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BILL MEYERS WEB DESIGN Bill Meyers Web Design Home Page

R U missing potential customers?

Studies show that accessible websites have better search results. In today's mad scramble for market share, most companies pay big money for better search results but miss what an accessible website can do for them.

It is not just the benefits of better search rankings. More and more people are accessing the web from mobile devices but few websites are touch optimized. This drives mobile customers away.

Learn more about how you can improve your search engine scores and potentially reach new groups with relatively high incomes.

Accessibility Means Money

There is a strong business case for accessibility. Accessibility overlaps with other best practices such as mobile web design, device independence, multi-modal interaction, usability, design for older users, and search engine optimization (SEO). Case studies show that accessible websites have better search results, reduced maintenance costs, and increased audience reach, among other benefits.

Search engines are, for the most part, entities that rely on automated software agents called spiders, crawlers, robots and bots. These bots are the seekers of content on the Internet, and from within individual web pages. These tools are key parts in how the search engines operate. These tools visit websites; navigate the websites; discern information about the website; decide what the website is about; and add that data to its index. So if our website is designed properly, the search engine will deliver relevant results to a visitors query.

Accessibility triggers combined with another technology call Schema (that helps bots gather information) can be very beneficial. There are a myriad of requirements such as Section 508, Americans with Disabilities (ADA) and solutions like Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Problem is there are NO STANDARDS; ONLY GUIDELINES! Perfect Compliance in all conditions can never be guaranteed.

Screen Readers for the Blind

The companies that make screen reader technology differ in their adoption of the guidelines. Understandably, testing tools for the proper techniques are poorly integrated into some web tools, education, and development processes. Add to this the fact that different browsers do different things with the same computer code and you begin to understand the difficulties of accessibility.

Extensive testing with multiple screen readers may be costly and time consuming but this is the only way to guarantee functionality across platforms. Guidelines and compliance are constantly changing so testing must be an ongoing endeavor.

The added benefit is the spiders, crawlers, robots and bots all use similar technologies so any improvements will help with the search engine data gathering and your scores.

Text Resizer - Contrast Changer

As our population ages, so do our eyes. Commonly most older adults have difficulty seeing clearly for reading and close work. Forgotten is cells in the retina that are responsible for normal color vision decline in sensitivity as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable.

Allowing website visitors to enlarge text size and alter contrast make your website easier to use and more attractive to this very important market segment.

Phones, Tablets and Desktop/Laptops

Nearly two-thirds of Americans are now smartphone owners, and for many these devices are a key entry point to the online world. Smartphone ownership is especially high among younger Americans, as well as those with relatively high income and education levels.

Websites that are designed for mobile visitors are called responsive because they respond to the device being use to surf the website. Given this very desirable demographic, not having a responsive website is, in essence, driving away customers.