Posts Tagged ‘Economic Development Website’
All economic developers understand how important it is to publish data on their websites that will attract and inform site selectors. There are many examples of Economic Development organizations that have excellent websites: visually engaging, interactive, full of relevant information and providing viewers with all kinds of useful data.
Great websites theoretically drive great traffic and great results. But which Economic Development organization knows who actually views their engaging visuals, interacts with their website, reads their information and scours their data? Not many.
While many EDOs have come to understand the value – in fact, the necessity – of using the web to display data and seek out interested audiences, many have not yet realized that the role of websites has evolved (once again) to a new advanced level.
This newest evolution means that investment attraction sites are no longer just conduits for broadcasting or answering questions. Website analytics now make it possible to turn the same excellent websites into generators of investment leads – Now, isn’t that good news!
Not long ago, the prime purpose of an investment attraction website was to provide convenient and comprehensive information to visitors, wherever they were. That purpose is still there, but the bar has risen for today’s economic developers.
What counts now is not just web communication, but results. The first purpose of an investment attraction website in 2013 is to generate measurable results in the form of leads.
Your website is the first stop for prospects
The website is the first place that location professionals and business leaders go for information about a community and its economic assets. That makes a website one of the best resources for generating qualified leads, assuming the website is able to identify who those visitors are, where they came from and what they are looking for.
Free tools such as Google Analytics are available for understanding your website’s traffic and can provide useful information up to a point. They can show traffic volumes and direction but the data is aggregated and so does not translate into investment attraction leads.
Is your economic development website successful?
You could answer that question from many points of view – design, content, ease of use, visitor response – but the real answer depends on whether the site helps your department find new sources of economic growth for your community.
To determine your site’s success on that basis, and to improve your lead generation success rate, you need tools to help you understand your website’s traffic patterns.
If you can’t track your website interactions, you can’t determine if your website is working. You have no idea if it’s performing to capacity (or not) and whether the money you have spent is producing any results that matter.
Your website, by its very nature, can be a bottomless source of data about existing and potential economic drivers in your community and the effectiveness of your organization in meeting their needs. Mining this data, however, can be very challenging for EDOs with constrained budgets and staff. Various software options exist and it’s useful to understand the functionality and limitations as they apply to the economic development function.
Have you heard of GrowFL? If you are interested in economic gardening, you almost certainly have.
The Florida Economic Gardening Institute at the University o f Central Florida (www.growfl.com) has become an integral part of the State of Florida’s economic development strategy. Created in 2009, it became one of the earliest and most prominent organizations in the post-recessionary movement toward economic gardening. GrowFL has helped more than 400 companies create 1,400 new jobs statewide. (more…)
Have you seen the new economic development trend on the web? Communities are designing and publishing portals solely to attract one thing – not startups or branch plants or property purchases, but talent.
The Talent Attraction Portal
These specialized talent attraction portals are often spearheaded by business groups, but economic development departments are also taking active and prominent roles in them. As well they should, because there’s a need to maintain a connection between such portals and the community’s economic development strategy.
In February of this year, the Bloomington Technology Partnership in Indiana announced the launch of a social media and talent attraction portal designed to promote Bloomington’s emerging technology community and assist employers to fill open jobs. The portal, bloomingtontech.com, was created by the Bloomington Technology Partnership with the assistance of local consulting and web design firms.