Category Archives: Websites

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. 

Best practices for building a winning website.

website developmentYour website is often the first impression a person has of your business. Is your website a good representation of your company – or does it miss the mark?

In this webinar presented by digital marketing expert Sherry Bonelli, you’ll learn what to consider and implement as you build or update your website.

View the Webinar

Viewing this webinar requires some basic information. This data is only used within SCORE and will not be distributed to any third parties. Continue reading

Ask These 5 Questions to Find Out If You Can Attract More Customers to Your Local Business by Updating Your Website

And Take These 5 Steps to Prepare for an Update…

by Lane Sennett, Online Website & Cloud Technology Specialist

The FIVE Questions

Here’s how to know if you need a website update:

  1. Just look at it!  Does it look modern like the websites you click on when you see something interesting?  Is it easy to look at?  And, how does it look on a mobile device?
  1. Is the information it provides up to date?  For your hours, location, offers, or services?
  1. Are the images or video’s recent?  Have you added any content in the last 30 days?
  1. Are you hearing any comments or complaints about how your website works or its content?Ask your staff – what have they heard and what do they think?
  1. Or, is it just crickets?  No comments, and not sending you any customers?  Is it only a brochure that tells people your phone number and services without a call to action?

If you answered NO, to 2 or more of these questions – then your business can benefit from a website update, redesign or total overhaul.  There is so much more your website can do for your business, and for the marketing dollars you are spending on it.

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Writing Content for Your Website

by Susan Shoemaker, Principal-Project Manager, Peninsula Web Design

The single most common challenge for creating a website is writing good content. Why is this an issue? We encounter this speed bump with almost every website project.

The written content of your website impacts the performance of your website. This is how both the search engines and users find you, and determine if you have what they want. For your website to produce results for your business it first has to be found, and then it must connect with the user, in order for that person to be inspired to reach out to you.

Writing content for a website takes effort.

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Ready to start an online store?

With all the news about people making a ton of money online, many aspiring entrepreneurs are excited at the prospect of starting an ecommerce store. However, many people don’t think through all the things that they need to consider before they even start the process of building an ecommerce site.

Here are eight things to consider before starting an online store.

1. What Products Are You Going to Sell?

One of the most important decisions is determining which products you will sell on your online store. Your best bet is to start small – with a few select products that are based around a specific niche, i.e. breastfeeding products, scuba diving gear, hiking products, travel gadgets, hemp products, etc. Start with a handful of products in that niche – you can always add more products to your store as you grow. Check out your competition and see who you’re up against.

Be sure to pick a niche that you’re personally interested in. If you’re not interested in what you’re selling, you will quickly lose your passion.

Also, look for unique products that can’t be bought at Target, Walmart or other big brand stores — you will never be able to compete with them on price or promotion.

For instance, when I had an ecommerce site, I searched for mom- or parent-invented products that weren’t available through mass market stores. Plus, these types of product manufacturers are typically more willing to work with you on terms and drop shipping (which we will talk about in a little bit.) You can also look for innovative products to sell on crowdfunding sources like Indiegogo or Kickstarter.

When you determine which niche products you’re going to sell, see if there are industry associations, trade websites or magazines. If so, join, follow and subscribe. Also, if there are product tradeshows around your product niche, attend these trade shows to discover new products, speak with the manufacturer reps directly and learn more about the industry in general. Often at the tradeshows you will be able to negotiate better pricing or drop shipping arrangements – especially if the manufacturer is launching a new product and they’re looking for new distributors.  Continue reading

3 Easy Ways to Up Your Google Analytics Game

Being able to make data-driven decisions on customer data in real time should be every business’s goal. As businesses collect data from their websites, digital analytics can give them the power to transform that data into useful knowledge they can act on.

When digital analytics is done right, it will help you and your organization improve online marketing effectiveness, generate new customer insights, drive revenue and ultimately make better business decisions.

But getting there is hard.  By now, you may have heard of Google Analytics (GA) and hopefully, you have a GA account set up for your small business. Google Analytics is a great resource for small businesses because it’s free and easy to get started. But just because you are collecting data does not mean that the data is ready to inform your business decisions.

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Ask SCORE | How can I make business blogging more manageable?

According to Hubspot, B2B marketers who use blogs receive 67% more leads than those who don’t. Also, companies who provide relevant content in their blogs get 97% more links to their websites because readers share it.

These seem like very strong incentives to start and maintain a business blog.

Blogging can be an important part of a small business content marketing strategy. It can help you by increasing your online authority, building trust and credibility as readers see your expertise and knowledge of your industry.

It can also improve your chances of ranking better in online searches. Websites that generate new content regularly are favored over those that do not.  Continue reading

Should you design your own small business website?

website concept diagram hand drawing on tablet pc

If you’re starting a new business, you can quickly get caught up in developing the visual aspects of your concepts. Branding and having a web presence are important (and exciting!), and there are thousands of designers out there who have created beautiful products for their clients.

But do you need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a web design made from scratch? If you’re bootstrapping, that kind of investment might be out of the question right away.

If you’re not sure if you should spend money on a web designer or DIY, think about these three situations where doing it yourself could be a great option.  Continue reading