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Posts Tagged ‘Web Properties’

Best Practice #7: Measuring Results for Economic Development Web Strategies

Many economic development departments throughout North America have become as adept as private-sector companies in adopting the variety of marketing tools and technologies available on the web. There’s one area in which the ED sector lags, however — measuring results.

Whereas a company selling products from its website will instinctively install tools for reporting conversion rates or sales by region, many ED organizations do not regularly measure or analyze their web statistics. Lack of time is a frequently cited reason. Also, managers may be reluctant to see their programs evaluated primarily according to numerical scores, since the process of investment or tourism attraction takes a long time and often produces results indirectly.

The EDO’s Purpose of Tracking Data

But the purpose of gathering website data for an ED organization is more subtle. It’s not the same as in the private sector; you aren’t trying to report how many shirts you sold this month. What you are trying to accomplish is continuous improvement in your marketing methods, and a continuously rising return on your investment of resources.

As we have discussed, the Number 1 best practice for economic development online is to develop and maintain a cohesive, focused, goal-oriented and measurable web strategy (see “Best Practice #1: The Economic Development Web Strategy”, published (more…)

Best Practice #4: Specialty Websites and Portals

Not long ago, investment attraction websites were designed with the idea that one site fit all. But that’s not true any longer.

Creative Economic Development Web Initiatives

Multi-channel web marketing has come to the forefront quite quickly in recent months. This has led to some remarkably creative initiatives by economic development departments all over North America. But, it’s also causing some headaches.

As mentioned in our article of August 5, 2010, EDOs are finding themselves managing several websites in part because of the need to build web properties for social media purposes. But there’s another reason.

Multiple Target Audiences Drive the Need for Specialty Websites

In today’s creative economy EDC’s must deliver messages with carefully defined purposes. Their targets are people as much as they are industries; people with specific questions on their mind. They won’t be attracted by a general purpose website containing much information that (more…)

Best Practice #2: The Competitive Economic Development Website

The very rapid evolution of web-based economic development – or Economic Development 2.0 as we call it – means that your website no longer stands alone as a channel. It is only one part of the broader web channel which now typically consists of multiple web properties. What is the new and evolving role of the economic development website? What part of the job of investment attraction and business retention and entrepreneurship does it have to deliver on?

As discussed in our previous article, the Number 1 best practice for an economic development web program is to create a strategy to ensure that all web marketing is cohesive, focused, goal-oriented and measurable. The Number 2 best practice is to ensure that your main website is competitive.

At the Heart of the Economic Development Web Strategy

The economic development website is at the centre of your solar system of web properties. The planetary sites include social media services, niche sites, partnership sites and related media such as web video.

Some web users will find your municipality by keyword searches and will land directly on the main website; others will find your website after gravitating to one or more of your affiliated planetary sites first and then following the links back to your (more…)

Best Practice #1: The Economic Development Web Strategy

It’s hard for economic development organizations to stay on message these days. Harder than ever, in fact.

Online Social Trends are Being Embraced by EDOs

A wide variety of new web properties have been launched and broadly embraced in recent years. Web properties such as Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Wikipedia, LinkedIn and Twitter, to name just a few, have radically redefined how everyone uses the Internet in their search for information and entertainment.

Many economic development organizations have recognized the potential of riding this latest trend in social behaviour and have started their own representative sites on one or more web properties in an effort to reach a broader audience or a different audience.

Managing the Evolving Arsenal of Websites can be Disorienting

Suddenly EDOs are finding themselves managing three, four or more websites that have all grown organically in a mostly ad-hoc fashion. All of them need tender loving care and feeding that costs staff time or supplier fees. While they may attract visitors, members, views or (more…)