Warriors Listen Up! How Images Are Costing You Sales

31 replies
It's true. I see it time and time again, and I know firsthand how frustrating it is.

When you use images with text in them--like screenshots or strings of text, people who use screen readers cannot interpret them. A screen reader is software installed on a computer that allows visually impaired people to read text on the screen.

It gathers information about the page and provides output to the visually impaired user with synthesized speech. People who use screen readers navigate their computer using keyboard commands.

With that out of the way, why should you care?

Because screen readers cannot interpret images!

This means your screenshots, images of sales pages on WSOs, software that is not compliant with accesssibility guidelines, optin form images with text in them, webpage images . . . ALL BECOME USELESS!

There are ways around this, and if you start applying them, you won't lose so many customers.

--Make your software accesssible with keyboard shorcuts and correct labeling. Test it with a screen reader before it goes live.
--For screenshots, optin forms, and webpages: use the alt text properly! Put a useful description in this field, whether it's the amount of the screenshot, text of the optin form, a helpful "Fountain pen logo" . . . Keyword-stuffing doesn't help the user!
--You could also make your optin form images text.
--Make your WSO images text or at least offer an alternate accessible page.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but with repetition, it will become second nature. I for one am sick of requesting refunds because I can't use a piece of software. If you ignore the issue, you lose a customer, but help them out and you've got one for life!
#images costing sales #listen #warriors
  • Profile picture of the author The IM Diva
    Originally Posted by Peru101 View Post

    It's true. I see it time and time again, and I know firsthand how frustrating it is.

    When you use images with text in them--like screenshots or strings of text, people who use screen readers cannot interpret them. A screen reader is software installed on a computer that allows visually impaired people to read text on the screen.

    It gathers information about the page and provides output to the visually impaired user with synthesized speech. People who use screen readers navigate their computer using keyboard commands.

    With that out of the way, why should you care?

    Because screen readers cannot interpret images!

    This means your screenshots, images of sales pages on WSOs, software that is not compliant with accesssibility guidelines, optin form images with text in them, webpage images . . . ALL BECOME USELESS!

    There are ways around this, and if you start applying them, you won't lose so many customers.

    --Make your software accesssible with keyboard shorcuts and correct labeling. Test it with a screen reader before it goes live.
    --For screenshots, optin forms, and webpages: use the alt text properly! Put a useful description in this field, whether it's the amount of the screenshot, text of the optin form, a helpful "Fountain pen logo" . . . Keyword-stuffing doesn't help the user!
    --You could also make your optin form images text.
    --Make your WSO images text or at least offer an alternate accessible page.

    I know this sounds like a lot of work, but with repetition, it will become second nature. I for one am sick of requesting refunds because I can't use a piece of software. If you ignore the issue, you lose a customer, but help them out and you've got one for life!
    THANK YOU. People who create info products here seldom think about Accessibility! It is as simple as adding an ebook to your video series or adding SUBTITLES.
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  • And that is what? Maybe 0.1% of the population out there? And images make the other 99.9% desire your stuff more... You do the math.
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  • Profile picture of the author Darren Hodgson
    I see your point, however, this is a business and if you take the amount of time it would take to do all of this for every image we add and compare it to the same amount of time I can spend doing other things, my time is for more profitable doing other things.

    If doing all of the image stuff gains me 1 customer and doing other stuff with the same amount of time gains me 5 customers, the five customers win hands down every time.
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    • Profile picture of the author Peru101
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      • Originally Posted by Peru101 View Post

        You will lose more customers than you realize.
        No, he won't.

        Just because a few people say they want something does not mean there's a huge untapped market for it.

        I have several customers who want hoop earrings by a specific manufacturer which stopped making them. When I asked the rep why, he said, "They don't sell. People say they want our hoops but they don't buy enough to make it feasible for us to produce them."

        However, there are other reasons for labeling your images; i.e. using the power of Google image search, for one, to drive traffic.

        fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    I'll be honest what I'm more curious about is how people write their websites in 66 different languages. That would be a lot more useful to learn just saying.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peru101
    At Adwords Informer who said: "THANK YOU. People who create info products here seldom think about Accessibility! It is as simple as adding an ebook to your video series or adding SUBTITLES."
    Exactly! People think it has to be hard/time-consuming, but in the time you keyword-stuffed your words, you could have made a useful description.

    At Anonymous Affiliate who said: "And that is what? Maybe 0.1% of the population out there? And images make the other 99.9% desire your stuff more... You do the math."
    That percentage is millions of people! Last I checked it was something like 30 million. About one in 250 people have visual impairments.

    This isn't about not using images at all. This is about making them accessible for everyone.
    If it is not accessible, screen readers can't read them.
    What would it be like for you if you couldn't read something, but 99% of your peers could? Stop and think about it.

    At Darren Hodgson: "I see your point, however, this is a business and if you take the amount of time it would take to do all of this for every image we add and compare it to the same amount of time I can spend doing other things, my time is for more profitable doing other things.

    If doing all of the image stuff gains me 1 customer and doing other stuff with the same amount of time gains me 5 customers, the five customers win hands down every time."

    It does not have to be time-consuming. The image you upload was once text, so how long does it take to make a new page and copy/paste?
    You are also benefiting people whose computers cannot access images, or those who want another medium.
    You will lose more customers than you realize.
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    • Profile picture of the author svk_hereiam
      Originally Posted by Peru101 View Post

      At Adwords Informer who said: "THANK YOU. People who create info products here seldom think about Accessibility! It is as simple as adding an ebook to your video series or adding SUBTITLES."
      Exactly! People think it has to be hard/time-consuming, but in the time you keyword-stuffed your words, you could have made a useful description.

      At Anonymous Affiliate who said: "And that is what? Maybe 0.1% of the population out there? And images make the other 99.9% desire your stuff more... You do the math."
      This isn't about not using images at all. This is about making them accessible for everyone.
      If it is not accessible, screen readers can't read them.
      What would it be like for you if you couldn't read something, but 99% of your peers could? Stop and think about it.
      Isn't it unlikely that a visually impaired person using a screen reader software would want to buy a WSO?
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      • Profile picture of the author Peru101
        Originally Posted by svk_hereiam View Post

        Isn't it unlikely that a visually impaired person using a screen reader software would want to buy a WSO?
        Why wouldn't you want to? A bit confused. If the info is in PDF/video, it's generally accessible.
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      • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
        Originally Posted by Anonymous Affiliate View Post

        And that is what? Maybe 0.1% of the population out there? And images make the other 99.9% desire your stuff more... You do the math.
        In that case, maybe 0.1% of people pirate software so why spend the money on your anti-piracy product?

        Originally Posted by Darren Hodgson View Post

        I see your point, however, this is a business and if you take the amount of time it would take to do all of this for every image we add and compare it to the same amount of time I can spend doing other things, my time is for more profitable doing other things.

        If doing all of the image stuff gains me 1 customer and doing other stuff with the same amount of time gains me 5 customers, the five customers win hands down every time.
        Using ALT tags doesn't take that much more time. Or even having a text version. Especially if you do the text version first - then copy and paste.

        Also, that one customer could lead to alot more. The disabled community is pretty tight and tend to recommend people who meet their needs. Especially if its above and beyond what's required.

        Originally Posted by RedShifted View Post

        I'll be honest what I'm more curious about is how people write their websites in 66 different languages. That would be a lot more useful to learn just saying.
        Google can do that for you. Or you pay a freelancer.

        Originally Posted by svk_hereiam View Post

        Isn't it unlikely that a visually impaired person using a screen reader software would want to buy a WSO?
        Isn't it unlikly a person from India would want to sell or buy a WSO? So why all the PayPal complaints?

        See what I did there?

        According to a CDC study in 2008

        More than 3.4 million Americans are either legally blind or visually impaired. Of those, approximately 1.3 million Americans are legally blind. As of 2010, the US population is just over 300 million, so 1.3 million would equate to roughly 0.3% of the population being legally blind.
        Thats LEGALLY blind. Doesn't count for other people who might benefit who have vision problems or maybe surf w/ images off.

        FYI: Some of the things helps SEO so instead of looking at it as helping one person, it could be helping you get SE traffic.

        -g

        ps I dont make my sites accessible but its out of laziness. I am trying to do better though.
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  • Profile picture of the author erwin78
    Hello,
    good remark but as other people are saying there are a lot of positive things about images then this one negative.

    All the best and see you on top.
    Erwin.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Peru101...the world is filled with ignorant people who make ignorant comments. Don't waste your time trying to argue with people who have total dis-respect for others and whose sole interest is the acquisition of money.

      Many people seem to forget that the baby-boomers (I'm one) are a huge target market with money to spend. Many seniors are online now, some of whom also have money to burn. Ignoring accessibility issues for these groups is like shooting yourself in the foot.

      that's my personal opinion - for what it's worth.
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      • Peru101...the world is filled with ignorant people who make ignorant comments. Don't waste your time trying to argue with people who have total dis-respect for others and whose sole interest is the acquisition of money.

        Karen, your comment is completely out of line and I'm shocked to read it.

        No one has been disrespectful or mocking. Several people have pointed out why what the OP is recommending is neither practical or worth the cost of the time to do it.

        You owe everyone an apology. I expect one from you directly.

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        • Profile picture of the author Housing5
          I don't see this as a big concern for me... there will be demographics that you are targeting that would really bring you more sales/traffic if you implemented what you're suggesting, then demographics that wouldn't even be affected (i.e. a niche in something that would be impossible for the impaired to participate in) and then niches where it would mix... IMO, not a big concern for the majority of people, but could be really beneficial for some. Interesting idea, though.
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          • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
            Originally Posted by Housing5 View Post

            ...then demographics that wouldn't even be affected (i.e. a niche in something that would be impossible for the impaired to participate in)...
            Name one niche that would be impossible for them to participate in.

            I'll help. There are none. Some aren't practicle. Some the benefit would be different. But none are impossible to have some form of participation.

            Example: Bird watching. They couldnt see the birds but with a friend, they could hear the different types.

            Honestly, unless you are close to someone who is disabled you more than likely won't "get it" and will look at it as a cost/time issue. Or as you did. A "black and white" issue.

            -g
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            • Profile picture of the author Housing5
              Originally Posted by GarrieWilson View Post

              Name one niche that would be impossible for them to participate in.

              -g
              Ok, point taken. It's impossible to find a niche that could not possibly have at least one person who would benefit from this. Like "picking wallpaper colors" would probably have a couple blind people who were looking it up online... there's just some niches where it would be, realistically speaking, entirely impractical. I'm not trying to discredit your idea.
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        • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
          Fluffy,

          the world is also filled with self-righteous people who feel the need to tell everyone else how they should act.

          I did not personally insult you, nor did I personally insult any one particular person.

          I voiced an opinion. You didn't like it. Oh well.

          I do not feel the need to apologize to anyone and I stand by my original comment. If you have a problem with that, take it up with me personally off forum.

          Thank you.
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          • Originally Posted by Karen Blundell View Post

            I did not personally insult you, nor did I personally insult any one particular person.
            Yes, you did. You categorized a group of people, of which I was one, as ignorant.

            I understand that you usually get away with the indirect smears, Karen. I could cite many threads in which you use this passive-aggressive tactic to great effect.

            But today is Independence Day and I'm calling you on it. Deal with it.

            fLufF
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            • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
              Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

              Yes, you did. You categorized a group of people, of which I was one, as ignorant.

              I understand that you usually get away with the indirect smears, Karen. I could cite many threads in which you use this passive-aggressive tactic to great effect.

              But today is Independence Day and I'm calling you on it. Deal with it.

              fLufF
              --

              Now you are making this personal, Fluffy. Which I never did. I asked you to take this up with me off forum, and we can have a one on one discussion about this.

              But you feel the need to come off all self-righteous and personally attack me publicly. No problem. I have thick skin.

              You have just broken a forum rule. I have not.
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    No one has been disrespectful or mocking.
    A few have been ignorant though.

    Several people have pointed out why what the OP is recommending is neither practical or worth the cost of the time to do it.
    Some, incorrectly pointed out. Others, like mine, laziness. It takes a few seconds to type alt="order now" or title="description of link" (title tag is for links)
    You owe everyone an apology. I expect one from you directly.
    No she doesn't. Even you made a poor comparison with hoop earings.

    Garrie

    PS. Please learn to use the quote feature.
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    • That's interesting, but to call someone "ignorant" because they disagree with you is discourteous, to say the least.

      My example of hoop earrings was to point out a flaw in the principle Peru101 was stating; namely that another poster would silently lose customers. This happens to be a situation every retailer grapples with. Because most changes come at substantial cost, the actual benefits need to be analyzed (thus the term cost/benefit analysis). Just because IM products tend to be information-based rather than physical product-based doesn't make the example any less valid.

      Several people have said they don't think the benefit will be worth the cost. Perhaps you will find a marketer who is willing to test that and produce software that is accessible for the visually-impaired and perhaps the free market will respond to that and make it worth his while. I don't think you can fault people for not being interested in taking on that project, though.

      fLufF
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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    That's interesting, but to call someone "ignorant" because they disagree with you is discourteous, to say the least.
    The ones I am calling ignorant wasn't because we disagree. They where actually ignorant comments.

    Ignorant: Lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.

    My example of hoop earrings was to point out a flaw in the principle Peru101 was stating; namely that another poster would silently lose customers.
    How do you know they aren't?

    Peru seems to be talking from personal experience. I know from personal experience it DOES happen.

    Example 1: I had an ebook package and when I update to version X (forget which but it was several versions later) and changed the menu. Well, a lady who uses screen reading software emailed me saying she had been a user since version 1 and her software had always worked but on the latest it wouldn't read the menu. I fixed it. Took 5 minutes, made a site map, her suggestion.

    Example 2: A guy purchased an ebook compiler from me and let me know it worked with screen reading software. He was creating his own ebook and he told me so I could add the feature/benefit to the sales letter.

    Those are two people I found out about. There might be others that I don't.

    This happens to be a situation every retailer grapples with. Because most changes come at substantial cost, the actual benefits need to be analyzed (thus the term cost/benefit analysis).
    Those retailers dont get to grapple with accessibility issues. Thus a poor comparison.

    BTW: If the Netflix ruling sticks, online retailers might not either.

    -g
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  • Profile picture of the author liindsay
    It seems that the visually impaired, and the Google crawler have something in common.
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    • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
      Originally Posted by liindsay View Post

      It seems that the visually impaired, and the Google crawler have something in common.
      And mobile versions of sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    You can't be everything to everyone.
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    Hi
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
    Even if some feel that the market is too small to cater to, can you image the relationship you would have with the people that would appreciate your efforts. Also, as Karen said about the Boomers, many more people are entering into the area of potential customers with accessibility issues.

    I believe the market is growing and for those that get in sooner rather than later, they have a greater shot at branding themselves as someone who cares.
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  • Profile picture of the author Peru101
    Thank you, Garrie and Karen.
    If accessibility wasn't important, why would Google put on their homepage, "Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant?"

    I am mainly talking about the IM niche, to those who suggested other niches. That isn't to say that I don't look up cameras for gifts. Amazon has included good descriptions of the product, and you learn a lot by reading reviews. To say a visually impaired person cannot participate in something is ridiculous! There are blind pilots, car mechanics, lawyers, and blind doctors.

    As far as IM goes, nearly every IM software I've used is inaccessible, and these are big names like MicroNiche Finder, Sales Letter Creator, Rank Builder, Traffic Travis, The Best Spinner, etc. How many fixed the issue? Zero! Will I buy their next software product? Fat chance. Will I recommend them on my IM blog? No! I recommend products I use and that have helped me.

    If you design your software/webpage with accessibility in mind from the beginning, I don't see the cost/issue.

    You ARE losing customers. I complain about it, but my blind friends say they don't want to deal with the hassle/just want their money back. If one says something, how many more haven't? Like on Amazon, very few people write reviews.
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilippaWrites
    Hear, hear to the original post.

    Slightly disappointed to read some of the more dismissive responses in the thread. Adding alt tags to images takes seconds. And the difference it makes to people using screen readers is massive. For a few seconds work. If you really think you could deal with 5 non-disabled customers in that time then that's some incredibly speedy customer service work you do.

    In the US and the UK, and undoubtedly other countries, it's against the law to not make websites accessible. But there's an ethical obligation too.

    Why assume disabled people don't want your product?


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  • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
    In the US and the UK, and undoubtedly other countries, it's against the law to not make websites accessible.
    Not in the US, yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    This is not a profession that works for the blind.
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    • Profile picture of the author GarrieWilson
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      This is not a profession that works for the blind.
      You are an idiot.
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      • Profile picture of the author LeBiz
        I was under the impression that including ALT TAGs for images was SOP for web designers now. Adobe Dreamweaver, SeaMonkey, Bing SEO analyzer, etc, etc, etc all encourage the use of ALT TAGs. Plus search engine crawlers cannot 'see' images so if you are being prompted from so many diverse sources to use ALT TAGs why resist?
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