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Web Talk: How Accessible is Your Website?

mccoyLet’s face it, technology is everywhere you look. There are smart phones, smart TVs, even smart watches available for use by the general public. All offer accessibility to information. Gone are the days where you have to be at home, in front of a computer, to find what you are looking for. Today, 68 percent of adults in the United States have a smartphone, up from 35 percent in 2011, and tablet computer ownership has edged up to 45 percent among adults, according to newly released survey data from the Pew Research Center. What is your business doing to make sure its marketing takes this into account and isn’t wasted?

Marketing is changing – yes, the general principles are the same, but the format and focus is different. A company’s website can now be considered its most important marketing employee. It is a way to market your services, business values and mission. As you know, websites are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with no vacation time needed. Don’t neglect your website. Making sure your website is providing a professional perception of your company needs to be a vital part of your marketing plan and budget.

Many websites are perfect examples of the phrase “stuck in the ‘90s.” During this decade, the Internet and computers became available to the general public. Most websites back then, due to the technology available at the time, were built at a specific size and only for desktop computers. If looking at your website brings back memories from the ‘90s, then you are definitely ready for an upgrade.

Now, a visitor should be able to view your website on any device he/she chooses. With the many screen sizes available and the constantly changing resolution of mobile devices, one of the best ways to make sure your website is future-proof is to make it responsive. Responsive websites adjust to the screen on which it is being viewed. If done correctly, this gives the developer the ability to provide the visitor with a positive experience, no matter the screen size.

A responsive website as opposed to a separate website for mobile devices has numerous benefits. Those benefits include: a similar look and feel for the multi-devices user, improved search engine rankings, future scalability and an “app-like” experience for mobile users. Also, there is only one site to update when changes are needed. These benefits are important to take advantage of the countless marketing capabilities a website brings to a company.

According to Google, more users search on a mobile device than on computers – worldwide. That’s huge. Google has labeled this an “always-on search world,” one where people are always able to search for what they want – 24/7/365. Since Google is how a majority of your website visitors will be finding you, that stat alone is enough to cause you to take action and examine the accessibility of your website.

Figuring out if your website is mobile friendly is something that Google has made easy. You don’t need to consult a web developer to get this information. Visit this website, created by Google (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/), input your website url, and click analyze. Google will then give you a report of your website in regard to its mobile friendliness.

If Google deems that your site is not mobile friendly, consider updating it quickly. Choosing to make your website accessible to as many devices as possible will result in higher rankings in search engines, a higher return on investment from your marketing budget, and a professional looking website for current and future clients.

Join us next time as we explore the pros and cons of modifying a free website theme versus having a website built custom for your business.

By Michael McCoy

Michael McCoy has been involved in computers most of his life and in the web design and development fields for the last 10 years. He is the CEO and founder of Action Coding, a company specializing in custom website design and development and online marketing. Action Coding currently has offices in Flagstaff, AZ and Tampa, FL and clients all across the U.S. McCoy can be reached at webtalk@actioncoding.com. For more information, visit www.actioncoding.com.





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