If you’ve heard about 508 compliance, you probably know that it’s an amendment to federal law that requires websites to be accessible to individuals with disabilities. That can encompass several features, including closed captioning on videos, screen readers that can speak the text on your pages, alt text on images those screen readers pick up, color contrast, and keyboard-only visual indicators — just to name a few. Despite 508’s importance, plenty of websites out there aren’t optimized for it, either because their businesses haven’t made it a priority, or they haven’t felt a sense of urgency to do so. So, if yours is included in that list, what should compel you to change?
1. It’s the Law.
Hold up, you might say. That requirement’s for federal agencies and contractors, and even several of those aren’t compliant — so why should I care? Because that’s only partially true: “…many non-federal websites are still required to be accessible under other laws,” according to Section508.gov, so not having it on yours is still leaving the door open for a potential lawsuit for discrimination. Better to cover all of your bases so you aren’t losing revenue and damaging your brand’s reputation on something so easy to implement.
Better yet, it helps you make money because…
2. It Improves Your SEO.
You don’t need a sacrifice to the Google gods in order to rank better — just be ADA compliant. It’s a big digital checkbox in the search behemoth’s algorithm to show that you’re a legitimate, reputable business. And, as Search Engine Journal has pointed out in the past, this widens your customer base and allows you to “dominate your niche.” The reasoning here is pretty straightforward: not only can more people access your content and complete your buyer’s journey, many of your competitors probably don’t even offer this, which means you maximize sales by simply being more accessible.
Still Aren’t Sold?
These arguments certainly aren’t new, and the push for everyone to get on the 508 bandwagon has been around for a few years now. Even businesses that may initially want to make this update will assume their IT support or web designers will handle it for them. But just as easy as these features are to implement, they’re also easy to overlook.
Your best option? Talk with Marketing Armor about how to improve the accessibility of yours. Better yet, click the link below for a free consultation on all of the factors your website could be missing that are keeping it from becoming a stronger, more agile part of your overall marketing strategy.