In today’s digital age, a business’s online presence is instrumental in reaching customers and driving growth. However, many business owners underestimate the impact of website accessibility on their success. By ensuring your website is inclusive and compliant for those with disabilities, you not only broaden your customer base but also create an opportunity to claim tax refunds. Let’s explore the importance of website accessibility, WCAG 2.1 compliance, and how it can benefit your business financially.
Embrace Inclusivity and Expand Your Market Reach
It’s vital to recognize that approximately one billion people globally live with disabilities. By prioritizing website accessibility, you tap into a substantial market segment that is often overlooked. Implementing WCAG 2.1 guidelines on your website allows individuals with disabilities to navigate and engage with your content effortlessly. Not only does this demonstrate your commitment to inclusivity and social responsibility, but it also opens doors to new audiences and potential customers. By offering an accessible online environment, you attract loyal customers who appreciate businesses that prioritize accessibility.
Improve User Experience and Boost Engagement
Website accessibility is not just about accommodating people with disabilities; it enhances the user experience for all visitors. Implementing accessibility features, such as clear navigation, descriptive headings, and alternative text for images, benefits everyone, including mobile users, individuals with slower internet connections, and non-native speakers. By optimizing your website for diverse users, you create a positive user experience that encourages engagement, drives conversions, and enhances customer satisfaction. This, in turn, leads to increased sales and revenue.
“We’re just about at the point where we’re going to be automatically including accessibility coding on all our quoted projects,” says Tom Hanberg, CEO of Skyhound Internet. “Just like we did with a website becoming mobile friendly — a complete necessity now — accessibility standards are the next logical step for a better user experience.”
Mitigate Legal Risks and Claim Potential Tax Refunds
Ensuring your website complies with accessibility standards protects your business from potential lawsuits and legal actions. Various countries, including the United States, have established regulations requiring businesses to make their websites accessible. And companies are starting to face legal challenges in certain markets. The good news is that by investing in WCAG 2.1 compliance, you can potentially claim tax refunds. In some jurisdictions, expenses related to accessibility improvements may qualify for tax deductions or credits of up to $5,000 for coding fees. By consulting with a tax professional or researching local regulations, you can uncover opportunities to recoup a portion of your accessibility investment through these tax refunds.
Enhance Search Engine Visibility and Increase Traffic
Search engines, such as Google, value website accessibility when determining search rankings. WCAG 2.1 compliance closely aligns with search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, emphasizing clear content structure, logical headings, and descriptive link text. By implementing accessibility features, you improve the readability and crawlability of your website, making it easier for search engines to index your content accurately. This increased visibility in search results drives organic traffic to your website, amplifies your online presence, and boosts your chances of converting visitors into customers.
Strengthen Brand Reputation and Social Impact
In an era of conscious consumerism, customers actively seek businesses that align with their values. By prioritizing website accessibility and meeting WCAG 2.1 standards, you showcase your brand’s commitment to social responsibility and inclusivity. This resonates with customers, builds trust, and enhances your brand reputation. Positive online reviews and word-of-mouth marketing from satisfied customers further amplify your image, attracting more customers who value businesses that prioritize accessibility.
How To Get Started
If you’re website is already built, Skyhound has tools that can help determine how accessible the content currently is through an audit process. This audit is provided free of charge to all clients. Once the audit is completed, our team will determine just what’s needed to make your site WCAG 2.1 compliant. While there are some companies offering shortcut widgets to “do the job in minutes”, many of these cases are not being held up in legal proceedings. Skyhound typically tackles the issues straight from the coding side. We fix the problems in HTML code to bring you up to compliance. This practice is the best way to handle website code, and is not just a ‘band-aid’ on top of non-compliant code. After passing an audit, accessibility widgets can be added for free or little cost to complete the process and for peace of mind moving forward. Typically your website should be checked annually to monitor any issues that may have come up with your site or WCAG standards.
Website accessibility, WCAG 2.1 compliance, and the opportunity for tax refunds should be at the forefront of every business owner’s mind. By prioritizing inclusivity, you unlock new market potential, improve user experience, mitigate legal risks, enhance search engine visibility, and strengthen your brand reputation. Additionally, exploring tax refund opportunities allows you to recoup a portion of your accessibility investment. Embrace website accessibility today and position your business as a leader in your field.
For a no cost consultation, call us at 562-308-1483 or submit a contact request here.