Menu

Samples

The Deep Creek Experience Website Redesign: Synopsis - Garrett County Chamber of Commerce

2016 ACE: Award of Excellence

In July 2014, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce launched a completely redesigned version of visitdeepcreek.com featuring our new county-wide brand: The Deep Creek Experience. Since the launch in 2014, we have added new features, pages, forms and content for the visitors to our site including tourists, chamber members and local residents. We deemed new website complete in the spring of 2015 but continually update content, photos and features to keep the site fresh.


Date: December 23, 2016
Organization: Garrett County Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Website: http://www.visitdeepcreek.com
City: McHenry, MD
Revenue Category: $900,001-2,000,000

The Deep Creek Experience Website Redesign: Synopsis - Garrett County Chamber of Commerce

View the Sample record for the website here

Synopsis:

In July 2014, the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce launched a completely redesigned version of visitdeepcreek.com featuring our new county-wide brand: The Deep Creek Experience. Since the launch in 2014, we have added new features, pages, forms and content for the visitors to our site including tourists, chamber members and local residents. We deemed new website complete in the spring of 2015 but continually update content, photos and features to keep the site fresh.

Design

The site fully embraces our county-wide brand with unique and appealing graphics. All Chamber member banner advertising was moved from the front page to interior pages only. A season-specific photo gallery, which changes throughout the year, was added to the front page and a four-season photo gallery was added to the top navigation under Visitors.

Easy-To-Use Functionality

As both a tourism site and a Chamber website, the new visitdeepcreek.com features a visitor-focused left navigation (Recreation & Attractions, Lodging & Rentals, Dining, Events, Real Estate & Meetings/Groups) and chamber & tourism related top navigation (Visitors, Heritage Area Website, Chamber, Living Here, Events & Business Directory). A season-themed Four Seasons graphic at the top of the home page highlights an upcoming event or promotion and changes throughout the year. The home page also features a brief introduction to the area, a location map linked to a distance table, and a scroll-through feature area which highlights upcoming events, promotions and information.

The Chamber section includes membership information, legislative, sponsorships/advertising, business resources, cost savings & discounts, information on committees and programs, and organizational information. Members most frequently use the easy online registration to attend Chamber events.

A Business Directory search button was added at the top of every page so members are easily accessible to visitors. Other popular features including our event calendar, hot deals, member log-in and social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest) were also moved to the top of each page.

The site also includes area maps, weather, a visitor’s guide and heritage brochure request form, electronic versions of the Chamber’s brochures: Visitors Guide, Activities Guide and Autumn Glory brochure, area town information, and Google maps are on every member’s listing and included on our Autumn Glory Festival event page, Area Map page, and Meetings/Groups pages.

Tripbuilder & Lodging Availability By Date

The site also features a trip builder where guests can build potential trip itineraries for their visit. Simply select the number of days of your stay and then peruse the site to add activities for each day - an “Add to Trip” button is listed on all member listings. The trip builder is also easily accessible at the top and middle portions of the home page. You can save your itinerary and come back to it later or you can print or email your trip to yourself or others. Micronet, our website builder, had never had such a feature before and they now sell the Tripbuilder to other chambers and tourism councils. The visitdeepcreek.com site also allows you to select your date of arrival and number of nights and it will pull up the lodging options that have availability on those nights.

RFP Board

As an added incentive to our members, we’ve also created a RFP Board on visitdeepcreek.com where members can post RFPs to other Chamber members for services. Micronet had never had such a feature before and they now sell the RFP Board to other Chambers across the country.

Responsive Design – Desktop, Mobile & Tablet

In 2013, the Chamber had a desktop and mobile version of visitdeepcreek.com but in 2014, the redesigned visitdeepcreek.com is a responsive website so the site automatically adjusts to whatever platform you are using to access it – mobile, tablet or desktop. Previously, advertisers on the site only had their ads appear on the desktop site but now advertisers’ ads appear on the mobile, table and desktop versions, making their ads visible to the 38,991 mobile visitors who’ve been to our site since July 1st. The redesigned visitdeepcreek.com is a responsive website so the site automatically adjust to whatever platform you are using to access it – mobile, tablet or desktop. This makes visitdeepcreek.com much more accessible to today’s ever-changing technology and increasing reliance on mobile phones and tablets. Mobile websites and ads are so important because, as Hotwire VP Pierre-Etienne Chartier says, “The biggest trend we’ve noticed is that travelers are becoming increasingly comfortable with planning, researching and booking trips on mobile devices last minute.” In 2014, we had 111,599 mobile visitors to visitdeepcreek.com (227,739 desktop users) and in the first 5 months of 2015, we had 90,291 mobile visitors (vs 52,277 desktop users) before we switched to a responsive site. And having a responsive website that automatically adjusts to mobile devices makes our mobile advertising much more effective since our website content is tailored to those using mobile devices. * Source: Traveling Trends for 2013 and A Look Ahead to 2014 http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2013/12/24/traveling-trends-for-2013-and-look-ahead-to-2014.html

Creation

The website redesign was first brought up during our Branding Study in summer 2013 - initial mockups were created during the Branding Study and once the Study was finished in December 2013, mock-ups were finalized in spring 2014, implemented and tweaked for the July 2014 launch.

Partners

Eloqui, Inc., the designer of The Deep Creek Experience, designed our front page, which serves as the template for all interior pages. Eloqui also designed and created the Four Seasons graphics that are used year-round. Micronet built the website from Eloqui’s design.

Budget

Website Design by Eloqui, Inc.: $625.00. Micronet Website Creation: $8,925.00, Tripbuilder Creation by Micronet: $7,500.00 and RFP Board creation by Micronet: $500.00. As of December 31, 2015, we spent a total of $17,550 designing and launching a new website. In 2015, we generated $30,692 in website advertising on visitdeepcreek.com. Additionally, members who would like upgraded member listings (videos, photos, extended text) and to promote hot deals, must be an Advantage or Advantage Plus level member. The Chamber has generated an additional $18,415 in membership dues through these upper levels of membership, in large part due to the desire for members to receive the additional promotion opportunities on visitdeepcreek.com. Our website URL is listed in every publication, brochure, flyer, press release and prominently featured on all destination advertising.

Results

In 2015 website visits were up 26% over 2014 (488,247 in 2015 vs 384,762 in 2014). New visits were up 5.59% (82.56% of all visits in 2015 were new vs 76.97% in 2014).

In 2015, 5,819 individuals included member businesses & sites on their planned trip through the Tripbuilder feature.

Visitors spent an average of 1 minute and 50 seconds on our site in calendar year 2015.

Most popular pages in 2015 were:

  1. Home Page
  2. Activities & Attractions
  3. Autumn Glory Festival
  4. Hot Deals
  5. Events (Calendar by Month format)
  6. TripBuilder
  7. Cabins & Lodges
  8. Events (List Format)
  9. Hotels & Motels
  10. Weddings

The Garrett County Chamber's website, visitdeepcreek.com, is not only a tool for our tourists and members, but is a shining example for other chambers and communities to use.

Go Back | Send this page to a friend
OFFICIAL CORPORATE SPONSORS