While a growing number of businesses are turning to search engine optimization (SEO) and online marketing to attract customers and traffic to their site, one area in Virginia is using the tools to promote the region and hopefully draw investment.

The Roanoke Regional Partnership is using online marketing and social networking in an attempt to encourage businesses, tourists and others to visit the region – and hopefully stick around.

"We don’t have a bad image – we have no image," said Beth Doughty, executive director of the Partnership. "People don’t know we’re here."

But the group is looking to change that with an online marketing campaign. The organization created a website – Roanoke.org – and is using social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to create a presence online.

The group will also be using search engine optimization (SEO) to help drive traffic to the website to give people a better idea of what the area has to offer.

This is not the first time a region has used search engine optimization (SEO) or online marketing to increase their online presence.

Earlier this year VISIT DENVER, the nonprofit convention and visitors bureau for the city of Denver hired an SEO company to help its online traffic. Similarly, the town of Eu in France considered changing its name because it was difficult for people to find the area when conducting an online search.