Showcase your Community Online for Economic Development

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I just returned from the Economic Development Association of Alabama Summer Conference where I kicked off the conference with a presentation on how to market your community online. The top five things I talked about:

1. Content is king (and people don’t read) – make sure your content is data-heavy and paints a clear picture of all aspects of your community. But don’t use paragraphs when you write your content – use bullet lists and tables as much as possible.

2. Make sure your website’s home page brings out your community’s top strengths and features – which could be low taxes, high incentives, an available spec building, or skilled workforce. Make visitors want to go past your home page because you have caught their interest and made them want to know more.

3. Build in keywords into your site content, page titles, navigation and other areas to help your site show up better in search engines.

4. Don’t just join Social Media outlets like Linked In, Facebook and Twitter – Participate! On LinkedIn, especially, you can find groups of site selectors, retailers, and more. This is good networking – without having to pay for airfare to go visit someone or go to a conference.

5. Add news to your website or start a blog to show that your community has things going on. Economic Developers can talk about current businesses in town, expansions, new businesses arriving, how the schools do workforce programs, entrepreneurship, and much more.

Don’t forget, site selectors are looking for a reason to eliminate your community. Don’t let the state of your website and other places you show up online give them a reason to do so.

See my full presentation here.

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