How accessibility strengthens your brand

Published November 28, 2022

Branding is an essential factor in business. While your business model is the behind-the-scenes way you sustain, your brand is the face — the way you convey yourself to the public, which means potential clients or customers. 

Your brand is the image of your business. It’s how you share your message and build credibility with your audience. You want to make a good impression. 

According to WebAIM’s screen reader survey, 87.6% of respondents in the U.S. use screen readers due to a disability. You want to create a positive experience for all users as a company or organization. Consider how a wide variety of users with different backgrounds and abilities interact with your company digitally. When considering your audience, you must include those with disabilities. 

As a result, you invite a large segment of our society that is often overlooked to use your products and services, resulting in increased revenues and sales.

Creating accessible web experiences gives your business two great opportunities for your brand: 

  • Welcome people with disabilities to share in your products and services
  • The ability to share your commitment to accessibility in your messaging

Here are a few things to consider when it comes to branding so you can create an accessible experience for all:

Consider color palettes

Your brand’s logo is one of the first things people recognize for initial awareness and, in the long run, brand loyalty. When creating a logo, be considerate of the colors you use. 

The contrast level must be at least 4.5:1 for normal text and 3:1 for larger text. When in doubt, always use a contrast checker.

In terms of color blindness, here are some matchups to avoid:

  • Red and green
  • Green and brown
  • Green and blue
  • Blue and gray
  • Blue and purple
  • Green and gray
  • Green and black

By having the initial introduction of your brand (the logo) as a prime example of digital accessibility, you’re inviting more people to interact with and take part in what you have to offer. 

Accessible customer service

While your band is attracting interest, questions from users are bound to come up. You want to create a barrier-free option for people to interact with your brand. This also conveys that your product is not limited to just those without disabilities. 

Poor customer service experiences can cost your brand big time. Did you know that 58% of American consumers will switch companies because of poor customer service?

Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Provide multiple contact options to accommodate the preferences or needs based on disability or for any reason. Users should feel able and comfortable using different methods. Several contact methods, like live chat, phone, email, etc., can be an accessibility boost.
  • Make customer service options clear and easy to find. Having self-serve and contact options in an easy-to-locate place on your website lessens the chance of user frustration resulting in them disengaging.
  • Train customer service representatives accordingly. If you are working with people as your support agents, make sure they have the proper training to assist those living with disabilities. 

Improve SEO and expand your reach

Visually impaired people use alternative (alt text) to navigate the web. The alt text describes images to website visitors who cannot see them. The HTML code that alt text creates is read by screen readers or other assistive technology. It’s pivotal for those who are blind, have other visual impairments, or have physical or cognitive disabilities to understand images on a website leading to a more user-friendly experience. 

Including alt text can also increase your business’s visibility online. It factors into SEO (Search Engine Optimization) by providing context to what the image displays so search engine crawlers can index the images improving your business's online presence. Although SEO is a plus, writing alt text is not the same and differs from just writing SEO keywords. 

Here are ways to provide good, high-quality alt text for those needing it.

  • Get descriptive: Get as detailed as possible when describing the image in the text. Give a complete and accurate description of what is going on. 
  • Be grammatically correct: Use your grammar skills (or supportive software). Most screen readers read the text as is — don’t let the message get lost in misspelled words or run-on sentences because of a lack of punctuation. Pro-tip: Double-check your alt text by reading it aloud to check how it sounds.
  • Keep it brief:  As stated in the first tip, be descriptive but concise. Since screen readers read all the text, there usually isn’t a way to skip ahead, so you want to get to the point quickly. Keeping your alt text under 125 characters is best practice.
  • Use keywords, but only when necessary: There’s nothing wrong with using keywords, but don’t use too many. Remember, alt text is about creating a better user experience for those with visual impairments. When using keywords in the alt text, make sure it’s relevant and makes sense.

Accessibility strengthens your brand by inviting more users to interact with and participate in your products and services while building trust with your audience. Marketing can be rough; you're already a step ahead by ensuring customers can understand and interact with your brand. 

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Join us on Tuesday, January 24th, 2023, at 1 PM ET as we recap the digital accessibility lawsuits from 2022 and look at what the trends could mean for 2023. Register for this event here.

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