The Importance of Accessibility for Your Dental Website
The internet is an amazing tool for both your practice and for the world at large. Digital marketing is a must-have tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes, including your dental practice. However, not all members of your potential audience experience the internet in the same way. People with disabilities of various kinds may face additional obstacles in accessing your dental office website, hence the importance of accessibility to your dental website. Your ongoing success depends on understanding why accessibility matters, what it can do for your dental website, and the possible disadvantages of an inaccessible site.
Why Website Accessibility Matters
- Expands your audience. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in four Americans have a disability of some sort. This range in type and severity, and the Census Bureau reports that over 11 million American adults have some form of hearing impairment, while 8 million experience some sort of difficulty with vision. That’s a lot of potential patients who may benefit from your services, and thus may want access to your website.
- Improved accessibility provides a better user experience all around. You’ll be offering a better website experience for all users–not just those with disabilities. Better color contrast, simplified user authentication, accurate close captions, and improved layout make for a more positive user experience, and thus a greater rate of conversion through the funnel and into your chair.
- Accessible websites fulfill your professional and ethical obligations. As a healthcare professional, the welfare of your patients comes first. You’ve spent years mastering the art and science of dentistry, and learning how to best care for those who come to you for their dental health needs. That ethic can and should extend to your website; just as your office needs to be accessible to those with disabilities, so does your overall online presence. As a key source of information about your practice, your office, and its services, your website needs to meet appropriate standards for accessibility and availability to all.
- Accessibility protects you from lawsuits. Litigation is a reality in all walks of professional life, but especially so in the medical field. With the recent focus on website accessibility, a slate of lawsuits has come. These lawsuits target businesses with websites that fail to meet various appropriate accessibility standards. Civil lawsuits related to website accessibility have increased by 300% over the last two years, and malpractice insurance may not cover the outcome. By ensuring that your website fulfills the ADA and ADOA guidelines for accessibility, you’ll be helping to avoid potentially costly legal problems down the road.
Building an Accessible Website
Further complicating the matter is the complexity of meeting those guidelines, and implementing them in a way that is sustainable, scalable, and cost effective. As with many aspects of your website and overall digital marketing, professional guidance and an experienced approach is a must to ensure success.
At DentaMarketing, we’ve worked to stay on the cutting edge of all aspects of digital marketing and design, including accessibility. Our team of experienced professionals will create a website that is effective and accessible for both you and your patient. Get in touch today, and we’ll make sure that accessibility is built into everything you do online.