The Importance of Website Accessibility for Healthcare Practices
Have you ever thought about how a patient must feel if they cannot access the information on your website? It must be frustrating. Those with disabilities or the older population face challenges preventing them from getting online health information daily.
Did you know? 52% of consumers search online for medical providers before reaching out to a hospital or healthcare practice. Website accessibility allows everyone, even people with disabilities, to read and understand your website’s content. According to the CDC, 26% of adults have some form of disability that affects the way they interact with digital resources.
Your healthcare practice should have an accessible website that educates, promotes, and informs your target audience about your services and treatments. An accessible website should be essential in your tech and marketing strategy.
What is Website Accessibility?
Web accessibility means that websites, technologies, and online tools are designed and developed with disabilities. Everyone, regardless of their ability, should be able to understand, navigate, and interact with your website. Consider things like the structure of your website, font, and images, and removing flashing graphics to enhance the accessibility of your site.
Healthcare practices can benefit from web accessibility in several ways:
- Promoting inclusivity
- Creating a better patient experience
- Minimizing any legal risk (e.g., compliance)
- Improving brand awareness and online reputation
When your practice has invested time and resources in creating an ADA-compliant website, you tell your existing and prospective patients that you care about them and their quality of life.
Why An Accessible Website is Important
An accessible and compliant website is essential for your healthcare practice. Here are a few reasons why you should have an accessible web presence:
Increase Your Reach
As we mentioned above, accessibility promotes inclusivity, increasing your reach simultaneously. People with disabilities will be able to learn from your website content and engage appropriately, giving them more of an opportunity to get in touch or make an appointment online. Your practice will attract more patients when your content is easily accessible and understandable. Including alt text and captions to images allows your website photos to appear in online image searches, driving more traffic to your website.
Boost Your Online Reputation
A website that is for everyone will inevitably improve your online reputation. Since your website is the foundation of your online presence, it’s frequently your brand’s first impression. If the first thing someone experiences is an inclusive, accessible website, their perception of the practice and the providers will be greater than if the site is challenging to navigate. Patients will be more inclined to book appointments if they can access information quickly. The better your website flows, the better your patients will understand your services.
How to Create an Accessible Website
There isn’t just one way to make a website accessible. Consider aspects like text-to-image ratio, the readability of your content, and the general flow that patients will follow to get information. Here are a few ways to begin:
Structure Your Content in an Organized Way
Use specific font styles and sizes for headlines and content. This will be easier to read, scan, and understand. Chronologically structure your content to avoid confusion and make it easier to find things. Including bold fonts for essential topics can be helpful to those with impaired visibility.
Tag Your Images
Including alt text on your images to describe what the picture depicts gives those visually impaired a better understanding of its purpose on your site. Alt text or captions provide your image context on the website. It helps your audience understand the content more explicitly.
Use captions or transcriptions to enhance the patient experience if your website contains video content. Captions give your target audience more than one way to consume the information you are relaying – listening or reading.
Reduce Flashing Graphics
Flashing graphics or images on your website can be distracting and even harmful to those with epilepsy. Include a warning on your website if it contains triggering content or remove it to make it a safe space for everyone.
Website Accessibility for Your Healthcare Practice
Ensuring that your website is accessible makes it ADA-compliant and helps further connect you to your target audience and relay important information to a broader population.
Valet Health is proud to be ADA-compliant and will gladly help you turn your website into a welcoming environment for everyone online. Contact our team today to learn more about our website design and enhancement services.