A Survey on Content, Traffic and Budget

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With 65% of corporate executives and location advisors navigating to websites of economic development organizations (EDOs) as a resource in their site selection process, an effective and informative economic development website is now more important than ever as a marketing tool for communities.

To collect the latest benchmark data on website traffic, content and budgets among economic development organizations, Development Counsellors International (DCI) conducted a 15-question online survey of EDOs representing the largest regions and cities – populations over 200,000 – across the U.S.

A total of 59 responses were received with more than 70% representing cities/regions with populations of more than 500,000. Organizations were asked to look at a specific year-long period and gather data from Google Analytics and answer questions such as:

  • Number of Unique Visitors
  • Top Pages Visited
  • Website Budget
  • Top User Acquisition Sources

Using the data analysis in this report, our hope is that EDOs will be able to use this as an initial guide and benchmark for the functionality of their website. To access the full report, download your copy today!

Below are a few key findings from the report. For more insight on economic development websites, please download the full report.

75% of EDOs update their website daily or weekly

Three-quarters of responding EDOs update their site daily, weekly or multiple times per week. The EDOs that updated their website daily saw average unique monthly visitors upwards of 8,600. EDOs that only updated their site quarterly saw an average of 1,097 unique monthly visitors. Adding new content and keeping your website up-to-date makes a significant difference when it comes to attracting web visitors to your page.

 

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Organic searches to EDO websites provided a greater number of visitors than social media referrals and links

It is widely accepted that search options outside the first two or three Google search results lose site visitors. The competition for attention and placement in search engines is steep, and only those who consistently improve their website’s ranking will receive the benefits of increased traffic and visibility.

 

referrals2

 

The average bounce rate is between 51% and 71%

According to Google Analytics, a site’s bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who visit one page and leave after seeing only that page. Across the board, EDOs are experiencing average bounce rates between 51% and 75%. Only a small number of EDOs reported a bounce rate below 25%.

bounce-rate-graph

 

The average time users spend on EDO websites is 2-4 minutes

At DCI, we tend to look at engagement with a bigger lens – by analyzing the bounce rate, average number of page views AND time spent on site. We like to follow the 3X3 rule, meaning that an engaged user will stay on a website for at least three minutes and view at least three pages.

time-on-site

 

In today’s digital age, it is extremely important that Economic Development Organizations have frequently updated, SEO optimized websites to showcase their region and its advantages. When building or updating a website, it is vital that important contacts, data and information can be easily accessed from the homepage.

At the end of our survey, we asked what economic development websites respondents most admired.

These innovative websites push the boundaries of economic development websites with sleek designs, easy-to-navigate menus, graphic content, video and links to further engage visitors with website content. If you’re looking for inspiration for your own website, be sure to check out these EDO websites.

 

co
choosecolorado.com

holland
investinholland.com

 

columbus 2020 logo

columbusregion.com

 

metro denver edc logo

metrodenver.org

 

tn

tnecd.com