text format (bolds, italics, headings, bullets, etc.)
  • Mobile optimization (responsive)
  • Keyword-oriented content creation


Positive PR Advantages

Allowing as many users as possible to access and use your website to its fullest will have very positive effects on your brand’s coverage by the public. Websites which serve as news aggregates, review hubs, and discussion forums will likely praise your website for its level of accessibility and the user-friendly approach you took in its design.

It will also allow you to avoid any public scrutiny, allegations or discrimination charges on the part of parties who might feel left out due to a lack of accessibility features. Coupled with reliable writing services, you can use the positive coverage of your site in testimonials and marketing quotes in your advertisement efforts. This will ensure that more people flock to your website over time and experience the multitude of services and products you have in store for them thanks to word of mouth.

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Better SEO Ranking

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of online visibility for websites of all calibers. As such, you should aim for high levels of SEO optimization both in your web design and content optimization efforts.

Website accessibility will add a major advantage to your cause because search engine algorithms prefer ranking accessible and user-friendly websites high on their lists. In practice, this means that your site will show up among the first search results on aggregates such as Google and Bing, provided that users search for terms relevant to your site.


Higher Traffic & Conversion Rates

Better publicity will naturally yield higher traffic numbers and subsequent conversion rates for your business going forward. Your lead generation will spike due to the ability of impaired users to use your content and services to their fullest as a result of accessibility optimization.

Make sure to present your users with conversion opportunities such as email subscription prompts, live chat, exclusive deal offers and discount coupons to further drive your lead numbers upward. Higher traffic numbers will also add to your search ranking and ad revenue in the subsequent period following the optimization initiative.

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Cleaner Back-End Code

When it comes to website maintenance and optimization, accessibility can be beneficial for your team for a number of reasons. It will make sure that your code is clean and free of filler, thus allowing for faster load times and lower bandwidth requirements from your users.

This is especially important if you have numerous content creators, site admins and developers working on the website at the same time, requiring a higher level of coordinated cooperation to make the website viable for public use. Although not directly connected to physical or health-related impairments, cleaner website code will ensure that your site remains operational, easy to maintain as well as upgrade with new features over time.


In Conclusion

Due to the overall accessibility and affordability of smart devices, PCs and internet as a whole, it has become increasingly more important to optimize one’s content for as many users as possible. Make sure to run an audit on your website and see where you land on the accessibility spectrum right now in order to figure out how much optimization is necessary to get your site up to speed with current trends. Doing so might seem like an unnecessary expense at first but it will bring a plethora of advantages to your brand’s image, lead generation and revenue over time – optimize for accessibility sooner rather than later.