Content Every EDO Website's 'About Us' Section Should HaveThursday, May 25, 2017
Content for your Economic Development Organization's 'About Us' section
Knowing what content to include on your website can be just as important as how the site looks during the website building process. Many website design companies offer to develop and organize the content for your site as an additional service, but this can come at a large price.
Doing it yourself can save you a lot of money, but it’s not as simple as throwing a few words on the page and leaving it up to the customer to figure out how to navigate your website. You want to carefully structure your website’s content so that it is intuitive, easy to quickly understand, and acts as a spokesperson for your economic development organization and region.
To help guide you through the process, we have created a breakdown of how to organize the content on your site and descriptions of what to include in each section.
Before you sit down and start writing, you want to map a basic outline of how your website’s information should be structured. As author and content marketing expert, Ann Hadley, once wrote, “the more the think, the easier the ink.”
Creating a content sitemap will help you list your EDO’s main focus areas as top level menus followed by more detailed navigation. Economic development organization’s site are commonly arranged into four main categories:
Everything else included on your economic development’s website will likely branch off one of these categories.
In this blog, we will explore what pages and subpages make up the About Us section. As you go through each section, you will find a hyperlink and an image, showing one of our favorite websites that incorporates the best practice or content that we are discussing.
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The about us section will give the reader some background on what your mission and objectives are, and how you are here to help. This is where you familiarize the reader with what your organization does is the first place.
The ‘About Us’ page of your EDO’s website will most likely include the following information:
- History - Past, Present, Future
- Contact Information
- Board of Directors
While many do not put much effort into this section of their website – merely copy and pasting a mission statement and some contact info – this can be an opportunity to tell your story and show some personality.
Speaking of copy and pasting mission statement:
Tell your organization’s mission statement. This is where the reader will learn what your organization’s goals are.
After your mission statement, get more specific and detail your strategic plan, objectives or initiatives that are going to help you accomplish your goals.
Once you have your mission statement down, you can get little more creative throughout your ‘About Us’ section.
Where are you going? Provide the overall vision of your EDO and the region you serve. In other words, where do you see your region’s impact in the future? What will need to happen for this to come true?
Give a brief background of your history. Is there an interesting story about how your EDO came to be? Check out Valparaiso EDC’s story here! If you are having trouble coming up with anything, try digging into the economic history of the region you are in.
What work have you done over the years or successes you have had as an EDO? Show the reader where you are from and where you are going. ‘Success Stories’ can be a great page to include as well and may not necessarily fit in the history section, but can be included somewhere in ‘About Us.’
Stories help stick your EDO in the mind of the person viewing your website and are much easier to recall. A good success story shows the impact of your EDO beyond facts and figures.
What services does your EDO provide? How can you help businesses, entrepreneurs or anyone interested in your area decide if it’s the right fit for them?
Some examples of services you may provide could include site selectors, business resources, talent and workforce training or retention, financial services, networking, and referrals.
If you have any investing incentives, benefits or opportunities, you can reference them here as well; including information on how to become an investor. A long list highlighting current investors and incentives could merit a page on its own, however.
If you are hesitant or having trouble giving your about us page some character, your ‘Staff’ or ‘Team’ page can be a good place to inject some personality. List relevant staff in your organization, their position and what responsibilities their role may include.
To punch this section up, you can take photos of your staff members along with something quirky or interesting about them, and their position at your EDO.
An example would be Greater MSP’s website, which includes the staff member’s name, picture, title, and their favorite regional asset. But they didn’t stop there. Clicking their profile gives you more information on their responsibilities, background, and contact information.
Board of Directors
If you have a Board of Directors to include, list their names, board position, affiliation, and any relevant links.
Your “Contact Us’ page should be relatively simple, especially if you include robust contact information in your ‘Staff’ section. Most often, a simple contact form will do here.
On the form, include a space for a person’s full name, email, phone number and any comments or questions they may have.
A ‘Contact Us’ section should also include your EDO’s full address, phone number, and email.
By including the following information throughout this post on your website, your EDO will have a beautiful website packed with helpful, informative, and persuasive content.
While including all of this will give you a well-rounded website, we encourage you to take one more look at your EDO, and what you would like your target audience to know. Review all of your information and decide if there is anything more you can include about yourselves or the region.
Are there some quirky or interesting facts that might make someone look twice at starting a business in your region?
Does your region have any unique characteristics that stand out from the rest of the country?
Most EDO’s will have the majority of the information discussed on their websites, so this is your chance to make it truly your own.
For everything on how to write content for your EDO, all in one place, download How to Write Content for your Economic Development Organization now.