PNG-Senior-Woman-in-Wheelchair-on-Laptop“I can’t read this!”

“I can’t find what I’m looking for!”

“How do I get back to where I was?”

If your website visitors are asking these questions, your website needs help! Accessibility has a huge impact on seniors that are visiting your website — both potential residents and their adult children. If they become frustrated with slow loading times, poor readability, or other accessibility issues, they’ll abandon your site within minutes, or even seconds.

Follow these tips to improve website usability for assisted living prospects:

#1. Test for Older Technology. The first thing you need is to build traffic to your website, or it won’t matter whether it’s easy to read or not! Many of your prospects, especially older seniors, may have limited or old technology, so make sure you include them in your testing process.

#2. Test for Multiple Browsers and Devices. To target adult children or younger seniors, test your website’s compatibility with mobile¬†phones, tablets, and other devices. A study from the Pew Research Center states that many aging seniors are now using more portable devices, which are more practical in many situations.

 

#3. Effectively Use Headings and Colors. For both search engines and visitors, use headings properly, as you   would with an outline. It should be well organized, with a flow that makes sense to the reader. Make page headers big and bold, with body fonts that are not too small. Along these lines, carefully select your color theme so that there is enough contrast between the foreground and the background.

#4. Use Alternate Text and Captions. Add alternative text to any images that convey content. This is valuable when a device can’t display images or for visually impaired people who use screen readers or braille output. Transcribe and provide captions for videos or other animation. Another option is to provide a separate descriptive track with timed or recorded narration.

#5. Devise Logical Navigation. Choose an intuitive dropdown menu system that works for all users, and make sure that users can navigate using their keyboard alone, without a mouse.

#6. Assistive Technologies. Test pages with assistive technologies to gain insights about whether certain features might cause accessibility problems for seniors.

#7. Go Easy with Flash and Animation. Flash is currently the most commonly used multimedia platform for creating website animations. For many users, particularly seniors, being bombarded with too many animations can be overwhelming. Many users simply don’t want to be bothered or overloaded with unexpected noises and moving images. Animations can also distract users from the message and cause them to leave your site. Your site may also load more slowly, especially with older technologies. Lastly, some older model mobile phones don’t support all the features in Flash.

In today’s competitive assisted living market, sales and marketing professionals face many pressures. You’re expected to know how to leverage website technologies, internet marketing platforms, and social media to generate lead. Even if online technology isn’t your “thing,” there’s simply no way to avoid that its important to your career and the success of your assisted living facility. So keep learning. start right now with your FREE eBook: 25 Lead Generating Tips for Assisted Living Providers.