As all smart web developers know, humans are not the only important life-form to visit a site.
For on-line success we need our websites to cater for the tastes of robots too. Specifically, search engine robots which happen to be blind.
In this country it is a legal requirement for companies to make their websites accessible to the visibly impaired, but few people are heeding the law.
However, if more businesses realised that a site with good accessibility is also a very search engine friendly one, perhaps they would be more inclined to comply.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) experts have historically had a bad name, for filling our search results with spam and preventing us finding the sites we really want to look at. Such "black hat" SEO experts, as they are known, are being replaced with "white hat" ones, who keep their tactics above board.
And what better justification for wearing a white hat can you have than helping the disabled?
But it is a fact that search engine robots will experience a website in the same way a visually impaired user would if they where using a speaking browser, one that literally reads out the content of a webpage to its user.
Speaking browsers can only see text. If your site's menu is made from fancy stylised buttons they won't be read out and the pages they link to will be ignored and will subsequently never be found on Google.
Your site doesn't have to be entirely bereft of images, they should just not be an important part of your site's navigation or indeed its content.
Movie clips and sound effects don't cut any ice with robots either, nor do fancy Flash animations. When designing a website, you should always think "text".
Despite the horror traditional graphic designers will feel at that statement, I can reassure them it is possible to create aesthetically pleasing, innovative and contemporary website designs that are accessible too - it's just a bigger challenge.
You can use as much typography as you like - well as long as you stick to screen friendly fonts, which basically means Verdana, Arial, or Helvetica! Oh, and best keep the font scalable so that visually impaired surfers can enlarge it themselves.
Along with accessibility, usability is also a powerful "white hat" SEO technique.
By structuring your site logically, making it simple and intuitive so your visitors won't get confused, the myopic robots will also find what they are looking for too.
Good accessibility, combined with good usability, makes for good findatbility for your site - it's a simple as that.
So even if you don't feel any moral obligation to embrace social inclusion, or indeed the law, doesn't persuade your company to make its website accessible, perhaps the promise of more traffic from Google will?
* Chris is managing director of internet consultancy WebXpress. This and other unedited articles can be found at webxpress.com.