Why web accessibility should be at the top of your agenda in 2020

Each New Year offers a new start.

A fresh chance to think, plan then act based on our priorities.

That’s why we make New Year’s Resolutions, both for our private and professional lives.

For those who work in marketing and communications, deciding which parts of your organisation’s digital communications to focus on this year will likely be high on your agenda.

Whether it’s ensuring your organisation’s website cybersecurity is up to scratch, or developing your digital user experience and conversion rate optimisation (CRO), digital is likely to dominate.

This makes it the ideal time to put digital accessibility and inclusion at the top of your agenda in 2020.

Because the evidence shows it’s a massive area of potential growth for private and public sector organisations in the UK.

Too many inaccessible websites

The Click-Away Pound Survey found that more than six million people with disabilities in the UK had difficulty using online shops and services in 2016.

71% of those people simply left a site that they found hard to use, which equates to 4.2 million lost customers.

For 81% of this group, ease of use was more important than price. Overall, £11.75 billion was spent by consumers in 2016 on websites that were easier to use.

The results of the Click-Away Pound Survey 2019 are due out any day. According to the authors of the study, early analysis shows little change in the accessibility of digital media.

In the public sector, a web accessibility study in 2018 found that only 60% of UK local authority website home pages are accessible to people with disabilities.

And, as we’ve previously blogged about, The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No.2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 came into force for UK public sector bodies in September 2018.

The regulations set new website and mobile app accessibility standards that public sector bodies including local authorities, universities, NHS bodies and housing associations must follow.

This means that these public sector bodies must now ensure all their new websites and apps follow the principles of the of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 accessibility Level AA

They must also ensure existing websites (published before the regulations came into force in September 2018) must meet the new accessibility standards by 23 September 2020.

Build it and they will come

The demand for accessible and inclusive websites has never been greater.

In the UK around one in five people have a disability and this number is rising because the UK has an aging population, and most disabilities are acquired as we grow older.

Also, around one in ten people in the UK don’t speak English as their first language. This number is set to rise as net international migration will account for almost three-quarters of UK population growth over the next 25 years.

This means you should think about accessibility and language as a top priority for your digital marketing and communications in 2020.

Resolving to ensure your website is accessible and inclusive can drive new customers/users and new sales, increase customer loyalty and improve your organisation’s reputation.

It’s a massive opportunity for private and public sector organisations in 2020.

1000’s of organisations already use Recite Me to make their websites more accessible for online visitors. To find out more or to book your free trial please contact the team.

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