The weather is heating up, the kids are excited to get out of school, and the in-laws just booked their annual Fourth of July visit. Summer is here. Is your agency website ready to sizzle this season?
Seasonal website updates are a great way to showcase the unique character of your community, boosting engagement with local residents and attracting tourists looking for a summer get-away. As your agency’s central hub of communications, your website should be the go-to resource for local information and services; and if you have special things going on this summer – from parades and concerts, to summer camp and swim lessons – your website is the perfect place to feature it. Read on for some tips to get your website summer-ready.
Use Seasonal Images
Use images that represent your brand and communicate the unique character of your community. Updating images seasonally is great way to show what’s going on in your community at different times of year, garner interest from the public, and keep your website looking fresh all-year round. To make your website summer-ready, update your homepage image as well as images on departmental pages or subsites that may be more highly trafficked in the summertime, such as your parks and recreation subsite or tourism page.
The City of Shoreline, Washington’s Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services departmental landing page features images that reflect services and activities offered this time of year, such as summer swim lessons.
The City of Suwanee, Georgia homepage showcases seasonal activities available during warmer months, like their outdoor movie screenings, “Movies Under the Stars”.
Make Information Easy to Find
Summer is full of fun activities and events, but far too often this information gets buried and lost on your website. The key is to make this content easy to find. Feature dedicated buttons or links to summer activities and events directly on your homepage and cross-promote this content on various pages of your website. Make sure the name of the new park that’s opening this summer is added to the Search feature within your website, and ensure the upcoming Fourth of July event page has an updated schedule and digital registration forms.
The Keller Pointe website features bold homepage buttons, making navigation to summer-related activities like “Aquatics” and “Summer Camps” quick and easy.
The City of Hurst, Texas website is designed with a scrolling homepage which allows the agency to feature seasonal interests – in this case, linking prominently to their Parks page.
Promote Across Channels
While your agency website should be the central hub of your digital communications strategy, it’s a best practice to use supplemental channels like email and social to expand reach and drive traffic. For example, use Facebook to post about the library’s summer book fair, and link back to your website for more information. Leverage email marketing to drive traffic to your summer concerts page where people can find the schedule; or use a solution like GovDelivery Communications Cloud to allow citizens to opt-in to receive email notifications on topics of interest.
Build a Summer Subsite
If you have certain departments that serve unique audiences or receive heavy traffic, consider building a dedicated subsite to make it easier for citizens to find the specialized information they seek. In many cases, such sites tie into seasonal interests and activities and may be more highly trafficked during the summer – such as parks and recreation, community centers, and tourism. Following are some examples of summer subsites from Vision customers.
The Keller Pointe Subsite
When the City of Keller, Texas opened The Keller Pointe, they opted to create a subsite separate from the city’s main website, to showcase their new state-of-the-art athletics facility. Designed with custom full-width landing pages, the subsite includes unique features like a virtual 3D tour of the facility to further engage citizens.
The Keller Pointe subsite offers a virtual 3D tour of the facility to provide a more interactive user experience.
As noted earlier, The Keller Pointe homepage is designed with bold buttons for quick navigation to the center’s many activities. To get summer-ready, they recently added a new seasonal navigation button and page dedicated to “Summer Camps”. Also, prominently featured on the homepage is a link to “Aquatics” where users can learn more about the center’s indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, and other aquatics programs designed to keep the entire family cool this summer.
The Keller Pointe homepage buttons make it easy to navigate to common interests like “Aquatics” and seasonal activities like “Summer Camps”.
The Keller Pointe Aquatics page features information about pools, rentals, swim lessons and more.
Visit Peoria, Arizona Subsite
To boost tourism, (much of which happens during the summer) the City of Peoria, Arizona created Visit Peoria, AZ, a subsite dedicated to attracting travelers to the area. The subsite is designed with navigation to help “Plan Your Visit”, secure “Local Amenities”, and find “Things To Do” – all distinctly featured at the top of the homepage. The three homepage buttons link to popular interests like baseball “Spring Training” at the Peoria Sports Complex, the “P83 District” for dining and entertainment, and “Outdoor Fun”, which drills into seasonal Peoria activities like water skiing, hiking, and horseback riding.
The Visit Peoria, AZ subsite is dedicated to travel and tourism, with specialized topics tailored to people looking to plan a trip to the area.
Town of Breckenridge Recreation Subsite
After discovering that recreation was a top area of interest for their website users, the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado decided to create the Town of Breckenridge Recreation subsite. The subsite is prominently linked to and promoted on the main agency website – a great example of using multiple channels to enhance messaging and drive traffic.
The Town of Breckenridge main website promotes “Recreation” on the homepage, which links directly to the recreation subsite.
Once they land on the Town of Breckenridge Recreation subsite, citizens can easily explore various ways to stay active this season including recreation programs, classes, and summer camps – making it the local go-to guide for all things summer.
The Town of Breckenridge Recreation subsite is summer-ready with seasonal images and easy-to-find information on summer activities, classes, and camps.
If you’re looking to make your website (or subsite) sizzle this summer, remember to integrate beautiful, bold images that display all the unique activities and events your community offers this time of year – and be sure to make this information easy to find. Add buttons or links to summer activities directly on your homepage and cross-promote through other communications channels like social and email to further drive interest and traffic to your website. To heat things up even more, consider building a subsite for specific departments that serve unique needs and tend to get a lot of traffic.
To learn more about creating engaging websites for every season, request a free website consultation.