18 Aug 2015








5 things your economic development website needs to attract more traffic

Alissa Sklar is the director of marketing for GIS Planning. She has extensive experience as a consultant, writer and educator in the fields of technology and communications. Dr. Sklar has a Ph.D. in Communications from the University of Massachusetts of Amherst, and has as worked closely with B2Bs and economic development agencies to assess, develop and implement social media strategies for business development.

Creative Commons license invisiblekid2007 economic development web trafficIf you've been trying to figure out why your economic development website isn’t getting much traffic, keeping visitors’ attention, or converting visits to actual investment, we’ve got some tips to help solve this issue.


Here are the five most common “missing links” in economic development website design, including tools to help you bridge the gaps and finally see some tangible returns from your online presence.


1- A mobile version. We've all experienced the frustration of trying to scroll and click on websites from our tablets or mobile phones. If you are like most people, you quickly give up on websites that can't accommodate the smaller touch screens we use when we are on the go. And since mobile has now overtaken fixed Internet access as predicted (see chart below), it's more critical than ever. What about mobile in economic development? Mobile offers a considerable competitive advantage in a world where site selectors and investors are always on the go. Our analytics show that as much as 25% of web traffic on client sites comes from mobile devices. If your economic development organization is not offering a mobile optimized website, including a fully featured, fully optimized GIS location analysis tool, you may be losing leads. 

Mobile vs. direct Internet access

2- Fast load times. If your website is too slow, prospects will click over to something else. Website visitors are notoriously impatient, and a delay of a few extra seconds can be all they need to leave. Use WebSiteTest.org for immediate, free assessments of how long your website takes to load from different locations around the country - or the world. Try it out not just on your home page, but also other important pages such as your GIS site selection web page. Our test consistently show our clients' ZoomProspector Enterprise applications load faster than competitor sites - often by 5 seconds and more.


3- Clear contact information. This is one of my biggest pet peeves - economic development website scavenger hunts! It is imperative that you make it easy for your prospective investors and site selectors to contact you. Contact phone numbers and emails should be clearly accessible from links on every single page. Management team bios should include LinkedIn profile links or other contact information. Contact us forms should be clearly indicated. Call to action buttons should be built in to relevant pages.


4- Interactive data built into web pages. 97% of site selectors research locations online, often before they pick up a phone or email to let you know your location is in the running. So you need to ensure they can easily access the data they seek for their long and short lists: demographics, population, labor force, business and industry information, infrastructure, incentives and more. Our five Intelligence Components embed this searchable data directly on to the the web pages investors search. You can see some live examples here, here and here


5- Thoughtful integration of social media. Congratulations - you've got Twitter, LinkedIn and perhaps Facebook icons on your web page. How very 2010. But you probably want to be using them in more thoughtful, practical ways. Something that feels a little more 2015. Think about how your social feeds and web page can interact and feed off each other. Is your Twitter feed embedded anywhere on your website? Are you using your data tools to generate interesting and useful content for your posts? Are you posting properties of the day? Businesses of the week? The goal is to both streamline your workload by leveraging information across the different platforms AND mine your data for valuable content. 


Contact us today to know about how ZoomProspector Enterprise and our Intelligence Components can work for your economic development organization.



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