Rethinking the Website Redesign Process

Website Redesign Process for VisitColumbusGA.com

For this article, we have chosen a 2017 website redesign example that was to include modern design features, the latest interactive functionality, a content management system upgrade, and the incorporation of the organization’s new name: Visit Columbus GA.

Targeted Approach

The process started with a thorough review of Google Analytics, visitor habits and heat mapping visual reporting, allowing us to leverage historical data to analyze top page views, click trends and the most important content of interest to each audience. We then revisited the client’s updated Marketing Action Plan, evaluated the existing site content for known site visitors and honed the client’s message to reach these known site visitors and their newly identified personas. Next, we designed the site architecture with tiered navigation to effectively reach primary and secondary targets (which vary greatly) and make the best use of digital real estate. For example, quick links targeting film-makers and the media (secondary target audiences) were created separate from attractions, accommodations and restaurants (that would largely appeal to primary target audiences) to allow for easy site navigation for all target audiences.

Well-Planned Strategy

After identifying key pages and creating compelling content, Stamp’s account service and creative teams met with DMO staff to prioritize goals, brainstorm Calls To Action (CTAs) and create robust wireframes to encourage visitor interaction.

Website wireframe for VisitColumbusGA.com
Website wireframe

One of the most important goals on the new site was to increase hotel bookings. So, it was decided during the wireframing process that every page on desktop and mobile devices would include a prominent link to book online. And a downloadable visitor guide was also created as a way to capture email addresses and other visitor data.

Tiered navigation for VisitColumbusGA.com
Tiered navigation prominently featuring the “book now” CTA

A booking widget utilizing third-party software that allows users to view availability according to their travel dates was placed further down the homepage as a second CTA.

VisitColumbusGA.com Booking Widget
Booking widget

Intuitive, Stimulating Design

Through the evaluation of heat mapping technology installed on the previous version of VisitColumbusGA.com, we could see that website visitors love video and animation. This prompted us to feature video in HTML5 on the homepage and key landing pages. We also incorporated animation to capture visitor interest and keep them engaged as they navigated the site. And of course, all of this was designed to accommodate a seamless experience between desktop and mobile devices.

Original Photography and Videography

At Stamp, we believe in the power of building authentic imagery. Following a meticulously planned schedule and shot list, we conducted on-location photography and videography to ensure that the destination was well-represented through visuals. These efforts were supplemented with crowd-sourced, user-generated content (UGC) curated onto the site through a social media aggregator. This technology allows the client to integrate this UGC based on promoting a series of predetermined hashtags and by following certain prolific content creators (mostly locals). These efforts have not only helped VisitColumbusGA.com to “come alive,” but they have also helped the destination promote a sense of authenticity.

VisitColumbusGA.com social image aggregator
Social image aggregator

In addition to crowd-sourced content, we incorporated the ability for visitors to login and save their favorite attractions, restaurants and venues as a way to encourage wanderlust and repeat visits. The heart icon, well known to Instagram users, was incorporated into the design to increase usage of this “Save to Faves” application.

VisitColumbusGA.com “Save to Faves” functionality
“Save to Faves” capability

Of course, mobile responsive design was used throughout the entire development process to meet the demands of our increasingly mobile-centric target markets and to help with Google search engine rankings.

The new website prominently features the client’s new logo throughout the site, and the homepage features fun graphics, high-energy images and engaging statements on key landing pages that further promote the brand. Homepage and key landing pages utilize a modular template allowing each page to include content from blogs, cross-promote events and click thumbnails to call out content throughout a given section.

VisitColumbusGA.com cross-promoted events
Cross-promoted events

This website redesign project resulted in a multi-tiered layout with a stimulating design and original and authentic imagery, as well as tools and widgets to enhance the experience for a wide variety of target audience site visitors.

At Stamp, we utilize a proven process of planning, design and execution based on research, data and a hierarchy of goals. If you are considering a website redesign, put our destination marketing experience to work for your DMO.

Contact Laura Hicks, Account Executive at Stamp.

Posted in Analytics, Branding, Destination Trend, Digital & Interactive, Photography, Social Media, Videography Tags

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