Legislation is far from the only reason why you should consider reviewing your existing site’s accessibility levels or ensuring that a new site is accessible.
There are currently over 10 million registered disabled people within the UK, representing an estimated market of of £80 billion per annum. There are many more people who suffer from slight impairments, such as failing sight with age, who also benefit from increased web site accessibility. For example, potential customers aged between 50 and 64 are rapidly becoming a key consumer group. By 2008, this group had risen to 8.5 million in the UK alone and their annual disposable income, per capita, increased by 8.5% to £17,872. This equates to 147% of the national average (source 1).
Over 50s buy 80% of all top of the range cars, 50% of skincare products and 80% of leisure cruises (source 2).
Making your site accessible to the millions of people affected by disabilities can significantly increase your customer base. Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that accessible web sites are favoured by people who do not have any special needs and that accessibility improvements result in an overall improved user experience and increased customer loyalty.
The Legal and General web site was re-designed in 2005 in order to increase its overall accessibility levels. Following the launch of the new site, the following benefits were noted:
- A 30% increase in natural search-engine traffic
- A significant improvement in Google rankings for all target keywords
- 75% reduction in time for pages to load
- Cross browser-compatibility increased (not a single complaint since the redesign)
- Site now accessible to mobile devices
- Time to manage content reduced from average of five days to 0.5 days per job
- 95% increase in visitors getting a life insurance quote
- 90% increase in Life insurance sales online
- Savings of £200K annually on site maintenance
- 100% return on investment in less than 12 months.
When accessible web design principles are properly applied, the result is a resource that is easy to use for all – regardless of what technology, specialist or otherwise, is being used to access it.