Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Loudoun Is for Business Badge

At last week's Loudoun Economic Development Commission meeting, MBRC committee members Bob Steere and Ed Zigo updated the group on progress of the new "Loudoun Is for Business" badge, for anyone to use on their websites to help promote Loudoun County as a great place to have a business or conduct business. Drive "heads in beds", as Mr. Krause likes to say. The badge is currently in a "Beta" or "soft-launch" status, as the technical details are tested and completed.


Loudoun is for business: Loudoun Economic Development Commission Business Community


This very unique web-enabled shared marketing asset the County's Department of Economic Development will host enables those with business interests in the County to both help themselves, and help the entire business community, drive interest and ultimately more business to the county. Here at KME Internet Marketing in Loudoun, we first introduced this concept nearly 2 years ago through posts on our Gateway to Loudoun Blog "Loudoun Business Challenge" posts and our "Made in Loudoun" campaign – and it's fantastic to see the idea come to fruition through a lot of hard work and commitment on the part of the Loudoun business community and government support!

The badge itself is carefully designed to achieve a number of objectives. It will be a fairly unobtrusive and easy-to-integrate text-only design and color, suitable to use for most websites. Including the badge (several sizes will be available) on your site, blog, community page, social media profile or email newsletter benefits both your business and the County, if implemented specifically using the included links and tags. While the actual badge code and program details are still being finalized, the ultimate HTML code elements will be carefully constructed to make sure that both views and clicks on the badge are appropriately tracked, and so that search engines can find you and this badge when folks are searching for terms like "Loudoun businesses". The badge code will also ultimately meet ADA Section 508 accessibility guidelines.

See our best-practices driven example HTML code for implementing the badge here in this blog, and on our Loudoun Marketing home page.

The badge itself links to the primary "Doing Business in Loudoun County" page, and a special Loudoun DED "Join the Online Business Community" page further describes the program. This page is being optimized further to help promote the program, its benefits and further distribution of the badge. As the program develops and experience with the badge grows, there will be many more opportunities to highlight examples of the badge in action, actual badge usage and ROI statistics, as well as more advanced versions and use cases to come.

If you have a website, or manage a website page or distributed web content of any kind (like email), and would like to help promote Loudoun's visibility to your customers and the worldwide business community – prepare to try the badge on for size! (And be sure to provide feedback to the Loudoun DED/EDC).

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