“I have confidence in you.”
I bet I just made your day. It’s probably the best thing someone could say to you. These words have a profound impact on the way a person feels. Someone will only use them when they trust you and value your expertise.
And it’s no different when it comes to your online customers.
Trust and credibility are essential characteristics required for establishing the foundations of any long-term relationship. So even if your website receives a lot of traffic, many won’t convert into paying customers if they don’t trust you or believe that you are a credible business. People need to feel confident about their choices, whether it’s about the brand they are interacting with or the product they intend to purchase.
So how can you inspire the confidence of your customers?
You need to create an online image that builds their confidence in you. To achieve this, you need to focus on:
- Keeping all elements of your brand consistent
- Including a phone number and other contact information on your website so that you are easy to reach
- Creating valuable content that portrays your expertise
- Providing customer testimonials and product reviews
- Offering channels of communication and listen to what they have to say
- Asking only relevant, essential customer information
- Ensuring the website is secure
- Making check out a quick and straightforward process
Seems doable, right?
But wait, there’s one more important aspect- having a good website that’s accessible to everyone.
This is one of the easiest ways to create the right trust signals. People make snap judgments about websites, and that includes yours as well. Within 0.05 seconds, visitors will decide whether they want to stay or leave.
What are they looking at?
Their attention is mainly on the design of your website and how easy it is to use. Aspects that influence their judgment include:
- The site easy to navigate
- It has a clean design
- Information can easily be found
- The language is easy to understand
- It’s compatible with all devices
- The design remains consistent
- The site follows conventional layout formats
This may seem new to you, but the elements listed above are actually defining an accessible site. Entrepreneurs realize that utilizing accessible design makes their business available to all people. It improves the reputation of an online business, builds trust with customers, and ensures that none of your customers miss out on accessing the website- especially anyone with a disability.
You’ll be surprised to learn that over 85% of websites do not offer an inclusive experience. That means that they do not align with one or more of the following criteria:
- Perceivable (people should be able to find and process the information on the site)
- Operable (people should be able to navigate and use the site effortlessly)
- Understandable (people should be able to comprehend all the information)
- Robust (the site should be compatible with the latest technologies to meet users’ needs)
Why is this so important?
There are several reasons why accessibility is crucial for developing a strong relationship between you and your customers. However, the key is to utilize foolproof solutions, to ensure that your website remains accessible at all times.
1. For one thing, Google takes accessibility seriously.
Accessibility involves creating a clean web design through the use of adequate negative spaces, straightforward navigation, information hierarchy, and proper structuring. Furthermore, video transcripts and alt image texts make content other than text accessible. These features not only influence accessibility but also enhance SEO efforts and offer ranking benefits.
Business Insider includes transcripts of its videos, making it easier for people with disabilities to use.
Source: Business Insider
Why does this matter?
According to Search Engine Journal, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. So even before people interact with our brand, they’re looking at Google’s lineup of businesses that are the most relevant to what they’re searching for.
Rankings on SERP dramatically influence what happens next. Those listed on page one get the most clicks, 91.5% to be exact. After all, people trust Google’s suggestions. By following accessibility guidelines, you automatically appear on Google’s radar. That in itself is enough to boost consumer confidence about your brand.
2. Builds positive brand reputation
You are already aware of the fact that a website is an extension of your brand. It helps to create an image of who you are and what you stand for. But an accessible website can improve your online reputation.
Microsoft prides itself on being the innovator of accessibility technologies. It is now committing $25 million over the next five years through the AI for Accessibility program to help disabled people around the world, pumping Microsoft’s brand reputation.
Why does this matter?
If you offer an inclusive online experience, especially for those with disabilities, consumers see that you place their needs and preferences ahead of everything else. They are confident that your brand cares a lot about their customers, amping up your brand image. Therefore, consumers will assume that you offer services such as customer care in the same manner.
Alongside building a positive image for your brand, web accessibility further builds trust among your customers and increases loyalty. In a study of 1,000 Americans cited in Forbes, 87% of consumers will have a more positive image of a business that advocates social issues, 88% will be more loyal, and 92% will trust them more.
3. You’re reaching out to neglected demographics
As mentioned above, over 85% of websites do not satisfy 20% of the world’s pollution (people with speech, visual, auditory, cognitive, or physical disabilities). So when these individuals come across a website that caters to their needs, they are naturally ecstatic about interacting with a brand that shows empathy for them. They are confident that their online experience will be much better.
Legal & General Group or L&G witnessed a 25% increase in traffic coming from search engines within 24 hours of implementing accessibility fixes based on an accessibility audit. And within the first three months, their conversion rate doubled.
Why does this matter?
- Over 80% will return to a website that is accessible. After all, they had to search through the remaining 15% to find it.
- 81% of consumers will continue to shop and support the brand even if the same product is available on an inaccessible website for less.
- People with disabilities are fierce, loyal customers. They will recommend an accessible website to others, including family, friends, and social media followers. In fact, they are more likely to become brand ambassadors.
Accessibility is good for your business
Organizations accept the fact that accessibility leads to multiple benefits, such as strengthening the brand presence and improving customer experience.
More importantly, they understand that accessibility is more than just about catering to disabilities. It helps everyone work and access information, regardless of age, situation, ability, or circumstances. This can be acquired easily with tools such as Accesibe that help you gain WCAG and ADA compliance, which presently is more important than ever. The pandemic is pushing everyone onto the digital landscape. Accounts in online stores increased exponentially compared to the previous year- by 1,200% to be exact.
The question now is:
Is your website equipped with the right features to enhance accessibility, cater to your customer’s needs, and make the most of this opportunity to grow your business?
About the Author
Alma Causey is a freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about fashion and tech. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.