Computer screen with Visit Inverness Loch Ness website on it

Visit Inverness Loch Ness Website Case Study

Brief from Client:

As the destination management organisation for the Inverness and Loch Ness region in Scotland and first Tourism BID in Scotland, Visit Inverness Loch Ness (VILN) were challenged with declining online user engagement and statistics. They needed to turn this trend around rapidly prior to their pending member re-ballot. As such they needed a new and engaging tourism website design, complete with interactive and dynamic features.
Analytics screen shot

On behalf of its members the organisation is committed to:

  1. Growing overall visitors numbers to the region
  2. Increasing visitor spend and length of stay, through improving the visitor experience and providing improved interaction and information for visitors to the region.
  3. Driving greater business to members through the shoulder and winter months
  4. Increasing global competitiveness and sustainability of tourism in the destination

So the aim of the new site was to showcase this stunning travel destination to the world. Making it easy for travellers to plan their trip and find out more about the area, where to stay, eat, shop and what to do. They needed a new vibrant website to become the one stop shop for all regional travellers.

Furthermore, their current website was on a bespoke CMS with little possibility to develop, enhance or manage simple elements such as interactive messaging, call to act and banners. VILN needed an opensource solution, to give them full control and enable them to share powerful messages to market.

WHAT WE DID:

The team at POSH saw this as a super opportunity to completely re-structure the online journey with a new tourism website design and build. Furthermore, we could build and manage it using an open-source platform. In this instance we chose WordPress.

This made for a more flexible website. It would be easy to use, update and manage. Simple to develop upon for longevity. Completely SEO-friendly and supportive. Thus far more cost-effective, flexible and powerful in supporting the prospective customer journey. It’s full of interactive features, so the content adapts depending on what the user clicks. Designed to take the user on a journey of discovery, inspiring them to visit and helping them to plan.

Tourism Destination Database

To work with this new fresh tourism website design, POSH had to develop a complex tourism destination database to manage, sort, filter and deliver Visit Inverness and Loch Ness’s huge number of member businesses. These businesses include local members such as local hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions. Plus, non-profit locations and organisations, such as local places of interest, viewpoints and historical sites.

This complex database lists all members and pulls them through dynamically on the website, based on relevant search criteria. It also allows the client to deliver a better user journey, encompassing Google Maps. So, for example, a page about food and drink can pull in all the bars and restaurants within relevant categories (fast food, cafes, fine dining etc). Whilst the Google maps integration clearly displays where each place is located, so helping the user find a location based on their planned travels for their stay. We have set all this up to make searching for things to do in the area quick and easy for the end user.

Screen shot from Visit Inverness Loch Ness website

To ensure fair delivery and promotion of each of the VILN members, we designed delivery of each to be randomised in an interactive carousel. Each time the user browser is refreshed a difference 12-member businesses relevant to that search is displayed. The user can also interact with the slider to view further members.

Itineraries and Blogs

Next, we created useful itineraries based on different interests, such as history, food and drink, or sports and the outdoors. Giving users more ideas of places to visit, that perhaps they wouldn’t have found otherwise. We also added a blog section, where the Visit Inverness Loch Ness team can share their local knowledge and hidden gems of the region. Many of the website visitors have never been to the region, so we wanted to make the journey as simple and inspiring as possible. We wanted to ensure they knew where to go, what to see and how to structure their travels whilst staying with us.

Screen shot from Visit Inverness Loch Ness website

Videos and Interactive Tours

The Loch Ness and Inverness region is breathtakingly beautiful. We wanted to convey this through, not only great imagery of the area, but through user interaction. We therefore developed a key area of the site to incorporate an interactive videos carousel for users to engage with. Further, we commissioned 360° Google tours for users to place themselves in special locations of our region. Here they can then walk through and explore prior to their visit. We created a special journey for the viewer, which is visual, inspiring and engaging.

Screen shot from Visit Inverness Loch Ness website

Navigation

With this inspiring, visual and interactive site, we had to place great importance on the management and manipulation of the online user’s subliminal journey. Therefore, the navigation of the site was crucial to providing the experience we wanted our users to enjoy.

Instead of featuring word-led drop-down navigation bars, we developed an image-led navigational journey. Here a clear top navigation leads the user through from inspiring them to want to see more of the area, to organising their booking, to planning their days once booked. We featured powerful imagery for key journey clicks. And we also designed an interactive side footer to guide the user to key areas, with a quick contact form to encourage engagement.

Screen shot from Visit Inverness Loch Ness website

Search Engine Optimisation

As a specialist SEO Agency – we understand that having great SEO is the key to driving hard hitting results. After all, what’s the point in having an amazing, interactive, high converting website if users can’t find you in the first place!

So as with all POSH websites, the new VILN tourism website design put SEO at the forefront. It works extremely well with the search engines such as Google and Bing. This means users can find the site easily in a search engine, whether they are looking specifically for the site, or they are searching in more general terms, for example “Things to do in Inverness”.

RESULTS:

This exciting new Visit Inverness Loch Ness website went live in October 2018. Watch this space and we will update you with the results as soon as possible.

TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEBSITE DESIGN

If you are looking for a web design agency that specialises in tourism website design, then contact POSH today. Find out how our Glasgow-based company can help improve your website and marketing activities. Simply call us on 0141 278 6702 or email us by clicking the button below.

Visit Inverness Loch Ness Logo

Graeme Ambrose, Chairman of Visit Inverness Loch Ness

Digital Strategy and Website Design Agency

‘Our old website was tired and dated with declining visitor engagement. We are absolutely delighted with the new website that Jenny and her team at POSH have built for us. Fresh, easy to navigate with lots of new content and images, it is a site that absolutely hits the mark in terms of the requirements of destination website today. Already we have had excellent feedback from businesses about it’

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