There is more to having a website that meets the eye.
One of the driving forces behind the compliant guidelines for websites is a result of the American Disabilities Act, which made it legal for all companies to take extra measures to ensure that regardless of disability they could have a similar experience with a company.
This has evolved into the need for websites to be accessible, just as the internet itself was created to be. In fact, during the internet’s infancy, one of the driving factors was to create something that anyone that is anywhere in the world could access—regardless of what type of computer they use, what country they are in or their level of proficiency with the internet itself.
The universal concepts that drove the internet are now holding websites accountable, meaning that having a compliant website in 2021 really does matter. You not only need to be thinking about your brand and the user experience on your website but also consider factors of how it can cater to people that have visual, hearing, physical or cognitive impairments. They deserve the same opportunity to purchase your product, contact you or learn something new—just as much as everyone else!
Whether you are a small business or a large corporation, you will be held to the same expectation that your website is compliant with ADA and WGAC guidelines. And the reasons extend well beyond the legal implications you can face if your website is caught not be compliant.
We’ve rounded up the top reasons why your business should have a compliant website.
1) You Protect Your Finances
As we have just alluded to, there are legal implications you could face if your website is found to not be compliant. This can result in your company being brought to court and sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars. It has happened to many companies already—including big brands like Nike—and could just as easily happen to you too. If someone even stumbles across your website and notices a part of it that is not compliant, they can take legal action that can ruin you forever. So by having a compliant website, you are protecting your finances and saving yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars to have to pay in fines.
2) It Will Improve Your SEO Rankings
If you want to have a successful digital marketing strategy, you need to be focusing on enhancing your SEO rankings. The perk of being compliant with ADA guidelines means that you will automatically be ticking off the boxes for equally implementing SEO strategies. This includes things like tagging your images with alternate captions, including video transcripts, leaving breadcrumbs on your sitemap making your PDF files accessible. It’s a two-for-one deal that will only benefit your company’s website!
3) You Can Win New Customers
Regardless of disability, people want it to be easy to buys stuff online. If your website does not provide a great user experience, potential customers will likely give up trying to complete a purchase if it is too hard—no matter how great your actual product is. If you take the steps to purchase super simple and have put in the work to make each step accessible for those with disabilities, some unlikely people may just end up becoming some of your most loyal customers! You can win some serious sales with just a little bit of extra work upfront on your website to make it more accessible.
4) Grow Your Corporate Responsibility Presence
It is expected nowadays that companies need to prioritize their corporate responsibilities for the betterment of the world. One of the main expectations is to create inclusive and diverse communities that everyone feels welcome to be a part of. By making your website compliant with all the ADA guidelines, you are also ticking off an important component of your corporate responsibility. When the public recognizes your efforts to positively impact society, they are more likely to support you and become loyal customers themselves. And for the companies that don’t, you risk being canceled—which is every company’s worst nightmare given the social media era of how wide and far criticism can spread.
These four reasons are just the beginning of why ensuring your website is compliant really matters in 2021