Is Your Website ADA-Compliant?

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is a Federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability in areas of public life—on the job, using public transportation, school—in fact, all public and private places that are open to the general public. And there’s no place more “open to the general public” these days than the Internet and your website.

The Justice Department has taken the position that the ADA does cover Internet website access, mobile applications, and all forms of information and communication technology. So far, the DOJ has only hinted that private commercial sites are at risk of a lawsuit. But disability proponents are actively and aggressively moving the countdown clock to just that.

ADA-compliant_websitesAs website designers, we have for some time integrated most of these guidelines, not as ADA issues, but as SEO issues (see May’s blog regarding SEO). We also pay great attention to the User Experience, for example, instead of posting a photo image as a number, we give every image a descriptive name. A photo of a “red sunset” might be named “red_sunset.jpg”, not “345209876.jpg”.

Designers like us will need to build new elements into new and existing websites. For example, adding a type of code that allows screen reader technology to convert text to audio for the visually impaired.

We are reviewing our current customers’ sites to assess what’s needed to follow the new WCAG 2.0 standards. If you are our current customer, you can expect to soon receive our assessment.

If you own a website designed by a developer that is no longer in business, or one that is not interested in getting your website into compliance, ActiveCanvas may be able to help you.

If you are not sure whether your website needs to be brought up to WCAG 2.0 standards, please give us a call at (772) 932-7969 or drop us a note and include your website address.

Website Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Quick List

  • Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  • Provide alternative for time-based media.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways (e.g. simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  • Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.
  • Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  • Do not design content in a way that is know to cause seizures.
  • Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.
  • Make text content readable and understandable.
  • Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways.
  • Assist users to avoid and correct mistakes.
  • Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

How to Choose Your Website’s Domain Name

Choosing a domain name for a new website, is an important business decision. Updating a domain for a current website to improve traffic results is an important business decision. Let’s look at some of the best practices and a few things to avoid when it comes to choosing domain names.

whats Your Brand

Make it match

Match your domain name to your brand—your company name. Why? When people hear about your product or service, they will type your company name into a search engine or a browser address bar.

Say what you mean

Short is good, but meaningful is better. When combining words, be sure the name says what you mean. The site for teachers, Teachers Talk, probably wishes it had not used the plural form for its brand name (teacherStalk), and therapist group’s site visitors keep seeing theRapist.

Check your results

Do a Google search for your brand. The results you see will be what others see. Be sure the domain name you choose, when googled, won’t put you in embarrassing company. You want to stand out in the crowd as honest, relevant, and meaningful.

Remember spellcheck

If your business is new, finding an available domain name can be a challenge! To get around this, company names are intentionally misspelled, like Flickr and Blnk. Keep in mind, someone searching for your name may see spelling correction suggestions at the top of search results and overlook your site even if it’s listed.

Think longterm

Choose a name and stick with it. It’s hard enough to print new business cards, but changing a domain name once registered and used on the web is much harder.

Use exact match domains safely

An exact match domain (EMD) is a domain name that precisely matches a search query that will likely drive traffic to your website. For example: buycheapjeansonline.com The problem is that Google sees EMDs as spam and may not even rank your EMD domain at all because they give an unfair advantage. But, if you are a solid, genuine business that just happens to have a brand name that also looks like an EMD, then you should be fine. Just be sure that your content supports your claim—and never forget that when it comes to websites, content is KING. Nothing else matters as much.

SEO in the Age of Siri and Alexa

SEO Trends for 2018: How to Get on the First Page of Google

After being in the digital marketing space for almost a quarter century, we consider it an honor to share our knowledge and know-how with peers and fellow business owners. Recently, we presented an educational “mini-seminar” that touched on meeting the new challenges for website SEO in light of trends toward image-intense responsive websites and the rising popularity of Google Voice, Echo Alexa, and Apple Siri voice-activated search queries and long-tail-plus SEO keywords.

Our Coffee Talk presentation to the Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce was on Tuesday morning, March 13, 2018. Coffee Talks are small group educational events hosted by Hobe Sound Chamber member organizations four times a year in the John H. Filer Memorial Boardroom, an adaptable meeting and event space adjoining the Chamber’s offices on Bridge Road.

Presentation Outline:

  • SEO Keywords Trends in 2018
  • Text, long-tail & long-tail+ keywords defined
  • Good keywords vs bad keywords
  • Influence of voice search on keywords
  • Importance of mobile first design and content
  • How to build outbound links and backlinks
  • Important of image SEO
  • SEO for the User Experience in 2018 and beyond
  • What do to now to be ready for 2019

We believe that when we work together with other business owners in our community, as a community, we help spread the story of Hobe Sound—and that collectively we
become a better town because of it.

Feel free to download our presentation on SlideShare, and if you want to learn the backstory about SEO trends for 2018, or if your company might benefit from a personal no-obligation one-on-one conversation about your current SEO issues, give us a call at (772) 932-7969 or contact us via email ac@activecanvas.com