Risks & Challenges
With the internet often being regarded as a virtual shop front, we had to consider the complication of giving equal weight to the five principle museums, each with five management teams, all under the umbrella of the new NMNI branding. Both the design and practical management of the site therefore had to be carefully considered. Plus, with a significant target of 2.3 million sessions or visits, as set by the NMNI board of directors, we were tasked with developing a web presence that could be every bit as intelligent, flexible and intuitive as NMNI itself.
With such an expansive organisation, the issue of control was also a major concern. Although the information on the site had to be constantly updated and refreshed in order to continue to attract more visitors, and stimulate search engine algorithms, the power of their brand identity ran the risk of being seriously undermined by too much variation in the content. We solved this by creating a sophisticated yet very practical content management system, controlled by customisable workflows (approval process) that gave restricted access to a limited number of key personnel throughout the five museums, but ultimately controlled by one central web manager. Under the guidance of style templates, individual museums could therefore easily upload event details while the Web Manager could track changes, add images, shuffle pages and alter text during the approval stage, prior to going live on site.
Outcome & Benefits
Our web solution, featuring advanced content management allows our client to easily update and refresh their digital presence in a controlled, consistent way by staff throughout each of the four NMNI museums. This versatility enabled NMNI to attract 370,000 visitors within its first year.
When it comes to the application of best practice SEO strategies, the NMNI site search engine rank position (SERP) has also been of vital importance. Our expertise in continual search engine optimisation (SEO) has made sure that the NMNI website is consistently at the top of the result page.
Rather than simply acting as a presence on the web, www.nmni.com and www.titanicinbelfast.com have become essential tools in the operational structure of NMNI. They play a vital role within the marketing of NMNI and each of the member museums and with impressive online visitor statistics, they are fast becoming a key element in the education of young people and the ongoing success and popularity of Northern Ireland’s museum sector.
We have since developed a newsletter facility, enabling potential visitors, schools and organisations to sign up to a series of emailed communications. Their responses to these newsletters are then recorded to allow the Web manager to see the most popular or emotive stories.