Atlas Best Practices in ED Websites


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In this presentation, Atlas Advertising CEO Ben Wright gives detailed information about the eight components of world class websites, including online brands, website navigation, search engine marketing, gis systems, and more. This webinar can help you enhance your website in very specific and valuable ways.

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Atlas Best Practices in ED Websites

  1. 1. Best Practices in ED Websites<br />
  2. 2. Your Hosts <br />Ben Wright<br />CEO, Atlas Advertising<br /><br /><br />Guillermo Mazier<br />Business Development, Atlas Advertising<br /><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 50+ different economic development clients in 30 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 />Download our “Compete Smarter” webinars at our Slidespace,<br />Follow us on Twitter:<br />Read more at our Blog, “Latitude”:<br />
  17. 17. Outline<br />Trends in ED Websites<br />The Atlas Approach<br />Eight components of a world class Economic Development website<br />Best practices in each component<br />Today’s opportunities online <br />What one Atlas client said last week<br />Wrap up<br />
  18. 18. Trends in ED websites<br />Content is becoming ever more important<br />Content is also diversifying, including:<br />Pages<br />Property data<br />Demographic data<br />Business data<br />Downloads<br />Video<br />Social media is making all of what we do more transparent<br />The conversation is moving from back rooms and private meetings to be online<br />
  19. 19. What new media advancements have you seen that you think are valuable to your profession?<br />
  20. 20. 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 />
  21. 21. 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 />
  22. 22. About the Atlas approach<br />The first economic development website we worked on was in 1995. <br />Since then, the usage of the web has grown astronomically, new tools such as blogs and social media have come on the scene, and Google has risen to dominance. <br />Atlas created the seven components of a successful website in 2004, and since then, it has undergone two major revisions. <br />To develop the components and scoring, we conduct annual research with site selectors and prospects, and study actual usage data collected from ED websites in 37 states by Development Results. <br />This thinking goes into every website Atlas works on in collaboration with our clients. <br />
  23. 23. Eight components of a world-class ED website<br />Authenticity of place branding and messaging<br />Clarity of navigation <br />Depth and quality of content<br />Use of search marketing approaches<br />Use of email marketing and news sections<br />Frequent performance tracking<br />Use of Maps and GIS technology<br />Use of new media<br />
  24. 24. Authenticity in place branding is…<br />Communicating a true positioning of the region<br />Utilizing recognizable national elements<br />Capturing users’ attention to inspire them to use the site<br />
  25. 25. Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Branding<br />
  26. 26. Best online branding is…<br />Tucson, AZ<br /><ul><li>Uses desert imagery and color palette
  27. 27. Connects the region with useful business messaging
  28. 28. Backs up the positioning with fact based information
  29. 29. Invites users to click on a variety of useful links</li></ul><br />
  30. 30. Honorable metion:<br />Des Moines, IA<br /><ul><li>Augments ED messaging with young professionals campaign: “Do More.”
  31. 31. Connects life in Des Moines to business
  32. 32. Addresses a real community need</li></ul><br />
  33. 33. Clarity of navigation in websites is. . . <br />A prospect-specific section placed prominently <br />Utilizing IEDC data standards<br />Providing the top ten most requested pages<br />Keeping all valuable content three clicks or less from the homepage<br />
  34. 34. 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 />
  35. 35. Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Navigation<br />
  36. 36. Best navigation is…<br />Indianapolis, IN<br /><ul><li>Site selector specific section
  37. 37. Tremendous amounts of data in downloadable and GIS formats
  38. 38. All of the top ten pages within one click</li></ul><br />
  39. 39. Great content is…<br />Making content scannable<br />Using a content management system that enables publishing of pages, downloadable documents, and data<br />Weekly updates<br />Devoting half of your budget to content<br />Offering prominent contact info<br />
  40. 40. Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Content<br />
  41. 41. Best content is…<br />Kansas City Area EDC<br />Outstanding data center <br />Downloadable documents<br /> First class community/ regional profiles<br />Updated multiple times weekly<br /><br />
  42. 42. Effective use of search marketing is…<br />Ranking #1 organically for “your geography economic development”<br />Ranking #1 organically for “your organization name” <br />Utilizing paid search (PPC) to drive additional traffic<br />
  43. 43. 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/<br />Campaign name (initiative or fundraising)<br />City/region name “maps”<br />City/region name “counties”<br />City/region name “industries”<br />
  44. 44. Do’s and Don’ts of Outstanding Search Engine Marketing<br />
  45. 45. Best search engine marketing is…<br />Location Georgia<br /><ul><li>Optimize their website around top terms
  46. 46. Use PPC to broaden search terms “Georgia Demographics”
  47. 47. Over half of their traffic comes from search engines
  48. 48. 500% traffic increase by using Search</li></ul><br />
  49. 49. Effective use of email and news is…<br />Monthly email newsletter to investors, prospects<br />Tracking performance of those newsletters<br />Posting newsletters and news items to your website weekly or monthly<br />
  50. 50. Do’s and don’ts of Outstanding Email Marketing<br />
  51. 51. Best email marketing is…<br />Los Angeles EDC e-Edge<br /><ul><li>Send weekly e-newsletters highlighting economic trends in the area
  52. 52. They use their economist as a “Rock Star.”
  53. 53. It is their most effective marketing tool
  54. 54. All newsletters are posted back to the website </li></ul><br />
  55. 55. 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 />
  56. 56. Do’s and Don’ts of effective performance tracking <br />
  57. 57. Best performance tracking is…<br />Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership<br /><ul><li>Look at Google Analytics Monthly
  58. 58. Track visits, not hits
  59. 59. Benchmark their data against like organizations using Development Results</li></ul><br />
  60. 60. 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 />
  61. 61. Do’s and Don’ts of effective maps and GIS technology<br />
  62. 62. Best use of Maps and GIS technology is…<br />Indy Partnership<br /><ul><li>Use maps to place their region in the global geography
  63. 63. Fully integrated property and business GIS Searching
  64. 64. Geospatial reporting
  65. 65. 1 property search and 1 business search per web visit, on average</li></ul><br />
  66. 66. Effective use of new media is…<br />Linking between your website and your LinkedIn profile<br />Keeping an active Twitter account<br />Having a blog and updating it four times per week<br />Incorporating Share It features on your site<br />
  67. 67. Do’s and Don’ts of effective maps and social media<br />
  68. 68. Best use of Social Media is…<br />Metro Denver EDC<br /><ul><li>Outstanding blog, mostly written by their Executive VP
  69. 69. “Insider” tone
  70. 70. Outstanding use of Twitter – 2,700 followers</li></ul><br />
  71. 71. Today’s opportunities online<br /><ul><li>Content is king. The more of it you have, and the better it is displayed, the better your organization will do online.
  72. 72. Clients who have control of their page, data, file, and photographic content do better in the long run. Make sure the content management system you choose gives you that ability.
  73. 73. Integrated GIS makes the experience seamless for your users. Integrated GIS delivers 300% more property searches than other tools in many markets.
  74. 74. Never forget your brand on your website. Your site will likely deliver more than 10x the experiences of any other marketing you do, almost always to those outside the region.
  75. 75. Search engine marketing is the most cost effective, targeted way to deliver new leads to your organization. Remember to optimize, and pay per click is a must. In all, solid search engine marketing can increase traffic to your website by as much as 1000% within targeted audiences.
  76. 76. Social media is a vast, untapped opportunity. Make sure that you direct users to your LinkedIn profiles, blog, Twitter account, and lets users share pages and content with others. </li></li></ul><li>What a recent Atlas client has said <br />“I truly feel that we now have a website, and more importantly, a platform, that is one of the best in the country. <br /><ul><li>Tim Mroz, VP of Marketing and Communications, </li></ul> The Right Place (Western Michigan)<br />
  77. 77. To view this presentation:<br />Visit our slideshare <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 />
  78. 78. 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 /><br /><br />LinkedIn Profile| LinkedIn Group | Twitter| Blog| Slidespace<br />