On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will occur across the United States. For destinations along the path of totality, this event offers a unique opportunity to engage visitors looking for the perfect place to experience this rare occurrence.
While most of the country will experience some degree of darkness, the path of totality (the time that the sun is entirely blocked by the moon) will cross multiple states, beginning in southern Texas and arching across Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York, and Vermont (along with portions of neighboring states). Fun fact: this will be the last total eclipse over the continental U.S. until 2044.
Many destination marketing organizations (DMOs) have already added landing pages to their websites to highlight the destination’s location for eclipse-chasers. In this post, we’ll explore some of the content you can include if you’re considering your own eclipse page.
Content Tips for the Eclipse
Start with some basic information about the eclipse. If your destination happens to also be within the path of the annular eclipse in October 2023, be sure to differentiate the two events and help the site visitor understand the distinction between them. Check out this example from Discover Temple.
For eclipse viewers, the amount of time the location will experience totality is an important detail. This time varies greatly depending on how close to the centerline of the path as well as how far north of the equator one is.
Consider including a countdown timer on your eclipse page, such as Visit Irving has included at the top of its page. Since the precise moment of the eclipse varies with each location, you will want to tune your countdown timer specifically for your destination. Simpleview CMS offers a countdown timer widget that can be customized for the specific date and time you need to count down to.
Provide information about where people can best watch the eclipse in your destination. You may want to pull listings from Simpleview CRM or describe possible locations with text boxes and collection widgets. Include a map that shows where your destination lies within the path of totality so that visitors can easily visualize the location, such as these examples from Visit Rochester and Visit Indy.
Highlight eclipse-specific events on your page using the events layout list view widget — as Shores & Islands has done. By creating a category for “Eclipse” in your CRM events, you can easily filter only those events that are eclipse-themed, or you could choose to highlight all the events in your destination that happen during the period around the eclipse.
Give site visitors clear information about lodging options:
Communicate expectations regarding availability so that they can book early
Highlight your dining options
Add a FAQs page addition (these could be highlighted in the page content, or within a blog post)
Raise your game even further by going beyond a single eclipse landing page and creating a microsite, such as this one from Visit Fredericksburg. This microsite serves as a space for eclipse-themed pages focused on visitors as well as residents, including FAQs for both groups. The microsite has its own branding that highlights the darkness of the coming eclipse. If you build a microsite, be sure to provide a clear link to your primary pages so that visitors can explore the full breadth of your destination.
Ultimately, keep in mind that this singular event offers an opportunity to highlight all that your destination has to offer to a highly engaged set of visitors. While focusing on the specifics around the event, be sure to connect to other site content to foster engagement and invite people to come early and stay beyond the eclipse itself.