Is Your Charity’s Website Accessible?

Charity Marketing / 25 Sep 2022

Is your charity's website accessible blog header. Blog title next to a block which contains an image of a person holding a sign saying "I can't" against a yellow background

When it comes to digital marketing for charities, having an accessible website should be way up there on your priority list. Why? Because, if not, you could be excluding a huge demographic of potential supporters and missing out on a tonne of conversions. There are a few things you can do, though, to bump up your accessibility for users. Let’s break them down here. 

Website accessibility for charities 

What even is website accessibility anyway? In a nutshell, website accessibility is the extent to which a site can be used by individuals with disabilities. 

There is something painfully ironic about a charity raising awareness about blindness not incorporating blind-friendly content and support on their website. And yet, this kind of narrative pops up again and again. 

Sometimes, you get sucked into SEO, SERPs and semantics that you forget who and what you stand for. It’s one thing professing your support for a cause and another practising that support on your website or social media for charities. 

According to a recent study,  less than 1% of website home pages are likely to meet standard accessibility requirements – even though more than 14.1 million people live with a disability in the UK. Yikes. 

Improving your online presence with website accessibility can:

  • Make your digital marketing more inclusive
  • Boost brand loyalty and legitimacy 
  • Demonstrate integrity as a third-sector organisation 
  • Ensure you meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
  • Bump up sign-ups, donations, and conversions

Here are several ways to optimise your website – so it is more user-friendly and easy to understand for all visitors.

How to make your website more accessible 

Use clear and correct headings 

This may seem obvious, but it’s a little nightmarish how often headings and subheadings aren’t clear or helpful for users. This can be damaging for SEO purposes – as your headings guide Google bots through your content – and mean that your website is hard to interpret by screen readers. 

Headings help break up content into smaller, more snackable chunks and organise your site structure into one that is more memorable and easy to navigate.  

Use ALT text with images

Alternative text is a textual substitute for non-text content on web pages – in other words, images, videos or graphic descriptions. ALT-text is essential for users with visual impairments or auditory disorders. It also serves an SEO purpose by demonstrating the significance of your content to search engines. Essentially, ALT tags provide context regarding the image displayed, allowing search engine crawlers to index images correctly. 

Taking the time to add a transcript to videos with speech or adding a short sentence beneath images can increase the accessibility of your website tenfold. 

Consider colour

Now, we all love an aesthetic-pleasing colour palette from time to time. But accessibility is too often overlooked concerning branding and colouring our website and social media. 

In fact, more than 8% of the population deal with some form of colour deficiency. Some users may struggle to see the text if the colour contrast is low. Other disability groups benefit from using colour to distinguish, understand, and remember content. 

Top tip: make sure to use high contrast, whitespace and borders to break down content blocks from others for improved navigation. 

Necessitate easy navigation 

Does your website allow keyboard navigation? Some users with disabilities cannot use a mouse to operate your website. Furthermore, many assistive technologies depend on keyboard-only navigation.

Why not break up long pages with more content with anchor links or jump lists? This allows keyboard-only users to skip to relevant parts of the page without sifting through other content. 

Top tip: pop a button that permits users to jump ahead to the main content at the top of each page. This way, keyboard-only users won’t have to tab their day away looking for their desired information.

Install plug-ins and tools 

Installing a web browser plugin that automatically checks for accessibility issues can save time. The ARIA DevTools extension for Chrome, for instance, is a free accessibility resource that enables users to customise the way they interact with web content. 

Online tools such as the WAVE Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool can also evaluate the accessibility of your web pages and generate helpful error reports. 

Make sure feedback or enquiry forms are accessible

If not labelled clearly or appropriately, forms can quickly become inaccessible to many users. Ensure that all form fields have clearly positioned descriptive labels – and additional information, if necessary, so the required answer is apparent to users. 

Looking to upskill in digital marketing for charities

Need more assistance with accessibility? Not sure how to integrate SEO into purposeful, supportive web pages? We host regular online charity digital marketing training. Keep an eye on our Facebook Community page for upcoming events, or swing by our inbox if you’re looking for bespoke marketing for charity support.