Economic Development, Tourism, Website Development
Are You Ready to Start Building a New Website? Read This First
by Nuno Faustino
Expert Q&A: Part One
In this interview, we sat down with our lead web developer, Nuno Faustino, to talk about the questions he gets asked most often when working with DMOs on their websites. From his past experience as a scriptwriter in his home country of Portugal, Nuno brings a sense of storytelling to web design, and that’s one of the reasons why working with DMOs has been so rewarding. Every DMO has a story to tell, and his mindset approaching each project is to reflect that unique narrative through clean aesthetics and layouts, clear messages and logical navigation structures.
As a web designer and developer, Nuno has done work for multinational businesses and institutions like Getty Images, Doctors Without Borders and Dazed Media, but his true passion (besides being a great dad for his six-year-old twin sons) is to create websites that can improve communities and people’s lives in real ways. From freelancer to lead web developer, Nuno’s work with Bull Moose Marketing on heritage tourism and economic development web projects has proven to be the ideal medium to put that passion into practice. Bringing visitors to destinations has a direct impact on local economies and that translates into individual wellbeing.
Nuno believes that website development doesn’t need to be stressful or intimidating. Instead, it should be a fun process that allows clients to dig deep and reveal a better understanding of themselves and their goals.
When Do I Know That It’s Time To Build a New Website for My DMO?
The best way to gauge that it’s time to start building a new website is by asking yourself questions like:
- Is your current website bringing visitors to your destination?
- Does it represent the brand of your destination?
- Does it help prospective visitors find the information they need?
- Is your website running quickly and efficiently?
- Is the content up-to-date?
- Do you feel comfortable sending visitors and stakeholders to your website?
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then I would say it’s time to start considering updating your current website or developing a new one. Before you start making any changes, take a step back and consider how a new website will fit into your strategy for attracting new visitors. This holistic perspective on how your website fits in will help give your DMO a clear idea of how prepared they are for this undertaking.
Is Your Website Giving Visitors Trust Issues?
Join Bull Moose Marketing’s Director of Digital Strategy & Brand Development, Megan McDonnell, and Lead Web Designer, Nuno Faustino, to learn about the principles and functionality your website needs in order to lay the groundwork for a high-performing, standout DMO website.
How Long Will It Take To Build a New Website?
Developing any type of website takes time, but in my experience, if you want to do it right, DMO websites normally take longer. That’s because a destination is a more complex subject than, say, a restaurant, a brand of shoes or an event. Whereas website creation for other industries can take around three months to complete, for DMOs, this process can take up to six months or more. So, if an agency says they can build one for your organization in a couple of months,this is a sign that they may not be planning on listening to what you have to say and may deliver a website built on a pre-made template that won’t serve your intended purpose.
Planning, creating and launching a website takes a lot of time and energy, so make sure you’re taking steps to do it right the first time. This can save your DMO a lot of future work and headaches.
How Much Content Do You Need To Start Building My Website?
I’m often asked this question, but the real question needs to be: what’s the level of quality my content needs to have? The answer is that your content needs to be excellent.
This leads us to two big mistakes that DMOs make when developing their websites. They believe that their content is good enough or they believe they’ll be able to produce quality content quickly. I can promise you that creating really good content will take more time than you think and that waiting for content is the main factor delaying DMO website launches.
This content, both through copy and photography, need to convey your key messages in the most concise and engaging way possible. People don’t have a lot of time to read a lot of text, so DMOs need to communicate with potential visitors with content that gets straight to the point. And, the level of content and photography will shape how visitors perceive your website’s credibility and authority. Only websites done well will earn this kind of trust.
Brevity is the key to successful website copy, so your content should never be an afterthought. Make sure you know who you are, who your visitors are and what you want to tell them. This will help you in creating quality content that will convert your users into visitors.
What Are Visitors Even Looking for on a DMO Website?
This is a very important question. At a basic level, visitors want information about the destination and that will vary depending on where they are in the visitor’s journey. But, no matter what questions they ask, they lead to the real reason why they’re visiting your DMO website, and this goes deeper. What they want is a planning partner they can trust.
Planning a trip isn’t always easy. Visitors are looking for a website with messages, visuals and quality content that is consistent to prove that it can be trusted. If your website doesn’t have this kind of information, this will give your visitors trust issues that can transcend the website and affect their perception of the destination as a whole.
By implementing consistency and authenticity into your website, you open the door for visitors to trust it. This minimizes the stressful parts of planning and allows them a positive experience before they even arrive at your destination.
Building a Website for Your Destination Opens Up Great Opportunities
There’s a lot we didn’t cover here, but this is a great starting point to reference before you build a website. While building a website is a lot of work, if everybody has the right mindset about it then the process can be really fun. It gives you a moment to pause and look at your destination with fresh eyes. Think about it like website therapy. You get a moment to analyze its strengths, potential and possibilities as well as its weaknesses and growth opportunities. Not everything that comes up will be good. Maybe it’s trying to be everything to everybody or has just lost its personality. But, like in therapy, being aware of the good and the bad opens up the door for improvement.
The first step to building a website for your destination is having an open mind and not being afraid to dig deep. What will come out of it on the other side of the journey will be a better you… I mean, a better website.
To catch more of our interview with Nuno and learn more about developing a website for your destination, check out part two here.
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