- Lead Generation
- Business Retention & Expansion (BRE)
- Business Attraction
Is your website the reason you are losing potential new business prospects to another city or state?
Many economic development organizations don’t realize the importance of a well-designed website, and if you’re unsure of your website’s ability to influence potential prospects, there’s a good chance you need to do more to inspire website visitors to contact you.
Site selectors and decision makers inside companies looking to expand or relocate are typically going to start their search on an economic development organization’s website, which makes it a very valuable commodity for ensuring your region makes it onto the shortlist.
A website that is easy for prospects to navigate and find what they are looking for will help improve conversion rates and overall interaction. You only have a very small window to grab a visitor’s attention and according to the Nielson Norman Group, visitors to your website will likely only read 20% of the words on a given page.
So, I asked Camoin Associates’ senior engagement professionals to provide some recommendations about the top things you can do to improve your website’s ability to entice potential prospects based on what they hear in the field.
1. Do a Self-Assessment of Your Website
Before you make any changes to your website, it is important to first complete an assessment of it and get a better understanding about how it is currently performing. This includes looking at your website’s Google Analytics account at things like bounce rate and time on page, putting some effort into improving your website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and setting up a Google Search Console account to learn where your website ranks in specific keyword searches.
Camoin Associates also offers a tool called ProspectEngage™ that monitors your website and provides additional insights about who, exactly, is visiting key pages and which of those visitors are most likely to be conducting research for site selection or business expansion. It then provides important details about the business or company, including contact information, so you can proactively reach out to them about their expansion or relocation plans.
2. Clear Out the Clutter
When a potential prospect initially visits your website, you need to make sure they can easily find what they’re looking for without a lot of clicking and scrolling. You only have a few seconds to grab a potential prospect’s attention and you don’t want them to spend it scrolling endlessly through your mission and vision.
Our senior engagement professionals found the number one thing new business prospects are interested in when visiting a website is site selection and workforce information. One engagement professional said: “I know a lot of prospects I talked to in the past had a difficult time finding information about the workforce, such as the available labor pool, geography of the labor market for the area, and information about the types of training, universities, community colleges or technical schools located in the region.”
This information is typically provided on multiple pages but should all be centrally located on a “site selection” page or dropdown menu. This information is critical to a prospect’s decision-making process, and all our engagement professionals found that having this information available front and center really does make a difference.
3. Include Success Stories
Our senior engagement professionals also found that including your organization’s success stories as a focal point on your website also helps influence the decision-making process of a potential new business prospect.
Seeing what your organization has done for another company and what that company has done for the region or state in return (e.g., capital investment, jobs created, new annual payroll, etc.) can be very compelling. Also make sure to include information about the sectors and industries in which your region excels, such as Agricultural Tech, Aerospace and Defense, Automotive Manufacturing, etc.
Without a doubt, what a potential prospect sees and reads on your website (or doesn’t see and read) influences their decision-making process. When the goal is business attraction and generating high-quality prospects and leads, every single one of our senior engagement professionals emphasized the importance of having a well-designed website that is regularly updated.
Camoin Associates is the nation’s only full-service economic development and lead generation consulting firm. Learn more about our business attraction and retention services.