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 Local SEO for Yacht Dealerships in 2020

How to Do the Best Local SEO for Yacht Dealerships in 2020

Doing local SEO for yacht dealerships might not sound easy, but this article is here to help you get started with your SEO. According to NMMA (National Marine Manufacturers Association), the boating industry has seen an increase in the last 7 years and expects to see additional increases. The question is, are these Yacht dealerships being found online? Everyone knows that people will search online to find a business or service that they’re looking for, and the same thing goes when buying a Yacht.

The new world of Google for boat dealers

In today’s world, almost everything is digital, and the marine industry is no exception to this. Yacht dealers who understand this and getting their business found on search engines will eventually bring in more sales. If you were to do a quick search on Google with the keyword “boats,” you’d see results at the top of the page for boat dealerships. If you were to search the keyword “boat,” you’d see different results.

So how does Google determine what businesses should be included in the search result? Google considers more than 200 ranking signals to bring up the best result for their users. While many of the signals come directly from the websites or businesses, there are also some other signals that Google will consider, such as online directory listings, backlinks, citations, and consumer reviews.

For a yacht dealership, your priority is to make sure you show up in these local searches. This means you’d need to take your local SEO more seriously. While there are more than 200 ranking signals to be considered its best to capitalize on the ones that have been proven to be effective in boosting site performance in the local sphere.

How Keywords can help boost your Yacht dealership’s local domain authority

Before we can look into how you can implement local SEO for yacht dealerships. We need to first look into some important things that you should know about Local SEO, and that’s keywords.

Whether organic SEO or local SEO keywords play a vital role, keywords tell Google what your site is all about and what users can get from each page on your website. If you’re looking to build an organic presence in an area or if you want to build relevance around a subject matter, you’ll need to create a library of pages that have keywords related to that subject or area. What keywords do is help establish your site as a relevant source of information when users are looking for that topic or in that region.

If your target city was Santa Monica, even though your business location is just outside that city, you might not be able to outrank a yacht dealership in that area. But if you were to optimize your site for Santa Monica, you’d be able to rank organically for Santa Monica.

Building local content for your yacht dealership

When you’ve chosen a primary city, you’d like to focus on, the next thing to do is start writing the content. It’s important that you first identify the city you want to target and get as many relevant keywords as possible.

One great thing about writing local content is that since this is your expertise, the writing for it’ll come naturally. If you’re one of the yacht dealerships that’s involved with community events in your area, start by writing about them, and putting it up on your blog or Google My Business page, you’d then be attracting more people to your site. Anytime someone is searching for that particular event or events like it, your site will come up. Every post you put up on your site should focus on a keyword phrase. Keyword phrases should include the name of the event as well as the city it’s in. This is crucial for content.

Always try to center your writing around the keyword, and when you’re about to post the content, ensure you use the same keyword in the URL, meta title, meta description, image alt text, and in the body of content. This will give Google a clear understanding of what your pages are all about.

Why focus on local SEO for yacht dealerships?

Building local SEO for your yacht dealerships comes with a lot of benefits for your business. Here are some of the important benefits local content marketing has to offer:

  • It helps expand your library of keywords, which in turn will help drive more people from your area to your site. 
  • Having more people from your area visiting your site for relevant information will call Google’s attention to the rise of relevant traffic to your site. This can make you rank higher on result pages
  • Local SEO gets your brand some recognition. Even though most people landing on your site may be there to read up on information. When it comes time to buy that yacht that they’ve had their eye on, they’ll surely remember your site. 
  • It promotes backlink development.

Your site is Important to your sales and to your overall brand management. It’s important to do everything you can to make sure you get it noticed.

Let’s look at some things you need to do to get your Yacht dealership SEO right

#1 Get yourself into more directories

This may not be fun, but it’s worth it. You’ll be required to sign up for a bunch of online directories for your yacht dealerships. You need to do this right, so take your time! This may be the most tedious of all the many SEO tips for your yacht dealership, but it’s also vital when it comes to improving your website ranking.

Some good examples of directories are Yellow Pages, Yelp, or the Better Business Bureau. Creating a profile on these top-notch directories has a way of increasing traffic to your website as well as improving your rankings. This can also improve your site’s rankings and allow more customers to leave reviews on your page.

Useful tips for submitting your website to a directory:

  • Use the full name of your business
  • Use the same information on every directory, including your name, address, phone number, and website
  • Look for some relevant and high-quality pictures to upload
  • On the directories, write a short and captivating description or “about us.” Make sure your description is different for each directory.
  • Use relevant tags on the directories. You want to make sure your business is listed in yacht dealerships or something similar. So, use appropriate tags that’ll give you a better chance of showing up on Google.

If you’re still confused about which directories you should add to, here are some free directories to list your business on:

 

  • Google My Business
  • Yellow Pages
  • Yelp
  • Insider Pages
  • The Better Business Bureau
  • SuperPages
  • Merchant Circle
  • Manta

#2: Optimize your Homepage

Your home page is one of the most important pages on your website, so it’s important to make sure you’re optimizing it. Here are some tips on how you can achieve this: 

 

  • Make sure your home page is linked to all the important pages on your site. You can put those links in the menu bar or in buttons on the homepage.
  • Make sure your homepage vividly describes your business – who you are and what you do. Your audience should immediately be able to tell what type of yacht you sell and where you’re located immediately, they land on your homepage. So, give it your best by using the right words and keywords to describe your business.
  • Be careful and selective with your language. Make sure your language is clear, clean, short, and decisive.
  • Include some high-quality and eye-catching images. But be careful, so you don’t overdo it.
#3: Take your social media pages more seriously

Your yacht dealership also needs a social presence. When it comes to implementing an effective Local SEO strategy for a yacht dealership, signing up for Instagram and Facebook is very important. Once you’ve set up, your social media accounts use the following tips to get the most out of them.

  • Post regularly on your social media pages. Even if it’s a silly update, just make sure you put something on the page once a week. In the case of Facebook, consider using pictures; they seem to work best.
  • Ensure all the information about your company is correct.
  • Promote your posts. 
  • Get people to engage with your post. Let them contribute and share knowledge on your page.

 

#4: Blogs are important

Just like social media, blogging is also another important factor to consider when considering how to do local SEO for yacht dealerships.

Regularly update and share news on your website. Write about company news or about the industry. Focus on just one topic per blog. When your blog is well-focused, the better results you’ll get from it. Below are some tips to help with blogging: 

  • Write posts about yacht sales
  • Blog about the events you attend, host, or sponsor
  • Don’t get yourself involved in opinions. Instead, write about more insightful topics and include some relevant sources in the post.
  • Talk about industry trends. Look for what’s happening in the yacht dealership corner and discuss it.
  • Don’t forget to include relevant and quality images in your posts.

 

Here are some tips for doing local SEO. Find tips on writing a successful blog post for your website. 

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.

Fantastic New Yelp Features Announced in 2019

Fantastic New Yelp Features Announced in 2019

Yelp just announced 3 new paid products they’re coming out with. They say these products will help business owners get more attention to their listings, but are they worth the price? With these new features you can show off features about your business, called highlights, you can show off your portfolio, and, in some states, you can display a badge that says you’re licensed. These features seem to be fantastic for business owners. 

Verified License Badges

If you’re in California, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, or New York, you could qualify for a verified license badge. If you’re licensed, you can apply to Yelp and they’ll verify your license. This

product is the cheapest at $1 per day. 

Like reviews the verified license badge shows a huge amount of trust.

Highlight Your Business

Yelp’s business highlights seem like they’ll offer a good way to connect with your customers with badges like
“vegetarian friendly” or “Woman-owned & Operated”, There’s 30 badges to choose from so you can probably find some that apply to your business. You can put 6 badges on your profile and 2 of them will appear in yelp searches. This seems like a useful way to differentiate yourself. Unfortunately, Yelp isn’t very clear about the pricing, just saying that it’s $2 per day average. Is this $2 per day per badge? Or does $2 per day get you all 6 badges? If $2 per day is an average, how does it change? Yelp doesn’t do a good job about answering this.

New Yelp features show off your portfolio

Yelp is finally allowing businesses to put up a portfolio. Depending on your business, this could be a huge difference between a customer picking you or picking your 

competitors. Your potential customers want to see what kind of work you do, and how long it takes you to do it. You can get this for just another $2/day.

What do you think of the new Yelp features? Have you been using any of Yelp’s services?

About the author: 

Heather Singer is an SEO specialist at Nimbus Marketing. She has a passion for reading and writing. She can often be found watching her favorite teams (The Angels & Chargers) lose, or found spending time with her family outdoors.