According to the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), more than 7.5 million Americans had a vision disability in 2018. The Bureau’s Americans with Disabilities Report found that the visually impaired had a median income of $35,167 in 2014.

In fact, Americans with disabilities have more than $200 billion in discretionary spending, according to the National Organization on Disability. With these statistics in mind, your bank website needs to be ADA compliant. In addition to avoiding an ADA lawsuit, being accessible to visually impaired customers is good public relations, boosts your SEO, and increases your customer base.

Avoid an ADA Lawsuit

In a previous blog, we told you about some scary ADA lawsuits that could affect your bank website design. Some attorneys go out of their way to target financial institutions and other businesses by finding websites that aren’t compliant with ADA standards. By proactively designing your site around accessibility, you can lessen your risk of receiving a demand letter and avoid paying a hefty settlement or going to court over a lawsuit.

Build Positive Public Relations

The advertising trade publication Adweek reported that two-thirds of consumers want businesses to take a stand on social and political issues. Having an accessible website is a simple and necessary method of showing your bank’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Posting an accessibility statement on your website is the first step. The statement should detail your web accessibility policy and mission as well as the instructions for how to use accessibility technology used on your site. You should also include contact information in case disabled customers encounter an accessibility issue. You want them to contact you before they take legal measures so you have the opportunity to take the appropriate actions to meet their needs.

Boost Your SEO and Search Rankings

Your SEO strategy needs to involve more than including keywords and phrases in your content. Did you know you can boost your SEO rankings with an ADA-compliant website?

Visually impaired customers use screen readers to understand the content on your website. Search engine crawlers work in a similar fashion by analyzing the elements on a page to understand the context or meaning. The W3C’s WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines for image captions, image alt text attributes, header tags, and content hierarchy are just a few ways that accessible design influences SEO.

Attract More Customers

Consequently, improving your search rankings will most likely attract more and new customers. Remember, 7.5 million Americans are visually impaired. A study performed by the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics discovered that 71 percent of customers with disabilities will leave a website when they encounter usability problems.

By having an accessible bank website, you’re demonstrating that you’re able to serve everyone. Not only will you be able to serve your current customers better, but you can attract customers away from your competition that doesn’t have ADA-compliant websites.

Final Words

Designing your bank website to meet ADA standards has many more benefits than just serving your blind and visually impaired customers. Web accessibility also uses elements of universal design, which means all your customers will benefit.

Web-accessible design elements make your site easy to navigate and understand. An uncluttered, simply designed site is also more adaptable and mobile responsive, creating an optimal user experience for everyone.

BankSITE® Services can help you get started on the road to web accessibility. Learn more about how our ADA Accessibility Module can protect and grow your bank.

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