When it comes to investor relations websites, it’s important to use a design strategy that emphasizes accessibility.
Having an accessible website means that all users, particularly those with disabilities, will have an equitable experience and be able to easily complete tasks and access the information they need.
The best investor relations websites follow international guidelines to ensure accessibility requirements are met.
Keep reading to learn more about how you can improve the accessibility of your website and its content.
Web Accessibility and Investor Relations Websites
The first step toward ensuring your IR website and its content is accessible to all users is to understand that some of those users are people with disabilities.
Notice I didn’t say you “might” have users with a disability - you DO have people with disabilities trying to access your website, read content and use features.
If you are involved in designing, building, editing, and managing content for a website, it's extremely critical that you understand what website and content accessibility guidelines are and some strategies for meeting them.
What Are Web Content Accessibility Guidelines?
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG, or “wa-KAG”, for short) is a set of international guidelines developed by the W3C to help website builders and content managers develop and maintain accessible web content.
The current version of WCAG is 2.1 (2.2 is targeted for summer 2022), and there are currently three levels of grouped success criteria (A, AA, and AAA).
It’s important to note that WCAG 2.1 is a list of success criteria and not a list of rigid requirements. WCAG 2.1 levels provide example techniques a company can use to satisfy a criterion, but the WC3 explicitly states that using those techniques is not required.
How to Ensure Your Investor Relations Website Meets WCAG Guidelines
Your minimum goal should be for your website to support WCAG 2.1 Levels A and AA guidelines and success criteria.
What does this mean?
Ensure you design for and check your content against these criteria during the creation process. This will help to minimize or avoid issues after your changes are live.
Have a documented process to check your content for accessibility issues prior to going live with it.
Make sure you can edit your website content after it’s been published in case an accessibility issue arises down the road.
Offer multiple formats for a single piece of content. For example, if you are not able to meet all WCAG 2.1 guidelines for PDF accessibility, make sure the HTML version does.
Involve humans! Even the best accessibility software can only check your website against around 35% of the WCAG 2.1 guidelines.
You don’t have to meet all guidelines for your content to be accessible. The more levels you meet, the more accessible your content will be to more people.
Even if you meet all THREE levels, your content may not be accessible to some users in certain situations.
More Investor Relations Strategies and Best Practices
Ensure your SEC filing and new release content meets accessibility guidelines before submitting or publishing them.
Provide a written transcript of your earnings webcasts and calls.
Ensure all video and audio content can be paused and started.
Tools and Resources to Improve Investor Relations Website Accessibility
Here are some important resources for you to bookmark:
Learn More About Our IR Website Services
Notified can help you tell your unique investment story with an investor relations website that drives stakeholder engagement, increases shareholder confidence and showcases your brand. We’re an IR leader, hosting more than 3,000 websites globally and supporting 88% of the Fortune 100.
With an IR website designed by Notified, you can effectively present your financials, events, and ESG initiatives and provide easy access to critical information, improving transparency and accessibility for investors.
With a dedicated website service manager and customer support that’s always available, you’ll have the resources and expertise you need. Learn more today.