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Accessibility In Digital Marketing: 11 Techniques We Swear By

Tarek Radwan, Senior Technical Consultant @ Mapp
Accessibility In Digital Marketing: 11 Techniques We Swear By

Did you know websites without accessibility lead to a staggering annual loss of around $7 billion? This figure is predicted to climb by 2030 as the global population ages, and demand for accessible services increases. This isn’t just about numbers; it’s about real people choosing competitors who prioritize their access needs.

Inclusivity isn’t a buzzword in digital marketing—it’s a gateway to connecting with a wider audience meaningfully. Accessibility is at the heart of this, transforming how all users, regardless of ability, interact with your content. It’s about ensuring everyone can see and fully experience your brand’s message.

Your business’ attitude towards accessibility shouldn’t be about ticking a legal checkbox. It needs to be a commitment to inclusivity that can broaden your customer reach, grow your customer base, and increase conversions. Ensuring your websites, apps, and platforms meet everyone’s needs helps target a wider audience.

At Mapp, we understand the importance of reaching every potential customer, and that’s why we champion accessibility in our Professional Services. Let’s explore how to integrate these principles into your business effectively.

What is Accessibility?

Accessibility is the concept of making your services available to the largest audience possible. It means that physical limitations, medical conditions, cognitive abilities, and other factors should not prevent people from benefiting from your business. This applies not only to physical spaces but also to the digital world, including web and digital marketing.

What are the benefits of Accessibility?

  1. Broader Audience Reach: Helps significantly expand the potential audience for your products or services.
  2. Enhanced User Experience: Improvements such as simple and intuitive navigation, clear content structure, and easy-to-read text lead to a better overall user experience for everyone – not just those with specific accessibility needs.
  3. Improved SEO: Search engines favor websites accessible to a broad audience, including those with disabilities. By following accessibility guidelines, you can improve your site’s SEO, leading to higher rankings in search results and potentially more traffic.
  4. Legal Compliance and Risk Reduction: With increasing legal requirements around digital accessibility worldwide, making your content accessible reduces the risk of legal challenges and penalties.

What are Accessibility Regulations?

In 2023, eCommerce websites topped the list with the most legal challenges regarding accessibility. This appeared due to their increasing online presence, frequent updates, and complex features.

Accessibility isn’t a new concept when it comes to regulations. In the U.S., the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates accessibility in public services, while the EU’s Web Accessibility Directive (WAD) has similar requirements.

Looking ahead, the European Accessibility Act (EAA) is set to extend these obligations to private businesses starting in 2025. This highlights a growing dedication to inclusion, with more organizations stepping up to enhance accessibility.

How does Accessibility apply to Digital Marketing?

Making your digital content accessible isn’t just about compliance; it reflects your commitment to inclusivity and an investment in reaching the widest audience possible.

In digital marketing, accessibility is achieved through designing and offering content with alternative means to fit everyone’s needs. If you apply accessibility best practices across your channels, it helps to create a cohesive customer experience and directs consumers through interacting with your digital content. This increases the chances of preventing missed conversion opportunities.

Think about when you use the internet to order food or shop for clothes. The experience mostly depends on what you see, such as touching the screen or using a mouse. Unfortunately, low-vision individuals may experience challenges interacting with web content, e.g., when companies use low-contrast color combinations.

The same occurs in email messages. While most people will likely be able to read all texts, including the smallest font, what about people with vision impairments? Here’s where you’d want to use legible font sizes and provide alt text for images, enhancing readability for all users, including those with visual impairments.

11 Example Techniques for Accessibility

Ready to learn the most relevant techniques to improve the accessibility of your content drastically? We’ve hand-picked 11 key techniques for you below.

1. Plain Text Message Emails


  • Challenge: HTML emails can be inaccessible to screen readers, impacting individuals with visual impairments.
  • Technique: Provide a plain text message together with the HTML version in your emails.
  • User Benefit: Ensures content accessibility and broadening reach.
  • Business Impact: Increased email campaign effectiveness as messages reach a larger audience.

2. Don’t Force Dark Mode 


  • Challenge: Devices typically adjust for dark mode, but some developers override these settings in web design, which can lead to accessibility issues like low contrast. This affects users with certain types of visual impairments.
  • Technique: Allow mode toggling instead of forcing dark mode to render light content.
  • User Benefit: Improves user satisfaction by respecting personal preferences.
  • Business Impact: Enhances brand perception as accommodating and user-friendly, potentially increasing user engagement and loyalty.

3. Alternative Text to Media Contents


  • Challenge: Images and videos are not accessible to users who are visually impaired or rely on screen readers.
  • Technique: Add descriptive alt text as an alternative to media content (e.g., images, videos, etc.) in your web pages and email.
  • User Benefit: Makes content comprehensible for all users.
  • Business Impact: Expands content reach and effectiveness, ensuring all users can engage with visual media, enhancing overall campaign impact.

4. Semantic HTML Tags 


  • Challenge: Non-semantic markup hinders navigation for assistive technologies. This creates a negative experience for users with visual or motor impairments.
  • Technique: Use semantic HTML tags to define the structure of the web page (e.g., header, nav, footer, etc.)
  • User Benefit: Facilitates easier navigation and access.
  • Business Impact: Improves website usability and SEO, potentially increasing site traffic and user time.

5. Color Contrast 


  • Challenge: Poor contrast affects readability for users with low vision.
  • Technique: Ensure high contrast between text and background on webpages and email.
  • User Benefit: Enhances readability and user experience.
  • Business Impact: Reduces bounce rates and improves engagement, potentially influencing conversion rates.

6. Usability Testing

  • Challenge: Websites not navigable by keyboard exclude users with motor impairments and who cannot use a mouse.
  • Technique: Test the usability of web pages without a mouse and ensure keyboard navigation.
  • User Benefit: Make web pages accessible to a broader user base.
  • Business Impact: Expand the accessible audience, improving acquisition, user retention, and potentially increasing conversions.

7. Descriptive Link Texts


  • Challenge: Non-descriptive links are inaccessible to screen reader users.
  • Technique: Use clear, descriptive link text and avoid using generic text such as “click here.”
  • User Benefit: Improves understandability and navigation.
  • Business Impact: Enhances user journey clarity, potentially reducing drop-off rates and increasing click-throughs.

8. Responsive Design


  • Challenge: Fixed layouts can be unusable on different devices. This impacts all users, especially those with mobility impairments.
  • Technique: Implement responsive design for web and email.
  • Benefit: Ensures usability across all devices.
  • Business Impact: Broadens audience reach and improves user engagement across various platforms, enhancing brand interaction.

9. Descriptive Messages

  • Challenge: Ambiguous form feedback can confuse users. This can be harmful for all users.
  • Technique: Provide clear validation messages and descriptive messages for required fields and form validations in your web pages.
  • User Benefit: Aids in successful form completion.
  • Business Impact: Builds trust and increases conversion rates by reducing form abandonment, directly affecting lead generation and sales.

10. Descriptive Title and Favicon


  • Challenge: Generic titles and favicons can confuse users and impact web navigation.
  • Technique: Use descriptive titles and recognizable favicons in your web pages.
  • User Benefit: Enhances website identification and navigation to help meet needs better.
  • Business Impact: Improves site discoverability and brand recognition, aiding in user recall and return visits.

11. Content Fits When Resizing

  • Challenge: Content that doesn’t adapt to text resizing can become unreadable, particularly for users with visual impairments.
  • Technique: Ensure adaptability of content to text resizing in web pages and email.
  • Benefit: Maintains content accessibility under text magnification.
  • Business Impact: Ensures content is accessible to users who need larger text, maintaining engagement and comprehension, which is vital for effective communication.

Other Useful resources

Most of the requirements for Accessibility are based on the WCAG best practices.

If you want to read more about the upcoming European Accessibility Act, you’ll find more information here.

Additionally, you can also find useful resources on the WebAIM project website.

Want to Know More About Mapp’s Professional Services?

We take accessibility very seriously at Mapp. That’s why our Professional Services Team are committed to helping our clients adhere to accessibility requirements and best practices. Get in touch with us now!

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