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The numbers don’t lie.

On an ongoing basis, we’ll look at three major data points to determine the top trends for online projects:

  1. The feature that’s most requested or asked about by clients.
  2. The urgency of delivering the feature.
  3. The frequency of the feature appearing in articles, search engine inquiries and social media conversations.

During the past five years for the public sector (municipalities in particular), the most important trends have been things like:

  • Mobile responsive websites
  • Social media integration
  • Expansion of intelligent e-commerce functions & e-forms submission/approvals
  • User notification capability for topics of interest
  • Real-time data (police/emergency incidents, municipal parking availability, public works project status, etc.)
  • Content expansion and enhancement for environmental issues and projects
  • Prominent visual focus on photo/video design.

Using those three major data points, it’s very clear in 2017 the big, BIG trend for city websites is having an enhanced microsite for economic development to attract business growth and support existing businesses. Because, as we all know, “It’s all about the economy.”

So, what should a economic development microsite be all about? Based on our data and best practice research, here are our top ten characteristics for great Economic Development microsites:

Storytelling & Content

Data

Infographics & Visualizing Data

Mobile

Regional Connectivity (Relevance)

Pages for targeted audiences & purposes (startups, industrial park, manufacturing, relocating businesses, corporate, specific industries, workforce attraction, infrastructure plans, tax/financial incentives…)

Intelligent components (available properties, maps, business data, demographic, community comparisons, )

Social media integration

Strategic lead generation

Outside articles/referral linking back to topic of article and then back-reference/link