Why check your website for ADA compliance?
Aside from the legal issues associated with ADA compliance for websites, many marketers are starting to recognize the value of incorporating ADA compliance guidelines into their website strategies. According to a recent Americans with Disabilities infographic by the CDC, people with disabilities are estimated to make up about 26% of the total population. The largest group of individuals by age is 65+ at more than 41%; many of their disabilities stem from the loss of motor control, decreased cognitive function, and vision deterioration. If these segments of the population can’t use your website because there are accessibility barriers, you are losing customers to a competitor that has made their website accessible.
508 Compliance Resources:
How small gains affect your bottom line
As a digital marketer, I’ve run many conversion optimization tests throughout my career. Setting up the technology, producing variants, and actually running tests can be expensive and time-consuming. Some of the experiments generated a lift of 3-5% in conversion. While this may sound small, when you may be dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars in eCommerce or B2B lead-gen that might produce a similar volume of revenue, a 3-5% lift in conversion can mean $3-5 million dollars in revenue lift. When you evaluate the impact of spending that $30k on conversion optimization, it can easily provide significant ROI.
Where accessibility fits into your marketing strategy
How does accessibility relate to the previously mentioned optimization? Think of website accessibility as another conversion optimization tool in your arsenal and a way to have a very real and positive impact. If a segment of the population that wasn’t previously able to use your website is now able to, that can have the same effect as implementing a highly successful conversion optimization test. That’s a pretty powerful way to look at website accessibility from a marketer’s perspective. Not to mention that people with disabilities are incredibly loyal customers. They often have so much trouble with the vast majority of websites that once they find one that actually accommodates their needs, they stick with it.
Where and how do you start improving accessibility?
You’ll need an ADA compliance website checker to evaluate your current state. There are many types of ADA website compliance evaluation tools available, from chrome extensions to enterprise-class evaluation software. Some of these are free ADA website compliance tools that will generally do a surface-level code evaluation and provide you with a good starting point to identify some of the more common accessibility issues.
Both automated and manual ADA website evaluations are critical components of a successful accessibility strategy. For most digital marketers or website managers, a good starting point is automated ADA compliance evaluation software, as it will give you general information as well as granular, code-level data. Such software can range in price, but there are some free and cost-effective solutions available.
Here are some free options you can try right now, courtesy of TPGi.
- Free Initial Domain Analysis (IDA), – We provide an automated ADA compliance website evaluation report that gives your website an overall accessibility score and provides insight into high-impact areas. This is probably the easiest and most effective way to get started.
- Free ARC Toolkit – A free Chrome extension that is perfect for evaluating individual pages for accessibility failures. This is one of the fastest ways to get started.
- Schedule a free initial website accessibility consultation with one of our experts – we can help you determine the right next steps for your business.
Once you know the current state of your website accessibility, you’ll be better positioned to evaluate how much it is likely impacting your conversion rates, and can determine what type of plan makes sense for your business.