How Having an ADA Compliant Website Can Increase Your Revenue
The number of lawsuits for ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) non-compliance has skyrocketed in recent years. If you have a business, you’ve probably heard how important it is to make your website ADA compliant. If not, you could be hit with one of those costly lawsuits.
There’s no getting around it, the best way to ensure compliance is to have ADA compliance consultants perform a WCAG audit. But fear of being sued shouldn’t be the only reason to make your website compliant. An accessible website also provides business owners with many benefits. Keep reading to find out how.
It Improves the User Experience for Everyone
When you make your website ADA compliant, you open your business to millions of potential new customers. The disabled are not a small fringe group. On the contrary, the CDC calculates that 1 in 4 or 61 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability.
As the population ages, the number of disabled adults is expected to keep increasing in the coming years. Why deny them access to your website?
It Helps Improve Your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Ranking
There’s one important benefit of compliance that all business owners can appreciate. Many of the elements that make your website ADA compliant also help improve your SEO ranking.
Sitemaps – Websites with sitemaps make it easier to find what you’re looking for. This is particularly true for disabled users. Sitemaps also help search engine crawlers identify individual links to other pages that can’t be found anywhere else on the website, which helps SEO.
Headings – Many disabled users rely on assistive technology to access the internet. Instead of a mouse, screen readers give them the contents of a page. All headers should be in the proper order and relevant to the page. This also helps search engine crawlers get an idea of what’s on the page. When those headings are where they should be, that helps your SEO ranking too.
Alt text – Alt text provides written descriptions of the images on a page for visually impaired users with screen readers. These should be accurate and match the image. If they’re wrong, incomplete or missing, your website isn’t ADA compliant. It will also hurt your SEO ranking.
This is just a sampling of how ADA-compliant elements on your website can help your SEO ranking improve. There are many others.
ADA Compliance Builds a Positive Brand Image
The Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted in 1990 to protect the civil rights of disabled Americans. It gave those with disabilities equal access to employment, transportation, businesses, and other aspects of everyday life that non-disabled Americans often take for granted. That is something to be celebrated.
From a purely human standpoint, why deny disabled users the right to navigate and shop your website? Not only does it provide every visitor to your site with a positive experience, but it can also help your brand.
As a business owner, you know social media can have a major impact on your brand. When disabled users are able to visit your website trouble-free, your chances of receiving positive feedback and more visitors go up. You’ll also be known as the company that shows it cares about all of its customers.
You May be Eligible for a $5,000 IRS Tax Credit
*Note: the following section is not financial or legal advice. To determine your eligibility for this tax credit please consult with a tax professional.
The IRS offers a tax credit for small business owners who make their websites accessible. The Disabled Access Tax Credit Title 26, IRS Code 44 allows businesses to claim a tax credit of $5,000 if they spend money to make their websites accessible to people with disabilities. Any expenses to their physical locations are also eligible for the credit.
This tax credit is available to businesses that:
- Had $1 million or less in gross receipts for the prior year OR
- Had less than 30 full-time employees during the prior tax year
Eligible accessibility expenses must be over $250, but not over $10,250 per tax year. As an added bonus, business owners may claim the credit for every year they spend on accessibility.
Save Thousands By Avoiding Litigation
If you have a business website, you need to make your website ADA compliant. The cost of hiring ADA compliance consultants to run a WCAG audit doesn’t compare to the cost of defending yourself against a lawsuit for ADA non-compliance.
An ADA compliance consultant will run a manual website audit to identify all of the elements of your website that need to be fixed. Then they will remediate your website following the standard for ADA compliance, WCAG (Website Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 Level A and AA.
There are no shortcuts and it takes time, but in the end, your newly ADA compliant website will provide you with many benefits.
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