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Analysis of Location Research Interests by State - Search: Americas

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Which US regions or states were "hot" for our visitor interests in 2008?

This analysis shows patterns in visitor interests in the Search: Americas feature of ShortListNews.com.  The data is for page views during the 9 months from January through September 2008.  Refer also to other market reach data and analysis in prior years about patterns in regional and state interests by our visitors.

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One observation from this analysis is the diversity of business location interests of our visitors in all US regions.

The "Region Search" data reflects usage (page views) of the search tools for the specified US region.  These tools include the state economic development websites.

The "State Searches" data reflects the cumulative total of page views for the individual state search tools within the region.  These tools include dozens of local economic development websites in each state.

There are very similar patterns in interest levels across the regions - whether the users are working with the regional or state search tools.

In general, users were found to be roughly 7 times more likely to use the state search tools, presumably reflecting their focus on information about locations within that state.

Refer to the chart below for details about state search tool usage.

This distribution analysis shows the pattern in total page views for each of the state search tools in the Search: Americas feature.

All of the state search tools are designed to be very similar in function and equally easy to find.

The differences in total page views should therefore be an indication of which states were attracting the most interest from visitors to this feature during the first nine months of 2008.

This usage pattern may change over time, and can be affected not only by the number of visitors to these tools but also by how many times they use the tool (page views), such as to search for a variety of information needs.  A single visitor may be expected to use the search tool repeatedly to find different things, or to refine the terms of a search.

As the search page is used, our content (such as ads for places or services within a state) will appear repeatedly.  The Google search results and the ads presented by Google through their own relevance logic for the keyword involved will change.

It should be noted that visitors who use these tools will not show up on the website referral statistics of a development agency as coming from ShortListNews.com.

Instead, they will show up as Google search result referrals - unless the user has clicked through on one of the ads which we have placed on the page (rather than those presented by Google AdWords with the search results).

Typically, a user of the Search: Americas tool will find the content of interest on the local economic development websites which are included in the scope of the search.

In some cases, however, the search results may take the user to other relevant content on our websites which is not limited to that state.

For example, our executive summary presentations about a potential business location may turn up in the search results as relevant even if the location is in a different state..

Our directories or profiles of professional services may also turn up in response to searches regardless of the state or regional tool which is being used if they are relevant to the keywords involved.

To illustrate, a user of the Alaska search tool could look for "location consultant" and would still find our global directory of such consultants and listings for such professionals who do not reside in Alaska.

In general, the state search tools are attracting far more usage than the regional tools.  Although the distribution pattern is similar across regions for state and regional tools, some of the state tools attract far more usage than the tool for their own region.

If you compare the above analysis to our prior patterns of regional and state directory page visits at GDI-Solutions.com, there are very similar patterns.  Individual visitor interests may vary over time, but in the aggregate they seem to fall into a pretty consistent pattern over the years.  Some states do become more "hot" or not as their business environment, investment attraction policies, and marketing efforts change.

It would be inappropriate, however, to infer that more visits signify a more attractive investment climate in one region or state versus any other.  Visitor interest doesn't necessarily match actual investment flows for projects, although there does seem to be some correlation.  It is also self-evident at a glance that large states generally - but not always - tend to attract more visits, just as their economic size typically equates to more business activity (whether or not they are attracting many new investment projects at the time).

The key point in the above analysis is simply that, as an independent source for market research and project referrals, the interests of visitors to these websites are not concentrated in a single geographic region or state.  Instead, the visitors have interests in many places, and can simply choose which search tools, directories, or other resources serve their interests at the time.

This statistical analysis of usage of the Search: Americas feature will be updated from time to time, but not frequently or for short intervals of time, such as a month or two.

Fluctuations in visitor data would be less meaningful over short intervals as an indicator of trends than more visitors in a larger sample.

 

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Last modified: 12/20/10