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Posts Tagged ‘Web Statistics’

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…)

Communication Loops

Economic Development communications programs require not only a focus on investment attraction, but also on stakeholder communications. To visualize the process, think of your Economic Development Organization as the central point in a figure 8.

On one side you need to communicate with your internal stakeholders, the funding organizations and the political, administrative, community and business leaders who need to understand the activities of your organization. On the other side you need to communicate with prospects, attract investment and generate leads.

In both cases, communications go out and, due to the nature of the Internet and two-way communications channels, statistics and feedback come back in to your department. The figure 8 represents the feedback loops. Using web statistics, you can measure how well each loop is performing and disseminate relevant information to the opposite loop.

External Feedback Loop

The primary function of an investment-attraction website is to attract leads by means of interactive communications.

As noted in an earlier article in the Tech Trends series, “Tips and Tactics for Measuring Results,” (March 24, 2009), an important (more…)