Podcast — Real Estate Agents — Get Rid Of Your MLS Sites!
Joshua was recently on Leafy Podcast.
Check out the episode below:
Jennifer: Well as always, I’m excited about our guests because we always have incredible guests. But this one in particular, because these are things that I work with too, so I have like a lot of my own little questions that I get to get into the mix and get educated. So the person that we’re talking to right now is a CEO. He’s got an in depth background in website planning, strategy development and architecture. So from managing web projects to building and migrating large web applications, he helps his company’s clients, establish and, maintain a better web presence through information architecture, project management and web strategy. So everybody, I’m so excited. Let’s give it up for Joshua Maddux, CEO of 95Visual 95Visual.com Hey Josh, how are Joshua? Sorry.
Joshua: Hey, how are you guys doing?
Jennifer: Doing pretty good. Great, great. My nephew is named Joshua and so I just, it’s a not as a natural thing to want to just say Josh. So sorry about that, but no, you’re all good. Okay, that’s good. So it tells me a little bit about like right now every, you know, everyone has a website now, so it’s not like a, it used to be back in the day when everyone, you know, this was a new thing. So now that every person on the planet, every blog or every, everyone has a website. Tell me a little bit about what you exactly do or what type of clients that you guys work with and look for.
Joshua: Yeah, so for us it’s really looking at what sets a business apart. Every business, like you mentioned, everybody now has a website. Oftentimes a small business assumes if I build it, they will come. And so a small business may have, you know, $5,000, $10,000 a year for their quote unquote marketing budget. If they spend 100% of that marketing budget on just a standard website and copy and paste their content from their old website, they’re not really going to see much of a jump in traffic. Not really going to see much of a jump in sales. And so for us, we’re a small website digital agency. And so we are basically take anything from the website, branding and marketing. And so really for us it’s looking at two things. One, where can we best utilize that small businesses budget? If they’re going to spend 100% of their budget on just redoing their website, that’s probably not the smart move.
Joshua: Maybe we can tweak their current website and spend some money on actual digital marketing, whether that’s Google ads, Facebook ads or something else. But it’s also looking at where they want to be in the next two years. And so oftentimes a business goes, well, we just need a website for this. But it turns out there are going to be adding a service or a whole nother arm to their business six months, a year down the road and their website’s not planning for that. Let’s not spend money. You know, you’re going to build a house and you’re planning on expanding over time, or you’re buying a vehicle and you’re planning on growing your family. You’re going to buy a vehicle accordingly. This is a vehicle for your business. So for us it’s really looking at all those different elements of the business, how they all tie together.
Joshua: And then we have an in house team here. We have designers and developers and marketing strategists all in house and we’re US-based. So everything that we do is all done with inside of that. And so it’s really, you know, circling back to part of your question, you know, it’s really about setting that business apart. And so oftentimes businesses will say what’s the cheapest solution? And maybe that’s buying a prebuilt template, slapping their logo on it. Well, if they’re buying a prebuilt template, so is 50 other businesses. And so that’s not really setting them apart. A custom website that you know, that is in line with their brand, that sets them apart, custom content that’s created with their ideal client in mind, that really speaks to the pain points of that ideal client that’s going to help set them apart. That’s going to help them rank in regards to SEO ( Search Engine Optimization). And so those are the elements for us that really when we get into it that helps set that client apart, that help make sure that that client’s going to stand out, that helps, utilizes their budgets and sets them apart from the noise in the industry. There’s just so much noise in the small business world for, you know, a lot of these businesses and it really just helps separate them.
Jennifer: One thing I wanted to ask, so for many businesses, you know, when you’re just first starting out, it seems very daunting because a lot of businesses are having to compete with big box retailers or even Amazon. So they have to worry about someone looking up their product and then trying to go somewhere else to buy it for cheaper for two cents cheaper, right. When you know, logically we know they’re not going to get the superior product that way, blah, blah, blah, blah. But it is what it is. So what are, what things should businesses think about when they’re doing a website, or their marketing? Like as they’re mapping it out before you, like an ideal client, before they came to you, what would, would it be like, Oh man, they’ve really thought about this. This is going to be so much easier for us to work with. So what do you love to see with new clients as far as what they’re able to tell you when you initially meet?
Joshua: Yeah, so we typically actually deal, most of the clients we deal with are service based. So we do some e-commerce stuff. But I will, you know… Speaking of the e-commerce aspect and competing with companies like Amazon, although Amazon has a halfway decent customer support, they don’t have, you know, a brick and mortar. They don’t have some of those elements. So we have a pharmacy client who has products listed on their website that they sell. And if you’re local to that pharmacy, they’ll deliver it to your house. They’ll come help set it up, they’ll do all that type of stuff. That’s the type of service that Amazon can’t really compete with. Amazon can’t no your name when you walk into the local pharmacy. They can’t do all that type, of stuff. And so for this local pharmacy specifically, they’re competing with CVS. They’re competing with all these other, you know, big box stores, but they know the names of their customers. They, you know, it’s more that family feel. I think that is something that a lot of businesses are really starting to lose because typically back…
Jennifer: Well that’s happening. Just FYI. That’s happening in our industry, in the real, you know, our target client are real estate investors and then our secondary client are just entrepreneurs cause we help them set up their business structures and then protect their business assets and do their estate planning to where they can operate and be protected. Right. So we help them in the very initial, right. But right now there is a lot of chatter on a different real estate forums of these huge conglomerate, you know, app programs, trying to take over what real estate agents do, what brokers do, what investors are doing. Everyone’s trying to see if there’s an app for that. The only problem is when you’re talking about bespoke services where there’s a million different variables, you know, someone has different credit than another. They’re just getting into the market as to someone who’s doing, been doing multifamily for 10 years, that’s very different types of people. They need different levels of service. So I think that that’s important. That service is that you’re saying that service is still important fact. It’s even becoming important for industries where you’re thinking, Oh man, they’ll never be able to compete because of things like Amazon because the products that yeah, you still can because service is still going to be King. So I love that. At least that’s my takeaway and I’m always trying to look at the positive on everything. Yeah.
Joshua: Yeah. And I would speak to, you know, 95Visual is set up as an LLC. And when I first filed it, I, you know, back, we’ve been in business 11 years and back when I first started the company, I didn’t know any better. I went to LegalZoom and set up my LLC and then about two years later I had to hire a lawyer and actually fix all the filing correctly. And when I told him, you know, yeah, we set it up through LegalZoom, he was like, Oh yeah, Legal Doom. Cool.
Jennifer: I didn’t say it folks.
Joshua: That’s what he basically it ended up costing me about three times what it would have cost me to just hire an attorney in the first place and have them do it right. Because the problem was I don’t have the legal knowledge of understanding how an LLC is set up. That attorney does, he’s been doing this for 20 years or more and he knows how to file that paperwork. I don’t, and the problem is when I go through LegalZoom and I just get a checkbox that says yes or no, I’m like, I don’t know. Sure, yes. Well now that’s, you know, 10 hours of an attorney’s time to undo that one thing that I just did. And so that’s what I think the app automation element is doing that a lot of people don’t realize is, you know, yes, you can automate things. And we have built automation backend systems for clients that help literally change their business.
Joshua: We’ve got a client who had employees driving two, three hours to the office everyday to pick up paperwork to then turn around and drive back to their service area. Now they get it all on their mobile device. It’s all on a mobile website. Instead of, you know, doing chicken scratch notes on the paper, they actually just type it all into their phone or check through three boxes. They take a photo right there and it automates, not necessarily automates, but it streamlines the whole process. And so there’s a lot of that type of stuff that I think businesses can do. However, the problem is they then take it one step further and they try to eliminate the human entirely. And I think that is where a lot of companies are missing the point. People will still pay sort of a premium to have that human interaction. We have so little human contact in so many elements of our day to day with social media and everything else that people still need that human contact.
Jennifer: I think that it’s very refreshing to be, and I hope all of our listeners do too, that we’re talking to someone who does website planning, strategy development, information technology, talking about the human element. And I also think it’s important when you, when you bring up a premium, I think most people would pay a dollar or two more if they knew the service they get for that. I think it’s the idea of, Oh, it’s going to cost, you know, so much more. When really it isn’t, you know, just go ahead and get that quote or whatever that you need to do. So speaking back, so how, how do you do that? So when you’re talking to a client, and of course they’re taught well, automated, you know, laptop, lifestyle, you click a button and then the magic of the internet just brings all this money in, right? It’s stuff like that. Even if it’s a service business. How do you and your team talk about that, how to keep that human element in or is that just something that happens organically because you deal with mostly service business?
Joshua: Yeah, it’s really still talking to it. There’s some businesses who want us to sort of automate their whole process and basically you know, there, there are some clients or potential clients who have come to us and basically think that when you do a website that essentially the result of that is, you know, 10 new paying customers who put down a deposit and it’s not that way. We have a client right now who was just doing some Google AdWords and some Facebook marketing and now it’s sending out, we’re using a service called BombBomb that does video messages via email. And so what we’re doing is this client has like three or four big questions that like every customer asks like, can I really do this? Or, you know, this is sort of a thing that I’ve, I’m facing with your service or your product that you’re offering.
Joshua: And so what we’re doing is we’re addressing all of those questions via video, email that’s getting sent out, you know, literally an hour after they submit the web form and then the next day and then the next day. And so now we’re addressing all of those issues that that person’s thinking, why can’t use your services because X, Y, and Z. And it’s like, okay, well we’ve debunked the first one. We do bunk. The second one we debunked the third one. And so now it’s like, okay, cool. What other questions do you still have? Why don’t you use our services? And so that’s really where a lot of that human element sort of needs to still be in place. But like I just said, this is an automated email process that we’re sending out. We still have the human element of we’ve recorded these videos, we’ve done all of that. And then the end result of this is book a phone call with them to continue the application process.
Jennifer: I love that. I love the idea of sending out those videos and doing it into a sequence to already, because objections really are just fears. Like I’m afraid that this is going to cost too much. I’m, which is a, that’s a big objection, right? So that’s a big fear most people have with anything, right? I’m know buying a car or a service or whatever, the one of the doctor. And then the second, you know, how can this really help me or you know, is this company legitimate company, you know, like, you know, just the basic things that people ask, getting that out, but in a personalized video way where they can see it because we’re, we’re so driven by that to begin with. I think that’s really, really smart. That’s really smart. And you said the service was BombBomb?
Joshua: Yeah. So BombBomb is the video is the video emailing service. We use them for some stuff on our side and we’re starting to get some clients onboarded on that. And it’s great. It’s a great service. The nice thing is when they hop on the call. So this is a leasing agency, so they’re leasing semi trucks. And so this is a fairly decent sized purchase that someone’s making. And so the nice thing is when that, when that guy gets on the phone to start talking with the truck driver, so the sales guys getting on the phone and starting to talk with this person, he already knows that they’ve seen those three videos. And so he already, instead of having to explain all this information that’s going to take him 10 or 15 minutes, he knows they’ve seen all that. And so it actually cuts that call time down as well, where not only is it increasing, the person who he’s actually talking to has a higher percentage of converting and he’s actually having to tell them less information. And so it’s, it’s helping shorten those phone calls and it’s actually getting them to a sales point much faster.
Jennifer: So are you building the integration is that goes to their CRM so that the salespeople can know that they’ve actually watched it and it triggers them? Like you have a CRM trigger that goes through the system and alerts the salesperson, Hey, this person’s ready. Is that what you guys do? They’re at 95Visual.
Joshua: So we can definitely help with those integrations. This client specifically, they’re using a proprietary CRM that has no API, so it’s really frustrating. That’s a conversation about possibly moving. Anyway,
Jennifer: That’s another conversation. But like if they have web hooks and webhookd are a type of an API.
Joshua: Zapier or any of those, exactly. Yep. We can definitely help with that. That is sort of the marketing end of what we do. The forefront of our services is typically website, custom website design and development and really looking at the strategy behind all of that. Our typical client is someone who has been in business. We do work with new businesses, but typically someone who’s been in business for five years or so, they currently have a website, but it’s just not working. Oftentimes we hear, when we start talking with a potential customer and they say, yeah, pretty much all of our businesses referrals, we don’t really get any, you know, business through our website. And so I hear that time and time again and anybody who’s thinking that direction, I encourage you to still think about your website because we have a client who all of their business is 100% bid based and so they thought the same direction of we don’t have to have a website because it’s all bid based, except it turns out they lost a multimillion dollar contract because their website wasn’t up to par with their industry.
Joshua: And so if, if your website isn’t up to par with the rest of the industry, it doesn’t look professional, it doesn’t have that. It doesn’t matter how good that referral is, they’re going to look at you and go, wow, that’s a really janky website. This looks like a fly by night operation. I’m gonna find somebody else. And so people don’t think about, you know, about the website in that perspective. They’re like, Oh, it’s just a referral. They’ll, you know, they’ll hire us anyway. They’re not going to, if your website’s not that, they’re not going to, if your Facebook reviews are terrible, your Yelp or your Google reviews or any of that type of stuff. And so it’s looking at sort of the whole health of the website and everything, all as a whole.
Jennifer: Basically your online storefront, you know your store. Because, for many people that is their store. So if they, if somebody walks up and the lights are out or they have, you know, you know, an old, you know, hiring sign that looks like it’s been chewed up and spit out and stuck in the window, maybe they’ve lost a top talent candidate that would’ve just, you know, been in a shot of injection, you know, or a shot of adrenaline into, into their company system. And they look at the site and they go, yeah, maybe not this other company looks like they have more of their stuff together. So you have to think about passive losses too on that sort of thing. You know, if you’re losing the ancillary traffic that may come to you from ads that you do and they’re just turned off, or even candidates, you know, our staff, you know, some, there are some companies that are very not good or very not good or not good at communication, but in employees will go to the site and they’ll look at it because that’s their only source of, of information.
Jennifer: It shouldn’t be like that, but it kind of is. And you know, there’s different ways to, to even re retain it. People do want to work for a company that looks really cool, especially when you’re talking about having to hire a younger service and customer service and people like that. So when you have a great site and they can show it to their friends and it looks good, it’s, it’s amazing how much little tweaks like that can actually improve the overall health of your company in ways you’ve never even thought of would be important that drive profits. So, yeah.
Joshua: Yeah, it definitely is. And, you know, we do on the marketing side of what we do we have landing page conversion landing pages that we have and we, you know, for those, you tweak and adjust and change those on a daily basis. And so we make these adjustments. We have landing pages now that are converting at 20 30% that when we first launched them, they were converting at like 0.1%. And so if you’re okay with just leaving your business website where it’s at, you know, you think about if you make 30, 40 iterative changes on that website and check your traffic and see how that’s going, you know, you can increase your conversion rates, you can increase your call. You know, your call throughs if someone’s clicking on a, on a call to action button, or something that, and so it’s really about, you know, what can you do to continue to increase the traffic to continue to increase your conversion, to get someone to continue to understand your business better.
Joshua: You know, we’ll oftentimes associate a website as a salesperson. And so we’ll tell small businesses like, Hey, are you ready to onboard a new salesperson? And so that is typically, if the answer to that is no, we don’t have the financial readiness or we don’t have the time readiness to onboard a salesperson, we typically tell them that they don’t have the time to onboard a website. And so because there is the time to essentially train, quote unquote train that new salesperson and that is the time to work with us, to help write content, to help us understand their business and really get into, you know, who their ideal customer is. We’ve heard conversations with businesses that we sit down with and they’ll say, you know, Oh, we serve as all of Southern California. And it’s like, well you do, but you’re a construction company located in Los Angeles.
Joshua: Are you really going to drive to both ends of the state? And it’s like, no, we’re not. It’s like, okay, so you service everybody. No, you don’t service apartment owners. No, you don’t service this. And so it’s like actually figuring out who they actually service. And so something that we’ve done over the past 11 years is developed this sort of packet system that has all these questions that we go through with a client. And so basically it’s all the information that we need to know when we’re starting a website project or when we’re looking at who their ideal client is, if they don’t know who their ideal client is. We have this like five-page PDF that like helps walk through that with them. If it’s marketing, we have a questionnaire. The other thing that we’ve found is CEOs and managers of companies are terrible at writing their own bio’s.
Joshua: They’re terrible at it. And so myself included because we literally redid our website about a year and a half ago, two years ago or so, and whose bio page wasn’t done when we launched the website mine. And literally our team wrote, I think it was one of our designers wrote a bio that was basically like, yeah, our CEO is too busy, blah, blah, blah. And this is his place bio. And that was on our website for a few weeks until I actually, you know, sat down and wrote my own. And so we have this like mad libs style bio writer that helps CEO’s like, cool, what’s your job title? Where’d you go to school? What are other qualifications? How long have you been doing this? Those are easy questions for any CEO or manager to answer. And then it’s putting it sort of in this format for them that helps at least get them halfway there. Yeah. And so there still may be some tweaks or that type of stuff that needs to happen, but at least it helps get the ball rolling. And so it’s really, really helpful. So anyway.
Jennifer: What do you think for businesses? Cause I’m thinking this is, you know, I looking at real estate, the real estate people we, we work with and even the young entrepreneurs, they all, I mean, I’ll look at their sites and I think, man, that needs to be redone. That looks like that was like, you know, a FrontPage template for Microsoft FrontPage from like 1998. Right. But you know, it’s, it’s fine. So for them they think it’s fine. However it’s not an increasing security and, and, and these times that we have, and there’s changes and now you have to have, you know, little things that you click on that say this is how we use our cookies and stuff like that. You can’t just leave it out there. There are things that are changed that you may not even be compliant. But what are other ongoing or upcoming risks to businesses that you think that you help with, with what you do there at 95 visual?
Joshua: So the one thing I’ll speak to first is on the real estate side specifically about real estate websites and then we’ll hop into the ongoing risk stuff. Real estate agents, drop your MLS site, get rid of it. Like, just throw it away because here’s the reason why. And follow me on this for a second. I know that you’ve got real estate agents listening and they’re all probably throwing something at me right now. But listen to me. So the two big apps for real estate is Zillow, at least in California, is Zillow and Redfin. And so Zillow and Redfin spend millions of dollars every year on their user experience and on their development. Unless you as a real estate agent, have that type of money to compete with Zillow and Redfin, your MLS is worthless because the next generation who’s buying houses is not spending the time to boot up their laptop to go to your website, to then sit there and look through your MLS.
Joshua: They’re going to Redfin, they’re going to Zillow, they’re using those, then they’ll call you. And so build a website that markets towards your buyers that gives them tips on things to look for when going to an open house that is a printable PDF checklist with your name right at the bottom that says, here’s the things to look for. You know, when you’re going to a house do that type of stuff. Provide helpful resources, provide information, provide education, provide that stuff. Don’t provide the MLS because unless you’re willing to compete with Zillow and Redfin, you’re not going to win. And so if you provide the education and the resources and all that side of it, you’re going to be the one at the forefront of that buyer’s mind when they go to buy that house. And so that drives me nuts with real estate agents. They’re like, yeah, we’re spending all this tons of money on our, you know, on our MLS listing to have it on our website. And it’s like, you know how much more, how much better your website could be if you were to actually put that money into marketing or into graphic design for your website. And it would just be so much better. So anyway,
Jennifer: I love that. That’s actually the takeaway that I think that we should, we should put on, this is why a real estate agent needs to throw away your MLS side. I think that that is really gonna be a big takeaway and really important, especially now. Then if you really need an MLS site, then you can just put the embed code in, right? And just say, search it here or have a list and in, here you go. You know, so yeah. Okay. So upcoming.
Joshua: One of the other big upcoming risks is website accessibility. And this is something that is starting to become a big topic right now, especially in California. So last year alone, there was 5,000 California cases of website accessibility lawsuits. Federally, there was about 10,000. And so in the state of California specifically if a visually impaired or a person who has any type of impairment or disability cannot access a website, they are, you know, they sort of fall underneath that. And the website accessibility stuff falls under the ADA laws to a point. And so basically in California there was a lawsuit recently of a person who was visually impaired and couldn’t access a hotel’s website and was able to Sue for, you know, like $15,000 to $20,000 in damages because they weren’t able to book a hotel room. The state of California allows sue for damages. Some States like the state of Florida, it’s set up where you sue for, I believe it’s like a warning. And so there is no physical damages the first time around. Now if the business doesn’t correct it, obviously other actions can be taken. And so it’s getting crazy to say the least. Like I mentioned, there was about 5,000 lawsuits last year. This year already, there’s been more than that in California. And California’s getting hit big just because there’s a lot of tech out here.
Jennifer: But you also have your economy too in California has taken such a hit. You have rampant homelessness and things like that. So when you have big problems like that, people are going to look to make money in a variety of very you know, creative ways to not saying that they’re all frivolous lawsuits. Although I think a lot of people would think that some of them are frivolous with the fact that you can still call a phone. There’s still, you know, all of a sudden stuff you don’t need. But yeah.
Joshua: Yeah. So the big one was end of last year, beginning of this year, Domino’s pizza was sued over someone that wasn’t able to order a pizza via the website. And so this has been a huge court case in all of this. And so I would, I would argue as a consumer that Domino’s pizza is probably the most accessible
Joshua: Pizza company. Because you can order it with a tweet, you can order via your Google home assistant, your Amazon Alexa, you can order via the app via calling a 24 hour, like one 800 number. You can order. And I can keep going. Like the number of like ways that you can order a pizza via Domino’s is ridiculous. And so basically what ended up happening was through this lawsuit was a phone call is not the equivalent of utilizing a website. And so a lot of companies have had, especially larger companies have had a website accessibility not necessarily, you know, line at the bottom of the website that if you can’t access our website, just call this phone number and then someone will, you know, provide the information verbally over the phone to you. And per this Domino’s case, that’s not okay. And so Domino’s is going through federal court and some other stuff right now. And this, this case is still there has been an initial ruling, however they’re trying to get it overturned. It’s, it’s definitely interesting.
Jennifer: Well I think that’s bunk. I’m sorry. As I think that is both as the consumer side and both as the other. And you know, God blessed it. I’m not disabled. And so I’m not gonna say anything because I have disabled people, you know, that I’ve dealt, I mean I took care of a stroke victim in my house for two years. It was very difficult. I understand the need for accessibility to disabled people, but if you, if you, I think this is vexatious, when you have a hundred different ways you can do something that are easily accessible to you from the same device that you just want, you want to be catered to in a certain way. Just really you want to be able to sue, that’s just ridiculous to me. That infuriates me. I just want to go off on that and I’m not going to Tammy, I’m just going to drink my coffee.
Joshua: It is definitely frustrating. And the frustrating element that I will say is that some people are using this as a frivolous lawsuit element and there have been some that basically are just going, Pretty much just business to business, to business, to business. And just filing lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit. And those are the ones that just are frustrating because they need to stop it.
Jennifer: Clogging up our legal system. You’re causing them to be economic blight. And what you’re going to do is you are actually hurting disability because people will fight to say we’re sorry. Our company, you know, is not able to afford to be accessible and they’re just going to stop doing anything except accessible and fight for the right for that. So we’re as companies that you could have accessibility, they’re either going to shut down and you’re not going to have that service. No one will have it anymore. So it’s not that it’ll be inaccessible to everyone or they’re just going to fight for the right to be able to clearly state at this time, we do not have to have this. You can’t mandate that yet. People can fight to say we are unable to do that. You know, it’s like trying to have an accessible, I guess, staircase company or whatever, you know?
Joshua: Yeah. Well, and looking, yeah. And it’s looking at, you know, some businesses that have websites or have a physical office and it’s like your office has to be ADA accessible or this or that. And so it’s looking at businesses and sort of two sides. One, are you making an effort of any type businesses should be. And so we’re not just talking about visibility, accessibility here, we’re also talking about things like motor impairment. And so oftentimes people are like, okay, so blind people can’t access my website. But it’s motor impairment. And so can you not using your mouse navigate just using your keyboard, navigate a website. And so that’s one of the mandates that you should be able to do with this. And so, you know, you mentioned the cost factor. You know, can businesses afford doing this? And so not going too deep on this, but there’s companies SiteImprove or AudioEye, these are testing tools. So these are testing suites that a development company like ourselves would utilize for your website. These testing tools for a website that has less than 500 pages typically start around $10,000 to about $15,000 a month. Okay. So
Jennifer: That’s more than most small businesses make. That’s more than for some small businesses. That’s their entire budget for every single one of their staff.
Joshua: Yup. So we’re talking $120,000 into about $150,000. So now that all that does is provide us with a report every month that says, here’s the issues on the website to fix. Now you’re paying a dev team to come in and correct those issues. So there’s additional expense there. And so we have, I mentioned earlier before the call, I mentioned that we work with some UCs. And so those of UCs the UC system pays for that system, pays for that suite, and then we’re able to use that for those clients, for the UC clients. And so it’s, it’s amazing how expensive some of this, this stuff is. And that’s where what Domino’s pizza is pushing is how expensive it is to reach this full level of 100% compliance. The other thing is…
Jennifer: Wouldn’t that be considered ADA noncompliant by pricing out the ability to be able to provide services for people with disabilities? See, then I think those companies should be sued and saying you’re not ADA compliant because you have priced out in a most reasonable way.
Joshua: Yeah. So you don’t necessarily have to use a testing tool like that. You can manually go through and do it, but you have to manually check every single page.
Jennifer: You have to have a degree to be able to do something like that. You have to, which is more expensive, you know, in some cases. That’s okay. So that’s, that’s crazy. So, okay, so now that we’ve scared the hell out of all of our listeners and our new entrepreneurs who are like, what if I just don’t even have a website? What if it’s just as one number in Craigslist right now? Don’t do that. You want to have a website, you want to be able to do this. You don’t have to do it for everything, but you should probably think about seriously hiring someone like 95Visual to get least get you on track to where you’re going to be. Okay. Right?
Joshua: Some people are saying, well, I’ll just use Squarespace or I’ll just use Wix. They’re probably compliant. They’re not, because here’s the thing. Compliance also means, you know, when you upload an image to a website and there’s that little field for Alt Text, right? If you cram a keyword in there that’s relevant to your website, that’s not describing what’s the actual image that’s noncompliant in that alt text should be a description of what the image is, especially if the image contains text. And so that information should be in the Alt Tag. That’s what it’s for. That’s what it’s been for since the beginning of internet. Back when we were on dial up and you know, internet speeds were too slow and images would take five minutes to load. It would pop up that little bit of text that would show you, tell you what’s going to be in that image.
Joshua: If you waited five minutes for the image to load, and then you can make up your mind.
Jennifer: Just this is a question, what if it a huge infographic that has paragraphs and paragraphs?
Joshua: You should have that type of text somehow on that page as a text base. Now, here’s the thing. A lot of this stuff we’re talking about, so let’s say you have an infographic on your page, right? Right. Google can’t, well, I take that back. Google can understand what’s in there. However, if you have all of that information as text below the infographic, you know, 35% of people do X, Y, and Z, and so on and so forth, all that information is below there. That helps your SEO because now when someone’s searching for, you know, how many people buy houses in the first five years of marriage or whatever, and now that stat was in your infographic as an image, it wouldn’t have showed up.
Joshua: But if it’s text below it now, that’s gonna show up in search results. So a lot of this stuff is actually gonna help your SEO. And so it will help. And to have that stuff, this text. And so what people don’t realize is 20% of the us population has some sort of an impairment in regards to website accessibility. And so that’s about 50. It’s like 52 Million Americans. And so, which is larger than the population of Canada. And so when you start thinking about the size exactly, when you start thinking about the size of this, are you okay with basically cutting out 20% of your audience? You know, is it worth it? And so now looking at, okay, we’ve talked about $120,000 to $150,000. That’s insane. We can’t afford that. And so what are we doing? Like, what are we doing for our website?
Joshua: So if you go to 95, visual.com, bottom left hand corner, there’s a little accessibility button. You can click on that. You can also use the tab key to tap through our whole website and use that type of navigation. And so for us, we’ve partnered with a company who is an AI company and they have built out some elements that are a full website accessibility tool. Now the tool itself does not necessarily hit 100% of compliance because it is automated. But it does a decent job to hit a majority of the elements. It’s about 95 to 96%. And so what we’re doing is sort of the bare minimum level that we recommend is having a tool like that on your website. The second level is having that tool and some sort of monthly testing. And so maybe it’s two or three hours a month that we go in and help make adjustments and edits and that type of stuff.
Joshua: Maybe it’s more, it depends on what the business can afford. And so, but making an effort to do something. And so that’s really what we’re encouraging businesses to do. I understand that as a small business, you can’t spend $100,000 on this. That’s insane. And so that isn’t going to happen. But can you spend, you know, $250, $300 a month on some elements to help correct this over time. That’s probably more doable. And so that sort of the solution that we have and if anyone is interested in that, you can obviously go to our website hit our contact form and get in contact with us for more information. But it’s definitely something from that perspective that we’re recommending.
Jennifer: Yeah, man, this has been just so eye opening. I feel like we’ve gotten so much incredible information through that. Well anyway, we’re going to have to, we’re going to have to wrap up. I think my mind is blown on some areas here, you know, not only, well, number one, I didn’t realize there were that many people that needed a, you know, disability accessible websites. So when you put that in perspective, the entire country of Canada will need this and you’re preventing them from being there. Well, yeah, obviously every business is when they’re gonna want to do that. And not just from a money perspective. You want people to access information, especially if your service company and most service companies have a lot of education they want to give out, so you’re preventing people from getting the education. So I love that. So anyway, we’ve been speaking with Joshua Maddux.
Jennifer: He is the CEO of 95Visual, that’s nine five than visual V I S U A L.com 95Visual.com. Please go to his site and you can find out a lot more about the things that we’re talking about. As well as, again, I just love that why if you’re a real estate business, you need to scrap your MLS site. I thought that was very interesting to know because there’s a lot of people spending money on that they could be spending on a lot of other more important things that would actually drive business and a, well, that’s it for me. I’ve had a great show.
Originally published at https://www.95visual.com on October 14, 2019.