Videos & Blogs

Making Your Website More Accessible

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Hey everybody, it’s the Katie Lance podcast. We’re in episode 116, and I’m excited for today’s episode. I want to talk a little bit about accessibility. You know, we live in a world where I think it’s more important than ever before to make sure that the content we are creating, whether it’s on social media or on our website is accessible to everybody. And this particular episode, I’m hoping this will be perhaps a two-part episode. Um, I would actually love at some point to interview someone who is an expert in this field. I am not an expert. I just simply want to share my own opinion and some of the things that we’re doing on our website, as well as on social media to make our content more accessible, to more and more people. Um, however, if you know someone who’s an expert or you are an expert in this field, feel free to reach out.

I would love to chat with you about it. Um, I just think that this is really more important than ever before. So this episode, I’m just going to share a little bit about my journey, um, why we think it’s important in terms of business and just some of the things that we’re doing. So, you know, a lot of this probably started probably a year or two ago when we really started thinking about, you know, making sure that we are, um, not just ADA compliant. And if you’re wondering what an ADA complaint website actually means, um, an ADA complaint complaint website is, is a website that’s designed for everybody. It should allow those with disabilities to be able to use your website in a way that works for them. Right. And it’s really a win-win for everybody. So, um, generally that, you know, from a business perspective, it means more traffic.

It helps your business grow, but it’s also just the right thing to do. Right. And as I started kind of going down this journey, you know, probably like I said, probably about a year or two ago, I really started to think about a lot of different things, right. I wanted to make sure that we were more inclusive in our content and who we, who, who we interview on our podcast and, and what we stand for. And so, and we’ve done lots of episodes, you know, over the last probably year or so, focusing on different issues. You know, we, we, don’t shy away from those kinds of uncomfortable conversations, whether it’s around racism or social injustice, and we’ve had some amazing conversations this year about it. And in addition to those tough conversations, I think it’s also important to talk about because for a lot of people, um, you know, consuming content online, whether it’s on a website, whether it’s through social media can be challenging.

And so we actually had a really great conversation with, um, our website development company about this. And, um, one of the first things that we did is we actually installed a plugin on our website and I will link to this plugin in the show notes below. Now, again, I’m not an SEO person, I’m not a website person. My sweet spot is really social media, but, um, I love that he recommended this tool. And so it’s called excessively accessibly. And I, again, I’ll link that in the show notes below. And as I’m chatting with you here on the podcast, I’m looking at my phone because I’m looking at this plugin, it’s, it’s actually a really cool plugin. There is a cost to it. Um, I think we pay 30 or 40 bucks a month, so it’s not cheap, but I absolutely love the different options. And I’m sure there’s other plugins that do different things.

But when, uh, you know, as I’m looking at it on my phone here, there’s lots of different things that are going to help with folks who, um, perhaps have seizures. So there’s a seizure safe profile. There is a vision impaired profile that someone can turn on. Um, there is an option for cognitive disability, um, ADHD, blind users, uh, keyboard navigation, um, there, and then there’s different options in terms of making fonts more readable or highlighting titles or highlighting links, magnifying texts, um, adjusting font sizes, letter spacing, um, color adjustments as well, dark contrast, LA light contrast, um, saturation, uh, orientation adjustments, muting sounds, hiding images, um, stopping animation. So I absolutely love it. And I also love that it, it was a great plugin which allowed us to keep, um, you know, putting out the content that we, that we are putting out. It didn’t require a lot of heavy lifting on our part.

Um, but it’s, it’s, it’s, I’m super happy that we have this available on our website. Um, and by the way, I will say, like I said, in the beginning, I’m not an expert on, on all of this. So I’m actually gonna put in our show notes below some additional information. I’m going to link to the, um, site. So you can read that through. Um, and, you know, from talking to a lot of folks who are smarter than I am when it comes to Google, um, I have just been hearing, especially over this past year, how important it is to be ADA compliant with your website. So I’m excited that we’ve been able to do that. Um, and like I said, I’m going to put that information in the show notes below, so you can, so you can check that out. Um, and it just, you know, it just makes you feel good that you’re being able to, you know, have a website, have content that’s accessible to more and more people.

So that is definitely one area that we are excited about. The other thing I just want to mention that we really try to do on all of our content, especially video content is caption our videos, and we’ve been doing this for probably at least four or five years. Um, we use a tool called rev, R E, And, um, I’m actually an affiliate with rev. I’m not really an affiliate for really anything else, but basically what that means is I do have a special link in the, uh, in the show notes below, that’ll save you a little bit of money, uh, when you, uh, when you use rev, but rev is awesome. We have used rev for a long time for a couple reasons. Uh, actually two big reasons. I love captioning all my videos. So all of our videos we create, we send to rev to get, um, transcriptions and they’re human transcribed, which is pretty darn awesome.

So we do that for all of our videos. Um, and then those captions are used three of our video editors in terms of getting those captions onto all of our videos. So I think that’s super important. I also love now you guys know if you follow me on Instagram, I do a ton of video on Instagram and especially Instagram stories and Instagram reels. And as of the recording of this broadcast, uh, captions, the captioning tool is rolling out to many, many users. Now you may not have it yet. I’m sorry if you don’t have it yet, you know how Instagram goes? They don’t necessarily roll it out to everyone just yet, but it is available to a lot of folks. So make sure you’ve got the most updated Instagram app on your phone, but I love the captions app because, or the captions feature, because as a lot of us, we know many of us aren’t turning the sound on when we watch videos or turning the sound on when we watch stories.

So I use rev for some of our long form video. If you follow us over on YouTube or Facebook, we put out videos every Wednesday, usually they’re, you know, 3, 5, 7 minute videos. So those are all human, uh, human transcribed for captions through rev. And then, like I said, through Instagram, we use their captioning feature, which is great. There’s other captioning apps that you can use. I’ve I have used like mixed captions in the past. I’ve used other types of, um, you know, captioning apps. I just love that, especially when you’re on Instagram, it’s all included, which is awesome. Um, I also want to just get back to rev for a second, because we also use rev for transcribing. Um, and again, this kind of goes back to the conversation we had with our, um, website company. You know, one of the things that they were saying to increase our visibility on Google is to start transcribing all of our content.

And we do put out a lot of content, video content, podcast content, and, you know, especially with our podcasts, once you transcribe a podcast, that’s like adding thousands and thousands of, of relevant keywords and words to your website. So that was kind of a no brainer. So we use rev for that as well. Um, there is, uh, I believe kind of like an automated, uh, you know, sort of machine transcription service. That’s a little bit more, um, affordable in terms of transcription costs. So, you know, you have to kind of look at some other different options that they have, but we love that. You know, if you, if you go over to our website, Katie,, you click on the podcast, you can listen to the episode over there. Uh, you can read the blog, we always read a blog, you can read the show notes, but then we also have the full transcription over there too.

So, you know, for a lot of folks, they don’t want to watch a video. They don’t want to listen to a podcast they want to read. And so having that, I think from an accessibility point has been great. And also just from, um, you know, kind of an SEO, and again, I’m not an expert in any of this, but you guys know what the podcast, I feel like, I always feel like our podcast is like, you and I are sitting down and having a cup of coffee and you’re asking me like, so what’s going on with your website? You know, I heard you were doing this like accessibility thing. Like, this is kind of what I feel like this episode’s all about. So, uh, you might be in the car or working out or taking a walk as you’re listing, but that’s kind of how I think about it.

So again, we’ve got the plugin that we have on our website that we just started using a few months ago, so far. So good. Been super happy with that. We do our captioning for videos. Um, we transcribe our videos again using rev. Um, and again, we use captioning in terms of Instagram stories as well. Um, another couple of, couple of cool things that you may not know about actually one really cool thing I want to mention with LinkedIn, um, is that LinkedIn actually recently added a pronunciation feature on its mobile app, which is really awesome. So if you download the mobile app, which, you know, I remember back in the day, the mobile app for LinkedIn was kind of terrible.

It wasn’t really that great, but download it. And, you know, according to LinkedIn, 50% of all LinkedIn users are using the mobile app. So download the app, um, freshen up your profile of you. If you haven’t done that in a while. And if you need some tips on that, um, shameless plug, we have a bunch of new videos on our YouTube channel, all about LinkedIn. So if you need to brush up your LinkedIn skills, head on over to our YouTube channel and I’ll drop those links in the show notes below, but specifically for the mobile app with LinkedIn, when you open up the mobile app, there is a little section, right, right. At the very top, right? So you’re on LinkedIn. You go to your profile, it’s that little section of the top where you can add your name, add your contact information, and you can add your pronunciation, which I absolutely love. It’s a T I think it’s a 10 or 15 second audio file. Um, I mean, of course you could probably do a little sales pitch in that 10 or 15 seconds, but if anything, say your name clearly, and when you’ve got your pronunciation on your profile, anyone who’s viewing your LinkedIn, whether they’re on a laptop, desktop or mobile will be able to click on that and listen to your pronunciation.

So, you know, for anyone who has a name that gets mispronounced all the time, I think that this is awesome. And I also think, you know, for those of you in sales or real estate, as you are working with people, and maybe you are meeting someone for the first time, you might search on LinkedIn, see if they’re on LinkedIn and see if they have their pronunciations set up. Um, and this could be just one other small, tiny thing, you know, when our name is our, and that’s that, that is our favorite word. We all love the sound of our own, her own name. And probably for most of us, we’ve also experienced someone saying our name wrong, even if it’s a common name. I mean, my name’s Katie. And I can’t tell you how many times I get called Casey Kelly, Stacy, like so many different variations. So having that pronunciation is great. Also within LinkedIn, you can add your pronouns, which I absolutely love.

So you can add your preferred pronouns, uh, which is awesome as well. So, like I said, from the beginning, I’m not an expert, but I wanted to just share a few things that we’re doing. Um, I think sometimes when we think about this idea of wanting to be more accessible, we want to incorporate some of these things. We, a lot of, a lot of times we just get like stuck on like how to do it or where to start, or just seems like I don’t know too much work. And so I, I just thought I would share with you guys just a few small things. I know we could be doing even more, but it makes me feel good what we are, what we’re doing so far. And I know we have even more room to grow. And, um, you know, like I said, at the beginning, I would love to bring an expert on, um, who is an expert in this space.

And so I will be on the hunt for that right person. And again, if you’re that person feel free to reach out to me, or if, you know, someone who you think would be great to chat with about accessibility and just being more inclusive with, with content and with website content, I would love to chat with that person. And I would just love to hear from you, is this something that’s been on your radar? Is this something that you’ve thought about? I would imagine for some of you you’re onboard, you’re doing a lot of the staff and maybe for some of you, you’ve never thought about it either. Um, you know, and, and I think, you know, for me, I, I feel very blessed. I, you know, I, I’ve never, I’ve never, you know, quote unquote air quotes here had to think about it. And, and I think it’s important that we all that we do think about it, you know, I think it’s important.

So I’m excited to kind of share, like I said, some of the things that are working for us and, um, and we’re a work in progress, right? We’re all a work in progress. So anyways, let me know, uh, what your thoughts I would love to hear from you guys. Um, if there’s some things that you’re doing to be even more accessible with your content and your social media, um, I would absolutely love to hear from you. So as always, you can reach out to me on social. I am spending a lot of time these days over on Instagram. So give me a follow over on Instagram. And if you enjoy the show, let me know, you know, reach out to me, send me a message. The best thing you can do is shared out, share it out on social, feel free to tag me. And if you’re listening to this over on apple, we would love if you would give us a review. All right, my friends until next time, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day and we’ll see you soon. Bye for now.


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