A Guest Post by
You must be accessible if you want to build a human-centered enterprise. I recently participated in a Twitter chat hosted by the Association for Women in Communications (#AWCchat) on the subject of web accessibility, and it made a huge impression on me.
Did you know that people with disabilities are 18% of US population with $175 billion in discretionary spending power? Did you know that adults with disabilities spend 2x as much time online as those without disabilities?
Here are some tips on how to ensure that your web presence is inviting and accessible to visitors with challenges:
- Include an accessibility checklist in your quality control process (refer to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines for detailed help: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/ or this Blog Accessibility Checklist:
- Remember to consider all disabilities, not just sight challenges (think about keyboard use, auditory, etc.)
- Always, always use alt tags for images, icons, and graphics
- Try to use custom, descriptive URLs wherever possible (rather than numbers/codes)
- Consider polling your audience to find out whether they are having any issues with your site; seek assistance from anyone in your circle who uses assistive technology (like the JAWS reader).
Provide transcripts for audio and video clips where possible
- Run your site through an automated checker like WAVE: http://wave.webaim.org/ or one of the tools listed here: http://webmasterformat.com/blog/top-ten-accessibility-analysis-tools
- Be aware of the font sizes you are using; larger is better, and the ability to resize text is good as well.
- Make sure that you are not using color as the sole indicator for a required action.
…and hereâ€™s the bonus…almost all of these tweaks have the extra benefit of helping your SEO at the same time!
Big hat tip to #AWCchat (which happens Thursdays at 11:30am CST) and the co-host (and source of the statistics) Glenda Watson Hyatt, who is known as The Left Thumb Blogger. You are vessels for good in the world!
Author’s Bio: Rosemary Oâ€™Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work for on the Internet . Check out their blog. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @rhogroupee
Thank you, Rosemary!
ME “Liz” Strauss
A Guest Post by
The Tools Only Get You Halfway There
Many tools offer to help you analyze your customer community, so that you can capture the elusive â€œROI.â€ These tools evaluate a multitude of data points, including number of followers, likes, blog comments, retweets, etc., to come up with the success equation. Small businesses can be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of starting from zero in all of these social categories.
However, I propose that numbers only get you halfway there. The other half is composed of humanity. Information like, â€œdogâ€™s name,â€ â€œhas 3 kids,â€ â€œis insanely into photography.â€ The reason that is often left out in the cold is because itâ€™s hard to automate that kind of connection. That type of information is only really gleaned from a steady stream of interactions over a long period of time. And many of us donâ€™t invest the time to build up that data.
Thereâ€™s an old-school sales trick that says when you walk into someoneâ€™s office, you look around and take note of the family pictures, fishing trophies, or other personal items on the desk. Those can be used to start conversations and begin building a connection…â€hey, I went to UVa too!â€ If you want to build up your humanity data, you need to do the digital version of that; i.e., take note of the human information that is available online.
Iâ€™m not suggesting cyberstalking in a creepy way, but if your customer is sharing his/her interests publicly, itâ€™s fairly easy to build on that. Here are some concrete ideas:
- Build a web of connections, via Twitter, LinkedIn, or other networks
- Promote your customersâ€™ projects and content
- Work on expanding the ways you connect—if itâ€™s all digital, try the phone. If youâ€™ve always emailed, try finding them elsewhere.
- When you respond, try to read-up first. If your customer is reaching out to you on your FB page, why not show them you know them. Same with Twitter followbacks.
- Find ways to allow your customers to be â€œwhole peopleâ€ in your community, include an area for off-topic socializing. And allow your reps to be human too.
The bonus is that, by including human data, you also build in â€œdelight,â€ as people recognize that theyâ€™re being noticed. And thatâ€™s priceless.
Author’s Bio: Rosemary Oâ€™Neill is an insightful spirit who works for social strata — a top ten company to work on the Internet. Check out their blog. You can find her on Twitter as @rhogroupee
Thank you, Rosemary! People like you are easy to remember and fun to do business with!
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!
We Interrupt Regular Blogging for Steve’s Shorts
Take a simple few minutes where a guy who is brilliant makes an observation about the social web that you might have already be thinking. This interruption brought to you by the evil conspiracy that is Steve Plunkett and Liz Strauss.
by Steve Plunkett.
A few facts Mr. Plunkett finds interesting …
- Facebook customer satisfaction is in the bottom 5% of all private sector along w/ IRS tax e-filing, airlines and cable companies. (Source)
- More than 60% of moms said they would provide info about themselves to a trusted brand if it meant more personalized content. (Source)
- The 5 â€œmost valuableâ€ types of online influencers are: Megaphone, Open Book, Social Butterfly, Business First, and Enthusiast. (Source)
- According to Morgan Stanley, within 5 years global internet consumption on mobile devices will surpass the same activity on PCs.
A Short Look at … What’s Next?
Hope you enjoyed these moments with Steve’s Shorts.
M/C/C’s Director, Search, Steve Plunkett, is responsible for all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet user behavior. Plunkett’s competitive personality makes him a perfect fit in the competitive world of SEO. As a child and a gamer, he worked hard ensuring that it was his initials at the top of every arcade game unit in his neighborhood. Today, he uses SEO to ensure his clients appear at the top of the search engine results â€“and offers an array of optimization services that are scoring big for those clients.
Successful-Blog is a proud affiliate of