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Washington Trails Association

To get people engaged in creating a healthy planet, studies show getting them outside is a great place to start. Washington Trails Association works to provide Washingtonians with this link to the natural world. Over the past three years, we've worked with WTA to create an interactive, robust website with a database of over 2,500 hikes. The result has been astonishing. Website traffic increased 150% since the new WTA site launched.

Over the past three years, we've worked with WTA to create an interactive, robust website. The result has been astonishing. Website traffic increased 150% since the new WTA site launched.

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Washington Trails Association

Start 'em young.

The WTA website is home to one of the largest online hiking guides in the nation and visitors to the site can now search through 2,800 Washington state hikes and read over 30,000 user-generated hike reports from their fellow hikers.

When WTA came to us, they wanted a new site that would be easy for staff members to update, more approachable for visitors, and would do a better job of surfacing WTA's massive library of content both to site visitors and to search engines.

WTA grew their Facebook fan page to over 10,000 fans, and 31% of their website traffic comes through Facebook.

We were excited by the challenge of rebuilding a highly successful, decade-old website. We implemented a new visual design and moved most of their static content into Plone; a much more robust, easier to use Content Management System than their old site.

We replaced the original Hiking Guide and Trip Report systems with more powerful, more user-friendly Plone-powered versions. This phase also included a massive data cleanup effort by WTA staff, which we supported with a variety of behind-the-scenes tools.

Since the Fall 2008 launch, WTA's visitor count increased nearly 150% and their pageviews increased over 85%. Most notably, Google search results for individual hike names return WTA in the number one or number two ranked spot, resulting in enormous increases in traffic to these website pages.

We merged content from eight Mountaineers books into the WTA hiking guide, adding content from 500 new hikes to the robust site. Visitors can now search through 3,000 hikes in Washington state and read over 36,000 trip reports.

We added a Facebook sharing tool to the WTA website that allows hikers to write hike reports on the WTA website and then share the content with their Facebook friends. WTA grew their Facebook fan page to over 10,000 fans, and 31% of their website traffic per year comes through Facebook.

We worked with a WTA volunteer (whose day job is working on Google Maps) to add an interactive map to the website. The map is also connected to the user-generated trip reports and other information specific to that hike.

WTA began working aggressively to convert website visitors to members, and saw a significant increase in the number of new members joining online. Factors contributing to this increase include an integrated, multi-channel communications strategy; the addition of online tools such as pop-up forms and a homepage carousel to more easily promote campaigns; online giving forms with related web content; and a content-rich site that attracts repeat visitors.

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