By Joel Burgess

This morning at the UEDA (Utility Economic Development Association) Summer Forum in Cleveland, Audrey Taylor, President of Chabin Concepts, Don Schjeldahl, Vice President and Director of Austin Consulting, and Mark James President of ED Solutions, Inc., lead a session entitled, New Standards for Economic Development Websites. The session aimed to provide insights about how economic development companies can make their websites more effective.

Chabin Concepts, Austin Consulting, and First Energy (Akron, Ohio) recently conducted a Websites Users Study to determine how site selectors, corporate real estate professionals, brokers, and other interested parties actually navigate the web to get their information. The goal of the study was to establish guidelines for developing a business recruitment website that meets audience expectations for content and functionality at all phases of the site location search process.

The study was implemented in two parts:

1) Exploratory user testing of four site selectors performing assigned tasks on economic development websites.

2) Online survey completed by 67 respondents, roughly half of whom were site selectors. All but two had worked on a business location project in the last year.

The final report is due out in the coming months; however, the executive summary can be viewed by clicking on the link below: If you are in economic development, real estate, and/or site selection you need to check this out – extremely useful information in building a web presence!