A well-designed website is crucial to the success of your small business, and to driving conversions.
However, creating an effective website that your audience wants to stay on and browse can be challenging. Especially if you’re trying to balance unique needs against tight budgets and you don’t have a lot of experience in web design or user experience (UX).
In this post, we’ll discuss some simple UX improvements that you can make to your small business website yourself.
Whether you’re just getting started with a new website or you’re looking for ways to freshen up an old one, you can use these ideas to make your website easier and more enjoyable for your visitors to use.
But first things first.
What is user experience and why are UX improvements important
User experience (UX) refers to the overall experience a person has when interacting with your website. For example, how easy and enjoyable your website is for visitors to use and browse.
This includes everything from the initial feeling when they visit the site, how easy it is to navigate your site to the overall look and feel, to how trustworthy it seems.
You may be wondering why user experience (UX) improvements are important for your website, especially if you have a small business. After all, as long as customers can find the product or service they’re looking for, what does it matter how user-friendly your website is?
To understand why it is essential to make UX improvements on your website, look at this data:
- Better UX design could yield conversion rates of up to 400%*.
- 88%* of online shoppers say they wouldn’t return to a website after having a bad user experience.
- 70%* of online businesses that fail do so because of bad usability.
A few more reasons to have good UX:
- If visitors can easily find what they’re looking for on your site, they’re more likely to stay and browse further.
- You can boost conversion rates by making it easy for visitors to take the next step, whether that’s signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase.
- You can improve your search engine positioning as search engines favor websites that provide a positive user experience.
- A positive UX can be the difference between a successful website that helps you achieve your business goals and one that fails to attract or convert visitors.
So it’s worth taking the time to invest in some essential UX improvements to make the most of every visitor on your site and thrive online.
Related: Optimize your website
Most important elements of UX improvements
According to Peter Morville, a pioneer in the UX field, there are 7 elements of a good website user experience.
A website should be:
The website should provide enough information about the business and answer key questions of the audience.
It should be easy for the visitor to navigate and browse the site.
The website should be easy to find on search engines
The information on the website should be accurate and easy to trust.
The website should be attractive. Browsing through the website should be enjoyable by the user.
Everyone should be able to use the website, irrespective of physical impairments
The website should provide value to the business and to the website users.
User experience is one of the most important qualities of a good website. After all, if your visitors can’t find what they’re looking for or have a hard time using your site, they’re not likely to stick around for long.
That’s why it’s worthwhile to make some simple UX improvements on your website, even if you’re running a small business on a tight budget.
Then, make changes to improve the user experience on your site. For example, you might add clear navigation labels or make it easier for people to find your contact information. Even small changes can make a big difference in the user experience on your site. So don’t overlook the importance of UX when working on your website.
14 UX improvements you can do right now on your website
1. Make your site easy to navigate
Part of providing a good user experience is ensuring that the site is easy to navigate. This means having a well-thought-out site architecture and clear, intuitive navigation.
If users can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to quickly become frustrated and go elsewhere.
So make your site well-organized and pay attention to your site architecture and navigation. That will encourage users to stick around and explore all that your site has to offer.
Here are some tips for creating a smooth site architecture and navigation:
- Give your site a clear hierarchy and logical structure.
- Add navigational menus to your headers and footers with links to your key pages
- Keep these menus on all pages (except landing pages), so your users can go to the key pages irrespective of which site they are currently on.
- All pages should be accessible from the home page and not more than 3 clicks away from the homepage
- Add a site search function in the header to help users find what they’re looking for.
2. Make your website safe, especially if you have ecommerce
Making sure that your small business website is safe and secure is an important UX improvement to do, especially if you have an ecommerce component. Security should be a critical element of your business website checklist.
There are a few steps you can take to ensure the safety of your website and create a better user experience for your customers.
- Make sure that your website is SSL certified. This will help protect user data and ensure that all information submitted on your site is safe.
- Make sure you have a secure payment gateway set up, and that all of your customer data is encrypted.
- Insist on strong passwords for all user accounts on your website. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long and include a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
- Consider using a security plugin or service to add an extra layer of protection to your website.
- Keep your software and plugins up to date to avoid any potential exploits.
- Regularly test your site for vulnerabilities and patch any security holes as soon as possible.
Related: How to update a website
4. Ensure your site is responsive
A responsive website is one that adjusts its layout and content to fit the user’s device and browser, providing an optimal viewing and browsing experience.
UX improvements can come from many different sources, but one of the most important is making sure that the site is mobile-friendly.
- Over 90% of the global internet population uses a mobile device to go online. Mobile internet traffic accounts for almost 55% of total web traffic.
- If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, 50%* of users will use it less even if they like the business.
- 67%* of mobile users say they’d rather reward a mobile-friendly site by buying a product or service there than from one of its competitors.
With so many different devices and browsers available, it is important now more than ever to make sure that your site is responsive and accessible to the maximum number of people.
Besides, Google uses mobile friendliness as a ranking factor in its search algorithm. So a responsive site can also help you improve your search engine ranking.
Making your site responsive is therefore essential to providing a good user experience and improving your site’s performance in search engine results.
If you are using WordPress for example, all the key WordPress page builders like Elementor and Divi will let you check and customize your layout in desktops, mobiles, and laptops.
5. Avoid too many popups and ads
While popups can be effective in driving conversions, too many of them can be off-putting and negatively affect the user experience.
The same is true of ads; a few banners are okay, but if they make your website load slowly or clutter the page, it will frustrate users and discourage them from returning.
It’s important to strike a balance with the popups and ads on your small business website.
Try to use ads in a way that is non-intrusive and doesn’t clutter up the page too much. It’s best to use a few well-placed banners that work rather than flood your pages with many ads that don’t bring in much revenue.
By keeping your website clean and easy, you’ll create a positive experience that will keep customers coming back.
6. Add calls-to-actions
A call-to-action, or CTA, is a request for the user to take some desired action. CTAs help to guide users through your content, propelling them towards a specific goal or conversion.
By clearly labeling buttons and links with actionable phrases such as “Buy Now” or “Sign Up,” you can make it easy for users to take the next step, resulting in more sales and leads.
CTAs can also help to increase engagement by encouraging users to click, watch, or read more.
A few examples of CTA are:
- Subscribe to a newsletter
- Download a lead magnet
- Buy a product
- Sign up for a free course
- Read blog posts
- Visit a specific page
- Sign up for a free trial
CTAs should be designed to be highly visible and attention-grabbing, while still being relevant to the user’s needs.
Furthermore, they should be simple and straightforward, with a clear path to completion.
By strategically placing CTAs throughout your user journey, you can make significant UX improvements that will help to boost conversions and engagement.
7. Improve page loading speed
Page loading speed is a major factor in user experience. If your pages take too long to load, people will likely click away before they even have a chance to see what you have to offer.
In addition to improving user experience, page loading speed can also have a positive impact on your search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google take page speed into account when ranking websites, so if you want your site to rank higher in search results, you need to make sure it’s quick.
A fast website not only feels snappier and more responsive, but it also helps to improve user engagement and conversions.
There are a number of ways to improve page loading speed:
• Optimize your images
Use tingpng.com and/ or plugins to compress your images so that they take up less space without sacrificing quality
• Use a content delivery network
Most high-quality web hosts like Siteground and Bluehost offer free CDNs to boost your site loading speed and performance
• Reduce the amount of code on each page
Keep your web design simple and use plugins like Autoptimize or W3 Total Cache to reduce the number of scripts and style sheets
By taking these steps for UX improvements, you can help ensure that your website loads quickly and provides an optimal experience.
8. Simplify and optimize the checkout process
The average shopping cart abandonment rate is over 65%. That means two-thirds of shoppers who add items to their carts never checkout.
These stats on why shoppers abandoned their carts tell you why.
You may not be able to control the shipping and taxes much because of legal regulations and your bottom line. But consider these other reasons for abandonment which you do have control over and can easily fix.
24% – No guest checkout option
People don’t want to open an account, they just want to buy from you. Let them.
18% – Didn’t trust the site
Always reassure your visitors that of a guaranteed safe checkout process.
17% – Complex checkout process
Ask only for the information that is necessary to complete the sale. Let them proceed as swiftly and simply as possible.
Creating a user-friendly checkout process is essential for any small business that relies on its website for sales.A streamlined, user-friendly checkout process can make the difference between a customer completing a purchase and abandoning their shopping cart. #ecommerce #userexperience Click To Tweet
Even some small UX improvements to your checkout process can make a big difference in conversion rates.
Here are a few ideas:
- Make sure that the checkout process is easy to understand and follow. Provide clear and concise instructions throughout the checkout process so that customers should be able to easily find the checkout button, and always know what they need to do next.
- Make the checkout form as short and simple as possible, with clear labels and error messages.
Reduce the number of fields that customers need to fill out and the number of steps in the checkout process. The less information you require, the easier and quicker it will be for customers to complete their purchase.
- Give customers the option to create an account or checkout as a guest. This way, they can choose the option that is best for them.
- Provide customers with the option to save their information for future purchases.
- Provide clear instructions at each step of the process.
- Make the payment process smooth and seamless. Customers should be able to easily enter their payment information and finalize their purchase with just a few clicks.
- Offer a variety of payment options so that users can choose the option that best suits their needs and they feel safe with.
- Make it easy for customers to change or update their orders before finalizing the purchase.
- Provide clear and up-to-date shipping information. Customers should know exactly how much it will cost to ship their order, and when they can expect it to arrive.
- Offer customer support during the checkout process in case there are any problems.
By making a few simple UX improvements, you can create an easy checkout experience that will lead to more customers completing their purchases, boosting your bottom line.
9. Make it easy to find information on your website
Website design is all about creating a user experience that is easy and enjoyable. One of the most important aspects of user experience is making sure that users can easily and quickly find the information they are looking for.
• Add a search button on your website
This will allow users to quickly and easily search for the information they need.
• Make it easy to sort and filter products
This will allow users to narrow down their options and find the perfect product for their needs.
For example, see this example below of a kids apparel site that has a huge number of filtering options. You can easily narrow down your search from almost 5000 products to just a few, depending on your exact needs.
By making simple UX improvements like these, you can make it much easier for users to find the information they need and greatly enhance the user experience on your website.
10. Use ample white space
White space, also known as negative space, refers to the empty areas on a page. More specifically, the empty space between elements on a page.Though it may seem like a simple concept and a wasted opportunity, white space is one of the easiest and most effective UX improvements you can make on your website. #user experience #ux #webdesign Click To Tweet
One of the main benefits of white space is that it can help to improve clarity by making pages more legible. When there is too much information crammed into a small area, it can be difficult for users to process and understand everything that they are seeing. By using white space to create visual breaks in the content, you can make it easier for users to digest information and find what they are looking for.
It can also help to highlight important elements, guide users through a website, improve clarity, and draw attention to calls to action., making them more visible and effective In short, judicious use of white space can be a simple but powerful way to improve the UX of your website. So next time you’re planning a website redesign, don’t forget the importance of white space!
has a big impact on the user experience (UX) of a website.
11. Make your content easy to read
If your content is difficult to read, users will quickly become frustrated and may leave your site without taking the desired action. Making your website content, including your product information easy to read is essential for ensuring a good user experience.
See the colors of this coffee website for example, and how difficult the content is on the eyes.
Compared to that, see this other website which is much easier to read.
There are a few simple things you can do to improve the readability of your content, such as:
- Use short paragraphs and sentences
- Use clear and concise language
- Include visual elements such as images and infographics to break up the text
- Ensure that your page layout is not overly cluttered
- Use subheadings to break up text
By making these small changes, you can ensure that users have a positive experience on your site and are more likely to take the desired action.
11.1. Use legible font sizes and colors
One of the key elements of a good user experience is the ability to easily read the text on the website.
This means that font sizes and colors should be chosen carefully to ensure that they are legible and easy on the eyes. If the font is too small or the colors are too muted, it can be difficult for users to read the content. On the other hand, if the font is too large or the colors are too bright, it can be overwhelming and off-putting.
Additionally, using legible fonts and colors can help to create a more professional and polished look for your website.
Find a balance that makes the content legible and visually appealing. For example:
- Use a font size of 16/ 18 to help users quickly and easily read the content on your website.
- Use a text color that contrasts well with the background. Dark grey or black on white is the safest.
- This ensures that visitors can easily read and comprehend your message, without having to strain their eyes.
11.2. Add enough line and paragraph space in your website content
One way to improve UX is to add enough line and paragraph space to your content.
This makes it easier for users to scan the page and quickly find the information they’re looking for. In addition, ample line and paragraph spacing can help to prevent eye fatigue, making it more likely that users will stick around and explore your site.
11.3. Use bullets when applicable
As anyone who has ever tried to read a wall of text can attest, large blocks of text can be difficult to digest.
That’s why you should consider using bullets to present information on their site. By breaking down the information into smaller, more manageable chunks, bullets can improve the readability of your content.
They can also highlight key points, making them more likely to stick in the reader’s mind.
However, it’s important to use them sparingly – too many bullet points can be overwhelming and difficult to scan. When used judiciously, however, bullets can be a helpful tool for making website content more user-friendly.
12. Use high-quality images and videos on your website
When it comes to user experience, visuals are key. High-quality images and videos help to convey information more clearly, grab users’ attention and hold it, making your website more engaging.
In addition, well-chosen visuals can convey information more effectively than text alone and can help to break up long blocks of text. As a result, using high-quality visuals on your website can lead to significant UX improvements.
- Visuals that are clear and easy to understand can help to explain complex concepts.
- Engaging videos can add an element of interest and excitement.
- Well-chosen visuals can help to break up text-heavy pages and make your site more user-friendly.
13. Ask for minimal information to drive conversions
One important aspect of UX and website conversions is the amount of information that you require from visitors before they purchase or sign up.Asking for too much information from a visitor can be off-putting and result in a high bounce rate. On the other hand, if you ask for too little information, you may miss out on valuable leads. The key is to strike a balance by only… Click To Tweet
By asking for minimal information from visitors, you can improve the user experience and make it more likely that visitors will take the desired action.
For example, by reducing the number of fields in a form, you can reduce the amount of time and effort required to complete it. If you’re collecting leads for a newsletter, only ask for an email address rather than requiring a name and contact information.
In addition, by eliminating unnecessary questions, you can make your site more user-friendly, reduce the risk of user frustration, and increase the likelihood of achieving your desired conversion rate.
14. Customize your 404 pages to make your visitors stay on your site
When a user clicks on a link that doesn’t lead to a valid page, they see a 404 error message. This can be frustrating for users, and it can also damage your brand strength.
404 pages are inevitable. At some point, every website will have a link that leads to a dead end.
It’s essential to have a well-designed 404 page to make the best of this situation and minimize the impact on the user experience. There are a few key elements to consider when customizing your 404 page.
- Provide links to other parts of your website so that users can easily find their way back to where they started.
- Add a search bar so that users can quickly find the information they’re looking for
- Add links to your most popular pages or posts
- You can also use the page to promote other parts of your site, such as your social media accounts, landing pages, or your newsletter sign-up.
- Make sure that the 404 page is consistent with the rest of your website in terms of design and branding
These steps will help you turn frustration into an opportunity to improve the user experience on your site.
Here is an example of a branded, conversion-driven 404 page from M&M.
How to get started with UX improvements on your website
Before making any changes to your website, it is important to understand who your users are and what they want from your site. So it is absolutely essential to know your audience and their behavior.
Only then can you make the necessary and targeted improvements to ensure that they have a positive experience.
There are a number of ways to research your audience and get feedback about your site:
- Talk to your customers directly, or through surveys, interviews, and focus groups.
- Look at your web (Google) analytics to check bounce and exit rates for pages, time spent on pages, and behavior flow.
- Run A/ B tests on your key website pages
- Use software like Hotjar that show you how users interact with your site
- Start with a website assessment by putting yourself in your audience’s shows and browsing through the site. SEO tools like Screaming Frog and Semrush offer these site audits for free.
UX improvements are about making it work for both your users and you. A well-designed UX is all about leading a user to the final point of conversion while removing all distractions.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your website’s usability and convert more visitors into customers, try implementing some of the tips I’ve shared in this post.
If you’re not sure what to do next, feel free to book a free consultation with me to get started with UX improvements that will boost your website’s performance.
Did you implement any other UX improvements that are not mentioned in this list? Let me know!
Fabulous list. Following each of these tips requires mindfulness. Way too many bloggers do what they want without mindfully thinking of what readers want. Often, there is a stark difference between ego wants and what readers desire. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes before designing your blog for a fabulous user experience.
Absolutely, Ryan. Putting your audience’s needs and experiences at the centre of your blogging and website is the first step of good marketing. Thanks a lot for commenting!