Importance of Accessibility in Digital Marketing & On The Web

web accessibility challenges

Accessibility is a design approach that allows people with disabilities to access, navigate and interact with the website, content, or marketing messages. It helps make your content more user-friendly for people who otherwise might not be able to access this information.

The Importance of Accessibility Online

Accessibility is a huge topic of conversation in the marketing world. What it is, how to do it, where to find information, and so forth.  

When you consider the online users who are disabled, it’s surprising how many websites or marketing campaigns are not accessible to them. With the general population of the world becoming more and more tech-savvy, designers and marketers are also under pressure to create websites that are accessible to all types of people.

Marketers are right to emphasize the importance of accessibility in their campaigns, as prioritizing it is incredibly beneficial for several reasons. Let’s dig into them below.

The Needs of People with Disabilities Are Often Neglected

First, when you emphasize accessibility in your campaigns, you cater to the needs of an audience often neglected: individuals living with varying disabilities.

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About 50 million accessibility errors were detected across 1 million website home pages in a recent study. That’s just the home page. Imagine how many accessibility issues are across an entire website.

Even deeper, how many accessibility issues can we detect across every digital marketing channel a business uses? You may not even realize how disruptive these errors are if you don’t live with a disability. But if you do, you understand the level of frustration and hopelessness they can bring.

We can illustrate this point well by focusing on individuals who are neurodivergent. There’s nothing wrong with a person’s brain when they’re neurodivergent. It’s just different. And those differences are demonstrated in various diagnoses, such as ADHD, autism, and dyslexia.

While millions of people live with a neurodivergent condition, many marketers still fail to address their needs specific to absorbing marketing content. For example, many people living with autism have auditory processing difficulties. So, including subtitles and captions on videos is essential to help them follow along with and comprehend the message better.

Another example is those living with a seizure disorder. Animated GIFs and bright colors may seem like an excellent way to help your content stand out. However, flashing animation and clashing color palettes can trigger seizures in people. Simple color schemes and little to no animation accommodate the needs of these individuals much better.

While other businesses neglect the needs of people living with a disability, you can acknowledge and accommodate them.

Build a Reputation With Accessibility at its Core

The more you acknowledge and accommodate the needs of individuals living with varying disabilities, the easier it will be to build a reputation with accessibility at its core. There aren’t a lot of businesses worried about accessibility. So, be the one that is.

You want people to know you as the brand with marketing campaigns accessible to everyone. It’s a great segue into your products and services being the same way.

Addressing Web Accessibility Issues

To address web accessibility issues online and in your marketing, there are several key steps you can follow. Here are the main ones:

  1. Identify the accessibility issues on your website, by using tools such as screen readers or color contrast checkers.
  2. Evaluate the impact of these issues on your users, and prioritize them based on their severity and the number of users affected.
  3. Develop a plan to address the accessibility issues on your website, and set specific goals and timelines for implementing the changes.
  4. Implement the changes to your website, and test them to make sure they are effective in addressing the accessibility issues.
  5. Monitor and evaluate the impact of the changes on your users, and make any additional adjustments as needed.
  6. Provide training and support to your team, so that they understand the importance of web accessibility and know how to implement and maintain accessible websites.

Of course, experimentation is a part of a good digital marketer’s arsenal. But some go overboard with it in their campaigns; crazy fonts, wild messages, harsh colors, and odd page layouts are included.

Prioritizing accessibility in your campaigns keeps you centered on simple techniques that drive home your marketing messages and create deeper connections with your audience.

By following these steps, you can effectively address web accessibility issues on your website and make it more accessible and user-friendly for all users.

This can help to improve the user experience on your website and ensure that everyone can access and use your website easily and efficiently.

Getting Started With Accessibility in Digital Marketing Campaigns

Although much is needed to ensure your digital marketing campaigns are accessible, you don’t have to learn and implement everything at once. Instead, focus on these three accessibility-focused tasks with every campaign.

Create a digital accessibility checklist

You will create many campaigns over the years. They’ll each be different. But the core of what makes them accessible will stay the same. So, it’s wise to create an accessibility checklist to go through before you launch each campaign.

Putting together a detailed accessibility checklist starts with learning what accessibility is and what it looks like in marketing content and design. We’ve compiled a list of questions below to jumpstart your accessibility checklist:

  • Is the marketing message simple?
  • Is keyboard navigation enabled?
  • Have I tested the color contrast on the page?
  • Is each digital marketing channel easy to get to?
  • Is the campaign accessible with assistive devices like screen readers?
  • Are people with common and less common disabilities able to navigate the platform?
  • Is my content digestible? (i.e., headings, subheadings, short paragraphs)
  • Are my images and videos accessible? (i.e., properly named, detailed alt tags, captions on)

How To Create a Website Accessible to Everyone

To make a website accessible to people who are neurodivergent or visually impaired, there are several key features you can include. Here are some of the main ones:

  1. Use a clear and straightforward layout, with a consistent structure and navigation system. This can help users who are neurodivergent to understand and use your website more easily.
  2. Use high-contrast colors and large, easy-to-read fonts to make the content on your website easy to see and understand.
  3. Include alt text for images and other non-text elements, so that users who are unable to see the images can still understand the content on your website.
  4. Use headings and subheadings to organize your content, and make it easy for users to scan and find the information they are looking for.
  5. Provide transcripts or captions for audio and video content, so that users who are deaf or hard of hearing can access and understand the information on your website.
  6. Allow users to adjust the text size, font, and color scheme on your website, so that they can customize the appearance to suit their needs.
  7. Provide keyboard navigation options, so that users who are unable to use a mouse can still access and use your website.

By including these features, you can make your website more accessible and user-friendly for people who. This can help you reach a wider audience and ensure that everyone can access and enjoy your website.

Work with individuals living with a disability

What better way to find out if your campaigns check all accessibility boxes than to ask individuals living with a disability?

Enlist the help of people living with varying disabilities to assist you in testing your campaigns for accessibility issues before they go public. Reach out to your target audience with an open invitation for individuals living with a disability to experience your campaigns before they go live.

Share your genuine interest in ensuring accessibility as a priority and take anyone interested in helping up on their offer.

Use Digital Accessibility Tools To Help

Technology can be a game changer in ensuring your digital marketing campaigns are accessible. Combining tech tools specific to marketing accessibility with the feedback from the individuals mentioned above is the best way to keep accessibility surrounded.

Start with the following tech tools:

  • A color contrast analyzer
  • An accessibility checker
  • Screen reader
  • A page load speed tester
  • Keyboard navigation tester

Prioritizing accessibility in your marketing campaigns unlocks a whole new level of results. Immerse yourself in the guidance above to experience them.

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