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Not all blog posts are created equal. We found that blog posts about sneakers were over 200% more engaging than any other blog post. They also had the highest “time spent on a page” ranking and the lowest bounce rate out of any other category. Using this information, we adjusted our strategy of what type of post would draw the user in.
Equally important, our digital marketing team did its own homework. By examining organic search traffic, taking a deep dive into existing analytics and by constant communication with AllBall TV’s team, we sought out opportunities to better promote existing content and ensure key pages remained at the forefront.
Capturing Seattle with design
Our team wanted Seattle’s diverse landscape and quirky sophistication to shine through in our design, and we relied on custom icons and beautiful photography to carry the message. Starting with the wireframes, we proposed a photographically-driven site to highlight this bustling city surrounded by peaks and waterways, and collaboratively focused on how we wanted the user to experience the flow of the site.
Mobile-first from the start
Space Needle selfie: Check. But then what? Seattle visitors go to their phone to plot their next move, and we took a mobile-first design approach for this reason. Four levels of navigation is no picnic on a small device, but thinking mobile-first forced us to be direct with our content, starting in a hallway (mobile phone) and moving to a big room (desktop.)
Subtle design touches
It’s easy to intrude on usability and distract with obtrusive design, but we take caution and save our bells and whistles only for when it’s right. By breaking the pattern of expectations from the user, we introduced some small surprises along the way like the hover states you’ll discover on blog posts and neighborhood navigation.
More control with WordPress
The ill-informed belief WordPress can’t power your major site went up in flames long ago, but Visit Seattle’s site is more wood for the fire. Frustrated by their previously static and difficult-to-manage site, Visit Seattle’s team wanted more control. With WordPress, they’re seeing benefits in the same way as big brands like The New Yorker and Sony Music.
Content blocks for client ease of use
We want to empower our clients with flexibility and configurability, so when Visit Seattle approached us, we jumped at the chance to sink our teeth into delivering a site as easy-to-use behind the scenes as it is for the end user. By using content blocks, we give Visit Seattle complete control and maneuverability; moving a call-to-action button or a feed of Instagram photos up the page is as easy as a drag-and-drop.
Complex on the back-end, simple on the front-end
Take visitseattle.org for a quick spin and you won’t notice all the heavy lifting going on in the back-end: multiple third-party feeds to deliver events, partner listings, real-time weather conditions and hotel booking widgets. All of this data integration put our developers to the test. The tidy work on the back-end of the site resulted in a seamless user experience on the front-end.
Drill down with on-site search
Visit Seattle’s on-site search shows off a big win for our developers. The unique and vastly improved functionality allows you to drill down with your search queries. Are you a meeting planner? We’ll push a data set just for you via the Meeting Planner search. This customization within search allowed Visit Seattle to speak to the aforementioned array of audiences visiting its site.
Capitalizing on partnerships
Visit Seattle may be a non-profit marketing organization, but the bottom line still matters — and the work of our developers allows them to sell more partnerships. Partnership advertisements provide a source of revenue, plus every restaurant and hotel on Visit Seattle boasts its own dedicated page with rich, visual content.
We don’t create sites to be perfect, we create them to be perfected. That’s why our relationship with Visit Seattle relies on an ongoing partnership to push for better results, always with a steady eye on delivering the visionary digital experience you expect from the Emerald City. This hard work and client collaboration extends beyond the site redesign — we’ll be creating more tools to make every site visit engaging, interactive and representative of this exciting urban city surrounded by natural beauty.
“I consider Seattle my second home and I was honored for the opportunity to work on this project. Our team’s main focus was to create a web experience that was optimized for the mobile-user, ensuring visitors in Seattle could easily navigate the city at their fingertips. We started the design focusing on a mobile-first experience and integrating many advanced search functionalities. To top it all off we also created a design that truly epitomizes the vibe and heart of the city. I’m extremely proud of both the Gravitate and Visit Seattle teams for working so closely together to create such a beautiful and user-friendly site.”
“Visit Seattle is a massive website. There were so many pages, navigation items and unique content types — the challenge was making sure the user experience remained effortless, even with so many options. Persona research and an intensive information architecture strategy was crucial, both for UX and SEO.”
“Seattle in two words? Quirky. Sophistication. By weaving in elements of Seattle’s personality, elegant clean lines, and gorgeous photography these compelling adjectives came to life. I would be lying if I said this website was a purely visual challenge. We took on our largest site to date, burned the midnight oil throughout the content strategy and UX process, compiled and organized vast amounts of data, and blazed a mobile first trail that resulted in great rewards. High fives all around.”
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