The Philadelphia region’s most powerful cheerleader will unveil a sleek new Web presence and re-branding effort today.
At a Center City hotel this morning, the primary online home of the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. will be recast as VisitPhilly.com, which is dominated by big photos and better integration of other content. This fifth redesign for GPTMC is also their first step away from their 13-year-old GoPhila.com. GoPhila.com now redirects to VisitPhilly.com.
The new design, led by Web design firm Happy Cog East with offices in Center City, features a cleaner navigation with more interactive drop-down bars, a trend in development moving away from the more cluttered, screen-wide top navigation bar the last iteration GPTMC had.
In addition to the new Web presence, GPTMC will debut 25 new advertisements in its With Love, Philadelphia XOXO campaign and a new winter TV commercial, another step in its recent $1.7 million campaign at attracting more overnight visitors. Part of the further integration is putting content from Philly Fun Guide and GPTMC’s popular separately branded arts and culture blog uwishunu.com a drop down away. [Full disclosure: this author is a past uwishunu contributor.]
As promoted, moving branding to VisitPhilly from GoPhila offers the benefit of being easier to remember, offering an actionable step and, yes, simpler better search engine optimization. In 2009, nearly 75 percent of GoPhila.com’s traffic came from search engines, according to a GPTMC release, and visitors are presumably more likely to search ‘visit Philly’ than ‘go Phila.’
It should be noted that GPTMC focuses on the five-county region – Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery – with its slogan “Philadelphia and the Countryside.” Yes, that puts Upper Darby in the countryside.
In February, the release also said, the Independence Visitor Center will also begin to link directly to VisitPhilly.com, further solidifying GPTMC as the region’s top booster. The regional marketing group also pledged to continue partnerships with Google for dynamic mapping features, Travelocity for on-site booking capabilities and PhillyFunGuide for a comprehensive events calendar. This summer, the group plans to integrate visitor comments from TripAdviser to offer user-generated insight.
At this morning’s event, GPTMC will also release a new 16-page Philadelphia tourism industry profile, featuring facts and trends in the region, including growing international visitorship.
Every designer, developer and critic we have, what do you think of the change from this to this? [Credit for keeping the older version around so visitors can still navigate what they know when looking for something specific, at least in the beginning of the transition.]
When major Philadelphia Web sites change, Technically Philly will find out why in The Redesign. Every Wednesday, Shop Talk shows you what goes into a tech product, organization or business in the Philadelphia region. See others here.-30-