Over 1.3 billion people, which is 16% of the world’s population, live their lives with a disability. While accessibility in daily life was a problem back then, the advancement of technology has allowed more accessibility for them to go about their daily lives. The same applies to digital websites and apps.
Online accessibility became more standardized in 2010 when the United States Department of Justice issued specific guidelines to introduce accessibility for disabled people for all businesses, organizations, institutions, etc to follow. Now in 2023, it’s become a common standard for the most basic of websites to offer accessibility features to disabled online users with visual, motor, or mental impairments.
This practice is known as ADA compliance, which is a proactive effort to make all online businesses inclusive and accessible to everyone. For online medical practices and doctors, working on making their medical websites ADA-compliant is vital, not only for legal reasons but to also grow their business and offer their medical services to a larger target audience. By learning more about ADA compliance, its benefits, and testing tips, doctors can ensure their medical websites offer 100% accessibility to all people and stay atop the algorithm requirements.
ADA compliance stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design. This is a set of legal guidelines that require all electronic information and technology, including websites, apps, software, etc must be accessible to people with disabilities. ADA compliance promotes inclusivity and allows people with visual, motor, audio, or mental impairments to access online content.
Following it has become a requirement and a standard for all online websites especially since it enables them to widen their target audiences, promote their services and goods to all people, and ultimately grow their business. ADA compliance is also a mandatory practice required by websites from Google, which means the algorithm considers compliance when ranking sites.
Ensuring your medical website’s ADA compliance not only saves you from any legal troubles but also maximizes your medical business’s growth efforts by improving your SEO, boosting ranking, increasing your target audience, and much more. Here are five key benefits of owning an ADA-compliant medical website:
1. Increases Target Patient Audience
Becoming ADA-compliant means your medical website is now accessible to millions of people worldwide who couldn’t access it prior. For instance, there are over 50 million disabled people in the US alone. This means that nearly 19% of the country’s population couldn’t access your medical website before you ensure ADA compliance. This applies especially to the medical field, where healthcare businesses, practices and websites have a special demographic for people with disabilities. In short, doctors are missing out on a large number of their target audience if their medical site is not accessible.
2. Improves Medical SEO
Search engines are becoming more and more capable of detecting human intention as technology evolves. A website that’s friendly to screen-readers, carters to user intent, and accessible ranks better on the SERPs. Pay attention to how your medical site looks and navigates for screen-readers, follows on-page and off-page SEO accessibility practices, and navigates well to maximize your medical SEO efforts.
3. Generates Great User Experience
Once your medical website is ADA-compliant, its user experience becomes better for everyone. For instance, if your homepage has a video that promotes your medical services, including captions in it will not only make it accessible to those who are hard of hearing but also promote a great user experience. Another simple method is to include alternate or descriptive text on all the images on your medical website or lay out the text clearly to assist screen readers. All this contributes to an excellent user experience, which not only induces more leads but also higher conversions.
4. Boosts Online Reputation
Becoming ADA-compliant conveys your care about your target audience to the visitors on your medical website. Not only does this increase your traffic rate but also boosts your online reputation as a medical business since ADA compliance highlights great professionalism in an organization. After a person with a disability views your medical website and experiences its accessibility, they’re likely to recommend it to everyone they know, which is going to boost your reputation and your online presence.
5. Avoids Penalties or Ranking Drops
Since ADA compliance is required by the government and search engine algorithms, there are penalties in place for websites that aren’t compliant to the minimum level. This can result in ranking drops or traffic rate decreases. Every page on a website should be Grade A compliant, which is the standard. If you wish to amplify your medical website’s accessibility, you can boost it to a Grade AAA, which is the highest level of ADA compliance.
The best way to start with ADA compliance is to hire professional website ADA compliance services. Doctors can also check and ensure whether their medical website is ADA-compliant or not, here’s how:
1. Conduct an Audit for Accessibility Features
Conducting an accessibility audit allows you to review your medical website’s design and locate any lacking features. If you have enough ADA compliance insight, you can conduct it yourself or hire a professional digital marketing agency for doctors for a more comprehensive review and report. They can also provide solutions to fix the identified problems should there be any.
2. Research and Review the ADA Compliance Guidelines
To avoid any penalties, research and review more about ADA compliance to make sure that your medical website follows them. Doctors can access these guidelines on Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1, which offers detailed insights on how to make online websites more inclusive and accessible to all people.
3. Check the Website With Assistive Tools
Doctors can check the ADA compliance level of their medical websites by using assistive tools such as screen readers, voice recognition software, or keyboard-only navigation. These tools can determine a website’s level of accessibility. Testing it hands-on will also provide you with a deeper understanding of how your patients with disabilities access and interact with your medical website.
4. Ask for User Feedback
Ask your coworkers, team members, and patients to interact with your medical website and offer feedback. Ask them whether it’s inclusive to people with all common disabilities or easy to navigate. This feedback can provide you with valuable insights into where your website lacks in accessibility and how you can improve it.
While it’s no doubt a challenging task that requires some time and effort, it ultimately benefits online medical businesses in various ways that make up for it. To ensure your medical website follows the standard level of ADA compliance, consulting a team of web professionals is the smart option. Here at DocMarketo, we specialize in medical website ADA compliance. From an expert knowledge base to tested solutions, doctors and healthcare practices can count on us to deliver the right ADA compliance services to them. Contact us now to learn more about our online website development solutions.