By now, everybody probably knows that the Web is the number one source of tourism information and referrals. That’s why Tracey Muller and Jan Bordinaro, who started PR for Gloucester, organized a group of volunteers to save the City owned GloucesterMA.com from being turned off. They asked Peter and me if we’d re-design the site to accomplish 4 major goals:
- Promote Gloucester’s authentic natural beauty, maritime & cultural heritage, food, music and arts.
- Build a database-driven engine and admin-system that empowers volunteers to ensure every Gloucester business is represented.
- Code the site in a way that helps to boost it’s search engine position.
- Make it work on a smartphone.
We agreed — and we donated our time along with many others to accomplish these goals. Plus we added one more goal: promote the site. For that we asked our good friend Joey C. And what a job he did! He gave us an ENTIRE WEEK of videos, podcasts and write ups! I can’t imagine how he got any other work done that week. THANKS JOEY.
Just in case anyone wonders, the City of Gloucester still owns, and has always owned, GloucesterMA.com. The city of Gloucester offers the free listing as a public service. GloucesterMA.com is managed by the volunteer group at no cost to the City.
It’s been just about a year since we launched. Here’s what’s happening:
- Traffic for 2011 was about 5 times the traffic for 2010.
- The vast majority of traffic comes from Google & other search engines and nearly 80% of traffic is from new visitors.
- GloucesterMA.com is the first or second search result for almost every search phrase containing the word “Gloucester”.
- Percentage of mobile visitors shot up from 6% when we launched in March to 16% by the end of the year.
If your business serves travelers to Gloucester, you want to be sure your listing on GloucesterMA.com is up to date. Notice the last bullet about smartphones? In case you were wondering, smartphone usage is skyrocketing! And if your phone number is on GloucesterMA.com, all smartphone users have to do is tap it and their phones will dial your number automatically!
Please remember, this is an all-volunteer effort to boost one of the three pillars of Gloucester’s economy. We need your help to keep the information fresh and current.