3 Steps to a Better User Experience on Your Site

Trader Joe's Ad for Its Dish SoapToday I had a fight with Trader Joe’s dish soap. Those of you who know the TJ’s brand of dish soap can probably identify. You unscrew the top, and there’s this very stubborn aluminum sealant that you have to wrestle off to let the soap flow. The problem is, the soap bottle gives you no help at all. There’s no tab protruding off the edge to swiftly remove the sealant. You literally need tiny little elf hands or a pair of surgical tweezers to get any sort of traction.

After about two minutes of wrestling with it, I thought, How hard could it be for Trader Joe’s to have made one tiny tab to grab hold of – an improvement that would make a huge impact on the experience?

The thing about the user experience is that sometimes we, as product developers and marketers, are so close the product that we fail to see the obvious. Or maybe we just haven’t taken the time to look at the product from every possible angle.

Either way, we can’t forget to take the time to revisit the user experience time and time again throughout the lifecycle of the product. And yes, that means your website — the most important product you have on the Web. Let’s have a look at three simple steps you can take on your site now that can build a better user experience, shall we?

FAQ: How can I improve user experience on my website?

1. Navigate the Site

When’s the last time you did quality assurance on your site’s navigation? A “set it and forget it” attitude is a huge no-no for your site. Put yourself in the users’ shoes and take a spin.

First, is the navigation intuitive?

  • Make sure it’s easy for the user to get to the page and to go to other pages.
  • Make sure outbound links open up in a new window, so they are not taking the person completely off the site.

One example of an easy-to-navigate solution is having “breadcrumb” navigation, so the person knows where they are on the site at all times. Or, if you have a blog, a “related posts” plugin is nice to give the user additional suggestion for going deeper into the site.

Here is an example of breadcrumb navigation (named after the “Hansel and Gretel” concept of being able to find your way home):

Example of Breadcrumb Navigation on a Site

 Next, do all the links work? Make sure you don’t have any broken links internally or externally that are giving 404 errors.

Tools you can use to get a bird’s eye view of the site are:

  • Google Analytics to identify high-trafficked pages and other important page metrics (free).
  • Google Search Console “crawl error” report to find crawl errors on the site (free).
  • SEOToolSet’s Single Page Analyzer tool to find broken links on single Web pages (the 30-day money-back guarantee lets you give it a spin for a month free if you cancel prior to the end date).
  • Screaming Frog to get a big picture of the active and broken links on your site (free).

Of course, tools are great for efficiency’s sake, but they don’t replace the first-person experience. So don’t be afraid to get in there and look at your pages as your users do. You really want to get a feel of how they are experiencing the site to find glitches.

If you have a large site with many pages, you know the big project that’s ahead of you. Start with the most important pages to your business – landing pages that are intended to convert visitors, high-trafficked pages, and so on.

2. Review the Content

When’s the last time you read the content on your site? If you’re laughing, it’s probably time to put on those reading glasses and get to it. Some high-level things to look for:

  • Typos and grammatical errors.
  • Misinformation and factual errors.
  • Outdated information that’s no longer relevant.
  • Complicated language that can be simplified.

Next, look at the relevance and the freshness of the content for your site. If you have informational pages that were once hot topics but are now stale and moldy, think about your “evergreening” strategy.

Update the pages to make them something people would want to read today. And don’t forget to resubmit for Google to re-crawl it once it’s complete. In Bing, you do this through its Webmaster Tools.

Content isn’t just limited to your text. Look at the images and videos on your Web pages and ask:

  • Are they still in tune with your brand?
  • Do they look outdated?
  • Is there a way they can be improved with little effort?
  • Do the videos still play?
  • Are they positioned well on the Web page?

3. Ask for Feedback

When’s the last time you asked users what their experience was on your site? If you’ve ever been involved in the development or marketing of a site where what the CEO “likes” is the ultimate decision, it’s time for some outside perspective.

There’s lots of ways you can garner feedback about your website:

  • Organize focus groups with people in your industry, teams within your company and/or your target consumers. Each one of those groups will have different motivations and expectations of the site, so input from all gives you a “360-degree” view.
  • Send out surveys asking questions about the site and its performance. SurveyMonkey has a free option and works well.
  • Use a tool like CrazyEgg.com for visual heatmaps to figure out how people are actually using your site.
  • You can also use something like UserTesting.com for live tests from real users who provide feedback through recorded video.

Ready to improve your UX? Talk to us.

FAQ: How Can I Improve User Experience on My Website?

Optimizing user experience on your website is paramount to ensure its success. Search engine ranking will benefit from having a site that’s user-friendly. Here, we’ll provide essential tips on creating an engaging digital platform.

  1. Understand Your Audience

Understanding your audience is central to creating a superior user experience. Personas can help you better comprehend their preferences, needs, and problems so you can tailor your website specifically towards meeting those requirements.

  1. Mobile Optimization

At a time when mobile devices dominate internet browsing, responsive web design is vitally important in creating an excellent user experience across devices. Achieve this through adaptive websites that automatically adapt their layout depending on screen sizes, ensuring an enjoyable user journey across devices.

  1. Intuitive Navigation

Your website navigation must be simplified for ease of use by visitors, making it easier for them to locate what they’re searching for quickly. Avoid confusing visitors with too many choices by using clear labels and hierarchies with clear hierarchies. A clean and organized navigation menu is key to keeping users engaged.

  1. Faster Loading Times

Speed is of the essence when it comes to user experience. Slow-loading pages can drive visitors away. Optimize your website for speed by compressing images, using browser caching, and minimizing HTTP requests. You can utilize tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to identify areas for improvement.

  1. Quality Content

Relevant and high-quality content can enhance the user experience, engaging visitors while simultaneously keeping them on your website longer. Make sure your content is visually appealing, well structured, and free from errors for best results.

  1. Calls to Action (CTAs)

Strategically place CTAs throughout your website to guide users towards desired actions, such as signing up for newsletters or making a purchase. Use compelling language and design to draw attention to these elements.

  1. A/B Testing

Use A/B tests to improve user experiences on your website. A/B testing involves comparing two versions of your website in terms of engagement or conversion rates to determine which version excels the most. Make data-driven decisions to continuously optimize your site.

  1. Social Proof

Incorporate social proof elements, such as reviews, testimonials, and trust badges, to build credibility and trust with your audience. People are more likely to engage with a website that demonstrates a positive track record.

  1. Accessibility

Make your website accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. Comply with WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) to make your site usable by a wider audience.

  1. Continuous Monitoring

Finally, user experience is an ongoing process. Regularly monitor user behavior through analytics tools like Google Analytics. Analyzing data to quickly identify areas for improvement and take swift action to provide seamless user experiences.

Optimizing user experience on a website is a complex task that involves many moving parts, from understanding your audience to continuous improvement and data-driven strategies.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Improve User Experience on Your Website

  1. Define your target audience and create detailed user personas.
  2. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly with a responsive design.
  3. Simplify website navigation for an intuitive user experience.
  4. Optimize loading times through image compression and browser caching.
  5. Publish high-quality, error-free, and visually appealing content.
  6. Strategically place calls to action (CTAs) to guide user actions.
  7. Implement A/B testing to optimize site elements.
  8. Incorporate social proof elements for credibility.
  9. Ensure web accessibility in compliance with WCAG.
  10. Continuously monitor user behavior and analyze data for improvement.

This article was updated on November 17, 2023.

Jessica Lee is the founder and chief creative for bizbuzzcontent Inc., a marketing boutique that focuses on digital content strategy and professional writing services for businesses.

See Jessica's author page for links to connect on social media.

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4 Replies to “3 Steps to a Better User Experience on Your Site”

@Keri: Thanks for all the great info; super helpful and appreciate it! See you in SF?

404 errors not only ruin the user experience but are also bad from a search engine trust perspective. A great tool to find broken links is Link Tiger. It’s a manual process to go through and fix the links, but it’s worth it.

Hi Jessica, using eye tracking software to track is the most accurate way to check if a website has better user experience or not.

I took over operation of a forum, and discovered that on the home page of the site (that I never visited because I went straight to the forum) there was a bad typo! I used a free scan from CheckDog (http://checkdog.com/) to scan a few of my static pages for typos.

A cheap-and-dirty spell-check that I did on the forums was to go into Google Analytics and export the titles of all of the pages with traffic in the last year or two. I put the titles into Word in plain text and used its spelling checker. I went ahead and fixed forum thread titles so the site looked better at first glance in the SERPs and in browsing the site. Because that site was user generated content, and I didn’t have the time and money to run a scan of all the content, I only fixed the titles and static areas and left the rest alone. Not something that can be done in every case, but it worked for me.

Xenu is just for the PC, so Mac users may want to look at Screaming Frog as a crawler. There’s a nice outline of what both Xenu and Screaming Frog do at http://www.seomoz.org/blog/crawler-faceoff-xenu-vs-screaming-frog.


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