ADA Compliance Testing Tools and Tips to Try Before You Go Pro

Today’s post is all about simplifying your ADA compliance testing.

Read on to learn about some greater ADA compliance testing tools and tips to try before you call in the experts.

Understanding your ADA Responsibilities

Enacted nearly 30 years ago to protect the rights of individuals living with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes all businesses responsible for ensuring their products and services are accessible to everyone.

Before the Internet Age, the Act mostly sought to improve physical locations by regulating service animals, wheelchair ramps, and the use of braille. But now that’s all changed.

In 2019, ADA regulations also apply to your business’s digital storefront–website, social media, blog posts, and so on. Business owners whose website design violates accessibility requirements may be exposed to hefty fines. R&B star Beyonce was the latest target of a website accessibility lawsuit, but thousands came before her, and many more will certainly follow.

Everybody with a website is responsible for ensuring it’s accessible. Big businesses have a lot to lose, which makes them ideal target for predatory lawyers.

ADA Compliance Testing Tips

  • Review the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. The WCAG 2.0 guidelines are posted online here. Study them closely and do your best to address any issues.
  • Add alt tags to all images and visual media. Alt tags are descriptions of photos and videos that screen readers, players, and voiceovers use to describe visual elements. These are essential for your website’s accessibility, and there’s no such thing as overdoing it–when in doubt, add an alt tag.
  • Optimize your website’s style and elements. Heading, buttons, and links should all be optimized according to the Website Content Accessibility Guidelines. For example, small fonts displayed on light backgrounds are very difficult for some users to read.
  • Use writing best practices to develop accessible content. Brevity, clarity, and conversational tones all make your content easier to scan and absorb. The same is true of headings, sub-headings, bullet points, and blank space; they all break your content into bite-sized pieces. When using acronyms or abbreviations, be sure to separate each letter with a period (e.g. C.I.A). This makes it easier on the eyes, and improves screen reader pronunciation.
  • Audit your website using WCAG-recommended tools. There are a number of ADA compliance testing tools available online, some of which are free. Skip to the next section for some rapid-fire recommendations.

ADA Compliance Testing Tools 

  • Evaluera LTD’s A-Tester checks the pre-enhanced version of your page using progressive enhancement against the WCAG’s 2.0 Level-AA conformance statements for HTML5 foundation markup.
  • a11y-checker warns about any HTML Markup code accessibility issues.
  • Contrast checker checks for any issues with your website color’s contrast levels, brightness, and shine, using WCAG 1 and WCAG 2 standards. It also simulates different discomastopsia situations.
  • HeadingsMap shows your website’s heading structure and highlights any errors (e.g. incorrect levels) that may be present.
  • com instantly checks your website’s 508 compliance and offers links to resources to improve your compliance.
  • Make-Sense continuously scans static and dynamic content for any violations. It also automatically fixes minor issues in real-time, and provides links to resources needed for more intensive fixes.

Going Pro with ClickTecs’ ADA Compliance Testing 

With so much at stake, do-it-yourself ADA compliance testing isn’t enough.

If you’re ready to call in the pros., our team can help. We specialize in ADA compliance testing. Using a powerful arsenal of ADA compliance testing tools, including a 300-plus point checklist, we spot and fix violations fast.

Book a free consultation and learn more about our ADA compliance testing service at https://clicktecs.com/contact-us/

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Thinking Outside the Franchise SEO Box: 3 Smart Ways to Boost On-Site Traffic

Franchise SEO is crucial, but it won’t give you optimal results and booming web traffic all on its own.

Today’s post dives into some outside-the-box tactics for boosting on-site traffic that you can implement right away. 

  • Optimize your Social Media Shares 

Social media sharing should be a regular part of your online marketing plan. With roughly 3.196 billion active social media users in 2018, social media represents one of the best channels to connect with new audiences and drive them to your website. But simply dropping a “naked” link without context won’t get any clicks.

Here’s some tips for sharing content the right way:

  • Customize content shares to suit specific platforms. Though social media platforms have plenty in common, they’re still quite different. Not only does each platform attract a different kind of user, but your posts appear quite differently across each of the top-5 apps (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+).

    With that in mind, you’ll need to customize your posts for every platform so they’re eye-catching and shareable to all audiences. For instance, Facebook posts do best with high-quality photos and useful descriptions. A study by TrackMaven found that Facebook posts with link descriptions of 80+ words average twice the engagement of shorter write-ups. Conversely, Instagram’s algorithm tends to favor posts that don’t link off-site, which is why the “Link in bio!” approach is so popular.

  • Create a smart sharing schedule (and stick to it). Over-sharing and under-sharing content can really hurt your web traffic and engagement. The former makes your company seem spammy, while the latter makes it look understaffed and inactive.

    Whatever schedule you choose, try to post during peak hours. According to Hubspot, Facebook users peak between 12:00-1:00PM on weekends; between 3:00-4:00PM on Wednesdays; and between 1:00-4:00PM on Thursdays and Fridays. Twitter users spike between 12:00-3:00PM during the work week. LinkedIn audiences are most responsive during three distinct windows: 7:30-8:30AM, 12:00-12:30PM, and 5:00-6:00PM. Instagram is a bit more forgiving, with posts perform well anytime Monday through Thursday, except between 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

  • Add social sharing buttons to your website. Pre-written Tweets and Facebook posts make for easy, one-click shares that can greatly increase your reach and visibility.
  • Repackage and Repurpose Quality Content 

Though quality content is king, researchers generally agree that the quantity of content you produce is positively correlated to your website traffic, engagement, and franchise SEO.

One study analyzed over 100-million articles to conclude that resharing old content on social media can boost engagement by up to 686%!

Psychologists cite the “mere-exposure effect” to explain this phenomenon. In essence, this principle states that the more people see your brand message, the more likely they are to absorb it.

Imagine how much traffic and franchise SEO impact you could produce by turning a single piece of content into 5, 10, or even 15 shareable pieces.

But you can’t simply repost the same articles. That comes off as spammy.

Here are some simple tactics for repackaging quality content:

  • Turn blog posts into newsletters you can blast out to your email subscribers;
  • Turn high-performance landing pages into videos;
  • Transform evergreen content into short podcasts that your audience can consume on the go;
  • Make small edits to blog posts and republish them on LinkedIn
  • Build Better Headlines (without Clickbaiting)

Clickbaiting is generally reviled, and can quickly hurt your brand reputation and franchise SEO. But loading your headlines, blog titles, and navigation bar with playful alliteration and “power words” that trigger emotion can greatly enhance your content’s performance.

Suppose you search for “franchise SEO” and find yourself having to decide between two top-ranking blogs with the following titles:

  1. Franchise SEO Tactics
  2. “5 Rapid-Fire Franchise SEO Tactics to Crush the Competition”

Who earned your click?

Learn more Franchise SEO Hacks

We’ve barely scratched the surface here–our franchise SEO team lives “outside the box”!

Book a free consultation with our team to keep the conversation going–call 905 564 0020 today.

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The Changing Role of Social Media in Franchise Marketing Strategies

In the past, social media was like the “gravy” used to spice up the meat-and-potatoes of your franchise marketing strategies. It was always a popular channel for connecting with customers, but most franchise marketing strategies viewed it as optional in the early days. Certainly nobody expected a social media page–Facebook didn’t even offer business pages until years after its launch.

But all that’s changed. Gone are the days when users relied exclusively on search engines to find the sites or service providers they were looking for. Now social media is an essential part of franchise marketing strategies, to say nothing of its vital role in customer relations. People absolutely expect your business to have a social media page, and they demand speedy replies to comments, queries, and complaints.

Indeed, the evolution of social media as a component of franchise marketing strategies mirrors that of the website. Both went from “bonus material” to “bare minimum” seemingly overnight. And like your website, your social media stands as a digital representation of your brand.

In a 2018 Global Digital Suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite, social media pages are equated to business storefronts. Incidentally, those same reports stated that there were 3.196 billion active social media users in 2018, up 13% year-on-year. With so many potential eyes on your page, sprucing up your virtual storefront is always worth the effort.

Accordingly, we’ve assembled some simple tips to help optimize your “digital storefront” and get more out of your franchise marketing strategies:

  • Claim your name! One of the most exciting moments for a business owner is naming the business. Sometimes it comes to you in a flash of inspiration; other times it takes serious brainstorming, but it always feels great to settle on a winner. And that’s why it’s so important to claim your precious business name early. Even if you don’t intend on being active with your social media in the early stages of your business, get online and reserve your business names on the “big 5” social media sites. Brand consistency is important for your business, and social media handles are given lots of weight in 2019.
  • Choose the right “location.” You know what they say: location, location, location! Location determines what type of customer you attract, how your storefront is perceived, and the efficacy of your marketing. That’s true of both your online and offline storefronts.In the virtual world, location refers to the social media platform you choose. While it’s helpful to be present on multiple platforms, you should identify “primary platforms” that attract your target audience. Statista data from the Global Web Index indicated that Facebook is the most popular choice, with over 2-billion registered users. However, certain businesses will perform better on other platforms. For example, fashion outlets and food trucks do wonderfully on Instagram, where their “aesthetic” products can truly shine, while franchise development works best with business-centric LinkedIn users.
  • Upgrade your aesthetics. Your virtual storefront needs to be as polished as its physical counterpart. Users look to your social media page for indicators of how much you care about brand image and aesthetics. Unfinished pages with sloppy placeholder logos are akin to cardboard signage for your business. Quality brand images and colors are non-negotiable. On Twitter, use consistent hashtags to help index your business posts. For Instagram or Facebook videos, use consistent editing and watermarks to brand your content. These “minor” touches matter!

Explore more Franchise Marketing Strategies

Ready to take your franchise marketing strategies to the next level?

To learn more about optimizing your social media storefront, get in touch with our SMO team for a free consultation https://www.clicktecs.com/contact-us

 

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