10 Smart Ideas for Your Economic Development Website<br />
Your Hosts <br />Peter Brown<br />Director of Creative Services, Atlas Advertising<br />benw@atlas-advertising.com<br />ww...
About Atlas <br />Atlas Advertising helps economic developers reach national and international prospect and site selection...
Atlas Agency Services<br />Website Design Services<br />GIS Websites<br />Brand Development<br />Search Engine Marketing<b...
Content Services
Research Services
Training Services</li></li></ul><li>Atlas Technology and Data  Products<br />Content Management Software <br />Robust Medi...
Commercial Property databases
Business databases
Data Search (Data Tab)
Other Data Management (Map Overlays)
Community Data Management
GIS System Analytics
GIS Data Reporting
Data Widgets
Website Analytics </li></li></ul><li>Cool stuff to do/download<br />Join the Atlas Community<br />Connect on Twitter<br />...
Smart Idea #1 - Develop a Strong Plan and Architecture<br />
Discovery<br />Goal: Develop a strong plan and architecture<br />Audience identification and hierarchy<br />Only one audie...
Information architecture<br />Information architecture (IA) is the design of the structure, hierarchy, and navigation of a...
We’re concerned with creating an architecture and hierarchy that gets users to their content more efficiently – ideally wi...
Intuitive navigation doesn't happen by chance and it must reflect the way people think in order for it to be effective
Good IA can lead to smarter development processes, lowered maintenance costs, less internal documentation, and scalability...
Smart Idea #2 - Design an original, intuitive website that attracts and retains users until they find the information they...
DesignPeople don’t just visit your website; they experience and interact with it.<br />Goal: design an original, intuitive...
A well-designed homepage<br />Design is mostly about structure and hierarchy<br /><ul><li>People process visual informatio...
 the speed at which your pages load
 the ease of navigation
 the tone of your content
 how quickly you respond to queries from your prospects</li></li></ul><li>A well-designed homepage<br />Lexington, KY<br /...
A well-designed homepage<br />The Right Place<br />Bold imagery, vibrant campaign language<br />Marketing speak backed up ...
Design Takeaways<br />OK to design below the fold<br />Limit your use of Flash<br />Understand typical eye-tracking patter...
Smart Idea #3 – Your Navigation Should Target the Content Needs of  Your Top Audiences and Prospects<br />
Top 10 pages requested nationally on ED websites<br />About Us (about the organization) <br />Programs (that the organizat...
Best navigation is…<br />Indianapolis, IN<br /><ul><li>Site selector specific section
Tremendous amounts of data in downloadable and GIS formats
All of the top ten pages within one click</li></ul>www.indypartnership.com<br />
Smart Idea #4 – Users are impatient, give them easily digestible content<br />
Online content<br />
Online content – Pre-launch<br />In order for this phase to be successful, you can count on:<br />Spending up to 2 months ...
Online Content – Post Launch<br />Periodically review your content<br />
Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Content<br />
Smart Idea #5 -Your Place Brand Should be Authentic<br />
Authenticity in place branding is…<br />is the impression your residents, prospects, visitors, and other stakeholders have...
Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Branding<br />
Best online branding is…<br />Tucson, AZ<br /><ul><li>Uses desert imagery and color palette
Connects the region with useful business messaging
Backs up the positioning with fact based information
Invites users to click on a variety of useful links</li></ul>www.treoaz.org<br />
Smart Idea #6 – Use the Power GIS and Maps to Leverage Your Community Assets <br />
Effective use of Maps and GIS technology is…<br />Using maps with various layers (transportation, education, etc.)<br />Us...
Do’s and Don’ts of effective maps and GIS technology<br />
Best use of Maps and GIS technology is…<br />The Right Place<br /><ul><li>Use maps to place their region in the global geo...
Fully integrated property and business GIS Searching
Geospatial reporting
1 property search and 1 business search per web visit, on average</li></ul>www.rightplace.org<br />
Smart Idea #7 – Engage in Social Media, it’s the Future<br />
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10 Smart Ideas for Your Economic Development Website

  1. 1. 10 Smart Ideas for Your Economic Development Website<br />
  2. 2. Your Hosts <br />Peter Brown<br />Director of Creative Services, Atlas Advertising<br />benw@atlas-advertising.com<br />www.twitter.com/atlasad<br />Guillermo Mazier<br />Business Development, Atlas Advertising<br />guillermom@atlas-advertising.com<br />www.twitter.com/atlasad<br />
  3. 3. About Atlas <br />Atlas Advertising helps economic developers reach national and international prospect and site selection audiences. We deliver branding, website development, GIS mapping, research, social media, and creative services professionally and with a staff experienced in economic development. Unlike firms with little or no economic development experience, Atlas Advertising uses a proven mix of economic development marketing tactics that generate interest from site selection audiences. <br />Atlas Advertising is led by a former economic development practitioner and has worked with 60+ different economic development clients in 35 states. Our approach and experience means that our campaigns generate an average of three to ten times the response of other campaigns. <br />Featured clients:<br />State of Ohio<br />Indy Partnership<br />City of San Francisco<br />Greater Phoenix Economic Council <br />Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership<br />
  4. 4. Atlas Agency Services<br />Website Design Services<br />GIS Websites<br />Brand Development<br />Search Engine Marketing<br />Social Media Marketing<br />Website Hosting <br /><ul><li>Marketing, Media and Lead Generation
  5. 5. Content Services
  6. 6. Research Services
  7. 7. Training Services</li></li></ul><li>Atlas Technology and Data Products<br />Content Management Software <br />Robust Media Center <br />Calendar<br />Data Cart/Brochure Generator <br />Mobile friendly websites<br />Blog or Microsite Software <br />Project Tracking Software<br />Email Marketing Software<br />Data Products<br />Demographic Data<br />Business Lists<br />Enhanced Prospect Lists<br /><ul><li>Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  8. 8. Commercial Property databases
  9. 9. Business databases
  10. 10. Data Search (Data Tab)
  11. 11. Other Data Management (Map Overlays)
  12. 12. Community Data Management
  13. 13. GIS System Analytics
  14. 14. GIS Data Reporting
  15. 15. Data Widgets
  16. 16. Website Analytics </li></li></ul><li>Cool stuff to do/download<br />Join the Atlas Community<br />Connect on Twitter<br />Join our LinkedIn group<br />View our latest videos and presentations<br />www.atlas-advertising.com/community<br /><ul><li>Read more at our Blog, “Latitude”: http://blog.atlas-advertising.com</li></li></ul><li>Outline<br />10 Smart Ideas for Your ED Website<br />Best practices in each component<br />How to sum this up?<br />Wrap up/Questions<br />
  17. 17. Smart Idea #1 - Develop a Strong Plan and Architecture<br />
  18. 18. Discovery<br />Goal: Develop a strong plan and architecture<br />Audience identification and hierarchy<br />Only one audience at the top of the hierarchy – don’t muddle<br />Positioning<br />Positioning statements help establish and differentiate your product and service in the eyes of your customers. What is the service/product? Who is it for? How is it different from the competition? What makes it unique? <br />Project Purpose – creating a common guideline for everyone to follow<br />A reference point for all design and IA decisions as we move forward <br />Effective Information Architecture<br />What are the needs and wants of your main audiences? How are their needs translated into a hierarchy of information?<br />
  19. 19. Information architecture<br />Information architecture (IA) is the design of the structure, hierarchy, and navigation of a website (sitemap)<br /><ul><li>Effective IA bridges the gap between research and the visual design, and the process helps an organization understand itself better
  20. 20. We’re concerned with creating an architecture and hierarchy that gets users to their content more efficiently – ideally within 3 clicks
  21. 21. Intuitive navigation doesn't happen by chance and it must reflect the way people think in order for it to be effective
  22. 22. Good IA can lead to smarter development processes, lowered maintenance costs, less internal documentation, and scalability</li></li></ul><li>Information architecture<br />
  23. 23. Smart Idea #2 - Design an original, intuitive website that attracts and retains users until they find the information they need. <br />
  24. 24. DesignPeople don’t just visit your website; they experience and interact with it.<br />Goal: design an original, intuitive website that attracts and retains users until they find the information they need. Create a resource to entice return visits. <br />10 second rule <br />“Am I in the right place?”<br />“Do they have what I am looking for?”<br />And sometimes, “Does better content exist elsewhere?”<br />How to engage? <br />Emotion, Differentiation and Authenticity<br />Help users make decisions – guide them<br />Calls to action (purpose of the site)<br />Clarity of navigation in design<br />Eye tracking studies<br />
  25. 25. A well-designed homepage<br />Design is mostly about structure and hierarchy<br /><ul><li>People process visual information 60,000 times faster than narrative information</li></ul>Design is not necessarily just about the visual aesthetics – it is about the facilitation of an information gathering process<br />The visual representation and online brand is very important, but our first priority is getting users to the information they need – all other experiences are secondary<br /><ul><li>Your online brand is more than your logo, images and color palette, it’s also:
  26. 26. the speed at which your pages load
  27. 27. the ease of navigation
  28. 28. the tone of your content
  29. 29. how quickly you respond to queries from your prospects</li></li></ul><li>A well-designed homepage<br />Lexington, KY<br />Uses local imagery and representational palette<br />Connects the region with useful business messaging<br />Backs up the positioning with fact-based information<br />Provides map for quick locational reference<br />Appeals to both the left and right brain<br />
  30. 30. A well-designed homepage<br />The Right Place<br />Bold imagery, vibrant campaign language<br />Marketing speak backed up with facts and figures on home page<br />Balanced design pushes below the fold elegantly<br />Provides map for quick locational reference<br />Homepage caters to existing businesses as well<br />
  31. 31. Design Takeaways<br />OK to design below the fold<br />Limit your use of Flash<br />Understand typical eye-tracking patterns<br />Contact information on the top of every page<br />Present maps on the homepage<br />Understand that your brand is more than your design<br />
  32. 32. Smart Idea #3 – Your Navigation Should Target the Content Needs of Your Top Audiences and Prospects<br />
  33. 33. Top 10 pages requested nationally on ED websites<br />About Us (about the organization) <br />Programs (that the organization offers) <br />Data Center<br />News <br />Relocate and Expand<br />Find Property <br />Site Selection Services <br />Workforce data and Information <br />Database of Companies or Largest Employers <br />Maps of the Area<br />
  34. 34. Best navigation is…<br />Indianapolis, IN<br /><ul><li>Site selector specific section
  35. 35. Tremendous amounts of data in downloadable and GIS formats
  36. 36. All of the top ten pages within one click</li></ul>www.indypartnership.com<br />
  37. 37. Smart Idea #4 – Users are impatient, give them easily digestible content<br />
  38. 38. Online content<br />
  39. 39. Online content – Pre-launch<br />In order for this phase to be successful, you can count on:<br />Spending up to 2 months full time getting the copy written, edited and uploaded to your new website (approx 3 hours/page)<br />Creating an effective editorial calendar, because when you launch, you’ll be:<br />Reviewing and updating various portions of your site weekly<br />Posting to social media outlets daily<br />
  40. 40. Online Content – Post Launch<br />Periodically review your content<br />
  41. 41. Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Content<br />
  42. 42. Smart Idea #5 -Your Place Brand Should be Authentic<br />
  43. 43. Authenticity in place branding is…<br />is the impression your residents, prospects, visitors, and other stakeholders have of you and of the community you represent. <br />a toolor promise that generates interest and excitement, drives prospect activity and inspires more involvement and commitment from your local stakeholders<br />
  44. 44. Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Branding<br />
  45. 45. Best online branding is…<br />Tucson, AZ<br /><ul><li>Uses desert imagery and color palette
  46. 46. Connects the region with useful business messaging
  47. 47. Backs up the positioning with fact based information
  48. 48. Invites users to click on a variety of useful links</li></ul>www.treoaz.org<br />
  49. 49. Smart Idea #6 – Use the Power GIS and Maps to Leverage Your Community Assets <br />
  50. 50. Effective use of Maps and GIS technology is…<br />Using maps with various layers (transportation, education, etc.)<br />Using integrated real estate searches/GIS mapping software<br />Generating dynamic demographic and business reports<br />
  51. 51. Do’s and Don’ts of effective maps and GIS technology<br />
  52. 52. Best use of Maps and GIS technology is…<br />The Right Place<br /><ul><li>Use maps to place their region in the global geography
  53. 53. Fully integrated property and business GIS Searching
  54. 54. Geospatial reporting
  55. 55. 1 property search and 1 business search per web visit, on average</li></ul>www.rightplace.org<br />
  56. 56. Smart Idea #7 – Engage in Social Media, it’s the Future<br />
  57. 57. The future, according to one site selector <br />“Young companies are all about social media. Their whole concept is open source everything. They rely on an online community. They’re building enthusiasts for their product online. I have a current client in the auto manufacturing space that loves social media. These guys are choosing their locations based on what their online community says they want.<br />“If you can find companies on social media, you can reach them. Big corporations not using it this way, but small guys are for sure. <br />“As people who live in the community find these great companies, they could connect ED with companies. Blog with your citizens about what they like and what they know about. Tips are good. Fear is how do you know you have the good information in these channels? I am just learning myself.” <br />-A Site Selector, early October 2009<br />
  58. 58. Do you believe the hype?<br />Here’s a look at Google search returns for “social media” over the past few years: <br /><ul><li>2005: 9,150,000
  59. 59. 2006: 41,600,000
  60. 60. 2007: 165,000,000
  61. 61. 2008: 359,000,000
  62. 62. 2009: 1,230,000,000 </li></li></ul><li>What new media advancements have you seen that you think are valuable to your profession?<br />
  63. 63. 7 things you should be doing with social media today<br />Start blogging to drive traffic and increase conversation<br />Develop a dialogue with your workforce and residents with Facebook <br />Use Twitter to engage your investors and community stakeholders, and to share information about your community <br />Integrate Social Media and sharing into your websites<br />Use a variety of tools to recruit Site Selectors and prospects to online meetings <br />Develop a dedicated approach to using LinkedIn for prospecting <br />Keep and eye on new platforms, such as foursquare<br />
  64. 64. Do’s and Don’ts of effective social media<br />
  65. 65. Best use of Social Media is…<br />Metro Denver EDC<br /><ul><li>Outstanding blog, mostly written by their Executive VP
  66. 66. “Insider” tone
  67. 67. Outstanding use of Twitter – 2,700 followers</li></ul>http://www.metrodenver.org/blog<br />
  68. 68. Smart Idea #8 – Use effective Search Marketing Tactics<br />
  69. 69. Effective search marketing<br />Ranking #1 organically for “your city/region economic development”<br />Ranking #1 organically for “your organization name” <br />Utilizing paid search (PPC) to drive additional traffic<br />
  70. 70. Top 10 search terms that drive traffic to ED websites<br />Your organization name<br />Your city/region name “economic development”<br />Incentive type offered in your region (depends on community)<br />Resident company name (i.e., Boeing)<br />Region name (if different from city)<br />Organizational url (without .com/.net/.org)<br />Campaign name (initiative or fundraising)<br />City/region name “maps”<br />City/region name “counties”<br />City/region name “industries”<br />
  71. 71. Effective search marketing<br />
  72. 72. Best search engine marketing<br />Location Georgia<br /><ul><li>Optimize their website around top terms
  73. 73. Use PPC to broaden search terms “Georgia Demographics”
  74. 74. Over half of their traffic comes from search engines
  75. 75. 500% traffic increase by using effective search marketing</li></ul>www.locationgeorgia.com<br />
  76. 76. Smart Idea #9 – Keep In Touch With Your Community Audiences<br />
  77. 77. Effective use of email and news is…<br />“Don’t send me meaningless emails.”<br />Site Selector 2010<br />Tracking performance of those newsletters<br />Posting newsletters and news items to your website weekly or monthly<br />
  78. 78. Do’s and don’ts of Outstanding Email Marketing<br />
  79. 79. Best email marketing is…<br />Los Angeles EDC e-Edge<br /><ul><li>Send monthlye-newsletters highlighting economic trends in the area
  80. 80. They use their economist as a “Rock Star.”
  81. 81. It is their most effective marketing tool
  82. 82. All newsletters are posted back to the website </li></ul>www.laedc.org<br />
  83. 83. Smart Idea #10 – Track Your Performance<br />
  84. 84. Effective performance tracking is…<br />Receiving a report once per month<br />Tracking unique visits, referrers and downloads<br />Benchmarking your performance against other ED’s<br />Integrated tracking of advertising, web and PR effectiveness<br />
  85. 85. Do’s and Don’ts of effective performance tracking <br />
  86. 86. Best performance tracking is…<br />Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership<br /><ul><li>Look at Google Analytics Monthly
  87. 87. Track visits, not hits
  88. 88. Benchmark their data against like organizations using Development Results</li></ul>www.chooseneindiana.com<br />
  89. 89. How to sum this up?<br />Think of your website as a platform. A platform you use to publish, communicate, organize, and serve your many varied customers. Today, there is very little in economic development that can’t be facilitated or made more efficient by treating your website as a platform. <br />10 Smart Ideas For Your Economic Development Website<br />Develop a Plan<br />Design for Attraction and Functionality<br />Use Targeted Navigation<br />Give Users Easily Digestible Content<br />Develop an Authentic Place Brand<br />Leverage the Power of GIS<br />Engage in Social Media<br />Use Effective Search Marketing Tactics<br />Keep In Touch<br />Track Your Performance<br />
  90. 90. To view this presentation:<br />Visit our slideshare site:www.slideshare.net/wright0405: <br />And, join our LinkedIn Group: <br />Next Gen Economic Development Marketers<br />(Once you sign up, you will need to be approved)<br />We look forward to having you! <br />
  91. 91. Contact Atlas<br />Contact information:<br />2601 Blake Street, Suite 301<br />Denver, CO 80205<br />Contact: Ben Wright<br />t: 303.292.3300 x 210<br />benw@Atlas-Advertising.com<br />www.Atlas-Advertising.com<br />LinkedIn Profile| LinkedIn Group | Twitter| Blog| Slidespace<br />

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