ADA Compliance for Websites

ADA Compliance for Websites

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a document developed by the United States in 1990 to ensure that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as others. Companies operating in the public sector are required by this document to be accessible to persons with reduced mobility. But what does the ADA have to do with websites and website design?

Today, the virtual marketplace is widely used and ADA compliance for websites is a must. It is beginning to replace shops and buildings physically constructed for commercial purposes. Compliance with the ADA has also become mandatory for online companies and shops. This applies to their website as well as to any mobile apps, such as those on Android or iOS. Heavy penalties are imposed for non-compliance with the ADA.

Okay, but what does that mean? It is quite straightforward. Your virtual platform must be suitable for people with disabilities. Title III of the ADA requires that all public sites have a legal obligation to remove any barriers that may limit access by persons with disabilities to the company’s goods or services.

Regardless of the nature or size of your business, you can incur tens of thousands of dollars in fines if you do not comply with these accessibility rules. Not sure whether your website is ADA compliant? This article will show you the importance of becoming aware of the ADA digital requirements.

What is ADA Disabilities Accessibility Compliance for Websites?

ADA compliance for websites is based on a civil rights law. It prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in all areas of public life, including:

  • Employment
  • Schools
  • Transportation

The Act grants all persons with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the same rights and opportunities as others. These civil rights requirements are similar to those granted on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Sex
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Religion

Most people with disabilities rely on adaptive devices to use a computer. Accessibility technologies include computer programs or devices such as:

  • Screen readers
  • Text magnification software
  • Voice control programs

These devices, unfortunately, are limited. Imagine having a wheelchair to help you get around but the building you want to enter is not wheelchair friendly. There is nothing you can do! The same goes for websites. Accessibility problems are a common mistake by web designers. They wrongly assume that everyone sees and accesses a company’s services in the same way. You should not ignore the ADA guidelines and requirements.

ADA Compliance Means Web Accessibility is There For All Users

When appropriate features are incorporated into web pages, they are accessible to everyone equally. Not only can people with disabilities benefit from the offered services, but other people can find their way around more easily on pages that are often too complex.

In addition, the implementation of these changes is not challenging. More accessibility does not affect the design and overall look of the brand.

Simple Web Design Changes to Avoid Big Penalties for ADA Compliance for Websites

In the original text of the ADA from 1990, the digital world was not mentioned. Why? Because websites didn’t become common until later in the 1990s. Today, a company can rarely operate without its own website. But even if everyone has a virtual platform, only a few are accessible to all. The ADA law has been expanded to include websites. From now on, all updated pages of your website must be at least level A. The AAA level is the highest.

As a result, significant legal action has recently increased. Among the most famous victims of this new accessibility ADA regulations are:

  • Foot Locker
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Kylie Jenner

But who’s the real victim? People whose access to basic services and goods is blocked due to non-compliance on websites.

Unless changed after January 18, 2018, your current content and marketing strategy may remain as they are. This is due to the safe harbor clause. However, all sites that have been updated after this date are affected by these ADA instructions. To save you the legal costs in case of non-compliance with the ADA, you need to make the necessary changes to your website now. ADA compliance for websites such as yours is crucial!

people with disabilities website accessibility

Common Problems and Best Solutions for ADA Compliance

Here are some of the most common web accessibility issues as well as the guidelines to follow to solve them.

1) Use a text corresponding to each image

People with a handicap that affects their ability to read a computer screen use screen readers and refreshable Braille screens. But even the best content reader tools do not allow for the interpretation of:

  • Photographs
  • Graphics
  • Color-coded information/pricing
  • Other graphic elements

By adding a line of simplified HTML code for each image, you will allow the visually disabled user to fully grasp the information. Add an HTML tag type, such as an alt tag for small amounts of text or a longdesc tag for larger amounts of text.

2) Display important documents in text format

Many companies and local authorities publish documents on their websites in PDF files. The problem with this format is that it is image-based. As a result, blind people cannot access basic and essential content.

Even if you want to continue to use your PDF documents, make sure you also provide documents in alternative text formats, such as HTML or RTF. This is important as text-based formats offer greater compatibility with assistive technologies for people with disabilities.

3) Incorporate audio captions and descriptions

In order for videos to be accessible to all, they must incorporate features that make them available in different forms. To do this, make changes to the standards and the marketing approach. Provide text captions synchronized with the video images to ensure that those with hearing impairments can follow along with any video you upload.

How Can Your Business Benefit From Complying With ADA?

1) Increase your target audience

A site that is not accessible to all users is an automatic loss of thousands of potential customers. This is not because the quality of your products or services is subpar, but rather this is because these users cannot access your content because of their disability.

There are nearly 50 million people with disabilities in the US alone. This number is even larger if you are operating worldwide.

Many of your website’s visitors may be interested in your products or services, but they are unable to navigate your site or even contact you. Your competitors can take advantage of your lack of web accessibility and serve these particular potential customers better. Get ADA complianc for your website to serve potential customers better.

2) Boost your SEO results

A key element of Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) is its accessibility to screen readers. These screen readers browse the pages of your website in the same way as search engines do. By complying with the WCAG standards, you will make your content more attractive for:

  • Users with or without disability
  • Search engines
  • Screen readers

This will automatically improve your SEO marketing campaign. Therefore, you should seriously consider the use of:

  • Meta tags
  • Alternative image texts
  • Video transcripts
  • Accessible pricing

3) Enhance your company’s reputation

After you increase your site’s accessibility, you will not only have more customers, but these customers will feel reassured, taken care of, and treated well. They will remain loyal and reflect an extremely positive image of your brand. They can also refer you to other customers and advertise you for free. This is especially the case if your competitors are not ADA compliant.

4) Improve navigation on your site

By making your web pages easier to understand, you will allow everyone to find what they are looking for faster. The website will be easier to use and navigate. This will benefit all users while also respecting the WCAG standards. A good experience on your website increases the chances of converting visitors into customers.

Considerations When Developing Websites with Web Accessibility

As technology evolves, web designers are constantly providing creative and innovative solutions. They are looking for ways to make their company’s presentation stand out. All this is of course important, but don’t forget to stay ADA compliant while doing this!

Here are some features you should keep in mind when designing your website:

  • Add a link at the top of web pages that allows screen reader users to jump directly to your site’s content
  • Limit flickering, flashy colors or other distracting signs
  • Develop online forms that include detailed HTML tags
  • Ensure that notifications and sound announcements are played automatically
  • Provide a second static copy of pages that automatically refresh or need a scheduled response.
  • Focus on quality header structures to help users navigate through complex pages or elements.

Make Your Website Compliant Today!

Nimbus Marketing can help you make your website and all your online content easily accessible. The US-based team uses leading-edge technology based on tailored AI algorithms. No need to change your code!

Not sure where to start? Request a one-on-one consultation with an accessibility marketing consultant. Your business needs will be reviewed and you will be provided with the best accessibility solution.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

How to Do the Best SEO for Printing Companies

How to Do the Best SEO for Printing Companies

Have you ever thought about SEO for printing business? Using SEO strategies to advertise your printing company can lead to more quality traffic to your site and a higher ranking in popular search engines. You can get started on SEO for printing companies by learning more about SEO and why it’s important in this post.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO is essentially the practice of getting a higher quantity and quality of traffic to increase your site’s ranking in search engines such as Yahoo, Bing, and Google. The higher the ranking of your printing company, the more chances of getting traffic to your website. For example, if a person searches for a “printing company in Chicago’’ – if your website is optimized right then your site may appear on the first pages of the search engine results. This is how many customers can find you.

Why Does Search Engine Optimization Matter for Printing Companies?

SEO is important because it will help your printing company to reach new clients. If individuals can’t find you in a web search, they will probably contact your competitors instead. The right SEO for printing services is crucial to attracting new clients and growing your printing business. Using SEO tips to advertise your printing business can lead to the following positive results:

  • Boost the quality lead traffic of your site
  • Gain authority of ranking high in well-known search engines
  • Give you an affordable form of marketing
  • Pull massive sales and traffic from different customers

You should remember that search engines can be tricky at times because of the algorithms that keep changing frequently. For instance, Google made roughly 3,200 changes to their search system in 2018 alone. 

What Factors Can Affect Your Search Engine Rankings?

On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.

On-page SEO is the act of optimizing different parts of your printing company website that would affect your search engine rankings. This includes title tags, headings, URL structure and alt text for images. Off-page printing company SEO focuses on how to increase the authority of your printing services domain through getting links from other websites. The biggest off-page SEO factor is the number and quality of backlinks that you are getting to your website. This would include: 

  • Creating content
  • Social media shares of your content
  • Guest blogging on sites related to yours

Start with Content

Search engines prefer powerful content. Content marketing is the sure-fire tip that you should consider for your printing company to rank on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The secret here is to publish compelling content for your site. Compelling content will rank higher in the search engines and keep your site visitors engaged with what they are reading.

Coming Up With Content

The first thing that you should never sacrifice is quality over quantity. When publishing fresh content on your website, you should analyze and evaluate it. No one wants to read mediocre content. Mediocre content causes a higher bounce rate which can affect your website negatively. Always remember that your content should be relevant to your readers. Below are some ideas you should consider when thinking about SEO for printing companies.

  • Avoid grammatical errors in your content
  • Make sure your content is sharp and powerful
  • Your content should always stand out clearly for your audience

Consider writing blog posts that may be useful to your readers. Follow the most successful checklist for blog posting here to see what works.

Getting Started with Google Keyword Planner 

Google keyword planner is a free tool that allows you to search for keywords and see a list of keywords that might perform well. To use this software, you’ll need to have a Google AdWords account. To get started:

  • Sign into your Google AdWords account
  • Click on “Tools”
  • Click on the “Menu” button
  • Here you can look up for phrases that people are looking for.

When picking your keywords, you should avoid keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing refers to the practice of loading too many keywords onto your website. You should avoid this tactic because, if caught stuffing keywords, Google will penalize you. Write your content normally and after this, you can edit the content to include the keywords naturally.

The Best SEO For Printing Companies Tips That Can Skyrocket Your Website

Organic traffic: Organic traffic refers to how many individuals can type your printing company address into their browser and get your website details. We recommend you come up with a keyword unique domain name. This means using different keywords relevant to the print business.

User session: This refers to the amount of time spent by the customer on your printing website. At this point remember that images play a crucial role in attracting attention and keeping customers on your website for longer periods of time.

Website page per session: This refers to the number of pages searched by customers during a session. According to the Google algorithm, a session lasts until thirty minutes of inactivity. Link building will help you to earn a high page per session for your business.

Website bounce rate: This means that customers get to your site but leave it instantly. Your users should spend a lot of time reading the published content. Ensure that your page is loading as fast as possible as well.

Mobile friendly: This means that your customers can browse and access your printing services on their smartphones.

The tactics for SEO for printing companies are complex, but you need to implement easy strategies to optimize your site search rankings. You can use Google tools to check out what kind of content is being searched by the audience and spend time to create excellent content for them. Don’t be in a hurry as SEO takes time, but it is well worth it when your site’s traffic increases and so does your business’ revenue.

Why Even Your Own Mama Won’t Write You a Nice Review

Why Even Your Own Mama Won’t Write You a Nice Review

I remember back in the day when I was running my computer repair business. I often fixed my family and friend’s computers, free of charge. The only thing that I asked of them was to write me a nice customer review to help build my business’ online reputation. But did they write customer reviews? Occasionally–but often they didn’t.

I frequently lamented how frustrating it was to fix somebody’s computer for free without receiving so much as a kind review in return. What was going on? The one that stung the most was my own mother. Despite repeated requests asking her to write me a nice review, she never did. 

It’s not like my mom was not tech-savvy. It wasn’t that she was ungrateful that I helped her with her computer. It was most certainly not because she didn’t love me. So why didn’t she write me a nice review? That’s a very good question, and it brings up an important point: people are busy. The internet is complicated. People are selfish, and nobody cares about your customer reviews more than you. Not even your own mother. The fact that it’s difficult to get even your own mother to write a review perfectly illustrates how challenging it can be to get your customers to write you nice reviews.

I wasn’t one to give up so easily. I learned some techniques that greatly increased the likelihood that somebody I asked would write me a nice review. What I learned was that you must make it as easy as possible and you might even need to bribe people sometimes. Sometimes doing people a favor or going above and beyond with your level of service is just not enough to get customer reviews. At the end of the day, what worked for me and is currently working for some of our customers to gain more reviews and build their online reputation is to employ a power of persuasion called reciprocity.

The Power of Reciprocity

One of the specific techniques that has worked well for us is buying $5 Starbucks gift cards and giving these cards to clients at the same time that you’re asking them for a nice review. We like to say, “thank you so much for your business, if we buy you a coffee would you kindly write us a nice review?” Using this technique, we’ve been able to substantially increase the likelihood that one of our customers would write us a Google or Facebook or Yelp review.

This is because if you give somebody something, they feel obligated to give something back. Hence the power of persuasion technique that is reciprocity. But even this technique alone proved to not be enough. Customers were only writing customer reviews about half the time! So, what we started doing was printing out review cards as well. The review cards simply said “happy with our service? Please write us a nice review”.

The review cards had three choices: they could write us a customer review on Yelp, write us a customer review on Facebook or they could write us a customer review on Google. Whichever one is easiest for people. We began texting people shortened links to make the customer review process that much easier for them. The shortened links that we use allow us to track the number of people who use the links and write us a review. They look something like this:

Bit.ly/fbreview

Bit.ly/googreview

Bit.ly/yelpreview

The true genius of these links is that when they click on them, they are directed right to the review writing process. They literally must do nothing except start writing their review. Texting these review links to their cell phone further increases the chances that they will write a great review.

So, a Starbucks gift card, review cards, and texting the link right to their cell phone all helped contribute to a high success rate for getting customer reviews. The bottom line is that reviews have become perhaps the most important online aspect for nearly any business. They are so important that business owners must do anything and everything to get them.

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

The Importance of a Balanced Review Diet – How One Company Got 75 Reviews in One Month

The Importance of a Balanced Review Diet – How One Company Got 75 Reviews in One Month

It was our operations manager who discovered the problem. One of our biggest clients, a large tire and auto repair facility in West Los Angeles, had over 500 Yelp reviews but only 22 Google reviews. I decided to reach out to the owner and explain the situation to him.

Having over 500 Yelp reviews, he was no stranger to the concept of getting reviews. So he immediately understood when I explained to him why it was important to have a more balanced review profile. After all, one of the reasons he partnered with us was to help his auto and tire repair shop get more business from online searches.

The owner wasn’t different from many of our other customers. He knew how important Yelp was and spent years building his 500 plus reviews. While he knew that Google had its own review platform, he didn’t realize how important it was. If you’re trying to rank higher on Google, their review platform is the most important platform in the world. If you want to rank on Google, it’s a good idea to play the game that Google has made. Google’s review system is based on its “Google My Business” platform. And getting more reviews on GMB is just the start. GMB is a full-fledged social channel for businesses. Business owners would be wise to participate in all aspects of it, not just the reviews.

Google rewards businesses that use their platforms. Their reviews are arguably the most important. The reason they are important is they’re a search ranking factor. They are also important for converting people into customers. It can look fake if a business has dozens or hundreds of reviews in one place, and almost none anywhere else. Having a balanced review profile is the end game.

So what is a balanced review profile? A balanced review profile is a natural pattern of reviews. People use a variety of platforms to find and interact with businesses. It makes sense that they would also write reviews in different places. These reviews can be anywhere from Trust Pilot to Yahoo, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Super Pages and many more. The big three for most businesses are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. 

The takeaway is that if you’re a small business trying to get more reviews, don’t put all your review eggs in one basket. Ask for reviews on “The Big Three” and when you get each of them sorted and balanced out, then start asking for reviews in different places to keep them more balanced. The more places your business has reviews, the better.

The more review diversity a business has, the better it is for their search engine rankings. It’s also better for their consumers. Most people use a variety of different places to find what they’re looking for. It’s important to have reviews in as many places as possible, as long as it makes sense for your particular type of business. For example, an attorney might want to get many reviews on avvo.com. Reviews on avvo.com don’t make sense for a tire dealer.

Which, brings me back to the customer this story is about. One of the things we do for our customers every month is to send them a review flow report. Our review flow reports show every single review ever written about a company. We like to see our customers getting at least a few reviews every month. I was blown away when I read the review flow report a month later for the tire and auto repair facility. They received 75 reviews on Google in one month! That amounted to an average of 2.5 per day. We have customers that struggle to get 2.5 reviews per month. Here’s this amazing business owner who was getting up to 5 reviews per day. Within two months they had well over 125 reviews, and their review profile was becoming more balanced each day.

Naturally, their Google rankings surged to an all-time high. I might mention that the owner of the tire and auto repair shop had a little help. They used a review management platform that made it easy to get reviews. Nimbus Marketing offers the same type of review management platform. For $75 per month, our system automates the review process. If you’re interested in learning more about automating your review process and getting more reviews per month, reach out to us at nimbus@nimbus.market.

Learn why online reviews are so important for your online marketing strategy. 

Robert Portillo, founder of Nimbus Marketing, and his family.

About the author:

Robert Portillo is the founder of Nimbus Marketing. Nothing satisfies him more than expressing his thoughts well. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two sons. He can often be found at local farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and the beach.

How to do SEO Yourself in 2020

How to do SEO Yourself in 2020

Are you an SEO newbie who is hell-bent on learning how to do SEO yourself? Whether you are self-employed, a business owner, or at a new marketing position, SEO is a valuable skill for your toolbox. The thing is, the SEO landscape is frequently changing, so you’ll need to keep up with modern techniques. This list is up to date and helps you prioritize your tasks as well.

If you want to learn how to do SEO, start with Keyword Research

Do keyword research. The first thing search engines do is to establish relevance. The keywords you want to rank for must be as strategic as possible. Keyword research is only as good as the person who does it; If you’re not prepared to learn how to do high-quality research, hire someone great and pay as much as possible to get your keyword research.

Why? Because without excellent keyword research, you’ll be flying blind. If you don’t research the value of the keywords you’re targeting, you might get page one for a keyword that doesn’t result in any rewards. Conversely, if you target keywords with high competition, you may not stand a chance at ever ranking on the first page. The goal of keyword research is to find the highest volume and lowest competition keywords possible.

Its also important to make sure that you are targeting keywords with purchase intent if your goal is to get more sales. What this means is if you’re trying to rank a sales page for a keyword that users are using for education, you’re not going to get the results you’re looking for more sales. So focus on the user intent of your keywords to make sure they align with your goals.

Once you have prioritized your list of strategic keywords, use your keyword list to optimize your website, social profiles, blog articles, directory listings, and much more. Try to commit your most valuable keywords to memory and use your keywords when you’re commenting on forums and blogs or anywhere else that can be found online such as replies to customer reviews and blog comment replies.

You should also use your keywords in your s