Earlier this month the tourism promotion site for the city of Glenwood Springs, www.visitglenwood.com, was relaunched with a new, sleek design. The new design was ushered in for a variety of reasons, but the initial change was fueled by a need to update to the tourism promotions’ new water-themed branding. The redesign also allowed for the opportunity to improve the www.visitglenwood.com user experience.
In addition to updating to a modern and clean look and feel that adheres to current design best practices, the new www.visitglenwood.com has improved the visitor experience through simple navigation and engaging pictures throughout. The new site also has an expanded attractions and activities guide.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association and the tourism promotion board are excited that nine months of planning has come to fruition with the launch of the new www.visitglenwood.com, but they also consider the work to have just begun. This new site will be viewed as something to constantly improve upon. A good website, for large and small organizations alike, is never truly completed. Here’s why:
Website content should be updated and expanded continually: Fresh content is good for usability — users want to be in the know about current happenings. Additionally, it encourages an increased rate of visitor return if the content is interesting and consumable. For these reasons, search engines love new content. A site that posts consistent, quality content relevant to its business will not only maintain search rankings, but will also grow opportunities to rank for more terms.
User behaviors are constantly changing: A good online experience is vastly different than it was 10 years or even 1 year ago. The most obvious example of this is the ever-increasing importance of mobile users. Over the last year, www.visitglenwood.com users have become predominately mobile, and therefore the new design was built on a responsive platform. Google announced in May of this year that “more [U.S.] searches take place on mobile devices than on computers.” Mobile-first design is now the standard.
User preferences are constantly changing: Out-of-date design can cost business, just like an out-of-date hotel or restaurant décor can turn customers away. A poor design can make visitors leave a site, and if a website is sales or leads based this directly impacts the bottom line. Much like the fashion or home decor industries, design styles are constantly changing, and it is essential to keep up with modern tastes.
Technology is constantly changing: In addition to the aforementioned increase of mobile screens, the Internet landscape is constantly improving. Ensuring a site works with the newest browsers and plugin updates is a never-ending job. Most importantly, it is essential that businesses update their CMS periodically to protect themselves and clients from security risks and hacks.
Now that the bones of the new www.visitglenwood.com are in place, it is time to apply these principles. Foremost, the breadth of content will continue to expand. The initial design project was staged in phases, with the first phase including the expanded attractions and activities guide. Upcoming content expansion projects include a dining and lodging guide and an improved calendar of events. Furthermore, the regular news posts written on Glenwood Springs’ behalf like the recent “5 High Flying Adventures To Try In Glenwood Springs,” or “Soak in the Sunset at Iron Mountain Hot Springs” will now be native to the site as a standard practice moving forward. These posts are important not only for search engine optimization as mentioned above, but also to engage users and inspire them to visit.
Please take a few moments to review the new site and send any feedback or corrections firstname.lastname@example.org. Cristin Oldenburg is the newest member of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association team and is responsible for online tourism promotion for the Visit Glenwood brand including overseeing the website, social media marketing, and email marketing. In her role, she project managed the development of this new site.
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association was named 2013 Chamber of the Year by ACCE!