Category Archives: Business Development

Ask SCORE: How can I improve my website visitor’s experience?

Creating a new website for your business is a big undertaking. It can take months to design, code, write and launch a professional site. And, that’s not to mention the maintenance of your website once it’s launched and the ongoing SEO, or search engine optimization, that must be in play to make your website discoverable online. 

After working hard to bring your website to life, the last thing your business can afford to do is frustrate your visitors and drive them away due to a poor user experience.

“Good design, usability, and user experience are more important than ever in website development,” says SCORE mentor and technology professional, Matthew Krieger. “It’s a constant fight for visitors’ attention—any delay, complexity, or friction whatsoever could prompt users to leave your site. I often see companies put too many barriers in front of customers—overly complex signup processes, excessively strict forms, surveys with too many questions, etc. These things hurt the engagement process and can result in a lost sale.”

There are two simple steps you can take to provide your website visitors with a positive user experience.

Pay attention to the loading speed of your pages.


Today, consumers expect an instantaneous response when navigating through a website. As a result, Google wants to see fast load times and takes page load speed into account when determining a website’s rank in a search result. 

As of late 2019, Google considered a page load speed up to two seconds as acceptable, though prefers speeds under a half-second. You can check the page load speed of your website by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. 

According to a May 2020 article published by Nielsen Norman Group, page load delays of just one second are enough to interrupt a person’s consciousness and delays of just a few seconds are enough to seriously hurt the user experience of a website. 

By working with a web developer to improve your website’s page load speed, you’ll create a better user experience and, over time, increase your site’s ranking in organic search results. 

Create quality content that’s clear and direct.


Once you get your visitors to your website and, thanks to a fast page load speed, they don’t bounce right off of your site, a new challenge emerges – keeping the visitor on your website. 

The average time spent on a website by a visitor typically ranges from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. That means you have a very limited window of time to capture a visitor’s attention and provide them with information about your company, product and services. 

Create content that gets right to the point of what you do and why you do it. Visitors won’t spend time sifting through lots of content to find what they need. Make it easy for people to find your site, get the information they need and get in touch with you to learn more. 

Learn more about how to create clear, direct and effective web content by reading this SCORE article, How to Create Great Web Content. And here is a quote from its author, Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media. 

Use your website to enhance your web content.

“Your website supports your content, like the frame to a picture. Make sure your website is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. Mobile phones now account for almost half the time people spend online, so chances are good customers are viewing your web content on a tiny screen. Simple text with lots of breaks will help make it readable. Use mobile-first design to create a site that’s easy to use on any device. Finally, since users won’t stick around for a slow website to load, make sure your site is optimized for speed.”

A positive user experience is critical to the performance of your website. Employ an experienced web designer and developer with a strong grasp on the latest best practices for web design, page load speed and optimized content. 

Finding the right digital marketing partner is easier when you have an experienced professional mentor, like a SCORE mentor, by your side. A SCORE mentor will help you select the best digital marketing firm or consultant out there to support your business. With your mentor’s help, you will put your website in a position to be successful as you compete for the attention of online customers. 

Ask SCORE: How can I build a strong brand for my business?

By Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE 

If you do a Google search for “what is a brand,” you will find endless opinions from a wide variety of sources trying to nail down the definition. 

The truth is, a brand is an elusive, visceral concept, not a tangible asset. Its value is measured through the emotional connections between a businesses and its customers, not with hard numbers on a spreadsheet. And this is precisely why building a strong business brand can be one of the most challenging tasks for any business owner.

Strong business brands aren’t built overnight. 

Your company’s brand is represented by more than your logo or tagline. It’s the culmination of your interactions with your customers, your business’ core beliefs, how you present your company and yourself to the world – and every other aspect of how you do business. 

Ask SCORE: How can I get more customers? 

By Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE 

For many years, my business efforts were focused on helping client companies market their products and services. I was an advertising agency creative director for five years. On day one, there were just two of us. Five years later, we had a lot of clients and a team of 36. 

Our sales and marketing efforts worked. When the owner closed the agency for medical reasons, I created a virtual ad agency. Six months later I had seven clients, all on the list of the largest companies headquartered in Orange County, CA. That was my goal, and I reached it. 

Working with companies that were large and small, I learned many things. One of the most important was that entrepreneurs need a bullet-point marketing plan. They need to focus some of their energy on finding new customers and the rest on delivering excellent products and services. 

Short answers to the following questions will give you an excellent marketing plan.

Ask SCORE: What’s the best way to communicate with my customers?

by Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE

You’ve seen people so absorbed with their smartphones that they appear oblivious to what’s going on around them. True, everyone is entitled to a bit of privacy, and perhaps that message or video is really, really important. However, spending too much time in a “heads-down” mode can be off-putting and, sometimes dangerous.

Many entrepreneurs, particularly those who work from home, operate their small businesses much the same way when they rely too heavily on email to communicate with clients. Email is convenient, particularly for work related issues and updates, but numerous studies have come to the same conclusion — customers want to be treated as people, not as return email addresses. 

When you take a technology-centric approach to communication, you’re missing an opportunity to build a relationship with your customers. Don’t you think they would rather do business with someone they know? Wouldn’t you? 

Ask SCORE: What is the best way to market a niche product?

by Ken Sethney, Kitsap SCORE

Marketing a niche product means that you’re not selling to everyone. You are focused on a group of people who are most likely to buy your products or services. 

Having a narrow pool of potential customers comes with challenges and ultimately means more work on your part to find those people who fall within your niche. However, marketing a niche product also has advantages once you identify your customers. 

Successfully marketing a niche product starts with an in-depth understanding of your potential customer’s wants and needs.

When you are targeting a small group of buyers, you need to understand who is most likely to buy your product and how your product can provide solutions to their needs.

Start with a bit of market research. Google can help you find lots of useful information. You can also visit the Kitsap Regional Library and speak to an adult services librarian. The library website can give you access to valuable information. 

WorkSource Kitsap Can Help You Solve Your Hiring Needs.

WorkSource Kitsap is hosting a Virtual Job Fair for Kitsap County businesses that have positions open. The event is set for 30 March 2021, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Please complete the interest form via the link below. Once complete, we will register your business on Brazen.com where you will complete your “virtual booth”. We will hold weekly information sessions to offer assistance for the setup of the event.

Limited booths available. We have 50 booths that can host multiple staff from your company. Again, this is not a link for job seekers, that will come in the following week.

This link will lead you to a fillable form to express interest in participating.

Should I advertise in a down economy?

by Ken Sethney, Volunteer Business Mentor, SCORE Kitsap

A recent article on money.com dealt with a couple of difficult questions: “What Is a recession, and are we in one?” Three experts answered the questions. From a technical perspective we’re not there yet, but we could be very soon. 

OK, fine. I’m not a college professor, a manager of economic research, or an investment strategies advisor, but from my perspective, we’re smack dab in the middle of a recession. The question we all face is what do we do about it?

If you own a business, you want to cut costs, but where? For some companies the decision is easy… the first cut they make is advertising. But you’re not so sure. Continue reading