After working hard to make your website easier to find in online searches, the last thing you want is to drive visitors away because of a poor user experience after they’ve arrived.

“Good design, usability, and user experience are more important than ever in website development,” shares 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.”

Here are two basic things you can do to help give your website visitors a positive experience:

Pay attention to the loading speed of your pages.

Findings released by Akamai Technologies, Inc. revealed that nearly half of Internet users expect website pages to load in less than two seconds and 40 percent are likely to abandon a  page if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. If your website pages load slowly, your business could be missing out on potential sales—and that could hurt your business’s bottom line.

According to Krieger, “Page load time and, perhaps more importantly, page responsiveness are very important to visitor perception and can ultimately impact engagement. Additionally, Google considers page performance in their ranking algorithm. There’s a balance to be struck between the desire to include advertisements, analytics mechanisms, and other page widgets (all of which can benefit the business) and the necessity of creating a fast site and a good experience for the user.”

Be direct and clear with your content. According to Nielsen Norman Group, “On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.” To help make sure your readers are taking away what you want them to know about your company, products, and services, you need to get to the point. They don’t have time to sift through endless blocks of text or waste time on irrelevant content. Make it easy for readers to find what they want by breaking text into sections with clearly defined headings and subheadings. Also, give your web page text some white space to make it less cluttered and easier for visitors to read.

“A website’s information architecture—the art and science of structuring and presenting digital information to achieve good usability—is important to consider when developing your content. Furthermore, the need for a clear and focused message is greater than ever,” explains Krieger. “Given the overwhelming amount of digital content competing for people’s time, delivering value quickly should be a focus.”

Besides these tips, there are also numerous other ways to improve the performance of your website. If you’re looking for insight on that or other aspects of marketing, reach out to SCORE for guidance and expert resources.

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Santa Maria First Impressions: A Warm Welcome into a Passionate, Expanding Community

My familiarity with Santa Maria was during my career search and interview for the position of the Economic Development Director with the Chamber. Intrigued by the beautiful land, weather and people, I decided to take a leap, and be a part of Santa Maria’s community in January, taking on the position of Economic Development Director at the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Santa Maria has proven to be what my first impressions were. Since my arrival to Santa Maria and this position, I have found this city to be full of individuals with a huge heart and soul with an immense pride for their home. These first few months have been a great opportunity for me to meet with many businesses and individuals.

I have learned a great deal in my fact finding and cultural experience of this area. I found many people stay in Santa Maria their whole lifetime, while others leave and find themselves coming back to their familiar home. For the most part, the community is strong and passionate about their city and it’s surroundings.

I love my work! As Economic Development Director, I am fortunate to work with our business community, listening to their needs and finding help or solutions keeping them here, attracting new businesses to our community, ultimately helping small to large businesses call Santa Maria home.

There are many aspects that make Santa Maria what it is, agriculture, manufacturing, light industrial, and retail. What I am most impressed with, is that Santa Maria business owners love their community so much that the risk they took of opening their doors here was totally worth it and they couldn’t imagined doing it anywhere else.

Neda Zayer, Principal Planner for the City of Santa Maria talks about the Enos Ranch project in Santa Maria. The project is one of the exciting new business developments coming to Santa Maria.
Neda Zayer, Principal Planner for the City of Santa Maria talks about the
Enos Ranch project in Santa Maria. The project is one of the exciting new
business developments coming to Santa Maria.

There is currently a lot of development happening within the city, to name a few retailers, Ulta Beauty, Dicks Sporting Goods and Costco’s move with gasoline pumps! There continues to be more opportunity for growth making Santa Maria a city where everyone is happy to live, work and play in.

My involvement in Santa Maria during this time is exciting, and I love being in a city where my first impression was ‘spot on’. I’m excited to serve such a wonderful community continuing their culture of a huge heart and soul while strengthening community pride.

I am here as your business resource and welcome your calls and emails. I offer assistance to new & existing businesses in need. If you have an idea, or need help with opening your doors for business, whether through permitting, building, or other services, I am here to assist! I am always happy to welcome the opportunity to help you be as successful as possible. I feel fortunate for such a great opportunity to work with a fantastic City, Residential, Business community and a wonderful Chamber staff. Thank you so much for the warm welcome!

y1Suzanne Singh has been the Economic Development Director at the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce since January 2017. She previous served as President for the Rancho Santa Margarita Chamber of Commerce, where she successfully re-built & created a thriving organization by concentrating on attraction, retention, and support for the community and the businesses within the region. As Economic Development Director, Singh provides support for the businesses already in Santa Maria, while also sharing all Santa Maria has to offer with new businesses. She is passionate about working with the local community to continue to make Santa Maria a thriving place for business.