Does my Website Need to be ADA Compliant?
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 03 January 2020 01:41 pm
What is ADA? ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act. It became law in 1990 with a stated goal to stop discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life. The ADA has five main components, known as Titles.
For our purposes, Title III of the ADA deals with public accommodations and commercial facilities that include websites. Title III is enforced as a strict liability law by the U.S. Department of Justice. That means there are little to no excuses to be uncompliant.
Web accessibility is an evolving set of requirements with no formal agreed-upon set of standards. Although not legally sourced, courts have referenced WCAG 2.0 in cases involving the ADA.
As of now, the Department of Justice has not independently pursued website owners for being Title III uncompliant. However, individuals affected by perceived non-compliant websites have sued website owners pursuing injunctive relief (e.g., for the company to make its website ADA accessible) and attorneys’ fees.
ADA lawsuits have shown a marked increase in the past few years. 2017 saw 814 ADA lawsuits while 2018 saw that number rise to 2285 cases. Although 2019 numbers are not out yet, it will exceed 2018.
The rise in ADA related cases has led increasingly to more and more industries being affected. Due to their close interactions with the general public, certain industries present more vulnerable targets to ADA legal action.
Top industries targeted by ADA lawsuits include real estate, retail, travel, entertainment, and foodservice. The list keeps growing as precedents keep being set by previous cases.
A significant portion of the cases, 55%, in 2019 settled within just 60 days. It is often uneconomical to fight these legal challenges and come out victoriously.
Being ADA compliant is first and foremost a positive development in our pursuit to be a more inclusive society. Every company with an online presence should strive to accommodate as many of its visitors as possible. ADA compliance is simply a continuation of good customer service extended to a larger audience.
ADA compliance forces a website to comfort to the highest Search Engine Optimization standards. The increased rankings will garner more business for compliant websites.
Disabled and other users alike view brands with compliant websites in a more positive light compared to their inaccessible counterparts. Websites built with WCAG guidelines tend to be easier to navigate, increasing positive user experience.
Finally, making efforts to be ADA compliant will protect website owners from being on the wrong end of legal action.
It remains incredibly difficult to ensure full ADA compliance. The WCAG is a best-case scenario set of guidelines.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) maintains a list of tools that can assist in ascertaining the level of WCAG compliance. They do not claim that any single tool is representative of fulfilling all of the guidelines’ requirements.
A full evaluation of every page of a website is the only approach that ensures that all parts meet the WCAG guidelines.
Easy here is subjective. The steps to make a website ADA compliant are simple yet require huge amounts of labor depending on the size of a website.
The future of web ADA compliance is a contentious subject. The first major case to go to trial, Gil. V. Winn Dixie is still working its way through the courts. The Plaintiff, Juan Carlos Gil, won in a lower court; however Winn Dixie appealed to the Eleventh Circuit. That opinion is due to be issued in the next few months.
Depending on the results, the current legal environment will change in terms of the legal culpability of ADA compliance. However, this is likely to be limited to specific websites; in this case, retailers with physical fronts.
ADA compliance is here to stay. It behooves any website, specifically public-facing websites, to endeavor to be as compliant as possible to web accessibility standards.
Is your website ready to be ADA compliant? Webtivity Marketing & Design is here to guide you through the process of ensuring your website conforms to the highest web standards.
Reach out to us at (941) 753-7574 or send us a message for an immediate answer.
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Check out our Brand New Web Design & SEO Packages
Posted by Meredith Bardsley on 12 July 2019 12:14 pm
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Webtivity Named One of The Top Digital Marketing Companies in the Tampa Bay Area
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 19 April 2018 09:11 am
We are proud to announce that we have been named one of the top digital marketing, SEO and branding companies in the greater Tampa area by Clutch! Clutch is a trusted B2B ratings and reviews firm that evaluates regional top-performing companies based on services offered, client feedback, work quality and market presence.
We at Webtivity Marketing & Design strive to always deliver top quality service to all of our clients and inquirers alike. This service centered focus began with our founding in 1999 and has been the cornerstone of our internal company compass as well as the raison d’etre of our success!
Although we don’t do it for the recognition it gives us great pleasure to see others recognize our customer centric approach to digital marketing.
Give us a call at 941-753-7574 or contact us for more information on how we can work closely with you to help your business achieve all of your digital marketing goals!
The post Webtivity Named One of The Top Digital Marketing Companies in the Tampa Bay Area appeared first on Webtivity Marketing & Design News.
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Improve Your Site’s Google Ranking
Posted by Meredith Bardsley on 26 February 2018 11:48 am
We all want to be at the top of a Google search. The closer to the top of a Google search you are, the more customers will be able to find your business. Luckily, there are some ways to boost your Google ranking, thus increasing web traffic to your site.
Adding a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
Google has been talking about this for a while. We all want to shop and surf the internet safely. One of the best things you can do to increase your ranking on google is to get an SSL certificate added. Google recently announced that July 2018 will be that date that for all unsecured sites, Chrome will display a warning label of “not secure” in the address bar. This is a sure fire way to get people not only to not use your site, but to have google not promote your site as well. More than 50% of internet users use chrome for their browser.
Get a Mobile Website
More than 50% of internet users are using a mobile device in the last 12 months! Only 44% used desktops, and less than 5% used tablets. You are losing potential business if your site isn’t mobile friendly. Making your site mobile friendly will not only boost your google ranking, but will improve users’ experience. When people are making the buying decision, more often than not they’re using a mobile device. Currently, desktop and mobile search results on Google are indexed together. Google recently said that soon they will be moving sites to a “mobile-first index”. While they won’t say exactly when, it is coming.
Google wants to see that your site is not only dynamic, but that it is updated often. This is easily done though publishing blog posts. Regularly updating your site with blog posts will not only increase your Google ranking, but by putting out this new content, it will draw customers back to your site.
Link building takes time, so it’s important to start your link building work when your website is launched. Google wants to see your site build these links naturally, over time. This can be accomplished through social media, guest blogging, press releases, and link exchanges to name a few. And while results don’t happen automatically, Google does notice!
Contact the Experts
Webtivity Marketing and Design has been providing digital marketing services since 1999. From link building, to blogging, to website design and digital advertising, we do it all. Have we mentioned that we are a Certified Google Partner Agency? Give us a call at 941-753-7574 or contact us for more information on how we can work closely with you to help your business achieve all of your goals!
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Free Adwords Consultation: Advantages of Working with a Google Certified Partner
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 16 June 2017 10:38 am
It is said that certifications in the Digital Marketing industry fall more often than rain in a rain forest. Who knows which companies to trust and which consultants have actually completed the necessary requirements instead of outsourcing the process? The answer is none.
There are few exceptions to this rule however, that is the companies that are the target of most if not all digital marketing efforts. None more so fit the bill more than the behemoth underneath Alphabet, Google.
There are several reasons working with a Google Certified Partner can be advantageous to you and your company’s digital marketing goals.
Certification Backed By Google
The world’s biggest search engine needs no introduction. Suffice it to say they vet any applications for Google Partner status rigorously to ensure that any company or individual who plans on using their brand name as part of their marketing has earned the distinction.
On a basic level that entails checking to make sure a company is an established legal identity with employees. On an advanced level this includes meeting a minimum level of Google AdWords ad spend, delivered growth to clients, and shows sustained improvement over time.
For those few agencies who qualify a nifty badge is awarded like the one you see on the left. The full requirements are listed by Google to make it easier for potential clients to understand just what kind of benefits they can expect from any agency displaying the Google Partner Badge.
Certified Agency Team Members
Google requires that at least one employee be certified in the various advertising sections of the AdWords offerings. Fortunately here at Webtivity we have not one, not two, but THREE certified employees ready to meet your Pay-Per-Click needs. But just stating that means nothing.
Certifications come and go over time as individuals sometimes overlook re-certification. An agency’s Google Partner page however should be able to show you all qualified individuals as well as their respective qualifications.
Dedicated Google AdWords Representative
To be a Google AdWords partner requires going through a rigorous selection process by Google. There are some agencies that rise above that initial basic entrance level however. Around 5% all of digital marketing agencies earn the distinction of being assigned dedicated account representatives.
As the old idiom goes there is no better source of information than straight from the horse’s mouth. Google AdWords experts are the best place to get recommendations, practices, news, and a plethora of other information other digital marketing experts may not be aware of for months! Webtivity is proud to have and continue to earn this distinction.
Like what you hear so far? Request a free no-obligation consultation from the Google AdWords Certified experts at Webtivity!
Immediate AdWords Support
Google Partners, especially Google Partners with a dedicated representative, get immediate responses to ANY Google related issues. Is your website listed as hacked? Do you have an issue with your bill? Do you have any questions you can’t find an answer to? You might be stuck waiting for weeks, sometimes even months by going through regular Google contact avenues.
A Google Partner agency however can get your issue attended to and rectified within 24 hours! We have direct phone access to our Google Representatives for expedited service.
Direct Google AdWords Supported Consultation
One of the expanded duties of a Google AdWords representative team is helping their client acquire new business. This is because the advertising agency has proven itself time and time again as capable of delivering quantifiable and sustained results for their respective clients. Taken in this context it is in the best interest of the parent company, in this case Google, to ensure that that agency continually acquires new business.
Your FREE Google AdWords consultation will be undertaken in tandem with our Google AdWords dedicated account representatives to ensure that our suggested recommendations pass the rigor of accepted and up-to-date AdWords best practices.
The Webtivity Difference
We, at Webtivity Marketing & Designs, strive to ensure that we not only meet the highest Google standards for search but advertising as well. We not only have THREE AdWords certified team members but TWO Google Analytics certified members as well.
As part of our drive to always deliver quality server we differentiate our billing for advertising from Google AdWords. This means that you can keep track of your budget without worrying about where every dollar is being spent. This is something of an anomaly in the digital advertising industry as most agencies like to retain an inordinate amount of control on client budgets. But we place, and will continue to pursue a strictly transparent way of operating.
And it seems industry search engine giants are taking note. Don’t wait schedule your free AdWords consultation with the experts today! Give us a call at 941-753-7574 to experience the Webtivity difference for yourself.
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Do I Need an SSL Certificate for My Website?
Posted by Didier Bizimungu on 06 April 2017 09:09 am
Webtivity Designs recommends that ALL webmasters or site owners upgrade their websites with an SSL certificate.
An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology.
SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information.
This increased protection has not gone unnoticed by search engines. Starting in 2015 Google has slowly but surely increased the importance of having an SSL certificate to its search rankings. We fully expect the rest of the big three, Yahoo and Bing, to follow Google’s lead.
This is outlined on the Google Webmaster Blog.
This is a rare but incredible break in normal Google practices of never commenting on search ranking factors. They did not stop there with their pursuit of a more secure user experience. Recently the Google Chrome browser began showing a “Not Secure” warning on any webpage without an SSL that collects user data.
Where can you get an SSL Certificate? Webtivity currently offers SSL Certificates as well as installation and maintenance for a nominal fee. Certificates must be renewed every year to remain valid. We can provide a free estimate on the cost of the whole process.
If you do not go through us GoDaddy also offers SSL Certificates. Please note however that they do not offer installation or renewal services, just a certificate.
A key requirement of an SSL Certificate is a dedicated IP. This means a website has its own IP address. Typing in the URL of the website or its IP address would bring you to the same website. This has the added benefit of speeding up the loading time of your website further positively influencing SEO rankings.
Webtivity is here to guide you through this process regardless of which provider you use. We highly recommend that ALL of our clients upgrade their websites to this security level. This goes double for current SEO clients.
Please feel free to send any questions or concerns our way via email or phone call at: (941) 753-7574
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