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The Importance Of Accessibility In Digital Marketing

Thursday, July 12th, 2018
Glasses over a screen reader

Did you know that 330 million people worldwide have some sort of visual impairment? Did you know that this audience has more than $1 trillion – yes, trillion with a “T” – in disposable income? Are your digital marketing efforts inadvertently leaving out a major percentage of your target audience? Let’s go over some best practices for marketing accessibility to ensure that you’re not losing an audience that’s equivalent to the population of the entire United States.

Don’t Dismiss Your ALT Attributes

It’s easy to leave out ALT attributes, dismissing them as a minor factor in your overall strategy, but as any SEO will tell you, that is far from the case. The ALT attribute is not only the feature that allows bots to “read” your images but it is also the text that is used when a user is accessing your content with a screen reader.

Screen readers and other similar types of technology are used much more often than you’d think and by a wider audience than just those with a visual impairment that hinders the ability to see the content you’re creating. Consider your smartphone – many users are asking Siri to read their texts and emails for them. An empty ALT attribute in your email will force Siri to read the file name and other irrelevant information that take away from the actual message you want to convey.

Is Your Color Palette User-Friendly?

When you’re establishing your branding and choosing a color palette that will be used throughout your marketing efforts, accessibility is not often at the forefront of the decision. This could mean that the colors you’re using make it impossible for those who are color blind to see your message. If you’re not working with an experienced designer, your color palette could be hard to digest for even someone who isn’t color blind.

When you’re looking at colors, two displays of the same color are going to have a contrast ratio of 1:1. Your contrasting colors, white and black, for example, are going to have a contrast ratio of 21:1. When you are using two colors in your marketing, the recommended contrast ratio is a minimum of 4.5:1. If you’re not meeting this standard in your designs, it is likely that your marketing is going unseen by a large portion of the worldwide population.

Let’s Talk Links

Your links play into your color scheme, too. Often, designers like to make your links stand out with a contrasting color that sets the anchor text apart from the rest of the body. However, it’s nearly impossible to know what types of visual impairments, including colorblindness, your target audience has. Chances are, a contrasting color alone is not going to resonate with everyone. Links should always be underlined, even when the anchor text is a different color. This ensures that everyone in your audience knows that’s where they should click to be directed to related content.

Lay Text To The Left

It is estimated that 1 in every 10 people are affected by dyslexia. Did you know that your text alignment can actually help those who have dyslexia read your content more easily? Text should be left aligned in all of your communication efforts. This provides an anchor for those with dyslexia to come back to, making it easier to read the text.

Talk Is Cheap

As we mentioned earlier, more and more people are interacting with digital marketing on their mobile devices. From display banners to emails, this concept of mobile-friendliness is not new, but there is more that plays into mobile friendliness than just the way it looks.

As the technology evolves, people are using voice-activated assistants, such as Siri, to access different things on their phone. This means that it is more important than ever to ensure that you’re fulfilling even the smallest of details when launching any sort of digital marketing campaign.

Turn on the accessibility feature on your phone and test your emails and other digital marketing content using the Voice Over (IOS) or TalkBack (Android). This will help you identify areas of weakness for the visually impaired audience and anyone else who prefers to listen instead of reading content.

Accessibility Can Move Your Bottom Line

With such a large percentage of the population requiring these accessibility tools to access your content, it is vital that your marketing efforts meet the standards. Otherwise, you’ll lose your audience.


Do you need assistance reaching your target audience? Contact the digital marketing experts at FiG Advertising + Marketing today for a consultation.