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6 Simple Steps to Verify Your Business Digital Accessibility

As businesses continue to shift towards digital platforms, it’s essential to ensure that everyone can access your content. Accessibility is not only a moral obligation but also a legal requirement, and failing to comply with accessibility guidelines can lead to serious consequences. In this blog post, we’ll explore six simple steps you can take to verify your business’s digital accessibility and make sure that all of your users have an equal opportunity to engage with your online presence. From conducting an accessibility audit to providing accessible alternatives, these tips will help you create a more inclusive digital environment for everyone.

1. Conduct an Accessibility Audit

Conducting an accessibility audit is the crucial initial step in identifying barriers that may hinder individuals with disabilities from utilising your website. This will ensure that it is ADA-compliant and friendly towards all visitors. This process entails conducting a thorough review of your website’s design, content, and functionality to assess its compliance with established accessibility standards. To initiate the audit, begin by examining web accessibility guidelines like WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 or Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which outline specific criteria for making digital content accessible to people with disabilities. Subsequently, manually review essential elements on your website, such as color contrast ratios, navigation menus, and keyboard accessibility for forms. Complement your efforts by leveraging automated tools like the A11Y Compliance Platform or Pa11y, which can assist in identifying issues like missing form labels or inadequate alt text for images. Furthermore, it is advisable to test your website across various devices and browsers, as some assistive technologies may function differently across platforms. By undertaking these measures, you can proactively ensure that your website adheres to accessibility standards and is ADA-compliant.

2. Use Accessibility Evaluation Tools

When it comes to digital accessibility, there are a variety of evaluation tools available that can help you ensure your website or app is accessible to all users. These tools range from free browser extensions to more robust paid services. One popular free tool is the WAVE (Web Accessibility Evaluation) tool, which allows you to enter your website URL and receive an accessibility report with suggestions for improvement. Other options include AChecker and Axe DevTools. For those looking for more comprehensive evaluations, there are also paid services such as Siteimprove and AccessLint that offer automated scans as well as manual testing by accessibility experts. It’s important to remember that while these tools can be helpful in identifying potential issues, they should not be relied on solely. It’s still crucial to conduct manual testing and engage with users with disabilities to truly ensure full accessibility.

3. Test with Assistive Technologies

Testing with assistive technologies is a crucial step in verifying your business’s digital accessibility. Assistive technologies are specialised tools that help individuals with disabilities to access and interact with digital content. There are various types of assistive technologies available, such as screen readers, magnifiers, speech recognition software, and alternative input devices like joysticks or switches. By testing your website or app using these tools, you can identify any potential barriers to accessibility that may exist. One popular assistive technology used for testing is the screen reader software. This tool reads out the text on a webpage aloud and helps people who have visual impairments navigate through the content quickly and easily. Testing with this tool allows you to ensure that all relevant information on your site is accessible via audio narration. Another critical aspect of testing with assistive technologies involves checking for compatibility across different platforms and devices. You should test your website or application across multiple operating systems (Windows, macOS) and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox). Doing so will allow you to see how users who rely on assistive technologies may experience your product differently depending on their device.

4. Engage Users with Disabilities

When it comes to digital accessibility, engaging users with disabilities is a crucial step in ensuring that your website or application is truly accessible. One way to do this is by conducting user testing sessions with individuals who have varying disabilities such as visual impairments or motor impairments. During these sessions, you can observe how they interact with your website or application and gather valuable feedback on areas that could be improved for accessibility. It’s important to involve users with diverse backgrounds and abilities as their experiences may differ greatly from those without disabilities. Another way to engage users with disabilities is through online forums and social media groups dedicated to accessibility. These communities provide a space for individuals to share their experiences and give insights into the challenges they face when using digital platforms. By actively participating in these communities, you can gain a better understanding of the needs of users with disabilities and incorporate their feedback into your design process. This not only helps improve accessibility but also fosters inclusivity in all aspects of your business.

5. Ensure Keyboard Accessibility

When it comes to digital accessibility, ensuring keyboard accessibility is crucial. This means that all functionality on your website or application can be accessed and used solely by using a keyboard. To achieve this, you should ensure that all features are accessible with the use of tab keys and arrow keys. You should also make sure there are no features that require the use of a mouse. This will ensure users who rely solely on their keyboards for navigation have equal access to your content. It’s important to test your website or application using only a keyboard as well as testing for compatibility with different types of keyboards such as ergonomic models or assistive technology devices. Another key aspect of keyboard accessibility is providing clear visual focus indicators such as highlighting where the user has navigated to on the page. This helps users understand where they are in relation to site structure and provides an improved user experience.

6. Provide Accessible Alternatives

Providing accessible alternatives is a crucial step in ensuring digital accessibility for your business. It means offering options that can accommodate users with disabilities who may face barriers to accessing certain types of content or functionality on your website. One way to provide accessible alternatives is by using alternative text (alt-text) for images, which can be read aloud by screen readers and help visually impaired users understand the context of an image. Another option is providing captions or transcripts for videos, which makes them accessible to deaf or hard-of-hearing viewers. For users with cognitive disabilities such as dyslexia, offering easy-to-read versions of content can make a big difference in their user experience. This could include simplified language or larger font sizes. Additionally, providing keyboard shortcuts and other navigation aids can assist those who have difficulty using a mouse or touchpad to navigate through your site.

By following the 6 simple steps outlined above – conducting an accessibility audit, using evaluation tools, testing with assistive technologies, engaging users with disabilities, ensuring keyboard accessibility, and providing accessible alternatives – businesses can easily verify that their online content is accessible to all. Remember that digital accessibility isn’t a one-time task; it requires ongoing efforts and updates as technology evolves. By incorporating these steps into your regular website maintenance routine, you’ll be able to provide equal access opportunities for all of your customers while improving overall usability and SEO performance.

10 Innovative Healthcare Marketing Ideas

The Healthcare industry is making numerous advances every day, which is excellent news in testing times like now when the world is trying to get over the havoc wrecked by the pandemic.

However, there needs to be more information available to the common people about the advancements in healthcare. The reason is that healthcare companies and providers should market their findings better. One possible reason for that is the lack of awareness on how to market healthcare practices, advancements, and innovations.

One might wonder if healthcare marketing differs from regular marketing, and the answer is Yes! The reason for that is simple, healthcare as an industry has a lot of norms, restrictions, and guidelines to follow. This means the marketing techniques need to consider HIPPA and other complaints that must be followed while marketing their service offerings.

Why is Healthcare Marketing Important?

A recent study found that healthcare spending globally in the year 2022 would be over $10 trillion. All this stems from the fact that there is a growing population of senior citizens, numerous chronic diseases, increased access to better healthcare services for all, and most of all, a lot of investment is going into the advancement of healthcare technologies.

With numerous healthcare organisations cropping up and no single place in the world-dominating healthcare tourism, healthcare marketing is now more critical than ever. Investing in healthcare marketing campaigns not just increases the possibility of getting quality leads but also increases the patient retention rate and, thereby, the hospital’s revenue.

The needs of the patients are constantly changing, meaning a person who visits a hospital today for a headache might not be looking for a specialist again. The next time they need healthcare service, it could be for a different problem. When hospitals invest in marketing their service offerings, they reach out to their existing patients with their extended and new service offerings.

Apart from that, they can also tap into a whole new customer base by exploring newer marketing avenues. Investing in healthcare marketing also ensures that the patients get credible information from reliable sources and form strong associations with the brand providing them.

The Ultimate Checklist for Healthcare Marketing

So, what are the innovative ways to reach out to healthcare customers? Is there a checklist for healthcare marketing? Read on to find out!

1. Embrace SEO Best Practices

Your hospital’s website is the first touch point for your customer. This means they interact and engage with your business before entering the hospital. So, your patients must find you easily on the internet. You must expect them to avoid going to the third page of Google to find your website.

So, ensure your page is well-optimised with all the relevant keywords and has organic quality content on the various service offerings, specialties, etc. You can also use the data from your Google Analytics to do a patient journey mapping on your website to identify and address any bottlenecks they might face on the site. This step would significantly reduce your bounce rate and further boost your SEO.

2. Invest In Paid Ads

Paid ads are one of the best ways to create visibility as they push your profile/information above the others. Be it your social media handles or your web page, paid ads always help in increasing traffic.

It will help increase the visibility of your brand. Sometimes it is better to target paid ads at your relevant target audience; this helps significantly in increasing conversion.

3. Create Videos That Engage Users

According to a Cisco report, over 82 percent of internet traffic comes from videos. This means that the audience worldwide is looking for entertainment and solutions in the video. So, make sure your brand messages are available in that format too. You can create educative videos about various healthcare concerns, personalise your messaging for the target audience, engage them in Q&A, and make the videos as interactive as possible.

Most healthcare providers do not venture into video marketing. This is probably because they need to figure out how to create a video without a massive budget regarding production materials and resources. However, it is easier than you think.

All you need to do is shoot a series of videos with your healthcare professionals on various topics and upload them to the web-based video editing tool, where you can make a video online and apply some smart edits to your videos. Also, this tool comes with pre-built video templates and some excellent features that let you seamlessly repurpose your videos for various platforms. You can use the same videos on your YouTube, website, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube Shorts to reach out to more patients without additional effort.

4. Tap Into The Power of Messaging Apps

Digitisation plays a pivotal role in our day-to-day activities. Thus, staying relevant and connected to the target audience is extremely important. Staying connected can be done by increasing the touchpoints.

You can use messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, etc. This is where AI assistants, appointment bookings, report delivery, and follow-ups can be automated.

5. Email Marketing Has The Best ROI

Email marketing never goes out of style. A recent study found that marketers see a $36 ROI for every $1 they spend on email marketing. Thus, healthcare marketers need to tap into this avenue of promoting their service offerings too.

With almost every adult digitally connected and possessing a smartphone, you can personalise your message to the patients, offer special coupon codes for consultations, discount codes for lab tests, and premium membership offers through email marketing.

6. Use Instagram To Engage Users

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, with over 1.3 billion users worldwide. With Live, Reels, and static posts being the numerous options that brands can experiment with, healthcare marketers have a lot of scopes to reach out to newer audiences while engaging their current patients.

For instance, Instagram lives is a great place to engage people by promoting two-way communication and encouraging the audience to ask questions. You can have regular chat sessions with experts where your viewers can have their doubts answered Live. Besides that, your static posts could be a place to run contests, quizzes, and so on! Throw in a few goodies and watch your viewership and follower count increase steadily.

7. Reviews and Testimonials Help Build Trust

People often need help deciding about buying a product mainly because they need help finding the information they can trust. This can be eliminated by increasing online reviews for your product. To make it credible and believable, subject matter experts can also be asked to give their thoughts.

8. Open House To Engage The Community

Corporations are now aimed at increasing transparency between them and the consumers. Healthcare providers now aspire to narrow the gap between them and their consumers. This can be done by organising open house sessions in companies as a part of their employee wellness program.

This will be a space where brand representatives can connect with the consumers and explain in detail the benefit their brand offers over the others. This will help in increasing the brand visibility and help in increasing the trust of the brand.

9. Do Not Forget The Importance of Doctor Referrals

In the healthcare industry, the best ambassadors are the doctors. Healthcare brands must have a healthy relationship with doctors. Events like organising a meet and greet, getting involved with the physicians, and maintaining a healthy relationship with them.

When doctors with great reputations are associated with a hospital, it boosts the hospital’s image, and more patients are likely to join the network. Besides that, you can also use this relationship to boost your service offerings and specialisations.

10. Do Not Underestimate Traditional Marketing

Some things never go out of fashion. Traditional marketing techniques like handing out pamphlets, putting up a stall, and giving samples to people will always help the brands to reach their audience, who are at the grassroots.

Conclusion

In healthcare, a customer (patient) pays money to gain access to the healthcare provider’s time through tests, scans, diagnoses, etc. This differs from how they engage with other industries, products, and services.

For instance, when you spend money on a product like a mobile phone, you can take home a phone. Whereas, in the case of healthcare, your money is spent on the expertise and time of the healthcare provider. Keep the above-mentioned ideas in mind in order to market your healthcare offerings seamlessly.