The Importance of Making LGBTQ+ People Feel "At Home" on Your Website
For the past 10 days or so, I have been walking around my neighbourhood in Sydney, which is adorned with rainbow flags, rainbow walkways, rainbow buses and so on. The city is hosting World Pride this year, and it's been a genuinely magical experience to see so much visibility and support for the global rainbow community. As an LGBTQ+ person, I have never felt more "at home" in my hometown.
If you run a business, it's important to understand that your website is like a virtual hometown that you present to the world. It is the place where you can invite your customers in, and show them who you are, what you stand for and the values that drive you. Making your website LGBTQ+ inclusive communicates to your potential customers that everyone deserves to feel "at home" when interacting with your business - just like how I feel walking around my neighbourhood during World Pride...
Here are 5 reasons why you need to make LGBTQ+ people feel "at home" when they visit your website.
1. It shows what you stand up for
The 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study revealed that customers are no longer asking businesses "what do you stand for?" and are instead asking "what do you stand up for?"1. This distinction is important because standing up and speaking out takes more courage, and often has greater consequences.
By making your website LGBTQ+ inclusive, you are sending a message that your business values the diversity and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people. This will help attract customers and staff that share these values and want to support your business.
2. It helps build trust with all customers
By creating a site that welcomes everyone, businesses can show they are committed to fairness and equal treatment. This not only builds trust with the LGBTQ+ community but also with allies who champion inclusivity. And those who aren't allies can trust that you are not a good fit for them.
3. It can increase your customer base
According to LGBT-Capital, the LGBTQ+ community has a purchasing power of $3.7 trillion globally, and that's before accounting for allies2. By normalising LGBTQIA+ inclusion across your website and marketing campaigns, you open up your business to a large market. The LGBTQ+ community and their allies have significant buying power and want to support businesses that align with their values. In fact, The 2017 Cone Communications CSR Study found that 87% of consumers will buy according to their values, and 76% will boycott a business that doesn't align with their values1.
4. It fosters employee (and customer) pride
Creating an inclusive website can also boost employee morale by showing that your business values diversity and inclusion. According to a Glassdoor survey from 2020, "76% [of] employees today report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers."3 A greater commitment to celebrating diversity in your business can lead to increased loyalty and pride in working for (or doing business with) a business that supports these values.
5. It's simply the right thing to do
Above all else, being inclusive is simply the right thing to do. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or relationship status.
In conclusion, making your website LGBTQ+ inclusive is not only the right thing to do but also makes good business sense. By showing support for diversity and inclusion, businesses can build customer trust while tapping into a larger potential market.
If you're interested in learning how to help LGBTQ+ people feel more "at home" on your website, please click here to register for my free Masterclass - How to Make Your Website More LGBTQ+ Inclusive - where I'll share valuable tips on how you can create an even more welcoming space online!