For over a year now, the world has been restricted. Movement between countries has barely been possible, offices worldwide have been closed for long periods, restaurants, bars, and coffee shops have had their profits slashed due to enforced closures and emptier streets. One winner to emerge out of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, is the online world. With the physical world experiencing disruptions and closures, temporary and permanent, the digital world began to thrive. Companies like Amazon and Netflix saw their user numbers go through the roof as people worldwide were confined to their apartments and houses. The importance of online presence is greater than ever.
Already-established companies like the two previously mentioned have had to step up their online game even further to keep up with the increased demand. Having good content is of course essential to any success but there is a lot more to having content than many people realise. When promoting a service or product, there are typical indicators to look out for regarding engagement. These are the classic ‘how’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘what’ considerations but a question that is often overlooked is the ‘who’. The who of course could be an age demographic or sex of a customer, but accessibility is a term that is extremely important when considering this who.
Ensuring that your website and any interactions a customer has with your company, like emails or advertising for example, is accessible to absolutely everyone is not only a legal requirement in some countries, but also an obligation to fulfil as a provider. The reason being that having a website that is fully accessible is fair and equal to all persons, especially for those with disabilities. This could include people who experience difficulties with vision, hearing, speech, or movement. For this large minority, the usability of a website needs to cater for this group.
One of the ways to improve content is not in the writing itself, but by making it fully accessible. A simple way to check the accessibility of your page is with free tools from Siteimprove. Their Website Accessibility Checker is a tool that performs a top to bottom evaluation of the accessibility of your website and produces a score that can be assessed, shared, and discussed with fellow colleagues. It is fully in accordance with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which is a standard recognised internationally. The Checker runs checks based on criteria set by these guidelines and isolates common issues that can affect the accessibility. These could include inconsistencies or lack of descriptions for text or select boxes. Helping someone with physical disabilities to redirect to different pages is also a commonly overlooked issue for example.
All in all, fixing the issues that are flagged by Siteimprove‘s Website Accessibility Checker will improve the spread and transmission of your content and as a result, the engagement with your brand. One of the best features of the Checker is that it is fully automated and already has all the tools and checks built into the software. Therefore, you do not need to go trawling through multiple applications to check your website. Furthermore, it saves you the time required to do these individual checks, which allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.