The webstats we collect for our municipal website clients show that the overwhelming majority of visitors are those who live in or near their respective cities. The tasks they complete on the sites are what you might expect – paying a parking ticket, or downloading forms or permit requests.
But one of our clients is a city that is also internationally known as a tourist destination. Its website devotes a few pages to tourism, including one for sightseeing transportation and one that offers a map of historic buildings.
These pages generate enough traffic to suggest that non-residents planning a visit are checking out the website for information about things to do and places to go.
Having this type of content on a municipal website offers a positive way to promote your city. Even for locales that are not considered resort destinations, a listing of natural wonders and cultural/entertainment amenities can help to build a sense of community. It may also help influence the decision of a company to move to that city, and perhaps turn some visitors into tax-paying locals.
Yes, there will be other websites geared toward tourism. But the city’s official site is always going to show up on page one of a search for that city. And because it’s the official site, visitors are more likely to trust the information found there, as opposed to sites from tour operators trying to sell something.
Plus, more information is always good, especially if it’s the type that portrays your city in a positive light. Even if you’re not Orlando or San Diego or a city that welcomes a million visitors every year, there is an opportunity here to promote whatever makes your town special.
If you don’t have a beach or a famous theme park, perhaps you have a museum, or golf courses, or an annual music or theater festival. Maybe your city is home to properties that have achieved National Landmark status, or a restaurant that has become a local landmark by being in business for 50 years or more.
While municipal websites will always be utilitarian, and primarily accessed by residents with a specific purpose, we think there should also be room to showcase the places and events that make your city special.
When was the last time you reviewed your public sector website for security, accessibility, page-load speed and mobile friendliness? If it’s been a while, 360Civic can help. Our IT and security experts can review your site and measure its effectiveness in these and other areas of concern. Contact us to learn more.