Digital dead ends. Virtual cul de sacs. Obstacles in your path.
We've all been there and it's frustrating; you're Googling information you need, information which, by all logical standards should be relatively easy to find. You track down a promising website and start searching. And searching. Clicking links. Hunting through dropdown menus. Mousing over anything that could yield answers. But nope. They're just not there.
Hopefully, that's not the case for anyone searching your website. But how would you know? You can't be a judge of how effective your website is because it's just too familiar. You need to test it out with people unfamiliar with the site's navigation and your own organization's method for organizing information.
In the course of my work guiding GIS Planning's clients in the effective use of our online digital web tools, I visit hundreds and hundreds of economic development organization websites. Way too many of them feel like scavenger hunts. There is often no logic or consistency to what things or called or where they are placed. A "data resource center" might lead to often outdated static PDFs. A demographic report might live under a Site Selection tab and not have links from anywhere else. It's sometimes impossible to find a phone number or an email address for a real live person. I'm always relieved to come across a properly built website when there are multiple links to important content seeded strategically across the site.
Consider that a website is not meant to be a linear path - it's a series of loops and shortcuts based on the journey of target personas. On every single page, you must ask yourself, "what would my intended visitors possibly be looking for while they are here?" and then ensure they can find those things.
This is why GIS Planning has always included a detailed marketing consult and support for all ZoomProspector clients. We review link placement strategy, look at best practices and how other clients use our tools, offer templates for news releases, email blasts, provide detailed tips for the use of our tools on social media, and more. We are proud to develop these personal relationships with our clients to ensure they succeed. It's just one of the many reasons our client retention rates have always been so strong.
If you'd like to learn more about our exceptional marketing and client support, please get in touch today. To learn more about our industry-leading online data tools and virtual tour-building software, click the link below.