In September 2016 I spoke at the Accessibility Scotland conference and an audience member asked whether there was a ‘caste iron’ business case for making a website accessible? They were having trouble trying to get their managers to put any resources into ensuring their website was accessible. The belief seemed to be that this was might be good thing to do, but it wasn’t something that would directly help the business; i.e.not worth actually investing in or spending time on.

I pointed the person to the W3C website as I knew that this is a topic they cover in great detail. Off the top of my head I could not remember any statistics, though did mention the usual stuff about a more accessible site generating more traffic, being easier to use and having reduced maintenance costs. However, these arguments had already been made to the manager and did not seem to cut any ice. What was needed were facts and figures showing increased traffic and increased sales.

So with that in mind here are three major case studies showing the benefits in real terms of creating an accessible website. These case studies very clearly demonstrate the business case for website accessibility.

Case Studies: the impact of accessible website design


CNET 30% increase in traffic from Google after CNET started providing transcripts
“We saw a significant increase in SEO referrals when we launched an HTML version of our site, the major component of which was our transcripts.” Justin Eckhouse, CNET, 2009.
Legal & General Group doubled visitor numbers, cut maintenance costs by two thirds, increased natural search traffic by 50%. Read the full case study.
“The new site has almost doubled the number of visitors seeking quotes and buying Legal & General financial products online. It has cut maintenance costs by two thirds and increased the amount of natural search traffic we get by half as much again.” Caroline Fawcett, L&G Customer Experience Director
Tesco £35 thousand GBP to build website, £13 million GBP per year in resultant revenue. Read the full Tesco case study. (2004, UK ).
“Not only do we get the satisfaction of doing the right thing, but it’s a great market opportunity in its own right.”
John Browett, Tesco Chief Executive3

These case studies clearly show that an accessible website design reduces maintenance costs, increases usability, increases traffic and increases market share. In short, accessible website design is good for your business.

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Take my Web Accessibility Online Training Course - WCAG 2.1 Compliance

Learn to design and manage WCAG compliant, accessible websites with my online course

You will learn both the techniques of accessible website design and an entire ‘framework for thinking about the subject’. It will equip you with the skills to understand, identify and fix issues any accessibility issues you come across. Watch the free videos to get a taste of what is on the course. Video image from Web Accessibility Online Training Course - WCAG 2.1 Compliance

Working with non-profits, charities, voluntary and public sector organisations and social enterprises for over 20 years. Jim set up one of the worlds first website accessibility web agencies in the mid 1990s.