As a new business owner, you want to set your company up for success from day one. You want to build a strong reputation, increase sales, and reach a broader audience. While there are many things to consider when opening up a new business, have you considered the importance of ADA web compliance in achieving these goals? Putting ADA web compliance at the top of your list is the key to setting up your new business for success.
What is ADA Web Compliance?
ADA, or the Americans with Disabilities Act, is a federal law that mandates the inclusion of all people, especially those with disabilities, in all areas of public life. That includes jobs, schools, transportation, and other places open to the general public, including websites. This means ensuring your website is accessible for everyone, regardless of their disability.
A website that is not accessible can prevent individuals with visual, auditory, physical, and cognitive disabilities from accessing information, making purchases, and interacting with your business. But does the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to small businesses?
ADA Web Compliance and Small Businesses
It might come as a surprise, but even small businesses are legally required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the ADA’s Title III, every business, regardless of size, has to be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes large corporations, right down to small businesses.
While ADA Title III does not specially mention accessibility for websites, there has been a change in mindset on what is considered a public place. The Department of Justice in 2018 stated that websites are considered a place of public accommodations, despite the ADA not including sites specifically.
Therefore, ADA Title III requires physical access, such as ramps to enter premises, and digital access, including video captions, alternative text for images, and ensuring websites support accessibility technology.
What is ADA Web Compliance?
ADA web compliance ensures that people with disabilities can independently browse a website’s products or services, understand written and visual content, and make purchases. People with different types of disabilities require various web accessibility accommodations to interact on the internet. For example:
- Visually impaired individuals need descriptive alternative tags on images to allow screen readers to describe them and provide context.
- Someone with a motor disability might use keyboard navigation instead of a mouse.
- Deaf individuals need captions or sign language interpretations alongside a video.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) have become the international standard for web accessibility. WCAG included specific checkpoints and recommendations based on a principle-based approach to ensure all users can share the same experience regardless of disability or assistive software. If you want to learn more about the different web accessibility guidelines, read our guide to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Why ADA Web Compliance is Key for New Business
Web accessibility can be intimidating, but addressing it from the start is well worth the effort. Like many aspects of starting a new business, it can cost a lot of time and money to go back and correct your website rather than make it accessible in the first place. But how will ADA web accessibility help grow your new business?
To help emphasize why web accessibility should be a fundamental building block in developing your new small business, we have gathered a list of reasons to answer just that.
It’s crucial to have your website optimized for accessibility to rank highly in search engine results. Search engines like Google are constantly working to improve the quality of results for their users. This includes prioritizing websites that are accessible to everyone and penalizing sites that are not. If your website is ADA-compliant, you can avoid lower search engine rankings and reduced visibility. By ensuring your website is ADA compliant, you’ll improve your SEO and chances of ranking higher in search results, increasing your visibility and driving more traffic to your site.
Better User Experience
ADA web compliance means everyone can access your site and engage with your brand, regardless of their abilities. This is crucial for retaining customers, building trust with your audience, and creating a positive user experience for everyone visiting your site. In addition, by making your site accessible, you’ll create a more inclusive environment that will make your brand stand out and leave a lasting impression.
Increased Sales and Conversions
A website that is easy to use and accessible to all visitors is more likely to generate sales and conversions. By providing a more accessible experience, you’ll increase the likelihood of visitors to your site becoming loyal customers and making purchases. Additionally, an ADA-compliant website is more likely to generate positive reviews and recommendations, which can drive even more sales.
Reaching a broader audience
ADA web compliance means your site will be accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. By making your site accessible, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and provide a more inclusive user experience for all users. This will give your brand a competitive edge and help you reach new customers who may not have been able to engage with your brand before.
Building a Positive Public Reputation
Being ADA-compliant shows that your business is socially responsible and cares about the needs of all customers. By demonstrating your commitment to accessibility, you’ll be showcasing your brand’s values and creating a positive image in the minds of consumers. This can build a reputation to make your brand stand out and help you grow your business.
ADA web compliance is a legal requirement, and non-compliant websites can face significant fines and legal action. By making your site accessible, you’ll mitigate your risk and avoid the potential consequences of non-compliance. This will give you peace of mind and ensure that you can focus on growing your business without worrying about the potential risks of non-compliance.
ADA Compliance is the Key to Success for New Businesses
ADA web compliance is crucial for setting up your new business for success. With improved SEO, a better user experience for all customers, increased sales and conversions, reaching a broader audience, building a positive public reputation, and risk mitigation, investing in ADA compliance is essential in building a successful and sustainable business. However, it is imperative not to leave it till the end when setting up a new business or website.
Fortunately, with 216digital web accessibility experts, you don’t have to. Instead, we will help develop a strategy to integrate WCAG 2.1 compliance into your development roadmap on your terms so that you can focus on the other tasks on your to-do list. So don’t wait any longer; make your website accessible today and start reaping the benefits by scheduling a complementary ADA Strategy Briefing today.