How Can You Make Your Amazing Web Content Accessible P

How Can You Make Your Amazing Web Content Accessible P

How do the Guidelines Require Accessibility for All

 

Increased scrutiny has made Web Accessibility a hot issue around the globe.  In the United States, law firms are aggressively suing businesses and institutions.  These claims say that their websites fail to satisfy both Title III of the American Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.  

WCAG 2.0 had provided guidelines, rather than laws or regulations.  In the United States, Congress failed to enact any meaningful legislation to provide firm directions on how to proceed.  In the European Union they acted and passed the General Data Protection Regulations.  The GDPR provides strong rules and regulations and tells exactly how individuals data must be handled.

 

What Does Web Accessibility Mean to the Disabled?

 

Most of us are familiar with how Accessibility applies to physical business places.  However, little thought has been given to how Accessibility applies to the Internet.  Accessibility on the World Wide Web demands that we break down barriers and open a clear path for everyone.  

This means that web pages must be designed so that those with Visual, Hearing, Motor and Cognitive disabilities have an equal opportunity to navigate and access every web page.

 

What Does WCAG 2.0 Tell Us is Important for Accessibility

 

Published in 2008, WCAG 2.0 consists of twelve guidelines that are organized under four principles.  The four WCAG principles, frequently called P.O.U.R., require that all websites must be perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust.    

Each guideline also has testable success criteria.  To help web designers meet WCAG 2.0 guidelines a group of techniques were developed.  These techniques come with their own criteria to measure success. 

 

 

How do the Four Principles Make Your Content Accessible?

 

In the following sections we will take a closer look at each of the four WCAG 2.0 principles.  We will discuss how the four P.O.U.R. principles, perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust must be rooted in every aspect of our website design.

A study conducted by the University of Utah analyzed over 1,000,000,000 website home pages for web accessibility.  Their findings were a mixed bag of results, with 97.8% of home pages having WCAG 2.0 conformance failures.  The good news is that WCAG many WCAG conformance failures can be easily remedied.

Let’s take a look at each of the WCAG 2.0 principles and the guidelines reccomended for each principle.

 

Perceivable Principle

 

Your web information and user interface components must be presented to users in ways that they can perceive.

  • Guideline 1.1: Provide text alternatives for any non-text content so that it can be changed into other forms people need, such as large print, braille, speech, symbols or simpler language.
  • Guideline 1.2: Time-based media: Provide alternatives for time-based media.
  • Guideline 1.3: Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
  • Guideline 1.4: Make it easier for users to see and hear content including separating foreground from background.

 

 

Operable Principle

 

Your web user interface components and navigation must be operable by your visitors.

  • Guideline 2.1: Make all functionality available from a keyboard.
  • Guideline 2.2: Provide users enough time to read and use content.
  • Guideline 2.3: Do not design content in a way that is known to cause seizures.
  • Guideline 2.4: Provide ways to help users navigate, find content, and determine where they are.

 

 

Understandable Principle

 

Your visitors must find your information and the operation of user your interface to be understandable.

 

 

Robust Principle

 

Your web content must be robust enough that visitors can interpret it reliably using a wide variety of user agents and assistive technologies.

  • Guideline 4.1.: Maximize compatibility with current and future user agents, including assistive technologies.

 

 

 

You Should Act Immediately to Make Your Content Accessible

 

Place a Strong Accessibility Statement on Your Website

 

What you definitely should do first is place a strong Accessibility Statement on your website.  Then audit your site to check it’s accessibility and discover it’s shortcomings.  Next you need to decide if it’s time to redesign your site to address what you discovered during your audit.

Does your site need to be completely redesigned to embrace accessibility. If it does, find a web developer with the web accessibility knowledge required.  Then begin the redesign process.

If your site has been built using WordPress there are many options available to help you acheive web accessibility.  Look for themes or plug-ins designed to help make your site accessible.  

I chose the DIVI theme which has a robust approach to helping you make your site accessible for all.

 

How to Engage Your Visitors using Great Blog Post Topics P

How to Engage Your Visitors using Great Blog Post Topics P

Select a Blog Topic That Will Interest Your Readers

 

My first step in writing a blog post is pretty logical.  I select a topic which I feel will engage and inform my readers.  I presently write three blogs to cover my areas of interest.  The Better Business Alliance is my main blog.  However I also write blogs to address two topics that are very important to me, Accessibility and Sustainability.

My Better Business Alliance blog is focused on helping business owners develop a Digital Marketing Strategy to help them grow their business.  This blog is written and the topics chosen to give small business owners bites of snack-able information that will help you grow their business.  

This is done for a specific reason.  Overloading your visitors with too much information can be overwhelming.   For small business owners, it’s important to break these topics down into snack-able pieces of Digital Marketing that you can absorb and master.  Breaking down your Digital Marketing makes it easier to understand and conquer.  My goal is to make Digital Marketing understandable for everyone.

Digital Marketing is a broad topic which covers many different segments of marketing in the digital age.  If my reader’s take the correct approach they can break down the task of digital marketing into a number of related steps that are much more manageable.

 

Your Successful Digital Marketing Components are Important

 

Digital Marketing is the sum of it’s many parts.  Social media marketing, content marketing, search engine optimization and many more digital marketing segments are critical if you want to be successful.  Together they may seem formidable, but when you view just one facet at a time they become much more manageable.

The topics I choose to blog about in each post are either points that are of particular interest to me, or need to be discussed because of their importance for all of us.  My blogs teach people how to do things or about something that matters to them.  

 

I Select Topics That Will Help My Audience Succeed

 

The majority of my posts are “how to” content.  If you have a different style of blog, you may follow a different path for developing your post topics.

My other blogs are Accessibility International and Sustainability International.  These are written to address two topics which matter to me and that should matter to all of us.  

The topics of Accessibility and Sustainability are important to many and they affect all of our lives.  Embracing Accessibility for all, and choosing Sustainability and green practices make everyone’s lives better.

 

A Blog is the Core of Your Digital Marketing Strategy

 

Whatever your business, a blog is critical to and enhances your Digital Marketing Strategies success.  A Blog helps others find your business by telling your story to the world.

When it comes to selecting blog post topics, you have endless choices that will engage others with your content.  You can choose any topic about anything having a connection to your business.  Writing your blog posts is about telling your story and starting a conversation using topics which interest you and your visitors.  Happy blogging.

 

How to Decrease Your Time on Social Media and be Productive P

How to Decrease Your Time on Social Media and be Productive P

How to Keep Social Media From Sucking Up all of Your Time

 

As bloggers, social media is a key tool for promoting our blogs.  Social media helps us to grow our blogs.  Social media allows us to interact with our readers.  Social Media gives us the opportunity to build our communities.  Social media keeps us informed about current events and news in our niche.  

However, social media can also be a massive drain on the limited time available to us.  The big challenge for all bloggers is time management.  How can we keep social media from sucking up all of our limited available time?

 

Two Ways Your Social Media Habits Could Impact Your Productivity

 

Avoid Spending Unscheduled Time on Social Media

 

Are you the blogger who spends large chunks of time on social media networks?  I understand that it is important to tending to your own community.  You do need to engage with other communities by leaving comments, and contributing to online discussions.  It is important to increase your exposure and become known in your niche.  However, you should schedule time for social media engagement.  Then stick to your schedule.

 

Avoid Constantly Checking Your Social Media for Comments

 

Don’t be the blogger who is constantly checking their social media.  Even using small amounts of time throughout your day adds up.  These small distractions can quickly add up to wasting a significant amount of time during your day.  Again, your social media time needs to be scheduled.  Stick to your schedule.  If you are unable to complete your tasks on social media, perhaps you need to schedule more time for those tasks.

 

How Does Your Social Media Behavior Impact Your Productivity?

 

How does this behavior on social media impact their productivity?  Social media impacts your productivity in three key ways:

 

  1. If the time you spend on social media outweighs your gains from using your social media networks.
  2. Single tasking can increase your blogging productivity while reducing your stress.  Research from the American Psychological Association has shown that multi tasking can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.
  3. Dividing your time between writing and social media takes you much longer to write your blog post because your mind is not 100% on the task at hand. Focus on writing while ignoring everything else.

 

Reduce the distraction of social media.  You need to reduce the above impacts and increase your blogging productivity.  It doesn’t mean that you can’t be on social media.  It just means you need to take a more planned and proactive approach to how you go about it.  Following are two actions you can take to enhance your productivity:

 

Create a Social Media Strategy That Reduces Distractions

It can be very tempting to sign up to every social media network.  Spending time daily on each of them is one way to create a social media presence, but it is unlikely to be successful.  

If you want to maximize the time you spend on social media, you need a defined social media strategy for your blog.  Your social media strategy doesn’t have to be complex and detailed.  But it needs to cover these key points:

 

How much time per day/week can you spend on social media?

You have to determine how much time you have available for blogging.  Then you have to decide how much of that time you need to spend on social media.  The amount of time will vary between bloggers.  There will be times when you may increase your time on social media to support your blogging goals.  The key is setting how much time you will spend on social media and then sticking to it.

 

What Networks are Best for Your Social Media Engagement?

 

Many bloggers sign up to most social media networks to have a presence on them.  However, unless you have a Social media manager, you may not have the time needed to truly engage on all of them.

Instead it may be preferable to select 2 or 3 and focus on them.  It’s more important to create great content to share and spend time building your communities on the best networks for showcasing your blog and business.

The benefits from having a more effective presence on fewer social media networks will be greater than spreading your efforts thinly over lots of networks.

 

You Should Define Your Goals for Each Social Media Network

 

You should have a goal for what you hope to achieve on each social media network.  It’s important to know why you are even on each social network.  For example, my goal for Twitter is to be seen as an expert in my niche.  I want to use Twitter to create freelance and media opportunities.

Facebook is about building a community where I can share high quality articles I curate specifically for them.  Through helping them as much as I can, I am building up trust that will hopefully lead to them purchasing my products and services.

 

You Need to Determine Your Posting Frequency for Each Social Network

 

It’s tough to stand out and be noticed on all of the social networks.  But that doesn’t mean posting more stuff will get you more notice.  Buffer recently changed their Facebook social media strategy with great success.

Buffer cut their posting frequency by more than 50% on Facebook and decided to focus on quality over quantity.  Their results underwent a dramatic shift.  More than the most optimistic social media manager couldn’t have expected.

Even though they were posting less, their Facebook reach and engagement began to increase.

 

How Changing Our Social Media Scheduling Reaped Rewards

 

  • I determined how frequently I post to each network and the type of content I share.  I use Blog2Social to schedule my posts to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Medium and Tumblr.
  • I use Feedly to read blogs and articles.  Feedly helps me digest a lot of information to share on my networks. I will spend 10 – 15 minutes several times a week selecting items that I want to share.
  • I set aside 45 – 60 mins a week to batch schedule my recycled and repurposed social media posts.  I head to Blog2Social to determine which posts I will repurpose and share and to what networks.

 

Develop a Social Media Process That Works for You

 

Creating a specific process like this means you reduce the amount of time you go searching for content to share or procrastinating about what to share. Once I have the week scheduled, I see this as my base content and will still often share content, add conversation and respond to questions/comments on my networks when I check in once a day.

Social media doesn’t have to decrease your productivity. Create a social media strategy and batching process so you are in control of how you spend your time on social media and see your productivity flourish!

Do you find you are spending too much time on social media?

 

Marketing’s Future Is Embracing Artificial Intelligence P

Marketing’s Future Is Embracing Artificial Intelligence P

Is AI Marketing’s Future?

 

Balancing analysis and execution has always been part of the marketing equation.   Moving into the digital age marketing has only become more complicated, especially with the growth of social media’s influence.  However, the established cycle of analyzing, optimizing, executing, and repeating is still the foundation of all our successful initiatives.

Today, the era of personalized marketing has arrived.  Robot assistants are able to perform more of the mundane duties that human marketers had to do in the past.  Robots can complete these tasks more quickly and accurately than human marketers have ever been able to.  A driving force behind these developments and one of the early innovators behind artificial intelligence is IBM.

With their Watson Marketing suite of tools and APIs, IBM is powering an increasing number of real-time analysis and optimization opportunities.  Using Watson CMS, the IBM Think Marketing portal automatically serves up a different mix of content based on what you’ve read in the past.

 

In digital marketing, the cycle of analyzing optimizing executing repeating is the nucleus of all successful initiatives.

We were given a glimpse of marketing’s future, at The Masters’ golf tournament.  IBM is a long-time sponsor of this internationally recognized event.  Because of their sponsorship, they provide the tournaments technology.  For the first time, IBM used Watson to automatically determine which video clips should appear on the official Masters’ website and mobile app.

Watson based its decisions on real-time signals it gathered live on-site.  These included variables such as loudness of the crowd’s reaction and by analyzing the announcers’ commentary.  Watson instantly identified a piece of video as a highlight, tagged the video, and pushed it live out to social media.

Can you imagine the ability to have this technology applied to your YouTube channel?  Or how it could be used to determine the optimal email subject line for each recipient of your email campaign.  Or creating instant ad buys for content that outperforms your past efforts.  Today, human marketers can do all of these tasks.  However, it requires a lot of their time and a lot of effort to do so.

 

Are The Robots Here to Help?

 

Artificial Intelligence learns from each interaction, getting smarter and making it able to take many labor-intensive functions and automate them.  Because of this marketers are freed from mundane tasks and given the time to think and create.  While robots work.  Rather than being artificial intelligence, AI for marketers is actually augmented intelligence.  

There’s really no fear that robots will replace marketers.  Instead, it’s exciting to imagine how robots will help marketers do their jobs better and faster.  AI will help create communications that are more relevant and impactful between visitors and businesses who choose to embrace the future.

 

Artificial Intelligence will create communications that are more relevant and impactful

Watson and other cognitive systems are only as good as the data, requests, and other inputs fed into it.  This is why the successful marketers of the future will understand and embrace new technologies moving forward.  Learning what is possible, and how to structure the feeds, sequences, and triggers needed to maximize the benefits of real-time technology at their disposal.

 

Will Artificial Intelligence Be Marketings Future?

 

The currency among professional marketers is their insatiable curiosity, combined with an acute understanding of data, applied to ever more varied customer journeys.  All marketers will need to understand what actually motivates your visitors to become customers.  If you want to hone your digital marketing skills subscribe to my Business blog.

 

Digital marketers pride themselves on their ability to CREATE something that breaks through

Marketers have always taken pride in their creativity.  The ability to develop a concept that is both groundbreaking and effective attracting customers to their product or service.  In the digital age, many interactions will soon be specifically tailored to your individual customers’ needs.  We are witnessing the dream of personalized marketing becoming a reality.

Have you adopted the use of Artificial Intelligence in your business?  How is Artificial Intelligence making your marketing easier?  Leave us a comment about how AI has helped your business.