In light of the positive feedback received on the previous blog post, I’ve composed a 19-point blog usability checklist that should be useful to any blogger or a newbie webmaster looking for a practical way to evaluate and improve the usability of their blog/website.

What is Blog Usability?

Better User Experience Is The Key

Blog usability refers to the ease of use and accessibility of a blog for both the author and the reader. A usable blog is one that is user-friendly, intuitive, and efficient that allows both the author and the reader to perform their tasks.

As a reader, you want to have a seamless and enjoyable experience when visiting a blog. That’s why blog usability is crucial.

With a user-friendly design and layout, you can quickly find what you’re looking for and dive into the content without any hindrances.

Website Usability and Optimization Checklist

1. Does Your Site Have an ‘About Us’ page?

must have About Us Page

The importance of this element (About Us Page) is succinctly explained by usability expert, Jakob Neilsen:

It’s a simple matter of trust. that the readers more want to know about the blogger who is running the blog and wiring for them along with giving them information.

This practice is also usable after so many google updates and for EAT purposes which are called expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness of the content.

2. Does Your Site Have A ‘Contact Us Page?

must have Contact Us Page

This page will be the first port of call for readers wanting to connect with you. Bloggers do tend to include contact information, but often as part of their ‘About’ page.

This is quite counter-intuitive for the user. For example, if you wanted to ask someone for their email address, would you do it by asking: “Could you tell me about yourself?”

3. Are Your Headlines (H-Tags) Give A Meaningful Preview of the Article?

Vague headlines like “You Won’t Believe This” or “Some Thoughts on Politics” are bad usability and about as gripping as a waxed floor. Your headlines should encapsulate why a reader should pay attention to your article, and if possible, preview what they will find there.

4. Is The Function of Each Element on Your Site Obvious to Your Target Audience?

An Alexa widget on a cooking blog is bad usability. In fact, Alexa, Technorati, and any other blogger/webmaster widgets are usability stumbling blocks on any site not about blogging/webmaster topics.

Two popular WordPress plug-ins I think well and truly break this usability principle in all contexts are the Share This! social media plug-in and Inline Related Post.

Share This! is an incredibly ambiguous term. It could mean any number of things, and when a reader isn’t sure what clicking on something will do, chances are she will not do it. My advice would be to stick with specific buttons for each social media service instead.

The inline-related post creates a short box with an internal link to your relevant article within your own blog. You can custom add another article URL but you can also leave it to auto-suggestion.

Pro Tip: You should know how to Declutter You Site.

5. Is It Clear Where Each of the Links Will lead?

5. Is It Clear Where Each of the Links Will lead

Regular readers will know this is a habit I’m trying to develop over time. If you’re using keyworded anchor text it should serve as a mini-preview of what you’re linking to.

6. Is Your Text Readable? (Good Readability Score)

If you suspect visitors are not thoroughly reading your articles, perhaps because their comments indicate only a partial understanding of what you’ve written. It may be because your text is difficult to read.

This is an endemic problem because many bloggers only read their posts as they’re composing them and not once they’re published. I’d suggest getting a few friends to look at your posts and describe whether or not it is easy to read for them.

If you’re using a small font, or a serif font like Georgia, or Times New Roman, then your content may be difficult to read. I personally use Poppins or raleway font.

7. Do Your Posts Contain Whitespace or Images?

It’s important to use frequent paragraph breaks in web writing. Images will also make your posts easier to read. Each post is a wall of text in its unformatted form.

8. Are You Making A Good Use of Your Sub-Headings?

Sub-headings work to signpost your logic, to give readers an angle to approach the following paragraph, and to lay out your sequence of ideas.

Sub-headings don’t make it easier to scan, they make it easier to read. If you want readers only to scan your posts, don’t format them.

9. Do Your Posts Fluidly Allow Readers to Comment When Finished?

Most blog designs readily accommodate this but I still encounter some that don’t. If your comment link is under your headline, it’s in the wrong place.

Place it at the end of your blog post.

10. Is Your Feed Icon Above the Fold?

10. Is Your Feed Icon Above the Fold

There’s a compelling reason to adhere to this standard: you will get more subscribers. Your feed button should be prominent, but it should never insult the intelligence of your readers: (I’ve occasionally seen feed buttons as big as a child’s hand!).

11. Does Your Header Image or Logo Link to Your Main Page (Home Page)?

Many readers expect that clicking on your header will return them to your main page, and it’s become something of a web standard.

If this is not possible with your design if your header image is the background for a cell. Then make sure there is a prominent link home near your header.

Even if your header already links back to your main page, I think an additional text link is a good usability.

12. Is There Padding Between Your Embedded Images and Text Reasonable?

Text running into the sides of images is a nightmare for readers. Sentences are supposed to end in full stops, not pictures of boats.

13. Are There Wide Margins Around Your Posts?

Margins around the text are fundamental to readability. If your blog posts run almost into your sidebar, or to the side of the screen, you should make your post column narrower.

14. Are Your Posts Less Than 2/3 A Screen-Length Wide?

Contrary to popular belief, wide post margins are not good for readability. There is a reason newspaper columns are as narrow as they are. Compare, for example, the readability of Blogging Tips with that of Signal vs. Noise.

15. Are You Making Your Best Posts Easily Accessible?

Readers shouldn’t have to excavate killer posts from your archives. Further, I think any blogger who’s not highlighting their best stuff is selling short the long-term effort they’ve put into building their blog. 

A quick list of Featured or Highlight Posts: it shows readers your site is packed with value, and it will ensure your best posts continue to generate comments and inbound links.

And it will establish that the sum of your blog is more than just your most recent posts.

16. Are Your Color Choices or Combination Conducive to Usability?

The color scheme of your website should have a good readability color contrast. Both colors should blend into each other in such a way that one doesn’t disturb the beauty of the other. Your text should be clear and readable.

17. Are Your Links Easy to Pick Out?

A good practical tip to ensure this is to double-format your links. They could be a different color to the plain text and underlined, or bold and underlined, for example.

Often one form of formatting isn’t enough (for example, links only in different colors can be hard to pick out if the color is similar to that of your plain text. Underlined links not in a different color can look like underlined plain text, also.)

Link and text color must have a prominent difference.

18. Are Your Images Meaningful In Their Context?

Including images in your posts is not good in and of itself. If they don’t relate, at least tangentially or metaphorically to your content, they will distract readers. Images should capture the essence of your content, or create an appropriate atmosphere for consuming it.

19. Are Your Essential Navigational Elements Easily Accessible?

The biggest culprit in breaking this usability principle is what I call the ‘footer ribbon’ (though perhaps designers have another name for it).

It’s everywhere — even the ProBlogger redesign! The ‘footer ribbon’, if you have one, is just above your footer, beneath the content, and usually contains navigational elements, categories, and other important stuff.

To me, this is like throwing a party and serving finger food under the table instead of on it. How many readers will look for important navigational functions in the nether regions of your main page?

My advice would be to simplify your sidebar, move only those footer ribbon elements that are essential into your sidebar, and delete the ribbon.

In my case, I use related posts in my sidebar.

Case Study

Have I Missed Anything?

If I included every possible usability gaffe in this post it would be gargantuan, so I’ve tried to strip it down to the most essential principles. If you’ve got ticks next to all these, your site should have a good level of usability. I have experienced progress from these changes and I’m sure you will also get benefit.

If I’ve missed anything important, or if you’d like advice on implementing some of these principles, please let me know in the comments section of this post.

Pro Tip: If your blog have such usability there would be a higher chance to attract more links, Subs and Engagement.

People Also Ask

What is usability in SEO?

In the world of online business, SEO is a critical tool for attracting visitors to your website by ensuring that it appears in search results. On the other hand, usability is focused on understanding and optimizing the behavior of visitors once they are on your site, with the ultimate objective of increasing the conversion rate.

What is a good usability?

Website usability refers to the ease and efficiency with which users can interact with a website to accomplish their desired tasks. A website with good usability allows users to complete tasks quickly and with minimal stress and errors, which ultimately leads to user satisfaction with the website.

For companies creating websites, ensuring good usability is crucial for attracting and retaining customers.

Similar Posts