In the last year, due to the legislation of strict accessibility laws and regulations in the USA, Europe, Australia and Japan, web accessibility has proved to be a pivotal ingredient in creating a successful digital strategy for many organizations and governments around the world.
Over the last 5 years, we have seen an exponential increase in lawsuits and class actions against businesses and Government Agencies who all failed to create accessible content for those with disabilities; ultimately decreasing website usability, customer satisfaction, and the all-around web experience. In response, businesses and governments worldwide seek to deploy a secure, efficient, economical and simple accessibility solution that eliminates the possibility of lawsuits and penalties while simultaneously creating the ultimate user experience for any end user, including those with disabilities.
So, what exactly is web accessibility?
According to authorized researches, approximately 18% of the world population, especially seniors (~50%), are suffering from a disability that inhibits their access to digital content. Therefore, as the human life expectancy goes up, the need for accessibility increases as well. Web accessibility allows everyone, no matter their age or disability, the option to actively engage in our worlds vastly growing technological advancements and benefit from the vast amounts of information available.
Web accessibility is a way to grant an equal online opportunity to each web user. In order to create equal opportunity and allow equal access to digital content such as websites, web platforms, documents, etc., this content must be rebuilt and restructured in a way that allows such information to be read by everyone, with no regard to their disability (visual, hearing, physical, etc.). To sum up: all online content must follow a variation of a certain set of guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA) created to guarantee accessible content. Examples of accessibility tools are used to create an accessible website include the ability to increase/decrease font size, adjust color contrast, incorporate keyboard navigation, are accurately read by screen readers, etc.
Web accessibility benefits
Many people are not aware that web accessibility goes hand in hand with increasing your websites traffic, increasing search engine ranking, reducing maintenance cost, and brings faster ROI.
In this article, we are presenting a study case that supports all those benefits.
The case study was conducted by a company named the Legal & General Group (L&G) that implemented an accessibility fixing process as part of an accessibility audit and a usability testing of existing website with 13,000 visitors per month: https://www.legalandgeneral.com/
The results were overwhelming!
Within 24 hours, natural search engine traffic saw a 25% increase, eventually growing to 50%. Significant improvement in Google rankings for all target keywords. Reduction in maintenance costs by 66%. Site visitors receiving quotations doubled within 3 months. 100% return on investment (ROI) in 12 months. Average times for content maintenance jobs reducing from 5 days to 0.5 days – saving £200,000 GBP per year.
Page loading times reduced by 75%. Positive customer feedback due to noticeable improved performance of site. Inaccessibility complaints reduced to zero. New site is accessible to mobile devices.
In conclusion, web accessibility results in benefits, benefits and more benefits. By making your digital content accessible, not only do you support those with disabilities, make a social impact, and avoid lawsuit and penalties, but you also indubitably help your organization in an innumerable amount of ways that improve your organizations reputation and bring optimum results.
So, when you are working on your digital content accessibility, choose a complete solution that will support all benefits, enhance company growth, and all the while encourage creating a more accessible, unified nation.
Click here to view the original case study.