The fabulous search engines and your city branding

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How to get more traffic from search engines to your location's website?

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The fabulous search engines and your city branding

  1. 1. The fabulous search engines and your city branding How site selectors can find you using Google by Dr. Balazs Csorjan, investment promotion specialist 2016 edition
  2. 2. [NOTE] These slides are designed not to present but to read as a document. Switch to Fullscreen View, please!
  3. 3. Search engines and economic development? You may ask: why is it important to make your location’s website viewable on Google? To the answer, step back a little bit. Site selection is not a simple job. Site selectors are corporate professionals, they know nothing about competing investment destinations and probably do site selection once and last in their lifetime. Maybe they have professional site selection consultant, maybe not. Anyway, they have to collect information about 10-20 locations, have to analyze, rank them and have to present it to the board of the company. Collecting information - believe or not, but many site selectors search on the Internet for useful information. I don’t say they make decisions exclusively on web data, but if you are not viewable for these web searches, you miss a great opportunity to promote your location.
  4. 4. Being viewable on Google (Bing) means: reaching the top positions on search result list. Let’s start with a general summary in 3 minutes: http://youtu.be/hF515-0Tduk (or see the embedded video on next slide) … and after that let’s see the details. Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
  5. 5. Find your keywords First of all: your site selectors find your location’s page based on keyword searches. Practically, they type keywords into Google’s search box. Your task is to find out, what keywords are related to your location, and optimize your web pages for these keywords. Will potential investors use your city’s name? Or your country name? Does target industry matter? (I hope you have target industries). I must say, this is the most difficult part of the process. A helpful tool to make your tips numeric is Google Trends: type your keyword tips into the search box, and Google Trends show you the search activity of the keywords. Type more keyword combination and select the most active. E.g: “swedish wood” has larger search activity than “sweden wood” or “swedish forestry”. It means, if you are an investment promotion agency in Sweden and would like to talk to English-speaking wood processing companies, “swedish wood” keyword combo is an option for your wood processing related general page. Bad news: you need keywords for your wood processing labor market page, for wood processing property page and so on.
  6. 6. SEO elements Title: each page on your website has titles. Involve specific keywords/phrases into them. E.g: if your web page is about the local wood processing education, your title could be “The highest ranked swedish wood processing education” (supposing your location has a really good education). The title is very important element of SEO: you have to write for Google and for web surfers - they will read your title on the search result list, so your title has to convince them to click on it and read more on your page. body texts: on your website, all your words matter. If your page is about swedish wood processing education, than talk about it, and involve your specific keyword combo into the text - plus, explain, why is it “the highest ranked” in Sweden... incoming links represent the importance of your page. Strong online presence means more incoming links to your location’s website. E.g if the Swedish Ministry of Education’s website points to your wood processing education page, you won. The reputation of referring sites and the words in links (anchor text) is also important. Nice, but how to get incoming links, increasing your website’s web presence?
  7. 7. The art of link building The classical way of link building starts with identifying of potential partner sites which are willing to link to your website. The simplest way to do it: explore who links to your competing location’s website, to national (target) industry association website, or to your location’s leading business park’s website etc. In other words: copy the good link building job of others, oh yes. (You can find the good workers quickly: just search for your keyword combo, and the top3 hits have done a good job). For identifying potential partner sites, use Open Site Explorer: simply type your competing location’s website etc. into the search box, and OSE shows you the partner sites. After identifying partner sites (probably more hundred independent websites) contact them politely and ask them to link on your site. You need an intern from the local college, I guess. After the old school link building tactic, lets see something new. The new way of link building is social media marketing. I tell you why.
  8. 8. The importance of social media marketing Content or social media marketing is essential in the online visibility of your location: “content is king”. With a strong online presence, your website can reach many incoming links from content sites and engage site selectors. Online support of site selections: social media marketing for economic development means information sharing about your destination’s business environment, based on your location expertise. Site selectors will love it, and you can link to your location’s web pages from your content. (E.g: if you write a blog post about Northern European wood processing locations, you can highlight yourself.) All in all, provide useful and interesting information for site selection teams via Economic development blogging SlideShare presentations YouTube channels
  9. 9. Economic development blogging A type of pull marketing: provide useful content for site selectors about your business destination. How to start? Create destination-related content, based on your location expertise. The good news: you know much more about your location, than your investors. Build on it: talk about the different aspects of a new manufacturing site, involving local labour market and industrial properties, local regulations etc. On site selection questionnaire, there are empty fields for these information, and site selectors will love your help. Don’t forget to highlight your location in blog post, as an option for investors. For those who are more interested in economic development blogging, I created a detailed SlideShare presentation.
  10. 10. ‘Instant’ presentations on SlideShare? Site selectors have to present their results to their board. Help them: collect and organize data about your destination, and provide copiable slides. Provide interesting and useful information about your destination - if you are a region in France, talk about the French (target industry related) labour market, infrastructure and regulations. Learn more about economic development slidesharing here.
  11. 11. YouTube channels YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine of the world. Your short, focused stories tell more about your location and support your marketing efforts. learn more >>
  12. 12. About My name is Dr. Balazs Csorjan. I’m dealing with investment promotion since 2002, as a colleague of the Hungarian national investment promotion agency and later as an independent investment promotion specialist, taking part in 350+ site selection projects. On my blog you can learn about city/regional-level investment promotion, economic development blogging, slidesharing and YouTube channel practices.
  13. 13. Thnx a lot! It may be a general and short overview of the topic. Email your focused question to csorjan @ businessparkinstitute.com and I try to answer it.

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