How to Make Your Content Accessible for the Visually Impaired

visually impairedUnless you’re visually impaired or know someone that is, you probably don’t think about their needs when developing content. They’re an often over-looked segment of internet users. But, they’re still out there and they purchase goods, products, and services like anyone else.

As part of your internet marketing strategies, you should make sure you’re appealing to every segment within your demographic. This could include visually impaired consumers. Here are some tips and strategies for ensuring you include this portion of your target audience.

Pay Attention to Color References

color blindAbout 8% of men are color blind. The most common type of color blindness involves difficulty differentiating between red and green. Keep this in mind when using colors as references. For example, you wouldn’t tell visitors to click on the “red link”. Instead, you’d tell them to click on the “link”.

Use ALT Text with Your Images

screen readerEvery image on your website should have an ALT tag. The reason this tag was created is for visually impaired consumers. It’s also an important part of on-site SEO. If a user depends on a screen reader to read them the content of a web page, they can use the ALT tag to describe images.

Avoid Using Radio Buttons on Forms

When you use forms on your websites or for opt-in mailing lists, avoid the use of radio buttons. While some accessibility programs and browser can interpret the radio buttons, not all of them can. In addition to not using radio buttons, you might want to pay attention to the structure of your forms. Every field should have a title or tag.

Use HTML Properly

HTMLAnother suggestion that can help improve the user experience of your site or content for the visually impaired is the proper use of HTML. Accessibility software and browser often rely on HTML structure to read content. They use this structure to determine the heading, the primary content, and secondary content.

You shouldn’t place unnecessary content or elements within your primary content. Not only does this make it more difficult for accessibility software, it is not considered good on-site SEO.

Include Links for Embedded Content

embeddedWhen you use embedded content in your internet marketing content, you should include a link to the original source. This applies to any embedded content. Though, it is increasingly important for the use of video on your site or in your content.

As an example, when you embed a video, include a link to YouTube or to the actual video. This way, if the accessibility software has trouble playing the content on your site, there are other options available.

Optimize Your Website for the Visually Impaired

browsingThere is one more step that you can take to improve the readability of your website for the visually impaired. Optimize your site or your marketing content. You can test how your site may appear to the visually impaired by using various testing tools.

You could also try using the accessibility features of your browser. Microsoft Explorer and Chrome have options for the visually impaired. Try to imagine that you’re visually impaired and then use the software to determine whether or not people with disabilities can understand your content.

These suggestions should help improve your internet marketing strategies for including the visually impaired. There are over 280 million visually impaired people in the world. That’s a large segment for you to ignore. These users still access the internet, shop for products, and browse the web.

You should keep these tips in mind when coming up with content. They’re easy to implement and won’t detract from the user experience for non-visually impaired users.