Waterloo EDC New Website

Website | Waterloo EDC
Abstract:

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Purpose of Project

The main priority for the new Waterloo EDC website is lead generation with the ultimate goal of increasing foreign direct investment in Waterloo Region. Our online presence must provide a positive first impression of our community. The website helps drive investment through increasing awareness of Waterloo Region and facilitating contact between prospective leads and Waterloo EDC representatives.

Effectiveness/Meeting Objectives
Since the website launched in December 2017 we have seen a dramatic increase in website traffic and engagement, and received glowing reviews from our clients. Key statistics include:

For the time period of December 21, 2017 – July 1, 2018 compared to December 21, 2016 – July 1, 2017

Challenges & Changes Made
Timelines and budget were our greatest challenges. Our project kickoff was delayed several months as we aligned on website requirements and selected the best web developer to meet those needs. Our timeframe to complete the project was short due to funding, which required us to complete the website in 2017. Our first quote was double our budget. To find efficiencies, we removed features that were lower priority for our target audience and collaborated with local organizations to develop features.

Target Audience
The primary target audiences for the website are international business decision-makers and site selectors who are exploring Waterloo Region as a potential place to locate, relocate or expand. Geographically, we are targeting California, New York City, Boston, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

Digital Marketing Category – Website 
We wanted the design and layout to be unique and offer the best user experience for our audience, while following a B2B approach. The entire site balances visuals and text. The majority of photography and video is local for an accurate glimpse of our community. The homepage is eye-catching with looping video, animation, and colours. It incorporates a distinct scrolling method by frame to ensure emphasis on each content theme. Each frame has a call-to-action to guide visitors. Overall, the home page captures our buyer’s journey, starting with the most high-level information and becoming more specific. The site’s interior pages place the main content on the left, with additional links on the right, incorporating the natural FPattern reading layout, bucking the reverse trend of similar sites.

The website content is easy to understand, concise, and relevant, ensuring that visitors get precisely the information they need. The content also communicates our unique competitive advantages and business ecosystem to help business and investment representatives evaluate the Region as an opportunity. Special features include up-to-date demographics data updated by the Region of Waterloo as they receive new data, business real estate listings linked live to MLS, a government incentives database updated twice a year, a map detailing the landscape of local industries, and a “Generate My Report” feature. The site is responsive and complies with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Sustainability of the Project
From start to finish, our work focused on our target audience’s needs, and as a result, we have delivered a website that responds to these demands. We found that most economic development websites buried their users in content or did not have enough relevant information. Our website offers the correct breadth and depth of information our audience desires, while delivering an engaging visual design.

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