Easy Strategies to Make Your Website Accessible

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    You want every single website visitor to have a positive experience on your website. In order to make that happen it has to be accessible by everyone. Here are seven easy strategies to make your website accessible.

    1. Usable navigation – Make sure each button, category, or action step is easy to find and understand. The more straightforward your website navigation, the easier it will be for each and every visitor to access your site’s pages. You have between 2 and 3 clicks before you lose your visitors.
    2. Small files and quick download/upload times – Large graphics and files slow a user’s ability to upload your website. Their system may simply not be able to access your site. If you have large files you’re therefore making your site inaccessible to many. Make sure your website images, files and graphics are all as small as they can be. Quick upload times are appreciated by all.
    3. CAPTCHA – If you use a CAPTCHA to verify that a user is a person and not a computer or a program, you may be eliminating some folks from a user experience. Those who cannot read the CAPTCHA code may be unable to enter it correctly. Thus they won’t have access to the information. You can add an audio element to your CAPTCHA so visitors can hear the code and then successfully type it into their computer. You receive verification. They receive access. Win/win!
    4. Make links obvious – If you have links for visitors to click on, make sure they are obvious. This is often the most forgotten rule in web design. Website owners don’t want to mess with the ‘look’ of a site with underlined text. But on the web, it is more important not make your users guess what is a link. Text links, embedded or otherwise, all need to stand out from the rest of the content. If not underlined, consider bold or colored formatting to set them apart.
    5. Tagging photos – If your images don’t load properly or a user has them blocked, they’re missing out on part of your website. If you simply add an alt tag to your images, then everyone is able to experience your website fully. An alt tag tells your visitors what the image is if it cannot be displayed or viewed. In addition, The Americans with Disabilities Act dictates that all images must have an alt tag.
    6. Standard files – Make sure any content published or available on your website is available in a readily accessible format. For example, PDF documents are easily viewed by any system. MS Word files, Excel, or iPage files are not.
    7. Label all form input elements – If you have a form for visitors to fill out, make sure each element of your form is labeled. This will ensure your visitors know what information is supposed to go into the form.

    The more accessible your website, the better your user’s experience. Make sure each and every visitor, regardless of their ability or technology, can experience all your site has to offer.

    Christina Hawkins is the President of GlobalSpex, Inc., an internet marketing company, in the Houston, TX area since 1999. Follow her on Twitter @globalspex  or become a Fan on Facebook.

    If you learned from this article, be sure to invite your colleagues to sign up for the GX Web Wire – An Internet Marketing Newsletter so they can receive similar articles in the future and download her 101 Internet Marketing Tips and Techniques Free!

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    Christina Hawkins

    Christina Hawkins is CEO of GlobalSpex, Inc. and a Fractional CMO for her clients. A seasoned digital marketer since 1999, Christina has designed and built exceptional websites partnering with small businesses to help them grow and increase revenue. She understands that digital marketing is a constantly evolving technology and works to stay on top of the latest changes. She is always looking for the best route for clients' lead generation needs and revenue. In addition to her ability as a digital marketer, Christina is a coach and mentor with Agency Mavericks to other digital marketing freelancers, helping them grow their businesses. She is also a sponsor and co-leader of Houston's WordPress Meetup.

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