Is Your Website Accessible For Everyone?

When it comes to an online presence, we know all about the importance of having a user-friendly website, but that's not all it should be. Just as important is making sure your website is accessible to all your customers, including those with visual or hearing impairments - skipping this step could result in missing out on new customers.

What is website accessibility?

Essentially, it's all about making your website accessible to everyone who might use it or need your services. This is done using design, copy and development practices to make sure your website is accessible to everyone. With guidelines set by the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), breaking down the different elements for designers, copywriters and developers. 

What are the benefits of an accessible website for Kiwi businesses?

  • Reach a Wider Audience
    By making your website accessible, you're opening up your business to a wider audience. If you're looking to attract new customers, this widens your reach making potential customers more aware of you.

  • Boost Brand Image and Social Responsibility
    If social responsibility is important to your business, an accessible website demonstrates your commitment to inclusivity.

  • SEO Benefits
    An accessible website is also great for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)! Search engines like Google consider many factors when ranking websites, with accessibility being one of them.

7 Ways to make your website accessible

Knowing the why of accessibility, you might find yourself wondering how to make your website more accessible. Before starting to make changes, it's worth checking where your website stands. There are plenty of free accessibility checkers like accessScan which you can run your website through to see what changes need to be made. 

Once you know where you stand, the WCAG breaks down how to improve accessibility. But to make things easier for you, we've highlighted a few easy wins below!

1. Clear Content Structure

Don't make users hunt around for information, instead organise your website content in a logical and easy-to-follow manner. It's recommended to use a combination of short paragraphs, bullet points and clear headings to break up large walls of text and improve readability.

2. Heading Tags

Utilise heading tags like H1, H2 and H3 to structure your content and create a clear hierarchy for screen reader users. 

3. Alt Text for Images

If your website incorporates lots of imagery, be sure to leverage descriptive alt text to explain the content, meaning or function of each image for those who rely on screen readers. And be sure to use well-lit, bright and clear imagery in general!

4. Colour Contrast & Text Size

Low contrasting colours make it extremely difficult to read, combine this with small text or a very thin font and you're making your audience work ten times harder than they need to. On the other hand, contrasting colours, plus larger and easy-to-read fonts are much easier to read.

Not sure how your colour contrast holds up? You can check your colour contrast here.

5. Multimedia Accessibility

If you're hosting video and audio content, incorporate transcripts for audio content and closed captions or audio descriptions for video content to cater to users with visual or hearing impairments. 

6. Text Links

When linking text, try to avoid ambiguous statements. Read more or click here might be the go-to for CTA's, but best practice is to include relevant information about the destination. 

e.g. Instead of 'read more', try 'read more about [chosen subject]'. Or rather than 'learn more', try 'learn more about how we work'.

Tip: You'll never need to use the word link in your text as screen readers announce this when a user comes across a link.

Ready to get your website accessible? Or want some input on your website overall? Book a call back with one of our Marketing Experts for insights today!