Having a beautifully designed website isn’t enough. You need to ensure that your site attracts many visitors and can also be used effortlessly by everyone. Millions of Internet users rely on websites being accessible. Therefore, if your site isn’t accessible, you’re certainly missing out on traffic.

What Is Website Accessibility?

As the name implies, web accessibility is all about making your site usable and available to everyone. This includes users who have a hearing and vision impairment, physical disabilities, and cognitive problems.

Website owners should cater to this broad audience’s needs by leveraging assistive technologies such as alternative keyboards to browse their sites. You have a moral obligation to optimize your site and ensure that everyone can use it. From a business viewpoint, there’s a lot to gain in terms of increased website traffic.

Tips for Making Your Site Accessible

Here’s how you can improve your site’s accessibility and make it available to all Internet users:

Adopt Keyboard-Friendly Navigation

We’ve all become accustomed to browsing the Internet using our trusted mouse and keyboard to the extent that we can’t imagine an online experience without them. However, millions of Internet users have cognitive and physical disabilities. As a result, they leverage assistive technology to explore the Web. This includes:

  • Speech recognition software
  • Adaptive keyboards
  • Trackball mouse
  • Screen readers
  • Head wands

Even the best-designed website will be useless to individuals who suffer physical and cognitive disabilities if it doesn’t accommodate these assistive technologies. Simple actions can work wonders— like ensuring your site is keyboard-friendly.

Choose the Right CMS

There are dozens of content management systems (CMS) that you can use to build your site. The popularity of open-source software has made CMSs readily available. However, it’s advisable to choose a CMS that focuses on a broad audience, including users who suffer from various disabilities. It’s best to work with a CMS that fits the bill as far as accessibility modifications are concerned. This way, it will be easier to implement theme optimizations and accessibility codes for essential site elements.

Assign Unique and Descriptive Names to Your Links

There’s no better way to provide a more detailed browsing experience to your users than including links in your content. When you include links within your content, the text you use should concisely describe where the link will redirect readers.

For instance, texts such as “click here” are ambiguous and may not help screen reader users find what they are looking for. With such a text, sighted users will be able to proceed to the link, but the same cannot be said of visually-impaired users. You can avoid this problem by using descriptive text, which briefly explains the content of the links to screen reader users.

Use Accessible Form Fields

When your website’s form fields aren’t labeled appropriately, screen reader users may not have similar cues that are available to sighted users. Therefore, it will be impossible for them to determine the type of content to enter into form fields, thus leading to accessibility issues.

You can avoid this by ensuring that all form fields on your website feature well-positioned and descriptive labels. For instance, if a field is for users’ names, label it fittingly as either “First Name,” or use separate form fields labeled “First Name” and “Last Name.” You can use an ARIA property or the <label> tag to associate your form fields with the label text.

Final Words

The Internet is meant to accommodate everyone. As a website owner, you should find a way of circumventing the barriers to equal Internet use and ensure that your website is accessible to as many users as possible.

If you’re looking for a digital partner for web development, UI&UX design, marketing & SEO, and data analytics in Atlanta, do not hesitate to contact Left Hand Digital.