Choc Chip recently completed a major website design and online marketing campaign for www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au using the Drupal CMS (Content Management System).
GOT (Geelong Otway Tourism) contracted us to build the new website to provide tourism information and represent the tourism association members by giving them prominent pages on the site.
As well as an attractive, dynamic design, this site includes a considered navigation structure and content targeted to attract site visitors and lead them to the member pages.
The challenge in building this site was to incorporate data for the tourism association members from two different external sources.
The first of these is ATDW (Australian Tourism Data Warehouse) which became GOT's preferred partner in providing membership information. When a tourism business becomes a member of GOT they have the option of obtaining a website listing with ATDW.
This means that their information is guaranteed to appear on visitgreatoceanroad.org.au but may also appear on other sites that draw from the ATDW database. We check the feed every night and changes and new members are imported automatically.
The second source of membership listings comes from GOT's in-house database of members. This uses a MS Access database to record all members, not just those that have opted in to a full website page.
All members of GOT receive a free 'line listing' in the appropriate category on visitgreatoceanroad.org.au, meaning that their contact details appear on the quick search results pages but they do not have a full page listing.
We developed an importer so that GOT staff can manually export their database to xml and upload it into the website. The script then updates the line listings automatically.
A major consideration for this project at all stages, both during site build and ongoing, is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
The main purpose of this site is to give the tourism businesses that take part as much exposure as possible, with the goal of giving them as much exposure as possible.
The SEO campaign we created included link building, online press releases, news stories and more. Major landing pages for each region and key terms were also identified and SEO-friendly copy written specifically for these pages.
The Drupal CMS made these SEO features easy to implement.
Roles - Using Drupal's core user module we set up 'editor' and 'administrator' roles so that regional tourism bodies can elect an editor who can log in and change or add content for that region, while GOT itself has representatives who can act as site administrators.
Theme flexibility - We are using different themes for specific landing pages as well as sections related to each of the different regions. We use taxonomy and some custom switches to specify which page loads which theme.
Views and taxonomy - Using views for our 'quick search' pages means that it was very easy to set up, with each results page showing members based on the taxonomy terms they have assigned.
Contributed modules - We use a host of contributed modules to achieve the functionality required, including Views 2, CCK, Imagecache, Pathauto and a few other usual suspects as well as many we've found useful for this specific project.
Drupal also helped by providing a strong framework on which to build our own importers and other modules.
The result is a site that already ranks very well in search engines like Google for the chosen key phrases, and has received accolades from both the industry and public users.
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