How To Nail User Experience (UX) On Your Small Business Website

If your website is hard to use, people won’t spend much time on it. The same is true if it fails to load quickly, doesn’t work properly on mobile devices, or doesn’t have a clear purpose.

Your website needs to provide a good user experience, or UX, for short. Good UX design makes it easy for users to find what they need on your site and take the logical next steps. Of course, this probably doesn’t surprise you – everyone has used a difficult website at least once and knows how painful it can be!

As easy as it is to understand the value of UX, it’s tough to know exactly how to provide good UX. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of steps to help you know exactly what you need to do to make your website UX a good one.

What is User Experience (UX)?

User experience (UX) refers to how visitors interact with your website. This includes how users interact with your navigation, content, design, and other functions of your website.

When UX is good, users find your site easy to use, enjoyable, and valuable. Websites with good UX are seamless and intuitive, which makes users want to come back.

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15 Steps To Nail User Experience (UX) On Your Small Business Website

UX design is complicated, and if you research it online, you’ll probably go down a deep rabbit hole. You can break UX design into multiple categories, including messaging strategy, load time optimization, search engine optimization, and much more. All of which means it’s tough to know where to start if you’re just trying to get your small business’s site online.

To help provide you some direction, I’ve created this list of steps to help you take tangible actions to make your website more user-friendly. Follow these and you can more easily attract and retain visitors, not to mention make sales!

1. Make sure your unique selling proposition is crystal clear.

What do you do for your customers that your competitors don’t? That’s your unique selling proposition, or USP. Once you can define your USP, it’s a lot easier to communicate what you need to on your website.

Unique Selling Proposition Diagram
Unique Selling Proposition Diagram

Your audience needs to immediately “get” what your business is about. In other words, your USP should be immediately apparent to visitors. For example, when you are making your homepage hero section, you will be writing a headline and call to action based on your USP.

So before we continue, if you don’t know what your USP is – figure it out first.

Easy Step 1: Define your USP.

2. Make your navigation menu straightforward.

Don’t get clever with your navigation menu. Put it in the top right corner of your website. On large screens, people will see the links spelled out. On small screens, people will click an icon to see a collapsible menu.

As for the individual links that take people to different pages, use straightforward language such as Home, About, Services, Portfolio, and so on.

People use websites the same way they do airports – as a way to get to something else. Your navigation is basically like airport signage – it needs to be so clear that anyone can immediately understand it so they know where they need to go.

Easy Step 1: Design a clear, simple navigation menu for easy use.

3. Optimize your website for a fast loading time.

Users have no patience for slow sites – they’ll click away within a couple of seconds if they don’t get what they want. So your website absolutely must load quickly in order to provide a good UX.

Here are a few tips you can follow to make your site faster:

  • Pick a reputable web hosting company like Siteground, Hostinger, or Webflow.
  • Don’t use larger images or videos than you have to.
  • Turn on browser caching.
  • If possible, minify your HTML, CSS, and JS.
  • Use tools like GTMetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights to find areas to improve.

This is one of the most tedious parts of web development as a whole, but you can’t skip it. If people don’t stay on your site for long enough for pages to load, nothing else you do matters.

Easy Step 1: Scan your site with GTMetrix to get specific tips on how to improve.

4. Keep the design simple and clean.

When in doubt, keep your website simple. It’s tempting to throw more images, more video, more ornate backgrounds, and just generally more, more, more…

Avoid this temptation. People use websites quickly, so they need to be easy to read. Keep your design clean, avoid clutter, and keep your color scheme and fonts consistent. Allow your design to breathe with white space.

Minimalist design does not work in every context, but it does work really well on websites because of the way people use them.

Easy Step 1: Start with a minimalist web design template.

5. Use consistent branding.

Consistent branding across your website builds trust and recognition. You will want to make sure your logo, color scheme, fonts, and overall style are uniform throughout all pages. This consistency helps users feel familiar with your brand and understand your identity quickly.

Consistent branding also makes your website generally feel more professional. And that kind of professionalism is prerequisite to getting visitors to trust you.

Easy Step 1: Make sure your brand is consistent across all website pages.

6. Make sure all your content is high quality.

Every page needs to have a purpose. This is especially true if you choose to promote your business with a content marketing strategy like blogging.

High-quality content is critical if you want to engage and retain visitors. Your text needs to be clear, concise, and error-free. Your images and videos need to be of a good quality resolution and relevant to the messages you are trying to relay. You also need to keep your content up-to-date.

Resist the urge to add unnecessary pages. This can make it harder to keep your content up-to-date and high-quality, and it can even slow down your site and harm your search engine rankings if left unchecked.

Easy Step 1: Delete unnecessary pages.

7. Use engaging images and videos.

Compelling visuals are one of the best ways to make a site look and feel better. The reason for this is not hard to understand, but it is worth bearing in mind two rules:

  1. Make sure each visual has a good reason to exist. Don’t just pick random photos and videos.
  2. Optimize your images and videos for quick loading times.

As long as you follow these two rules, adding visuals to your site is going to generally improve the UX.

Easy Step 1: Add high-quality visuals to one important page on your site.

8. Test all your sign-up forms.

Sign-up forms have a tendency to break when it’s really inconvenient. It’s a good idea to test them on a regular basis just to make sure they go through when you submit them.

While you’re doing that, check for the following as well:

  • Are you asking for more information than you need?
  • Are any fields broken?
  • Do the forms take a long time to submit?

If you need users to submit forms to request quotes or contact you, consider doing a sign-up form audit every month. Breakdowns here can cost you a lot of money.

Easy Step 1: Go test all the sign-up forms on your site and make sure they work.

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9. Use clear call to action (CTA) buttons.

Like with your navigation, you don’t want to be clever with your CTAs. Make sure the buttons stand out among the background. Place them where people will see them.

As for the text on the button, keep it simple and clear like “Get Started” or “Learn More.” Wordy or vague calls to action will dramatically drop conversion rates on your site and could end up costing you money.

Easy Step 1: Make sure your CTA buttons are clear.

10. Follow accessibility best practices.

You need to make sure your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. A few tips here include:

  • Use alt text for images
  • Make sure color contrast is sufficient
  • Provide keyboard navigation options

Everybody benefits from websites that follow accessibility best practices, even those without disabilities. Search engines also pay attention to this. This is not an aspect of UX worth skipping.

Easy Step 1: Add alt text to all your images.

11. Follow search engine optimization (SEO) best practices.

If your website is optimized for search engines, it will be easier to find and you will attract more visitors. Consider this: many people do not type in URLs anymore, instead typing the name of the site they want to visit in Google, and clicking on the first result. You really can’t ignore this.

Much of what is listed in this guide will help you with search engine rankings, because UX is a big factor. But here is one extra trip specific to SEO: optimize meta tags, titles, and descriptions to include relevant keywords. That way, you can influence what Google and other search engines show whenever your site pops up in the results.

Easy Step 1: Optimize for SEO to increase visibility and attract visitors.

12. Set up HTTPS on your site.

HTTPS encrypts data when users access your site. It’s one of the easiest ways to tighten up security on your site because most web hosts make it easy to do.

How you do this differs based on which web hosting provider you are using. But you can usually do this in about 5 minutes.

Even though it sounds technical, this is one of the easiest UX tips to implement.

Easy Step 1: Set up HTTPS with your web host.

13. Organize your information with a clear hierarchy.

People skim websites. That means they notice headings, subheadings, and bullet points before other kinds of text.

You can take advantage of this by making sure you have a clear information hierarchy on your site. That way, users can more easily scan it.

Prioritize the most important information at the top and use visual cues like font size and color to guide users’ attention. Well-organized sites are more readable and provide a better UX.

Easy Step 1: Structure content logically using headings and visual cues.

14. Add trust signals.

Trust signals include things like client logos, industry certifications, and awards. These are the sorts of symbols and short snippets of text that say to users “we are a legitimate business and we’ve been around a while.”

Figure out which kinds of trust signals are relevant to your business, and then place them  on your homepage and relevant pages to highlight your expertise and achievements. This is an easy way to establish confidence in your brand, making visitors more likely to become customers.

Easy Step 1: Display client logos and certifications to build trust.

15. Ask others to test your website and follow their feedback.

A huge part of UX is user testing. This is exactly what it sounds like.

Ask friends, family, or colleagues to navigate your site and provide honest feedback. Observe their interactions to identify any pain points or areas of confusion.

Once you have collected enough feedback, fix things on your site that aren’t working. Do this on a regular basis and it will help you keep your website in tip-top shape.

Easy Step 1: Gather user feedback and make improvements based on suggestions.

Final Thoughts

If you are thoughtful and deliberate, you can nail the user experience on your small business website. Remember: the goal is to make your site user-friendly and visually appealing while keeping loading time as fast as possible.

Not only does good UX design make web visitors happier with your site, but it also helps you appear more trustworthy and credible. And that trustworthiness and credibility is often all you need to close your next deal!

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