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6 Quick Tips To Improve Your Website Accessibility

Website accessibility is complex and for many it can be overwhelming to understand where to start or what to do to improve accessibility on your site quickly. Below we’ve listed the top 6 tips to get you started quickly. This will allow you to to make an impact on your website and improve your user experience for visitors of all abilities.

1.     Perform an accessibility audit using Google Chrome LightHouse – We’d consider a LightHouse audit the first step if you’re looking to get started with improving accessibility on your website. LightHouse is an open-source tool in the Chrome web browser that is free and easy to use. It provides insights on vulnerabilities and opportunities for improving your website accessibility. It can also be used as a baseline to reference as you make updates to your site.

The score you receive from Lighthouse is going to be a number on a scale of 1-100. This lists what you’re doing right and what needs to be fixed. The report will likely indicate some of the quicker fix solutions listed below.

2.     Make sure all images contain alt text – Alt text (alternative text) is a description of an image within html code. This text appears in place of an image if the image fails to load on your site. Screen readers reach this text to describe the image to someone who cannot see the website. It should be descriptive and no more than 125 characters. The good thing is that alt text is very easy to edit. Some CRM solutions, such as WordPress and Drupal, give the ability to require alt text to ensure every image on your website has one.

3.     Check for color contrast and update accordingly– Color and contrast is an important part of website accessibility. Without proper contrast, some users cannot see the content on your website, let alone read it. There’s many details around color, font size and contrast, and we won’t be going into that detail in this post, but the general rule of thumb is that 4.5:1 is the minimum contrast ratio required by WCAG. Use a contrast checker to ensure the colors you’re using on your site meet that minimum requirement. This contrast checker tool is probably the most widely used: https://webaim.org/resources/contrastchecker/

4.     Create website accessible content – Website accessibility provides a better web experience for all, regardless of their abilities. Updating your content with website accessibility in mind includes understanding how a screen reader reads the content on your website. For example, non-descriptive link text such as Read More or Click Here, does not provide the user with enough information on the link and why they should click to a subsequent page.Structure your content to be short, clear and concise. This makes it easier for any user to consume the content. In addition, it’s important to make PDFs and videos accessible. For PDFs, it requires proper tagging which is often overlooked, but can be relatively easy to fix. With videos, there’s many things to keep in mind to make this content accessible. Not everyone can hear well or can understand the content at the same rate. Provide transcripts or captions to allow that content to be read and don’t auto-play content without the ability to pause.

5.     Include components that will help visitors of all abilities navigate and interact with your website  – Traktek recently completed a website for an organization with a focus on improving the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This website, the UMass Medical Center Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center (shriver.umassmed.edu), includes many accessible tools to provide a better user experience to all users visiting the website. We focused on high contrast, large, clear font, and accessible content.  One feature we would recommend is this WordPress Accessibility Font Resizer plug-in to allow the website visitor to manually increase the website font with a click of a button.

6.     Accessibility audit monitoring tool – We always recommend a monitoring tool to keep tabs on how your website is performing when it comes to accessibility. We partner with SiteImprove who does this and more. Check out our blog post for more details on SiteImprove.

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5 Reasons Why Website Maintenance Is Important

Whether it’s WordPress or another open source CMS, many don’t realize the importance of enforcing regular security updates and a long-term site maintenance plan. While the most obvious risk is having your site hacked, there are smaller scale problems that could arise if you fail to, or even just wait too long, to make site updates. To help you understand, we’ve outlined below our top 5 pitfalls that could happen if you don’t run your sites security updates.

1. Getting Hacked

Our top reason is the most evident one: security. Many people think it can’t happen to them because their site is too small –why on earth would anyone want to hack it? While there’s a variety of reasons your site could get hacked, such as mining Bitcoin, stealing bandwith, drive by downloads, or Blackhat SEO spam campaigns, there’s usually one common denominator: an older site. The likelihood of an older site getting hacked is a lot greater due to it having less secure coding and modules that are not up to date. All they have to do is click ‘view page source’ to see what WordPress version you are running. It’s that simple for the hackers to target outdated sites.

2. Risk of Damage to the Integrity of Your Site

The longer you wait, the more risk you have that you will encounter a problem when you finally update your site. The more often you update, the less likely problems will arise. Skipping updates (like 3.0 to 5.0), is a big no-no because eventually, some day you’ll be forced into the new updates. And that one day, your risk is much higher because other modules will be out of date.

3. Wasted Time and Money

When you fail to make updates when they become available, but then need to go back and make them later, it turns into a much larger development and Q/A effort. The developer will need to spend much more time making the updates because the impact to the site is greater due to the increased number of updates and module changes over time. More time is also needed for QA because of the increased functionality on the site affected. Implementing the update when it becomes available provides you with the latest and greatest functionality right away, overall improving your site.

4. Unusable Features & Poor User Experience

Site updates provide new features and functionality to your website. Why wouldn’t you want new features for your WordPress or Drupal site? The sooner you implement the update, the sooner you get that new functionality. Think of why you always are updating your phone. That is, if you’re using an older version of WordPress, your overall experience is a lot different and often slower than someone using the latest version.

5. Decreased Speed

There’s a reason for new releases. Each release comes with various performance improvements that make your website more efficient. When you visit a site, and it takes too long to load – do you get impatient and navigate off? Website performance goes hand-in-hand with conversions and site results. Speed also has an impact on SEO. For this reason, utilize tools like YSlow, or Google Page Speed Insights to review your site speed and determine what is causing the slower load.

While there’s more than just five reasons to update your site, we’re listing the ones that we believe are the most valuable. Making these regular updates will help you avoid potential downfalls, save you time and money, and make your site secure as possible. If it seems like an overwhelming and intimidating process to handle on your own, don’t worry, that’s why we’re here.

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Impact Of Ui/Ux on Your Business

A DEFINITION: WHAT’S UI/UX DESIGN?

UI and UX design both address the design of user experience elements. UX (short for user experience) design is the process of improving the overall experience of the user when they interact with your software application or website. The goal of UX is to provide maximum customer satisfaction. A great UX design produces a software product that is easy-to-use, intuitive, and inviting.

UI (short for user interface) design, meanwhile, is the process of improving the presentation and interactivity of the software application or product. It focuses on navigation, appearances, and how the product interacts with users. UI also addresses issues such as responsiveness, efficiency, and accessibility. Other vital hallmarks of a hassle-free UI design include consistent layout and fitting graphics design.

WHAT IS INVOLVED IN UI/UX DESIGN?

UI/UX design entails five key components including;

  1.  Information architecture, 
  2. Interaction design, 
  3. Usability, 
  4. Wireframing,
  5. Visual design. 

Here is what you need to know about each of these elements;

  • Information architecture: Simply known as IA, information architecture is all about designing the website or application’s information structure to satisfy the business’ needs. The primary purpose of AI is to provide users with easy navigation irrespective of the browser choice.
  • Interaction design: This element of UI/UX design is the process of conceptualizing the product’s design and how users will interact with it. It involves brainstorming and designing/selecting colors, aesthetics, font, images, sound, motion, graphics, and space, among others. How can you use these elements to maximize user interaction and experience? That is the question interaction design seeks to answer.
  • Usability design: Usability comes from the word “usable,” derived from “use.” It is all about ease of use. A complex application or website would not appeal to many folks. If users feel the product is complicated, they will abandon it, sometimes never to return. Usability design aims at delivering products that are simple to understand and easy to use.
  • Wireframing: This is the process of creating a sample of the application (or website) for purposes of testing the product’s features pending the actual launch. Some of the areas of focus during wireframe tests include functionality and usability. Does the app function? If so, does it serve the intended purpose?
  • Visual design: Finally, visual design seeks to improve a product’s aesthetic appeal and usability with suitable images, typography, layout, and color. It involves selecting the right elements, depending on the area of the application/website, and placing them carefully to create interfaces that optimize user experience and drive conversions.

MAJOR BENEFITS OF UI/UX DESIGN FOR DIGITAL BUSINESSES

As we have seen, UI/UX design can be incredibly profitable for businesses if it is implemented and executed well. Not only does it yield good profits, but it also shifts your focus from being business-centric to customer-centric.

Here are key pointers on why UI/UX is essential.

  • Attract and engage users

Great user experience and user interface design make you stand out. Whether in the various app stores or search engine result pages, excellent UI/UX design makes people notice your products. That first impression is very important. It can help you get plenty of traffic. Once the visitors are on your app/website, the frictionless UI/UX design will also keep them browsing for longer. Longer stay times are directly proportional to increased conversions.

  • Retain customers 

An effective user interface and user experience design are also critical in getting repeat sales. If customers feel that your website is easy to use and highly personalized to meet their needs, they will definitely come back. Needless to say, repeat sales are some of the most profitable. As you might have heard elsewhere, it costs 3.5X more to win a new customer.

  • Boost branding 

Branding comes with several key benefits. It makes it easier for customers to recognize your business. Brand recognition can earn you traffic for a very long time. Branding also boosts business credibility. As soon as clients see your brand colors and logos, they are instantly put at ease. This can breed customer loyalty, resulting in repeat sales over a long period. Great UI/UX design is a critical component of digital branding.

  • Enhance Client-centric Approach

A satisfied customer is not only a loyal customer but also your best advocate. Everywhere they go, they will not forget to vouch for your business and products. Finally, a satisfied customer can be a vital source of useful feedback. If they feel you can do better in a certain area, they will let you know about it immediately. Great UI/UX design goes a long way in achieving that satisfaction.

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Drive More Traffic to Your Website With These

We have stepped into the digital era where having a website is crucial for the success of your business. Without having an excellent online presence and high website traffic, you may find it hard to survive in the modern marketplace. Here and now, a question arises: How can you increase traffic to your website? Upon googling ways to drive traffic to your site, you can find a significant number of blogs. However, instead of serving your purpose, the infinite options to increase traffic to your website might leave you overwhelmed. But the great news is that we have got your back. In this blog, we will not highlight every traffic boosting strategy under the sun.

1. Focus On The SEO of Your Website

What’s the point of having a brand which your target audience can not find in search engine ranking pages? Well, this is where SEO kicks in! 

Search engine optimization, well known as SEO, is an efficient way through which you can increase your website traffic provided that your website matches the search intent of users.  

In order to appear in the search results of your target market, your website needs to be optimized for SEO. By leveraging SEO, not only your website can get eyeballs. But it also has all the potential to elevate your sales graph. 

Now, let us walk you through the process through which you can optimize your website for SEO. 

  1. Conduct keyword research
  2. Optimise your content
  3. Add compelling visuals with alt tags
  4. Provide stunning user experience
  5. Build back links

2. Leverage Social Media Channels

 

Social media is great news for businesses, especially when it comes to driving traffic to their websites.Social media platforms combined have more than 3.6 billion users globally, and the number is increasing by leaps and bounds.

So here lies a great opportunity for you to promote your content on social media channels to increase traffic to your website. 

You can promote your content across multiple platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Also, you can make visually appealing content on platforms like Pinterest to increase traffic to your website. 

But how exactly can we do that? We can achieve increased website traffic by:

  • Posting informative and useful content 
  • Frequently engaging with the users
  • Including compelling CTAs

3. Create Your Own Blogs and Pen Down Guest Posts

 

Providing users with the information they are looking for on the internet establishes the authority of a website and ensures repeat visitors. Therefore, blogging is truly a remarkable way to generate website traffic.
Now when it comes to blogging, there are two ways you can adopt to increase traffic to your website. One is by creating blog posts and publishing on your own website. And the other is by writing guest posts on someone else’s. 

4. Use Pay Per Click Advertising

 

PPC advertising is a tried and tested advertising method that can increase traffic to your website right off the bat. In fact, companies with the sole purpose of directing users to their websites usually use PPC ads. It is also known as pay-per-click advertising. In PPC advertising, the business is charged a particular fee every time any user clicks on a PPC ad. 

We can place PPC ads across multiple platforms, including social media, websites, mobile apps, etc. However, your goal with the PPC ads should be to place them on the platform where your target users are most likely to view them. 

A PPC ad can act as a digital billboard for your website. While advertising your website, services, or products through PPC ads, consider the following factors:

  1. Add an attention-grabbing title
  2. Ensure to have the right ad messaging
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