Tips for creating an accessible website

Websites can be many things and have various different functions. But when embarking on creating a new site or revamping an old one, the approach many business owners adopt is to consider only the aesthetics and the ‘obvious’ factors – coming to a conclusion that often doesn’t hit the mark where users are concerned. Our approach always has the user in mind as well as of course Google, and in order for both parties to be satisfied an intelligent, rounded approach needs to be employed to ensure that all important elements are considered – some of which you would never have had in your mind at the point of conception. In addition, both Google and your target audience require your website to be accessible throughout, without exception. So if accessibility is key, just how can it be achieved? The answer lies in a few very simple questions.

Can everybody use your site easily?

People with disabilities are often overlooked even by experienced website developers in addition to their clients, who only consider one part of their potential audience. You need to ensure that everyone who could potentially use your service or purchase your product is able to engage with your business via your website, otherwise you could be missing out on a lot of business. At a lower level, accessibility and functionality go hand in hand and often poor design (such as small white text on light backgrounds, confusing navigation and garish colour) can cause all users difficulty when visiting your site. Remember, if your site is frustrating to use, impatient consumers are likely to go elsewhere.

Will your existing clients love it?

Identifying your target market with accuracy can be difficult, but one way to narrow it down is to consider your existing client. On average what do they like or dislike? What comments have they made about your current site and how do they feel you could improve? These are people who already engage with your business and use your services – so users like them are the people you want to reach.

Does it satisfy the needs of your target market?

What is the goal of your site? Not in your mind – but in the minds of your audience. What is it that they want to get out of their visit to your website? Fail to consider this and you fail to properly reach them – as a consequence they may fail to spend money with you at all.

Does it meet Google’s criteria?

Google actually sets out rather specific criteria when it releases new algorithms and updates which sites must conform to in order to be considered worthy of promotion on the search engine. Accessibility is now one of the most crucial aspects – along with responsiveness (the ability to adapt across multiple devices) – so by making your site accessible you not only please your users, you please Google, increasing your chances of visibility and further augmenting website visits and engagement.

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