Why web accessibility should be offered by marketing agencies as standard

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Date: 19 January 2022

UX designer working on an accessible website design

With roughly $250 billion being spent on marketing services in the USA alone in 2020, it's no surprise to see the level of competition rising each year. In many ways, the marketing sector is a giant's playground, with the vast majority of the revenue generated belonging to vast media holding groups. With this in mind, it's easy to see why it's so difficult for small to medium-sized marketing agencies to break into this industry, let alone prosper.

While most agencies are focused on improving their customers' ROI and optimising returns on ad spend, there are a few low-hanging fruits that can yield excellent results for clients. However, many of them are overlooked in favour of more traditional service offerings. Web accessibility is one such example. This despite the fact that it's never been easier to build and maintain a fully accessible website than it is today.

What is web accessibility?

Web accessibility, in a nutshell, is the inclusive practice of ensuring that all of your digital tools, technologies, and websites are fully accessible to persons with disabilities. This means that there should be no barriers to interaction with your website or services, including your digital content.

Just as businesses with a physical location are expected to make provisions such as disability ramps and toilets, online businesses must be prepared to make similar accommodations for their disabled users, such as optimising their website for keyboard navigation, screen readers and ensuring their content is understandable and legible.

All websites must be Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, and Robust, according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which is a set of universal guidelines that specify how to make web content more accessible to individuals with disabilities. Failure to do so may result in sanctions (more on this later).

With that out of the way, let's look at some main reasons why marketing companies should prioritise web accessibility as a service offering and how their clients will profit from it.

Creates new revenue generation opportunities

Disabled people represent the world's largest minority. According to Humanity & Inclusion, an estimated one billion people worldwide live with some sort of disability, accounting for around 15% of the global population. Furthermore, they are among the demographics with the highest level of disposable income.

Disregarding disabled people and failing to make adequate provisions for their requirements means you could be missing out on a significant opportunity. Marketing firms can help clients tap into a neglected market that presents very little competition. In many ways, it's a no-brainer, but most business and website owners believe that achieving a fully compliant website is more complex than it actually is.

AI has changed the web accessibility game

Website owners of all shapes and sizes can now achieve full web compliance with relatively little effort (and expense) thanks to accessiBe, who have quickly risen to become a leader in providing web accessibility solutions. accessiBe's AI-powered technology is capable of bringing the entirety of a website's content and navigational functionalities up to WCAG standards.

If you operate a website, you could install an AI-powered, automated solution in just two minutes! And after 48 hours, accessiBe's automated web accessibility solution will have finished scanning and assessing your website, after which your website will be compliant. To make things even better, the AI technology scans for new and revised content to fix every 24 hours, which means that business owners never have to lift a finger to keep their site compliant.

Accessible websites perform better

Accessible websites perform better than non-compliant websites on a number of fronts. For starters, a website that prioritises compliance will provide a better user experience for all visitors, not just those with disabilities. A more accessible website also sends a variety of positive signals to the search engines, such as a lower bounce rate and increased engagement, which will lead to a positive boost in SEO performance. As a marketing agency, these are key metrics that can help to boost the overall effectiveness of their client's ad campaigns.

Reduce the risk of prosecution

The number of digital accessibility lawsuits is on the rise in the US. According to the Bureau of Internet Accessibility, these lawsuits are costing US businesses billions in legal fees each year, with $25,000 per case being a fairly conservative estimate for the costs of a lawsuit.

Therefore, agencies can help their clients to avoid these legal fees, financial penalties and the negative publicity that comes with such lawsuits, while still focusing on driving home more revenue through traditional means.

Final word - It's the right thing to do

Finally, prioritising web accessibility is simply the right thing to do in terms of ethics and morals. It just so happens that fully compliant websites will also benefit from a slew of additional advantages, such as greater revenue and improved SEO performance. Above all, marketing agencies that provide web accessibility services to their clients can assist them in cultivating a more inclusive brand, which is fantastic for developing a strong online reputation that can help to drive home more revenue and boost return on ad spend.

Copyright 2022. Article made possible by Jeff Broth, business writer and advisor. Jeff has consulted for SMB owners and entrepreneurs for seven years mainly covering finance, stocks and emerging fintech trends.

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