Having an accessible website opens the door to many different advantages for businesses in the hospitality industry.
Businesses within the hospitality industry know that all of your potential customers should be taken care of and given the exceptional service they deserve. Today, however, the guest experience begins far before they actually step foot in your establishment. It begins when they interact with your brand online..
Disabilities come in many different forms, including visual, hearing, motor skills and cognitive impairments. Aside from permanent disabilities, an accessible website also benefits those with temporary, situational, or conditional disabilities.
Having an accessible website ensures that your business and content can be accessed by all potential customers—despite any physical or mental disabilities. For hospitality businesses, this means ensuring they have access to all of your information, images and booking so they can successfully convert to guests.
Web accessibility can be a confusing topic and many business owners aren’t well-informed. But as you will see, it’s simply good business. So what are the main advantages of having an accessible website?
Increased Audience Reach
Most business owners don’t realize they’re leaving serious profits on the table with an inaccessible website.
Did you know that 71% of websites are unusable by those with disabilities? And with over 1 billion people worldwide having a disability or condition that affects their capacity to interact online (think autism, ADHD, deafness and more), an inaccessible website is dramatically costing your business.
Having an accessible website opens the door to millions of new prospective customers who are currently unable to interact with your business due to communication barriers. It’s hard to convert traffic into guests when they can’t even interact with your website in the first place.
So flip the script. Instead of missing out on a significant portion of the U.S. and global market, your potential guests can learn about why you’re the right choice. This includes learning about what makes your brand unique and the services you offer, viewing your photo gallery, reading your policies, and booking a stay or visit.
This makes investing in an accessible website an easy business choice. It allows your brand to broaden market penetration, reach new markets, increase your visibility online, and ultimately, maximize revenue.
Enhanced Brand Image
Today’s customers are conscientious and want to align themselves with brands that have a strong sense of social responsibility. By promoting digital accessibility, you’re also meeting the increasing social demands for inclusivity and equality. Topics like sustainability and diversity have become crucial for businesses over the past decade—and a commitment to accessibility is next in line.
Position your business as an ally for inclusivity. Through powerful messaging and public relations, you can present your brand as caring about the social environment, which resonates with all guests. This makes it easier for clients to support you and your company culture, become customers, and turn into your biggest advocates.
On the contrary, a lack of inclusivity can greatly damage your reputation among existing and potential prospects. Having an accessible website is worth broadcasting—showcasing a positive brand image that’s inclusive, attentive to all clients, and in line with the times.
Improved SEO Ranking
Whether it’s features such as transcripts and subtitles, support for mobile devices, or compatibility with speech readers and braille terminals—accessibility is all about optimizing the usability of your website. A great user experience is something that positively affects your SEO ranking.
Google and other search engines rank accessible websites higher than inaccessible ones. But less than 2% of the world’s top one million sites are accessible, leaving tremendous opportunity for hospitality brands to stand out from the pack and increase their online visibility.
In addition to a bump in organic search traffic, this increased usability helps your bounce rate because people aren’t coming to your website and automatically leaving because they can’t interact with it.
Increased Guest Loyalty
Hospitality professionals understand the importance of excellent customer service. Today, this includes making your guests feel welcome from the moment they discover your business online. Having an accessible website is the ideal first impression—and it shouldn’t be considered optional.
When you prioritize giving your guests the high-touch service they deserve, they will certainly feel compelled to do business with you in the future. But it all begins with a great online experience.
This section of the population has massive spending power and brand loyalty.
Avoid Discrimination & Minimize Legal Risk
Signed in 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) asserts that those with disabilities should have access to public places and services just like everyone else. Today, this extends online with mandated ADA compliance guidelines for how public websites need to be designed and developed.
Failing to comply opens up your business to lawsuits, which are rapidly increasing each year as our world becomes more digital. In 2019, there were 11,053 web accessibility lawsuits filed in federal U.S. court. This number has more than doubled from the 4,789 of the same lawsuits filed in just 2015.
The good news is that by optimizing your website with ADA compliance in mind, these lawsuits and federal penalties are preventable.
Is Your Website Accessible?
Having an accessible website is no longer a “nice to have” option. It’s a business necessity, especially within the hospitality industry.
Web accessibility boils down to creating an inclusive environment for all your guests. It has several business benefits—but how do you get started?
Accessible websites need to be built, or your existing site remediated, according to specific guidelines by certified technicians. At Access Design Studio, we’re the leading expert in accessible websites for the hospitality industry.
Book A Complimentary Accessibility Review
Book a complimentary ADA compliance review to see how your site stacks up to accessibility standards.