District of Squamish Economic Development Website

Website | District of Squamish
Abstract:

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The District of Squamish Economic Development Office has launched a comprehensive online resource centre to help businesses access information about the local economy, customers and competition. The improved microsite features practical information and inspiration to help businesses start, grow, invest and thrive in Squamish, as well as a new resource centre with a comprehensive list of 118 and growing third-party and District business tools and intelligence.

The project has five main goals pertaining to specific target audiences:

  1. To support Squamish entrepreneurs in their journey as they research, validate, plan and launch their business in Squamish, with curated information, resources, and tools.
  2. To provide current Squamish businesses with education, tools and resources to support their growth, whether through exporting, selling to government, or hiring and developing talent.
  3. To attract strategic investment to Squamish, through informative intelligence tools, and effective marketing of Squamish’s unique value proposition.
  4. To provide local economic development organizations with up-to-date, intelligence tools to support decision-making, including insights on the local business climate, workforce, and strategic sector profiles.
  5. To support prospective Squamish residents with an idea of what it would be like to live, work and play in Squamish, through lively and authentic visuals, testimonials, and resources that convey Squamish’s appealing lifestyle.

At the outset, the project faced a constraint that required creative design thinking. The project team wanted to achieve an enhanced user experience within the framework of the existing municipal website. To achieve this balance, we collaborated to create a new design and enhanced functionality within the existing website, one that would balance the goals of delivering an improved user experience, but also live in harmony within the existing site.

The impact of this project was powerful and immediate. The new microsite attracted over 813 unique visitors within the first two weeks, serving over 700 percent more residents and businesses than the previous economic development website. Meanwhile, engagement on the website was also higher: visitors were spending twice as long on the new landing page, compared to the former website. Now one of the top-ranked pages on the Squamish website, it is the 5th most-consumed section on the site, up from its rank as the 90th ranked section before the site refresh.

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