As a law firm, it is important to ensure your website is ADA accessible, making it possible for those with hearing or visual disabilities to access your page and all the content on it. Optimizing for website accessibility provides numerous benefits, both to your law firm and potential clients.
Unfortunately, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), many sites and tools are still developed with accessibility barriers that make them difficult or impossible for people with physical impairments to use. As part of their Web Accessibility Initiative, the W3C promotes a “high degree of usability for people with disabilities” to improve the internet as a whole because web accessibility matters, even for your law firm’s website.
Why Website Accessibility for Law Firms Matters
From the simplest standpoint, making your law firm’s website accessible will show that you care about the entire community and provide an inclusive space that does not discriminate against those with disabilities. Of course, it will also increase the likelihood that you will be able to bring in more clients since you do not have to worry about those with visual or hearing impairments being unable to properly navigate your website.
There are also ADA requirements that websites should comply with to improve accessibility and establish social responsibility. Even from a moral standpoint, your website should be accessible, which brings us to the user experience.
One of the biggest reasons to make accessibility a priority is the ability to provide a good user experience to your visitors. Any website should be designed to appeal to every visitor, and there should be no difference in the content and overall experience if that visitor has a hearing or visual impairment. Don’t forget to consider that increasing accessibility can also improve the user experience of elderly people who cannot see as well as they used to and those with slow internet connections.
You may not think about it, but your website’s accessibility can also impact your SEO rankings, something that is crucial for bringing in website traffic. Not all rankings will penalize you for being inaccessible, but some will. Many of the things that make your website accessible will simultaneously improve rankings, such as having alt-tags or captions on images.
How to Make Your Law Website Accessible
The simplest way to improve accessibility to your law firm’s website would be to follow the considerations that the ADA provides to web developers. These include featuring captions for all media and photos, limiting flashing and blinking, using transcripts and visual notifications for video and sound, using intuitive site architecture, skipping navigation buttons, and placing description HTML tags on every form.
As you work to ensure your website is accessible, remember that this step does not just help those with visual and auditory impairments. You want it accessible for those with cognitive, physical, speech, and neurological disabilities as well.
If your website isn’t user friendly for everyone equally, is it truly user friendly? Yes it’s important to optimize your site for search engines, but it’s just as important to optimize for accessibility. Accessibility features like adding meta tags, captions, easy navigation, and certain HTML code will make your law firm’s site ADA compliant while improving search rankings at the same time.