Situation

The Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) had the same website design since 2007. Their bureau's staff felt that it was beginning to show its age. Although they had made some minor revisions and content updates, the overall design and layout had remained the same for the past five years.

The CVB had unanimous opinions on the previous site's layout, as they felt it was restrictive to making new changes and limited the amount of text that could be on the pages. This former approach limited their ability to update the site's content and negatively affected their search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. The backend system automatically resized photos to be unnecessarily small and did not allow the CVB to properly highlight the city's attractions.

In addition to the staff's struggles with the site, the CVB also received complaints from visitors. They felt the navigation was confusing, making it difficult to find the information they needed to plan their trip to Oklahoma City.

Finally, the CVB had also experienced extensive issues with managing their internal data by having two separate databases. Despite the staff's best efforts, this led to discrepancies and outdated information being left on the site.

Solution

We conducted a thorough, page-by-page analysis of the former site, which included reviewing its content, design and functionality based on the staff and users' desired goals.

Then, our team developed a design that conveyed Oklahoma City's rich Western heritage and small-town hospitality with the style and amenities of a modern city on the rise. For the Meeting/Sporting Event Planners, they combined the overall message with content and imagery about state-of-the-art facilities that receive regular updates.

Results

The CVB's staff and its visitors are extremely pleased with the new site, especially since all of their goals were met. According to Seth Spillman, the CVB's director of marketing and communications, the latest version of VisitOKC.com is more visually appealing and easier to navigate for its target audiences. The site and back-end database is also easier to update with their new customer relationship management (CRM) and content management systems (CMS).

"We've received positive feedback from our local partners as well," said Spillman. "Quantitatively, we've seen a consistent bump in visitor traffic since our launch in December 2011." Analysis of the site traffic shows a 53 percent increase in unique visits from December 2011 to July 2012.

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