How To Make Your Economic Development Website More Welcoming & Engaging

How To Make Your Economic Development Website More Welcoming & Engaging Main Photo

5 Jun 2023

News, Website Development, Marketing

As an economic developer, you know that your website is an essential tool for promoting your community and attracting business and talent. It is often the first point of contact for businesses and individuals looking to relocate or invest in a community. However, just having a website is not enough. To be effective, it is essential to ensure that your website is informative and welcoming to prospective businesses, potential talent, and current community stakeholders. It should provide a clear picture of what your community offers and why it is an ideal place for people to move to. Here are some tips on how to make your economic development website more welcoming and engaging.

Telling Your Story Through Content

#1 Make Your Website Content Relevant

The content on your website should be relevant to your target audience. It should provide information on your community’s economic climate, workforce, quality of life, and other factors that make it an attractive place for businesses. Ensure your content is up-to-date and accurate, as outdated or incorrect information can damage your community’s reputation and credibility.

Consider adding case studies or success stories to your website. This will help demonstrate the successes of businesses in your community and showcase the benefits of doing business in your area.

#2 Provide Easy Access to Important Information

Your website should provide easy access to important information. This includes data on:

  • Available sites and buildings
  • Incentives
  • Demographics
  • Transportation infrastructure
  • Target industries
  • Quality of life amenities
  • Available talent & workforce development
  • Resources for businesses

Consider using a search function on your website to make it easier for visitors to find the information they need. Also, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are accessing websites from their mobile devices.

#3 Showcase Business & Retention Efforts

Your website should showcase your community’s efforts to support and retain businesses. This includes information on economic development initiatives, workforce development programs, and business retention and expansion efforts.

Add a blog to your website, where you can share news and updates on your community’s economic development efforts. You can also use your website to share success stories of businesses in your community.

#4 Highlight Quality of Life Amenities

Businesses are looking for more than just a place to work but also a place to live. Highlighting your community’s quality of life amenities, such as:

  • Schools & education
  • Healthcare options
  • Parks & outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Local attractions & events
  • Cultural & historical aspects

Consider using photos and videos to showcase your community’s amenities. You can also create a community events calendar to showcase the events and activities happening in your area.

#5 Use Visuals to Tell Your Story

Visuals can be a powerful tool in telling your community’s story. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase your community’s assets and amenities. You can also use infographics or data visualizations to help illustrate complex information in an engaging way.

Consider using video testimonials from business leaders or residents to showcase why your community is a great place to live and work. You can also use drone footage or virtual reality tours to give visitors a virtual glimpse of your community.

#6 Integrate Social Media

Integrating social media into your website can make it more engaging and interactive. Consider adding social media icons to your website, allowing visitors to share content on social media easily. You can also add a live social media feed to your website, showcasing your community’s social media activity.

Technical Aspects

#7 Conduct a Website Audit

Conducting a website audit is essential in making your website more welcoming. This involves thoroughly reviewing your website to identify areas that need improvement. Look at your website's design, content, navigation, and functionality. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is the design outdated?
  • Is the content relevant and up-to-date?
  • Is the navigation intuitive?
  • Are the pages loading quickly?

Once you have identified areas that need improvement, you can start making changes to your website.

#8 Create a User-Friendly Design

Your website should be user-friendly, with easy-to-read fonts, straightforward navigation, and a clean layout. Use high-quality images and videos to help tell your community’s story. Consider using infographics or interactive elements to help illustrate complex information.

Ensure your website is accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities. This includes providing alternative text for images and videos and using descriptive headings and links.

#9 Invest in Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results. This can increase the visibility of your website and drive more traffic to your site. To improve your website’s SEO, you can:

  • Conduct keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for
  • Optimize your website’s content, including headlines, meta descriptions, and alt tags, with your target keywords
  • Ensure that your website’s URLs are clean and concise
  • Build backlinks to your website from other high-quality websites

Investing in SEO can be a long-term strategy that increases website traffic and visibility.

Where to Start?

At Golden Shovel Agency, we specialize in economic development website design and marketing. Our team of experts can help you will all of the aspects above. With years of experience in economic development, we understand the unique needs of economic development organizations. We can help you create a website that effectively showcases your community’s assets and amenities. to learn how we can help you make your economic development website more welcoming and engaging.