The fabulous search engines and your city branding
The fabulous search engines
and your city branding
How site selectors can find you using Google
by Dr. Balazs Csorjan, investment promotion specialist
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Search engines and
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.
Being viewable on Google (Bing) means: reaching the top positions on search
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):
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
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.
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
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?
The art of link
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
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.
The importance of
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
All in all, provide useful and interesting information
for site selection teams via
Economic development blogging
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.
‘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.
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 >>
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.
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.