An estimated 26% of adults in the U.S. have some type of disability (CDC.) A large number of your existing patients and the potential patients in your target audience may have a disability of some sort.
In today’s digital world, when most of your new patients are searching for you online before visiting you, your website is a direct extension of your patient experience. Oftentimes, your website is the only opportunity you have to connect with potential patients before they decide between you – or your competitor.
If one in four of the people in your target audience has a disability, you want to ensure that your website is accessible to them.
Ensuring ADA compliance is not only fair and inclusive to everyone, but it impacts your website SEO ranking and your ability to reach your target audience, which directly affects your new patient start rate. (Not to mention, failure to comply can also cost you a +$25,000 lawsuit.)
It’s good business to have an ADA compliant website for a number of critical reasons! Here’s what you need to know:
What is ADA compliance?
ADA compliance is a set of accessibility standards by the Americans with Disabilities Act that requires all public organizations to ensure that their websites are accessible to people with disabilities.
For a website to be ADA compliant, it must meet a number of usability requirements – from alt tags on media files to color contrast in your website design. To be considered an ADA compliant website, the website must check off a number of compliance requirements, including (but not limited to):
- All media files must have alt tags
- All PDF files are accessible
- All fonts are accessible and readable
- Must have a website accessibility policy page
- Must have accessible contact information
- Color contrast of font and design must be sufficient
- Must use proper heading tags in content
And the list goes on! You don’t have to know every last detail of ADA compliance – that’s our job. When we create your website, we follow ADA regulations to ensure that your new website is up-to-code and accessible to all.
Is ADA compliance necessary for websites?
While there is some gray area when it comes to ADA compliance and ADA regulations in relation to websites, it is necessary that your website is ADA compliant if you are providing goods or services for the public.
An ADA compliant website can increase your website’s reach by a significant 26%, and make your website more visible on search. Search engine crawlers look for ADA compliance as a ranking factor for your website – and you must impress the search engine crawlers if you want your website to appear on page 1.
Not to mention, failure to follow ADA regulations can land your business in some hot legal trouble. ADA compliance is a touchy, complex guideline to navigate! That’s why many businesses choose to partner with experts in ADA compliant marketing (like us!) to ensure that they leave no legal stone unturned.
It’s true that your business can be sued for ADA negligence – and unfortunately, the number of ADA-related lawsuits has skyrocketed lately.
Studies show that lawsuits filed against companies in violation of ADA guidelines increased by a whopping 177% from 2017 to 2018 (Source). Not only does ADA compliance boost your website search ranking, but it’ll keep you out of legal trouble and save you money too.
How to Make Your Website ADA Compliant
First, you’ll want to check whether your website is ADA compliant. You can use a free ADA website checker tool, like Google’s Lighthouse or WAVE, to run a report on accessibility. These reports analyze features such as URL redirects, alt tags on media files, heading tags and color contrast.
Once you know which ADA compliance features your website is lacking, you can develop a plan to remediate them.
Full disclosure here, it can be pretty overwhelming to review and derive actionable insights from an ADA compliance report. These things are extensive – and if you’re not familiar with ADA compliance regulations, website development and website design, these reports can look like a whole lot of mumbo jumbo.
Fortunately, (*shameless plug*) eNox Media specializes in all things website and digital marketing. We have our own strategy for checking ADA compliance and correcting faulty features on your existing site, or creating a new website from scratch and ensuring that all features are up-to-code.
Our team of marketing experts functions as your partner – an extension of your already awesome team – who manages all aspects of your digital marketing, from web design, to organic SEO, to paid advertising. Whatever your needs may be, we’ll develop a plan to fulfill them.
Put your website in the hands of a team you can trust. When ADA lawsuits are costing each business at least $25,000 in legal fees, including plaintiff fees, defense attorney fees and website audit remediation, you can’t afford to ignore ADA compliance.