[one_half]Visit the Site
A Recent History of www.dunlaoghaire.ie
In 2011 Inspiration won a tender to work with Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to develop a new version of www.dunlaoghaire.ie .At that time the new site was designed to reflect the Town’s ‘Brand project’ and a site design was supplied based on that branding. The focus for the site was mainly events and tourism related content although it also included a basic business database listing. The site was primarily an informational resource, similar to a brochure.
After the new site was developed, throughout 2012 and early 2013 Inspiration worked with the council to promote it online and to increase visibility of the site. We did this through staff training, search engine optimisation, adwords and email marketing. With search engine optimisation, we put a focus on promoting terms relating to the town brand i.e. “Dun Laoghaire”, “dunleary” etc. While it may seem natural that the site would perform for these terms, in fact there was a lot of online “competition”, including the council site itself, local independent community sites, tourism sites and more.
By the end of 2012,
- Unique visitors came to an average of about 6k per month (was less than 3,000 a month in 2011)
- Top 5 rankings in Google search results were achieved almost across the board for target terms with many 1st / 2nd place rankings.
- Facebook likes grew to 4,700 with strong engagement from the local online community.
What we did
When the local business community voted to become a “Business Improvement District” in 2013, a decision was taken to hand control of the site over to the business representatives and to re-develop the site to meet the BID objectives. Inspiration won the tender for this work and a significant website development programme involved re-developing the site with the following functionality;
- The site was built to be responsive i.e. to work well in mobile devices and to re-size in line with the device being used; when the original site was built in 2011, this was not a key consideration.
- A detailed business database was imported into the site, giving each business a login to update its own listing. A search facility for site visitors; to search for a business name or category is available on the homepage. Over 500 businesses now have their own unique link therefore any small business without a site in the town can now promote this link. Once the business registers with Google maps, the location map can be automatically integrated into the business listing also.
- Extensive functionality around events was integrated into the site including event listings, calendar, highlights, featured events on the homepage and venue listings.The banner is editable so that upcoming events can be easily featured.
- Dun Laoghaire town has a number of vacant premises and a database to list these was of these was put into the site, categorised into Office premises and Retail The BID team uploaded every location on the site, with a location map and this is a key marketing tool for the town, to attract new businesses.
- A marketing campaign was developed “Destination Dun Laoghaire” to attract supporters or Champions for the town was developed and launched on the site, where visitors can sign up and pay to join as a champion.
- A key element of the project was skills transfer and the upskilling of the internal team at BID, to be able to easily update the site. As the site was built in WordPress
- Since its launch, a number of videos have been developed to promote the site and you can hear Cathy talk about the site here
By the end of 2014, the metrics were as follows;
- About 9,000 visitors per month visit the site now
- The average visitor stays on the site for almost 2 minutes, which is a considerable improvement and reflects the improved functionality on the site
- The BID group has continued to maintain the FB page and likes now amount to approx. 6,500 and continue to grow.
We would like to thank Inspiration Marketing for all their work and support over the past 12 months to set-up our Dún Laoghaire online platform and to continuously develop the different elements and sections of our website; Dunlaoghaire.ie is now truly the ‘go-to’ site for residents, visitors and businesses alike. The event calendar contains the most comprehensive overview of ‘what’s-on’ in the County. The special offer/deals section has been proven to be a very effective B2C tool. The available premises database helped attract 57 new businesses to DL in the past 12 months. And the Destination Dún Laoghaire Campaign – invented by Cathy McGovern, MD of Inspiration – has brought the concept of shop local initiatives to a whole new level. We cannot recommend Cathy and her team highly enough.