As the world becomes increasingly connected and technology develops, crafting a website which caters to a worldwide audience can feel like an impossible task. Localisation, usability and accessibility are often regarded as ‘additional’ website aspects which burn up time and revenue. However, I’m determined to change the way you view these basic website building blocks if you want to substantially increase revenue and ROI.
Focusing on accessibility, within the UK 1 in 5 people have a disability. In specific numbers that’s 13 million people in the UK alone. But why is this stat important when discussing websites? The answer is simple, hosting a website which does not have accessibility centred tools will reduce your revenue.
Breaking News: "Domino's Pizza has been told its website and app must be made fully accessible, after losing a federal lawsuit." Due to recent accessibility changes, the Domino's website/app has been deemed accessibility unacceptable by a US court after Guillermo Robles filed a federal lawsuit in 2016. Mr Robles stated that both the site and app lacked the screen reading software required for him to complete a purchase or enter a discount code, through vocal keys. Domino's must now update their website and app's accessibility function in order to avoid legal fees or loss of custom.
I’ll give you some examples.
UK superstore leader Tesco recently updated their accessibility features for blind customers wishing to access the home grocery service and saw an amazing additional revenue increase of £13M per year. The superstore's site also has an accessibility help page, which provides customers with additional information and tool instructions designed to increase ease of use for all.
These features and many others earned Tesco a top 10 spot in the UK's most valued customers of 2017 list. Not only did accessibility heighten revenue but also increase overall brand prestige and consumer preference.
The Legal and General Group also underwent an accessibility renovation, with the aim of increasing their website traffic and ROI. The results were impressive. Over the course of 24 hours, organic searches initially increased by 25% and continuously grew to 50%. SEO improved, site visits improved, quotations doubled within 3 months and page loading times reduced by 75%.
Their internal teams also benefited from the renovation as content maintenance jobs reduced from 5 days to 0.5 days and maintenance costs reduced by 66% saving the company £200,000 GBP per year.
What does accessibility include?
By now I may be piquing your interest with the promise of increased revenue, ROI and site traffic but what does accessibility actually cover?
You need to think about:
- Audio alerts
- Audio & visual controls
- Menu & navigation ease of use
- Colour coding & contrast
- Font size & style
- Adjusting or disabling flashing, rotating or moving displays
For more information read the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 here.
It’s likely that your site already has basic accessibility features due to legality however, going that step further will be where you start to see the benefits roll in. So, where do you begin?
As your site already has some accessibility features it would be in your benefit to source external help.
Because your internal teams are already backed up with continuous maintenance tasks, and work bias and browser blindness will all contribute to issues being overseen or put to the back of the list. Not to mention the costs of disrupting your teams with new tasks, which could take months to perform. Instead, external testing teams will be able to provide a quick, cost-effective solution meaning you can start reaping in the benefits earlier.