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The importance of making your website accessible to all

Katie Leask
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June 1, 2021
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Read Time: 3min

Ever wondered what your website experience is like for someone with a cognitive, visual, or physical impairment? Download our digital accessibility report to find out how people with disabilities navigate the web, plus how you can ensure your site is accessible to all.

We can do more online today than ever before. From ordering food and making reservations to catching up with friends and attending university; the internet has changed how we shop, communicate, learn, and make decisions – it’s changed how we develop and interact as human beings.

But for all its incredible magic, it comes with one big problem; digital accessibility.

 

Digital accessibility: What does accessible mean?

Accessible means making sure something is capable of being used, reached, understood, or seen. Therefore, digital accessibility means ensuring that the web can be used by everyone, regardless of disability. It means people with impairments should be able to access the same services, in the same amount of time and with a similar effort, as those who are able. It means giving everyone equal access to services online.

So why is it so important to make sure your site is as easily accessible as possible? And why now? Let’s take a look.

 

Why is digital accessibility important?

Did you know that over one billion people in the world have an impairment that affects their ability to use the web? Yes, you read that right; over one billion people.

digital accessibility statistics

That’s a pretty big number, but it can be easy to overlook what that number actually means. So here’s the deal; that number signifies billions of people who may be unable to shop for food or communicate with friends online, people who can’t easily find local restaurant opening times or book cinema tickets in advance.

Put simply, without accessible web pages, your site is preventing some people from enjoying the same internet-based magic as the rest of us, sometimes even at the most basic human level. And that’s why you need to set your accessibility standards higher.

 

The commercial argument for accessible interfaces

The argument for digital accessibility extends way beyond the moral obligation of removing accessibility barriers for all. It has huge financial and commercial implications too. This means accessibility is not only good for ensuring equal access to everyone on a moral level, but it’s also good for business.

And that’s because the disability market is huge; in fact, it’s larger than China.

If your website isn’t accessible to those with impairments, that’s a huge chunk of your potential audience you’re losing before you’ve even started – around 30% of them. And you’d better believe it’ll have a knock-on effect on your bottom line. So for any brand looking to grow revenue in today’s competitive world, digital accessibility is an absolute necessity.

Another argument for the importance of accessibility for disabled people is that it doesn’t just benefit those with impairments, it benefits everybody. From people using smartphones to elderly people to those with a slow internet connection; accessible design naturally comes with fewer points of friction and frustration.

And with that comes huge improvements in customer experience and loyalty; if a customer can use your site with ease, they’re more likely to come back and spend money. They’re more likely to tell their friends. They’re more likely to share your content on social media. They’re more likely to advocate for your brand. For free.

digital accessibility statistics

A brand that demonstrates a commitment to accessibility for all can enjoy a strengthened brand presence and an increase in positive sentiment and word-of-mouth recommendations.

 

Find out more

Want to learn more about how to ensure digital accessibility for physical disabilities? Download our Digital Accessibility Handbook to find out how to make your website accessible to everyone.

accessibility cta

Author

Katie Leask

Katie is Contentsquare’s Global Content Manager. With five years of content experience both agency and client-side, she knows a thing or two about creating content that drives traffic and converts. She enjoys reading, red wine, and going to bed early. She’s also pretty fond of rooftops and is rarely seen without freshly painted nails.