What are your website accessibility standards? If you don’t have an easily accessible answer to that question, you may not realize the importance of making your B2B website more accessible.
Enterprises spend millions of dollars every year on their digital assets, only to fail at accessibility compliance, says Navin Thadani, CEO of Evinced.
Evinced has built technology to automatically detect accessibility problems during the development cycle, while suggesting code changes to remediate the issues.
Thadani says there are three main reasons why it is important for B2B marketers to invest the time and effort into making their websites accessible:
1. 15% of the global population has some form of disability.
That’s about 1 billion people. This represents an opportunity to expand customer base and connect with consumers they may have never been engaged before.
Frankly, it’s also an ethics decision.
2. Often there is a significant legal exposure under the ADA if a website is not accessible.
Target, H&R Block, Dominos Pizza, and thousands of other enterprises have faced legal action as a result of inaccessible websites. This trend is only growing, Thadani says.
3. Website accessibility is now a critical SEO tactic.
For those unaware, SEO simply means that search engines, such as Google, can find, index, rank, and connect users with your content.
Like accessibility, SEO requires proper alternative text and title attributes that are accurately descriptive of their related content. It makes it easy for anyone to understand what’s on the page.
Evidence suggests that accessibility practices help with search engine rankings and demonstrate that your site is committed to quality content, Thadani says.
“You want to make it as easy as possible for people to access your website, engage with your work and create an exceptional customer experience for everyone, no matter how they interact with your content or regardless of their impairment.”
What to do next
The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) has a group called the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) which issued a set of specifications for websites and mobile apps.
If websites meet those specifications, they are deemed accessible.
In effect, the specifications take into account a range of disabilities including vision related (low vision, color blindness, blindness etc.), motor related (keyboard only navigation or voice control), hearing related, etc.
“Manufacturers need to build websites, web applications and mobile apps that can be navigated via keyboard only, are compatible with screen readers, etc.” Thadani says.
Typically enterprises would use products like Evinced and this Google developer tool to weave accessibility into their development lifecycle and release as accessible websites and pages as possible.
Then (typically once a year), they would get a manual audit (via independent consultants that are IAAP certified) to verify that there are no serious accessibility violations in their websites or apps.