Why it is important for a commercial company to get started with online accessibility

29 August 2023  
Illustration. Doll of stacking blocks, the blocks have different shapes.

All (semi-)government institutions are internationally obliged to make their website fully digitally accessible in accordance with the WCAG 2.1 guidelines. This makes the content more accessible for, among others, people with a visual impairment, auditory impairment, learning disabilities or cognitive impairments. The web content also often becomes more useful to users in general. From 2025, these rules will also be mandatory for commercial companies. Four reasons why it is important that companies start looking into this now.

Online content plays a major role in people's daily lives. In the coming years, the use of the internet will only grow due to the increase in digitization. That is why it is important that everyone can access all online information without problems and obstacles.

In the Netherlands alone, there are about 1.5 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing, says Dutch Sign Center. There are also approximately 310,000 people with a visual impairment in our country, of which approximately 232,500 people are (severely) visually impaired and approximately 77,500 people are completely blind. In addition, there are other groups for whom online accessibility is important. Think of non-native speakers, people with autism, learning or reading difficulties, people with a cognitive disability or the elderly.

Wider accessibility

By adapting online content according to the WCAG 2.1 guidelines, web content becomes more accessible to these different audiences. This makes the content usable for a wider audience. Scribit.Pro can already give companies a boost in this respect. Scribit.Pro focuses on making online videos accessible.The videos can be edited in the user-friendly editor of Scribit.Pro and can be made accessible in our 100% barrier-free video player or via the YouTube or Vimeo widget. The unique software makes it possible to add audio description, subtitles and a transcript to the video content. A sign translation is also possible.

Improved user experience

By improving the accessibility of online content, the content automatically becomes more user-friendly. This means that people without disabilities also benefit from these improvements. For example, it is not always possible to watch a video with sound, for example in the office or on public transport. By adding subtitles, the video can still be followed and the viewer receives all relevant information this way. Subtitles are easy to add in the Scribit.Pro editor.

In addition, alternative text for images can not only help people with visual impairments, it is also useful for users with slower internet connections or people who disable images to save data. Improving accessibility therefore improves the user experience for all online visitors.

Business Benefits

Making online content more accessible certainly not only benefits the user. The company itself also benefits from this. In addition to reaching a wider group of people, it also increases user engagement. If information on the website is easy to find and the content is easy to read, visitors will stay longer on the website and they will probably also visit more pages. This increases the chance of users sharing relevant content, which in turn leads to more traffic on the website and a higher ranking in search results.

Better findability in Google

Search engines like Google prefer websites that are accessible and provide a good user experience. By adjusting online content according to WCAG 2.1 guidelines, search engine optimization (SEO) is improved. This leads to a better ranking in the search results. Accessibility adjustments also ensure that the content loads faster. In addition, they lead to a reduction in bounces (visitors who leave the website without taking any action). This also ensures that the findability in search engines can improve, because the quality of a website is an important factor.

Scribit.Pro can help organizations and individuals make online videos accessible and publish them accessible. This is possible in no less than nine languages: Dutch, Flemish, English, German, French, Polish, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. Various parties can be called in to make the entire website accessible. Digitaaltoegankelijk.com shares knowledge, provides targeted advice and helps companies and organizations to make websites or apps accessible. Accessibility Foundation helps companies on their way. This party provides knowledge and skills, but also offers training for web developers.

Start immediately

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