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How Digital Accessibility Pays Off

Posted June 26, 2024


Posted June 26, 2024

A dark green accessibility symbol with an arrow going through it up and to the right, superimposed on a background of stylized dollar bills.
A dark green accessibility symbol with an arrow going through it up and to the right, superimposed on a background of stylized dollar bills.

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In today’s business landscape, digital accessibility isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’. It’s an opportunity for organizations to not only better serve the disability community, but also open the door to new revenue opportunities. Learn more about how digital accessibility can enhance your ROI below.

In recent years, marketing teams have started investing in more tools to help them improve the performance of their websites and digital channels.

From marketing automation to A/B testing and personalization tools, marketers are pulling different levers to improve website performance. Yet, there’s one aspect of website performance that is often overlooked — and it can negatively impact key performance metrics.

Digital accessibility.

According to the latest WebAIM Millions report, 96% of the world’s top one million websites are inaccessible to people with disabilities. That research supports some of the key insights from AudioEye’s 2023 Digital Accessibility Index, which found that the average enterprise web page had 37 accessibility violations.

In this blog, we’ll explain why digital accessibility isn’t just an expense but an investment that can yield a positive return on investment (ROI).

What Is Digital Accessibility?

Before we get started, it’s important to have a shared understanding of digital accessibility and how accessibility issues can impact potential customers.

Digital accessibility is the practice of designing websites and other digital products (such as mobile apps and electronic documents) in a way  that all users can enjoy equal access, regardless of ability. That includes people with disabilities who use screen readers and other assistive technologies to browse websites and other digital content.

Often, businesses think about digital accessibility from a purely compliance and risk mitigation perspective — but there is plenty of evidence that digital accessibility can also improve digital experiences for all users. For example, adding captions to videos is critical for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing. But it can also make video content easier to consume for people who are in noisy or public environments.

Four Ways Digital Accessibility Boosts Your ROI

Imagine you could help your website reach 33% more people, without having to spend an extra cent.

That may sound too good to be true, but it’s actually pretty simple math.

In the United States, one in four adults lives with a disability. Many of these disabilities can make it hard to browse the internet, whether it’s a hearing impairment that prevents them from following videos without captions or a visual impairment that makes it hard to read low-contrast text.

Every business has people with disabilities in its customer base, but if your website is not designed with accessibility in mind, some of these people may struggle to engage with your content, which can lead to poor customer experiences and lost revenue.

Here are four ways digital accessibility can pay dividends:

1. Expand Your Audience

Creating accessible, inclusive online experiences opens your digital doors to a vast demographic — the 1.3 billion people globally with a disability. This group controls $13T in disposable income and often demonstrates strong loyalty toward brands that commit to digital accessibility. By catering to these consumers, businesses can tap into new revenue streams and expand their market reach.

2. Enhance Brand Reputation

Many consumers today prefer brands that demonstrate social responsibility and inclusivity. In fact, a recent survey found that 33% of global consumers buy from brands they believe are doing social or environmental good. By prioritizing digital accessibility, businesses signal their commitment to these values, enhancing their brand reputation and improving customer loyalty.

3. Reduce Legal Risk

Complying with non-discrimination laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the European Accessibility Act (EAA) can help organizations reduce the risk of legal action. By following the latest Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and ensuring your digital content is accessible to all users, you can help protect your business from reputational harm or costly legal claims.

4. Improve SEO

Accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand. Search engines favor websites that are user-friendly and accessible, leading to higher rankings and increased organic traffic. Improved SEO not only boosts visibility but also attracts more qualified leads, translating into higher conversion rates and enhanced ROI.

5. Reduce Development and Maintenance Costs

By proactively addressing the accessibility of your website and digital content, you can reduce the likelihood of digital accessibility lawsuits, which can be costly and force your team to rebuild areas of your website quickly.

Embracing Digital Accessibility Can Pay Dividends

Here’s the bottom line: The benefits of digital accessibility and inclusive design extend far beyond mere compliance or cost savings — they can also improve the user experience for all visitors and directly impact your bottom. By embracing digital accessibility, businesses can unlock new revenue opportunities and enhance brand reputation, all while improving operational efficiency.

At AudioEye, our combination of automated accessibility technology and expert human services is designed to help organizations maximize their digital accessibility efforts. Our Automated Accessibility Platform can find and fix accessibility issues on your website in real time, while our team of human experts can provide expert services including manual accessibility audits, usability testing, and legal support.

Get started with a free accessibility scan or try our free color contrast checker.

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