Don’t Get Fined & Lose Customers: Proactive Web Accessibility for Service-Based Business.

Alex Morales - April 15, 2024

Attention local service based business! Did you know recent legal rulings could mean hefty fines for non-compliant websites? The Department of Justice is cracking down on digital accessibility, and your business could be at risk. But fear not! WebWyze is here to help you navigate these evolving regulations and unlock a powerful marketing advantage: proactive accessibility.

The Rise of Digital Accessibility Laws

The game is changing for online businesses. The Department of Justice recently published a final rule (Justice Department to Publish Final Rule to Strengthen Web and Mobile App Access for People with Disabilities:) that strengthens web accessibility standards. While initial targets focus on government-funded entities, it’s a clear sign that stricter regulations are coming for all businesses. Don’t wait for a lawsuit to force your hand. Embrace accessibility now and reap the benefits.

Why Accessibility Matters for Your Business: Beyond Avoiding Fines

Think accessibility is just about ticking legal boxes? Think again! Here’s why a WCAG 2.1 AA compliant website is a goldmine for service-based businesses:

  • Reach a Wider Audience: Millions of potential customers have disabilities that can hinder website navigation. In the US alone, over one in four adults experience disability. Imagine the untapped market you’re missing if your website isn’t accessible to people with visual impairments, motor limitations, or cognitive differences. Making your site accessible opens doors to this vast and loyal customer base.
  • Boost Customer Satisfaction: A user-friendly website for everyone creates a positive brand experience. When potential customers with disabilities can easily navigate your website, find the information they need, and schedule appointments seamlessly, they’re more likely to be satisfied and choose your services.
  • Future-Proof Your Business: By adopting accessibility standards today, you stay ahead of the curve and demonstrate your commitment to inclusivity. This positions your business favorably as regulations evolve and strengthens your reputation for social responsibility.
  • SEO Benefits: Google prioritizes accessible websites in search results. A WCAG-compliant site with clear structure and well-labeled content is easier for search engines to crawl and index. This can improve your ranking for relevant keywords and drive more organic traffic to your website, ultimately leading to more leads and conversions.

The False Promise of Automated Accessibility Plugins

While automated accessibility plugins might seem like a quick fix, they often create more problems than they solve. Let’s look into why these plugins are not a sustainable solution and what you should be focusing on instead.

Why Plugins Fall Short:

  • Band-Aid Approach: These plugins attempt to patch accessibility issues on the surface, but they don’t address the underlying code or structure of the website. This can lead to new problems and inconsistencies for users with assistive technologies.
  • Conflicts with Assistive Tools: People with disabilities often rely on their own screen readers and other assistive technologies. Automated plugins can interfere with these tools, hindering navigation and creating a frustrating user experience.

Focus on Building Accessibility Standards:

Instead of relying on plugins, focus on creating a website that is inherently accessible from the ground up. Here’s what you should prioritize:

  • Semantic Coding: Use proper HTML tags and structures to convey the meaning and relationships between content. This ensures that assistive technologies can understand the layout of your website.
  • Alternative Text: Describe all non-text content, like images and videos, using concise and accurate alt text. This allows screen readers to convey the information to visually impaired users.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Ensure users can navigate your website entirely using just their keyboard. This is crucial for people who cannot use a mouse.

Beyond Compliance: User Experience for All

Accessibility isn’t just about ticking legal boxes. It’s about ensuring everyone has a positive experience on your website. People with disabilities deserve equal access to information and functionality. By prioritizing accessibility, you create a more inclusive and user-friendly website for everyone.

Demystifying WCAG Compliance for Local Service Based Businesses

WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) is a set of internationally recognized standards that ensure websites are accessible to people with disabilities. WCAG 2.1 AA is the recommended level of compliance for most businesses. It focuses on making websites usable with assistive technologies like screen readers and keyboard navigation.

Here’s what achieving WCAG 2.1 AA compliance might look like for your home service website:

  • Clear and logical website structure: Users with screen readers or cognitive disabilities should be able to navigate your website easily using headings, menus, and breadcrumbs.
  • Meaningful descriptions for images and videos: Alternative text descriptions (alt text) explain the content of images and videos to users who rely on screen readers.
  • Color contrast: Sufficient color contrast between text and background ensures readability for people with visual impairments.
  • Keyboard accessibility: All website functionalities should be accessible using a keyboard, allowing users who cannot use a mouse to navigate and interact with your site.

WebWyze: Your Accessibility Partner

At WebWyze, we understand the complexities of WCAG compliance. Our expert team can transform your website into an accessible haven, welcoming every visitor. We’ll handle the technical aspects, ensuring your digital space is:

  • Easy to Navigate: Clear structure, keyboard usability, and screen reader compatibility.
  • Informative: Meaningful descriptions for images and videos.
  • Inclusive: Design elements that cater to diverse needs, including color contrast and alternative text descriptions.

Don’t wait for a penalty to act. Proactive accessibility is a smart marketing strategy that benefits your business in multiple ways. Contact WebWyze today for a free consultation to assess your website’s accessibility. We offer a range of solutions to help you achieve WCAG compliance and unlock the power of an inclusive online presence!