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Now more than ever, people search online first before visiting a business in person. This is especially true for industries where at least part of the customer base may not be local. In an industry like real estate, a website and solid online presence can be essential. Clients may need to view potential properties while preparing for a long-distance move. It would be impractical for them to frequently visit a physical real estate agency that was hundreds of miles away.
A good website can be critical to the success of many small businesses. Below are a few reasons why website accessibility is a detail that can make or break a site.
These days, accessibility in website design has many meanings. One of those meanings is that the website needs to work well across a myriad of devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
In fact, with mobile devices now accounting for more than half of all internet searches, the standard has become mobile-first web design. This means that web designers choose to focus on mobile accessibility first because mobile devices are more restrictive. If a website works seamlessly on a mobile device, it’s also likely to work well on a computer screen.
One reason to hire real estate website developers is that they know how to build a website that works well across various platforms. They will also be familiar with other forms of accessibility.
There are many details that set an accessible website apart from an inaccessible site. These factors may not be obvious, in part because a lot of the work involved with accessibility has to do with back-end coding details.
For example, one of these back-end accessibility features is the alt text on images and other web elements. Alt-text is especially important for visually impaired individuals who use devices like screen readers to access the internet. Screen readers use alt text to describe the images that visually impaired individuals can’t see for themselves.
Density of Information
Another detail that makes a website accessible is the density of information. This means both using visuals well and also taking care to say a lot with as few words as possible. It’s important to keep web content short and easy to read.
In the attention economy that we live in, distractions and clutter can be a detriment to a website. Your clients shouldn’t have to hunt for essential information like your contact page and location. Creating a website that is easy to navigate can be essential to the overall success of your business.
Experience and Testing
While there are many options for building your own website, this may not be in your best interest. Designing your own website could be a time-consuming process, and it might involve a lot of trial and error. A large business may have the funds to hire an in-house web development team to handle this project, but hiring outside help could be the better choice for smaller businesses.
A web developer would already have experience and a good idea of what works well on the internet. They would have an understanding of how best to create an accessible and client-friendly website.
If you work in an industry where your website would need to perform specialized functions, someone with niche expertise would be your best bet. For example, a real estate website might need to have the capability to support listings or perform filtered searches. A real estate web developer would have an understanding of the necessary coding requirements for these tasks.
If you want to succeed in real estate, stick to what you know: real estate. Hire someone else to do the parts you don’t know, like website development.
By Brooke Chaplan
who is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home and residing in Los Lunas, New Mexico. Her first passion is journalism, but she also loves hiking and gardening. Brooke recommends working alongside real estate website developers to help your website stay competitive.