Greater Williamsburg Grows with Orases Technology
Raising awareness of Greater Williamsburg tourism business community
Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance (GWCTA) had been an established member-based organization with strong membership services and participation for years. However, as the organization’s online presence and users’ need to have relevant search results delivered to them increased, GWCTA was faced with the question: should they remain a member marketing organization (MMO), or transition into a destination marketing organization (DMO)? Either way, GWCTA’s ultimate goal was to become more relevant to visitors, while further recognizing the importance of maintaining member engagement.
Usability and security
As a government entity, it was important that GWCTA’s website have two key components: it had to be easily updated to reflect the most up-to-date information, and it needed to be secure. With a dated site built on a proprietary Content Management System (CMS), making updates to the website was a cumbersome and time consuming process. The site was also extremely slow and had some major security issues. It didn’t tell the story of the organization and it didn’t provide the necessary resources for businesses within and outside of the community.
Increasing return on investment
After more than six months of Membership Committee meetings, facilitated stakeholder discussions and Orases consultations, the hard work had finally paid off. GWCTA not only transitioned into a destination marketing organization, but it also implemented Orases’ 24Watch Business Suite CMS. In doing so, the CMS provided a unique way for GWCTA to obtain business data and determine what information to feature on its website. Orases created the destination listings on GWCTA’s website, which allowed the DMO to track impressions, clicks, and conversions. Once all of the businesses were imported and uploaded into CMS, the DMO could simply maintain the listings and update on an as-needed basis.
Telling the story of Greater Williamsburg
The 24Watch Business Suite CMS positioned GWCTA as the destination expert by showcasing a wide-range of businesses on their website, which not only increased website traffic, but helped them out-rank TripAdvisor and other review sites for the search term, “williamsburg tourism information” The DMO also expanded their categories for destination listings, and now includes supplier partners, leisure recreation, and meetings. In addition, GWCTA’s member retention has increased by 4% since the initial import, and they rank in the top 3 in organic search for relevant search results. The 24Watch Business Suite CMS provides a powerful tool for visitors and locals alike to utilize and enhance their experience when in-market. In switching to this CMS, 24Watch Business Suite CMS has taken a significant step closer to achieving their goals of keeping members engaged via governance and community building, increasing membership prospects, and establishing relevance as an information source for their destination.