More Than a Landmark

Via john@pathfive.ca

Revamp Your Parks and Municipal Websites With These 5 Easy Tips. 

 

Sitting on top of Mount Carlton, the highest peak in the Maritimes, is a reminder of days past. The fire tower that stands here once played an important role in the detection and prevention of wildfires for the area.  Since it’s time however, technology has eclipsed this structure -- replacing its duties with the speed and efficiency of satellite imaging.


Known for it’s incredible viewpoints, my wife and I decided to cross Mount Carlton off of our bucket list and visit the fire tower for ourselves.  


Hoping to get relevant information, book our campsite and purchase any required passes, we reached for our phones and started looking around online. Our first stop was the provincial park website -- a visit which proved to be hard to navigate, limited in functionality and cumbersome. Frustrated, we gave up and tried calling a few numbers before finally getting what we needed. 

 

Unfortunately, we are not alone in our frustration. With more and more people looking to their devices for similar needs, the issues we faced are all too common. 


Despite this reality the web presence for many parks and municipalities tend to resemble landmarks like Mount Carlton’s fire tower. Once relevant, they are now reminders of the way things used to be. This leads to frustrated visitors who have the choice to trudge through or go elsewhere. In most cases it’s the later. 


To stay relevant here are 5 tips to bring your web presence up to speed:


  1. Invest in Responsive Design - Nothing kills a website interaction faster than pinch zooming, side scrolling and eye strain. To keep your user experience alive, investing in responsive websites that scale-to-fit any device is a must.

    Responsive sites are considered industry best practice and are one of the main expectations from today’s mobile users. Do everyone a favor and get on board.  


  1. Keep it Simple - With the average visitor moving on after 15 to 60 seconds, your sites have a very small window of opportunity to make an impact. This means everything should be easy to navigate -- think, three clicks or less.


  1. Stay Up-to-Date -  Visitors expect (and deserve) to find information that is meaningful and relevant. When that expectation isn’t being met you’re brewing a recipe for obscurity.

    Considering this, updating and maintaining your sites should be a top priority. It doesn’t have to be hard! With the right tools and software backing you up this process can be fast and easy. 


  1. Incorporate Online Registration - Time is precious. Most users don’t want to call-in to register for events and facilities -- especially if they’re already on your website.

    For everything from swimming lessons to campsites, give them the option to register and pay right then and there. Your citizens will thank you. Your staff will thank you. The world will thank you. 


  1. Have a Social Media Plan - Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, SnapChat, BEME ... the list goes on. Ask your citizens where they spend their time. Your municipality doesn't need to be everywhere, but pick a few and do it right!

    A simple yet effective social media strategy extends the reach of your websites and will help you boost engagement. 

 

_________


If your web presence has been on fire-watch lately, perhaps it’s time to consider making a few changes. Not sure where to start? Our team would be happy to lend a hand -- give us a call or drop us a line anytime!