3 Trends of the Best Economic Development Websites
27 Jul 2020
At Golden Shovel Agency, we know that you want to be a respected leader of a growing community. In order to do that, you need an easy-to-use website that makes your community attractive to live and work in. The problem is you’ve got a small budget, little support, and few resources, which leads to frustration that you’re falling behind and not reaching those important people. We believe in your efforts to build up your community and believe you should stand out! We understand the frustration that comes when you’re putting in all this work, but still not getting noticed.
That’s why we work specifically with people like you. Our websites are built specifically for and only for economic development organizations. We currently support over 230 across the U.S. and Canada. Follow these trends that we’ve found throughout our work and apply it to your own organization. Stop falling behind the competition, become more visible, and attract more people and businesses to your community!
#1 Great Storytelling
Stories evoke emotions and emotions encourage actions. Telling stories is one of the most important things you can do to attract people and businesses to your community. In fact, it’s crucial that you are sharing stories on your website. Having data and statistics is no longer enough to set yourself apart from all the others. You need to mix in emotion. Communities with strong brands are the ones that can tell a great story. If you want to attract a business owner, you could share a testimonial from another CEO in the same industry that will stick in their head. To attract more community members, get stories from current residents sharing why they love living there.
#2 Connect With Other Regions
We have been learning that no community completely stands alone when it comes to economic development. There has been a shift from competing with neighboring regions to rallying around a common goal. This is especially important for rural communities who might not have the assets or name recognition to be a significant voice alone. However, combined with other communities in the same area can really make a stronger case for business attraction. You’ll also have a greater pool of resources, more support, and higher budgets.
Want to be found when someone is searching for a community like yours? The key to being found in search engines is high-quality content. Your website shouldn’t just be sitting around, waiting for someone to search your exact name. It should be jumping up and down yelling, “Look at me! Pick me!” Having a frequent and consistent flow of content through your website and social media helps achieve just that. As mentioned in Trend #1, sharing stories is the most valuable. It is also important to share news stories about what is happening in your community. Having a mix of content keeps the viewers engaged and wanting more. Yes, we know that content takes time, but if you do it right, it will pay off big time later. To be more efficient, we suggest creating an editorial calendar and pre-writing content to help you stay on track and focused.
Interested in putting this on someone else’s plate? Did you know that Golden Shovel Agency not only designs websites for economic development organizations that get you more attention and visitors to the area, but we also help write editorial content (including stories from your community)? Check out our featured work here.