Tag Archives: Website Design

ADA Compliance – Is Your Website Up To Snuff?

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What Does It Take to Have an ADA Compliant Website?

Nearly one in four adults in the United States has a disability that impacts activities of daily life. While most business owners know that federal law mandates physical accessibility and covers structures such as wheelchair ramps and counter heights, many overlook the fact that the internet should be accessible to all as well. Which laws cover compliance? How can you make your website more accessible to the disabled?

Which Law Covers Compliance?

Accessibility for individuals affected by a disability has a historically been the center of discussion and a point of contention in the United States. Many businesses and government entities chose to provide accessible entrances and other features on their properties to enable those with disabilities to access their facilities. Yet, others remained unaware of the physical barriers provided by features of their buildings or ignored the difficulties experienced by people unable to utilize facilities and services due to their disabilities.

ADA LogoThe Americans With Disabilities Act, instituted in 1990, addressed these difficulties. In the same spirit as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Act – otherwise known as the ADA – recognized the rights of disabled people to gain access to businesses, government entities, and public spaces. The Act requires most organizations to provide reasonable accommodations for employees and public individuals to access their facilities.

As a result of the ADA, organizations began to install the wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, and other physical accommodations we have grown accustomed to. The changes provided access to many businesses, services, and products formerly unavailable to disabled people. However, one thing nobody anticipated in 1990 was the eventual rise of the internet.

The Internet Added a New Dimension to ADA Compliance

Since 1990, the internet has become a central part of the lives of many Americans. People use the internet for entertainment, research, business, and much more. While the necessity of getting online and using a website to accomplish a task was not something that was crucial to survival in the 90’s, times have certainly changed. Now – perhaps particularly for disabled individuals who experience difficulty leaving home to accomplish business – online accessibility is a legitimate concern.

In its original language, the ADA required every organization to provide equal access to its facilities and resources for disabled persons. Now that millions of people nationwide utilize the internet to shop and accomplish business and personal tasks, among many other things, it stands to reason that organizations’ online services should remain accessible as well. As the ADA has evolved, undergoing changes as recently as 2018, some changes apply to internet accessibility.

ADA Compliance – Disability Stats

ADA Is Not Specific

Title III of the ADA states that although the original ADA does not mention websites, its stipulations regarding equal accessibility should apply to web access for sites that provide public services. As such, the writers of the ADA have provided Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or WCAG, to provide recommendations for organizations to make their websites more accessible.

Other than these guidelines, however, the ADA provides no specific law requiring all business websites to maintain ADA compliance. In short, there are not laws in place requiring you to format your commercial business site in any way. However, in recent years, a series of lawsuits and their associated rulings have begun to shape how businesses should go about providing accessibility.

Tips For an ADA Compliant Website

Although your business may not be required by law to format your website to adhere to certain standards, ADA compliance can help you avoid litigation in the future. In addition, it is simply good business practice Follow these suggestions for maintaining ADA compliance:

  • Ensure your site can be navigated by keyboard. Multiple disabilities make accessing your site via mouse or touchscreen impossible. In addition, some third-party accessibility accommodations utilize keyboard navigation to work effectively. Thus, your website should be fully functional with keyboard-only commands.
  • Provide enlargement features. Users of your site must be able to easily enlarge text and media features for use on a standard screen or third-party accessible screen. Primarily, you must ensure your content can be enlarged up to 200% without requiring your users to scroll horizontally or breaking up content.
  • Add alt tags for media files. An alt tag allows a user unable to understand a media feature on your page – whether photo, video, or audio file – to access a description of the content behind the tag. When your users click on or mouse over an alt tag, it will provide a description of the contents of the media file as well as its purpose on the page. The description could be audio for those unable to view a photo, or text based for those unable to hear an audio file.
  • Add transcripts for media content. In addition to alt tags, provide full text transcripts for video and audio files. Deaf and hard of hearing people are unable to access the content of these formats, but can read transcripts.
  • Optimize header code. Your site’s header code should provide vital information about the language used on the page. Disabled users utilizing text readers depend on header code to identify the language used so that the text reader is prepared to read in the proper language.
  • Ensure website availability across all devices. Whether a disabled user is utilizing a computer, smartphone, tablet, or other accessibility device to navigate your site, all portions of your site should be available on all devices. It is crucial to ensure your website loads and all features and subpages are fully navigable.
  • Provide accessibility instructions. In the event that users experience access issues – primarily input issues – when attempting to navigate your site, provide on-screen suggestions for other approaches. Such instructions should be automatic, clear, and easy to follow.
  • Ensure your website is easy to navigate. In general, taking care to organize your site in a way that makes access intuitive is important for any user’s experience. Arrange clickable links, buttons, and features like menus so that any user is able to determine which features to select, and clearly distinguish separate site features from one another. Finally, ensure your color and text style selections are easy to read for users of all ranges of vision.
  • Provide accessible documents. Any documents or files users download from your site should be provided in multiple formats, including HTML, .pdf, and .rtf for access by third party accessibility programs and devices.

While commercial business operators may not yet have a stringent set of requirements for access, providing accessibility accommodations is just good practice. As the legal boundaries of ADA compliance change, it is essential that you provide access to your site to all your users, in order to ensure you stay ahead of the compliance game.

Talk to Us About Making Your Website ADA Compliant

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Vol. 87: Cultural Differences Affect How You See Color in Marketing

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Vol. 87

It’s hard to not judge a book by its cover when it comes to the visual display of marketing. Whether a billboard, banner ad, company logo, or landing page, each person will bring their own perception (or misperception) to the proverbial opinion table. And how to sway them in your favor is where color comes in.

No, we’re not talking about race relations here. But what we do want to share is how specific colors and their hues can either make or break your brand. When color is used effectively, it can be the best moniker to your name and carry its weight in gold (blue, brown, red, pink, white, etc.)

Color in marketing isn’t as simple as picking the one that you like or what you think your customers will be attracted to: Colorizing your brand might even require global acceptance. But how can you make the world happy when colors have different meanings from culture to culture?

It all comes down to strategy.

Once you understand the aspects of color and how they impact a person, color choice and positioning are better calculated:

  • Color is Feeling. Perhaps the most elementary aspect of color is how it makes us feel. It’s our first response to a bold fuchsia or muted gray as to whether we accept the visual stimulant or find it repulsive.
  • Color is Meaning. Personal experiences and traditions affect the way a person perceives color. For example, if you grew up in a beach town in Southern California, you might be drawn to royal blue and seafoam green, associating them with comfort.
  • Color is Light and Darkness. There’s a spiritual element that comes into play with color. Judeo-Christian theologies will often equate white with purity, while darker shades evoke mystery, the occult, or death. However, these connotations will vary from continent to continent.
  • Color is Tone. You may have heard about wearing a power red tie or blouse to an important meeting. Invariably, it will set the tone for the communication between people. Color can make a statement, without saying a word. Choose your colors wisely.
  • Color is Motion. Think about the last time you stopped and watched a sunrise or sunset. The colors that were first there changed over time. Your brand colors should be just as reflective of changes to your business. This is why having a color palette provides you more latitude in design strategy.

Read More About Color in Marketing

 

What Does Eminent Seo’s Brand Mascot Max Say About Who We Are?

According to the Colours in Culture graphic, our orange Max is…

  • Friendly (Western/USA)
  • Balance, Energy, Flamboyance (Japan)
  • Courage, Desire (Hindu)
  • Family, Learning (Chinese)
  • Healing, Learning (Native American)

We think that is all very fitting for our lovable little monster.

Max

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From the Eminent Team

6 Questions To Ask Designing A Company Logo - Eminent SEO

Fundamentals of Logo Design: 6 Questions to Ask When Designing a Company Logo

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Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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Vol. 80: Here’s Why You Need a Live Chat Feature on Your Website

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Vol 80 Newsletter Live Web Chat - Eminent SEO

Give ‘Em Something to Chat About

More and more website owners are infusing their site with live chat tools. This is an especially smart choice for websites with service and product offerings. The potential ROI is just too enticing to pass up.

A web chat pop-up feature might seem like a minor annoyance at first – to both you and your visitors – but studies are showing that this feature helps more than it harms.

Among the many benefits of adding a chat feature to a website, consider:

  • It helps build a more memorable brand experience.
  • It gives visitors a place to turn if they get stuck and need any questions answered quickly. In other words, it improves your customer service.
  • You can offer visitors special deals and deliver price quotes in real time through the chat module.
  • It gives you a sense of which pages and products that users are visiting most when they reach out with questions.
  • It allows you to consolidate your resources: You can have one person manage multiple chats at once, and you can develop canned responses to common questions.
  • You can use it as a lead-nurturing tool. HubSpot says 99% of first-time website visitors aren’t ready to buy. You can nudge them closer to purchase by chatting with them directly.

At Eminent SEO, web chat is just one component of a comprehensive marketing campaign we can develop for your business.

See How Else We Generate Leads

Live Chat Feature Takeaway

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The beauty in adding live web chat to your website is that it provides a vehicle for consumer engagement, bringing a true and unique user experience at the precise moment you have their attention.

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Adding A Web Chat Feature To Your Website - Eminent SEO

Why Adding a Web Chat Feature to Your Website Gives You a Market Advantage

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Business & Marketing Tips: The Best Live Chat Software for YOUR Website

Top 11 Live Web Chat Apps For Customer Service - Eminent SEOIf you answer yes to any of these three questions, then your website is a good candidate for a new chat feature:

  1. Do you sell goods/services on your site?
  2. Does your website attract a community that would benefit from more engagement?
  3. Are you (or somebody at your company) available to respond to chat inquires regularly?

The best web chat software for your site will depend on your website goals and your budget. For some small businesses, it makes sense to focus more on simplicity and ease of use, while other, more technical companies might want a more robust offering that can serve as more than just a live web chat platform.

In our chart below, our criteria heavily favors software whose primary purpose is providing live customer support, rather than helpdesk/tech support or serving as a team chat or CMS platform. The chart features of 11 of the top web chat products to consider for your website.

Click on the image below to see a larger version. Please note that we have no affiliation with any of the following products; we just want to help you make an informed decision.

Comparison Chart Live Web Chat Software Programs - ESEO(Click to Enlarge)

Keep in mind that all of these recommended products offer a free trial, which will allow you to see how well they fit your company’s needs before committing.

Closing Thoughts

Multi Channels Icons For Tablet - ESEOWeb chat is just one piece of the larger marketing puzzle. You need to take a multi-channel marketing approach. This means leveraging your website, social media, email, Google My Business, PPC and several other direct and indirect “channels” in order to interact with prospects and encourage them to take a specific action.

Learn More About Our Marketing Approach

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Chris Weatherall

President and SEO Strategist Chris has over a decade and a half of website development, SEO and organic link building experience. He manages the strategy for each client and drives the search engine rankings and traffic Eminent SEO is known for. When you hire Eminent you hire Chris, which means you have a veteran organic search expert on your team. Oh, and he’s funny too!

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What’s the Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer? Which Does My Business Need?

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Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer - Eminent SEO

When discussing website construction, the terms web designer and web developer are very often used interchangeably. To the laity, both of these titles simply describe a person whose career is building websites for businesses, and to an extent they are right. However, web designers and web developers work in two separate, but often closely related, spheres of website production.

While the roles of web developers and web designers are different, both work hand in hand in order to create a visually stunning and structurally sound website. In this article, we’ll discuss the differences and similarities between these two types of professionals to help you decide which one you need for your business.

What Is a Web Designer?

Web Design vs Web Development Work Together - Eminent SEOA web designer’s job is all about capturing the essence of a client’s vision and transforming it into a model of a potential website that is both aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly. Similar to the way an engineer is responsible for designing the blueprints and models for a bridge before construction begins, a web designer’s task is to create the look and feel of a website before the web developer can bring it to life.

A good web designer will be equal parts artist and craftsman, possessing both a solid understanding of design theory, as well as the technological limitations faced by the development team in charge of building the website.

A web designer’s job description includes skills such as:

  • Knowledge and proficiency in both logo and graphic design
  • An understanding of design theory, including flow, color, spacing, balance and proportion.
  • An intuitive feel for creating the best user experience for a website’s visitors
  • In-depth knowledge of software tools such as Sketch, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Canva
  • Maintaining up-to-date knowledge of the latest trends in the design world

What Is a Web Developer?

A web developer’s job is to take the models and sketches for a website created by the web designer and turn them into fully functional webpages. If the web designer’s role can be likened to that of an engineer or architect, consider the web developer as a sort of construction worker responsible for building the website from the ground up.

Web development can be broken down into two main categories: front-end development and back-end development.

The Front-End Web Developer

The front end of a website is what visitors will see and interact with on their browser. Also known as the “client side,” the front end consists of all of the text, images, colors, buttons, internal links and menus that the user experiences directly.

In short, the front-end developer is responsible for making sure that the visitor experiences an error-free website that looks exactly how the web designer envisioned it.

There are three primary coding languages used by front-end developers. These languages are:

  • Hypertext Markup Language (HTML)
  • Javascript (JS)
  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

The Back-End Web Developer

A website’s back end refers to the portion of a website that a visitor will never directly experience, and is made up of three parts: an application, a server and a database. The back end serves as the link between the server and the website’s visitors.

The majority of the code for the web application can be found on the back end. It’s important to keep in mind that poor coding on the back end will translate to a sluggish, glitchy performance on the front end.

Back-end coding languages differ from front-end coding languages, and include:

  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby on Rails
  • SQL
  • Java
  • NET

A backend developer is responsible for making sure that all of the right data gets sent from the server to the browser. If the front end is the 10 percent of the iceberg that floats above the water’s surface, the back end is the other 90 percent that remains submerged.

Which of These Professionals Should Your Business Use?

Web designers and web developers are both crucial players in creating an awesome website for your business, so it only makes sense to recruit the help of both.

There’s a reason why the saying “two heads are better than one” has been around for so long: because it’s the truth! When a proficient designer and developer collaborate, they can make magic happen. These two groups of professionals each bring a unique set of skills to the table, both of which are vital to the success of a website project.

The Importance of Working Together

Front End Website 10 Percent Back End 10 Percent - Eminent SEOHaving the design and development teams work side by side ensures that everyone is able to plan and execute the project efficiently and effectively. Allowing the design team to run their sketches and mockups for the website past the development team on an ongoing basis guarantees that the initial design approved by the client is both practical and achievable.

After all, as a client, you never want to hear that the design team bit off more than they could chew halfway through a project.

Not only is working together from day one a surefire way to avoid many costly and time-consuming setbacks, it allows two different types of creative minds to work in synergy, creating a website that not only meets but exceeds the client’s expectations.

Additional benefits of hiring a close-knit team of web designers and developers include:

  • Having multiple sets of eyes on every stage of website construction, identifying and correcting flaws and mistakes as they arise
  • The opportunity for creative brainstorming between both right-brain thinkers (designers) and left-brain thinkers (developers)
  • Mutual accountability between the two teams
  • A finished product where the aesthetic elements complement the interactive elements, and vice versa

Despite the Difference Between Web Designer and Web Developer, Should I Hire a Hybrid Specialist?

If you are looking to build a website for your business but have only a limited budget for the project, it might be tempting to hire a single person playing the role of a hybrid designer-developer. This approach may work for some businesses owners, especially those looking for a fairly basic website and are not overly concerned with visitor engagement and conversion. However, like most things in life, you are likely to get what you pay for.

A so-called “jack of all trades” is unlikely to possess a deep understanding of both web design and web development, which means that projects tend to take longer to complete, and the final product is unlikely to live up to your, and even their, expectations.

Moving Forward

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the dynamic relationship between the web designer and the web developer, and just how important each role is in creating the perfect website for your business.

If you still have questions about the various considerations that go into building a website, come check out our website design and development page and learn more about how the expert team of designers and developers at Eminent SEO can help you grow your business and your web presence.

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Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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