Archive for the ‘Planning an Effective Economic Development Website’ Category
In a difficult economic climate, an economic development organization must invest its money wisely and obtain a return on that investment. When it comes to building or improving a website, your budget should address two factors:
- The creation and continuous improvement of the website itself
- The promotion of the website, so you get the most out of it.
Sadly, many website owners fall short on point, never building the kind of traffic and the kind of results that lie just within their reach.
We explored the first factor in the article, “Your Economic Development Website Budget,” published December 8, 2009. Today we will look at considerations for what should be included in the budget to promote the website effectively.
Promotion via Traditional Marketing
By now, everyone has been trained to put their website address on everything that is printed, from business cards to brochures to advertisements. That is fundamental but still counts, so keep doing that!
Let’s take it one step further. Many economic development organizations are successfully transitioning communication of information to their website. More and more data, more and more information, more and more pictures, stats, charts, maps are all available (more…)
Every economic development website is unique and its budget will depend on the municipality’s priorities and circumstances. Nevertheless there are best practices that can be applied universally to help managers plan their website budgets.
Relate Dollars to Goals
Expenditures must be planned realistically so that the website can be an enabler for your department in achieving its goals. And those goals must be consistent with the municipality’s strategic economic development plan.
Budgets for economic development websites in North America can and do vary by a factor of 1,000 — but a website’s success does not depend as much on the level of investment as on the appropriate allocation of expenditures under the headings of your economic development goals.
Plan for Continuous Improvement
Technology solutions such as websites, by their nature, are designed to grow and evolve. Your economic-development website will require upgrades as new functions and capabilities become mainstream, as your needs change, and as the technology itself changes. It is important to remember when planning your budget that the website will always be a fluid solution, one that requires a continuous improvement (more…)
The job of an economic development department is to increase the tax base by attracting and facilitating business growth. Why does the department need an investment attraction website to do this?
How can the department justify an investment in developing or enhancing a website, when funds for new initiatives are so hard to come by? In other words, what is the ROI?
The answer lies in articulating the critical role of economic development, realizing the unique tasks that can be supported by a website to carry out that role, and then evaluating the success of your site in supporting those tasks.
Advantages and Risks
First of all, economic development expenditures are justified by the need for a community to expand its tax base and re-invest in the quality of life for all who live there. An increased tax base is made possible by new and/or expanding businesses. They enable a community to sustain (more…)
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