One project in particular which has been close to our heart this year is townandgown10k.com, a microsite for the annual races which support the Muscular Dystrophy campaign. The Town and Gown 10k races take place in Oxford and Cambridge and each event sees thousands of people turn up, taking over the University towns with their trademark orange t-shirts. Runners can choose between courses or, if they’re feeling energetic, enter both races to help raise money for the charity. The aim of the website is to not only encourage people to sign up, but also help them raise as much sponsorship money as possible. It also offers information on the individual events and ways to get involved, even for those that aren't running. We were honoured to be given the task of creating the site as it’s such a worthy cause. Several team members recently lost a dear friend to Muscular Dystrophy, so it is especially rewarding that the site has proven to be such a success. The website is a great example of what we feel we do so well, creating sites that turn visitors into customers, or in this case contributors to a great cause. A few key features include:
- A clear link to the race registration form
- Blog integration on the home page
- A clean, user-friendly design which reflects the charity’s branding
- Links to their social networking accounts and social networking buttons
All these elements combine to make a great user experience which anyone looking to increase visitor engagement on their site should pay attention to. While the significant increase in registration figures speaks for itself, a quick look at the blog reveals an active feed of information which its readers are responding to, and in a positive way. The blog entries contain a mix of updates on the races, personal stories of people who have run them and links to other sites which are covering the events. A clear navigation structure makes it easy for visitors to the site to find out what the races are about and what to expect, in addition to tips for fundraisers. There are more subtle ways it offers information to visitors as well, each time the homepage is refreshed a new tip is displayed for fundraising and training. It also encourages visitors to spread the word, with clear links to social networking pages at the top of the site as well as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons below its content. What did Muscular Dystrophy have to say about working with us? “Optix Solutions have been a pleasure to work with. They are a friendly and professional team that are prompt in answering queries and supporting the charity’s needs. We are delighted with the website itself and since launching in January, we have seen our registration figures almost double in comparison to previous years” said Toya Champ, Challenge Events Manager. If you feel your site could be more engaging and dynamic like townandgown10k.com then it’s worth giving us a call. The Town and Gown 10k project is a prime example of how effective a well-executed website can be in helping a brand to grow. In this particular case it not only fulfilled the client’s expectations but exceeded them as well.