We’ve worked with their tool in the past on helping improve the accessibility and ADA compliance of one of our clients‘ Magento eCommerce sites and so when we had a recent compliance need for another eCommerce merchant we reached out to them again.
They offered us a partnership program and we initially declined because we didn’t want to hold up our clients’ onboarding process for any monetary gain on our part, but this was right in the middle of when we were hatching our Partner For Good program and so after we told them about our idea of donating partner referral commissions and they loved the idea we decided to forge forward in forming a partnership. After they heard the idea, they even suggested some specific accessibility-focused charities that we’ve added to our list of future non-profit partner recipients. That’s the kind of spirit in a partnership relationship we love seeing!
Accessibility and ADA Compliance
One of the primary uses for their platform is improving your sites’ accessibility. Having a site that is accessible to visitors allows potential customers with disabilities like blindness, repetitive stress injury, or hard of hearing to be able to more easily browse and purchase from your site. Siteimprove does this through their automated tool that regularly scans for potential WCAG 2 A, AA, AAA compliance issues and reports back the issues that require optimization and assigns a score to each of them so you can prioritize the most important issues. They also offer manual testing and additional support for resolving more difficult accessibility and compliance issues.
ADA compliance is also important now for legal reasons as the number of accessibility-related lawsuits has significantly increased over the past few years ever since the National Association of the Deaf v. Netflix case was decided in 2015 and established a precedent for holding companies with a web presence accountable to accessibility standards.
One of the side benefits of improved accessibility is that it usually also brings SEO benefits because Google’s crawler bots scan the web similarly to a screen reader that a blind person might use for browsing the web. But Siteimprove also includes specific checks related to SEO optimization like highlighting pages with potential issues like slow loading time, HTML validation errors, empty H1 tags, and much more. Similarly to the accessibility score, they highlight the most valuable improvements you can do for SEO to enable you to prioritize and quickly get the “low hanging fruit” before digging into more time-consuming improvements.
Siteimprove’s tool also scans your site for potential quality assurance issues that might frustrate your customers or even potentially damage your brand’s reputation. They look for things like broken links, misspellings, or pages that are hard to read and report them back to you so you can fix them before a potential customer encounters them and potentially scares them off from trusting and buying from your brand.
Their tool also features additional analytics, data privacy, and GDPR compliance scanning. And all their scanning tools run on regular intervals so you can ensure that as your website evolves and changes with new features and new designs that those changes won’t have an adverse effect on your accessibility, SEO, or quality, and if they do, you’ll be notified and to be able to quickly address it.
We’re really excited to be partnered with Siteimprove and hope that through this relationship we’ll be able to bring better accessibility quality, and optimization to our clients.
Also published on Medium.