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Improve Your Web Accessibility With These 9 Essential Tips

4 Mins read

Around 10% or 650 million of the world’s population live with a disability. 

If your website has poor accessibility, you could be limiting what millions of people with disabilities can do on your site. 

As a result, you can miss out on a huge customer base and even get slapped with a web accessibility lawsuit for failing to provide equal access to persons with disabilities. 

The solution? Meet the increased demand for website accessibility by making your site accessible to all users. 

Start improving your web accessibility today with the nine tips below. 

1. Use descriptive CTAs and link texts

Assistive technology, such as screen-readers that “read” web content aloud for blind users, can’t interpret and communicate the intent of Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons without proper context.

For instance, using “Click Now” as a CTA doesn’t tell screen readers and the user the meaning behind the link text.

Instead, include proper context in your link text and CTA buttons for screen readers to communicate their purpose to the user.  

Use more meaningful link text descriptions, such as “Click to Download Your E-book Copy.”

While you’re at it, ensure your attached documents or the content where your CTAs lead to are also accessible. 

For example, you should also remediate your e-books in PDF format for accessibility. You can work with reliable companies that offer PDF remediation services to make your shared PDF files accessible. 

Also, add form titles and labels to provide meaningful descriptions for screen-readers to interpret and communicate these properly to the user. 

2. Include proper headings to structure your content

Screen readers scan your content for headings to make sense of your web page’s structure. 

Use headings that follow the correct hierarchy to ensure your content makes sense and provides context for the assistive technology to read. 

Start with a title heading, followed by heading one (H1), heading two (H2), and so on.

Don’t skip over the proper hierarchy, such as using a heading three (H3) right after an H1, since this can alter your content’s structure, confusing your users. 

Using proper headings can improve your content’s readability for all users and, in turn, your web page’s accessibility. 

3. Use captions and text transcripts

Ensure your videos and audio content are accessible to all users with hearing impairments by making them available in another format.

You can include closed captions, offer text transcripts, and sign-language interpretations to help people with hearing disabilities understand and enjoy your audio content.  

Transcripts can also improve the experience of users who prefer reading or are in situations where they can’t listen to your audio.

4. Keep your website design simple

A complex web design can be challenging for people with neurological and cognitive disabilities to understand and navigate.

Stick to a simple website design to make it easy for users of all abilities to understand your content and see crucial page elements easily, such as form fields and CTAs. 

A clean and simple design can improve the user experience for all users while making your website more accessible for people with disabilities. Having an easily navigable site can also reduce your bounce rate and boost your conversions.  

5. Apply appropriate color contrast ratios

Users with aging vision or color blindness can’t see or read your website content and other elements if these elements have poor color contrast ratios.

For instance, using light-colored text against a background in a similar shade can make your text look invisible to users with visual impairments.

Use proper color contrast ratios to make your web content and pages more accessible. 

Your safest bet is to follow the Web Content Accessibility Guide’s (WCAG’s) color contrast ratio recommendation of 4:5:1 for text appearing over a background image or color. 

You can work with a graphic designer to ensure you apply the recommended color contrast ratio. 

You can also use contrast checker tools that scan your website’s text and background colors and offers recommendations to improve them for better accessibility.

6. Provide options to disable flickering content

Flickering content, fast animations, or content that shows strobe effects may trigger seizures in people with epilepsy and other disabilities. 

These can also annoy or distract other website visitors of all abilities, ruining the user experience. 

Remove or at least offer options to turn off flickering website elements and content easily to allow users with disabilities to browse and use your site safely and effectively. It can also help users focus more on your content’s purpose, helping them get to your CTA buttons faster. 

7. Implement keyboard-only navigation

Users who can’t use a mouse or mouse pad may only be able to navigate through sites with a keyboard. 

Improve your website’s accessibility by implementing keyboard-only navigation. 

Set up your website to allow users to move across your entire web page, sections, content, and elements using only keyboard, combination, and shortcut keys. 

For example, users should be able to navigate through your main menu using the Tab key and trigger links and buttons with the Enter key. 

You can also include skip links (or text links) that allow users to skip to specific website sections, such as your headings. 

8. Offer multiple authentication options

A CAPTCHA is often used to help prevent spam form fills. 

However, CAPTCHA isn’t accessible since it requires the user to interpret uncommon visual information, which users with disabilities may not be able to interpret. 

If users can’t make it past CAPTCHA, they can’t complete a form or access specific web pages, content, and even your website, leading to a terrible user experience. 

Instead of using CAPTCHA, a better approach is to configure a PHP code for forms detecting spam URLs. 

You can also set up the forms to validate each field so that entries that deviate from the parameters get flagged and weeded out as spam.

9. Test and improve your web accessibility continuously

Improving your web accessibility isn’t a one-time task but a continuous undertaking, especially with accessibility standards and guidelines continuously evolving. 

Test your website for web accessibility regularly to assess your compliance level and spot potential issues. It allows you to remediate accessibility issues promptly, helping you maintain web accessibility and ADA compliance.    

You can manually check your website’s accessibility or use reliable solutions with robust, automated web accessibility testing features. 

Provide better web accessibility to enhance the user experience

Improving your website’s accessibility provides equal access to persons with disabilities and enhances the user experience for people of all abilities. 

Assess your website for accessibility issues, follow web accessibility guidelines, and improve your current accessibility levels to boost the user experience and comply with legislation. 

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