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Google Lighthouse: Lighting the Way

2020 has been a year forcing businesses to find flexibility in everything from their business plan to their marketing plan (and so much in between), and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

The latest evolution, or adjustment, that our clients are experiencing is the need for their websites to be ADA Compliant*. More and more lawsuits are surfacing, requiring even small businesses to rethink the way they present themselves online. While there are many tools that can be used to assess a website’s accessibility, Google Lighthouse is a solid contender. With the ability to audit not only ADA Compliance, but also a site’s performance and search engine optimization (SEO), Google Lighthouse is becoming the easy choice for many web developers (including Interactive Palette!).

Google Lighthouse

Why should my website be ADA Compliant?

Well, aside from the fact that it’s a law and could cost you a lot of money if someone files a suit against you – it’s the right thing to do.

ADA Compliance essentially means, accessible to everyone – even those with hearing, visual, or physical disabilities. Some examples of ADA Compliance on a website might include screen-reader software for the visual or hearing impaired, or each page being nested in a drop-down menu for those who must use a keyboard to navigate a website instead of a mouse. Color saturation and/or variations are also reviewed in a compliance audit.

As a smart and savvy business owner, reaching the highest number of potential clients is a no-brainer. Nearly 50 million people have disabilities in the US* and it’s highly unlikely that none of them have potential to become clients. Reaching the highest number of people is always a goal for a website owner. It’s safe to say that making some adjustments to your website is advisable for both your business and personal reputations.

OK, Compliance is better than Non-Compliance – what next?

Great question! The first step is to run an audit using Google Lighthouse, which is free to install and can be used on any public webpage. Sure, there are plenty of other analytics software options available, but they can prove confusing for even the most knowledgeable performance experts*. Google Lighthouse is doing an excellent job at providing reports that anyone can understand. Afterall, how do you make the necessary changes if you can’t even understand the report?

Most sites need some fine-tuning, while others need a major overhaul. Working with an ADA Compliance experienced web design company during this process is invaluable.

How else can Google Lighthouse help me?

As mentioned above, Google Lighthouse audits focus on site performance and SEO (in addition to ADA Compliance). Not only does the audit analyze the speed of a website, but the report will also offer you suggestions on how to improve it. The SEO results will steer you towards updates that improve traffic and retention.

I’m a small business owner – how could I ever afford to make the changes necessary for Compliance?

It’s important that you understand where your website stands on accessibility. At the very least, ask your web developer to install the Google Lighthouse extension and run a report – ADA Compliance is no joke, and should be taken seriously.

If you find that you’re in need of additional support, the team at Interactive Palette prides ourselves on our ability to meet clients where they’re at. Even for those on a budget, we can help guide you through which issues to tackle first to best improve your accessibility. Contact us today.

https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse
https://blog.cws.net/5-reasons-your-website-should-be-ada-compliant
http://www.serviceandinclusion.org/index.php?page=basic
https://www.thehoth.com/blog/google-lighthouse-audit-works/

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