By Sandy Sponaugle
Posted on August 8, 2018
Filed under: Economic Development, Websites

The Top 10 Mistakes Economic Development Organizations Make On Their Websites

Is your website getting you more leads and expansions? Or is it COSTING you leads and expansions?

Unfortunately, many EDOs are making a lot of common mistakes on their websites that ultimately cost them business. So we’ve put together a list of the most common mistakes to avoid on your EDO website (and what to do instead)…  

  1. You have no opportunity for engagement on your website. When there’s no reason for a visitor to provide their name and email address, you can’t follow up with them and you have no idea how many leads you’re losing each day. Do This Instead: Create a lead magnet on your website you give for free in exchange for their email address.
  1. Your aren’t telling your story. If you’re just displaying the facts, it makes the prospect do all the work to figure out what it would be like to live and work in your community. Do This Instead: Tell a story with your data, painting a picture of the benefits of living and working in your community.
  1. You’re unsure who your target audience is. Too many times, EDOs are targeting too many different, random, really big-picture industries. As a result, when you try to talk to too many people, you end up talking to nobody. Do This Instead: Have a clear Ideal Client Avatar in each industry you target your message to.
  1. You’re not capturing entrepreneurs that you can provide assistance to. So, you’re missing out on this huge small business entrepreneurial demographic that’s just going to do it without your help, which is not the best environment for a community. Do This Instead: Host small business workshops that provide value to your small business community.
  1. It’s not easy to find out what jobs are available. If a resident is looking for a job, your website needs to connect them to job opportunities. Or if a business owner is coming in, they’re going to need other job opportunities presumably for the rest of their family, like their spouse and children. Do This Instead: Share relevant information, like job availability, that shows why should somebody be interested in living and ultimately investing there!
  1. Social media links aren’t clearly and easily displayed. The last thing you want to do is make people work to find your Twitter handle or Facebook page. Often, social media is where the most current news, information, and content can be found. Do This Instead: Include clearly visible social media links on your website, like in the footer of every page.
  1. You’re missing out on interesting ways to tell your story. If an EDO does tell their story in some ways, often they’re still not fully capitalizing on the opportunities available. Do This Instead: Take it up a notch by incorporating images, text, videos, infographics, blogging and social media. This helps your organization to stand out far beyond other competitors.
  1. You’re not regularly updating your website. Unfortunately many EDOs make no updates over the year, and wait on the very expensive website redesign every 5 years. Do This Instead: Make minor updates every quarter or even once a year. You can invest just a little bit of money into your website in terms of photography or hiring a consultant to come in and just give you feedback on your website.
  1. There are grammatical issues, old content, or dead links on your website. Mistakes like these make your EDO look unprofessional. If it looks like you don’t care about your organization, why should a prospect? Do This Instead: Make sure that your site resources are up-to-date, you’re linking to appropriate sites, and your grammar is proofread.
  1. Your website still is not mobile-friendly. If your website is not mobile-friendly and it’s not easy to pull your website up on a phone, then you’ve already missed a huge pot of the population. Do This Instead: Get your website updated so visitors can easily view it on their smartphones!

Feel overwhelmed about how to improve your website?

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(No website redesign needed.)

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