Finding the Key to Digital Success

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce reimagines its website as a slice of digital paradise with help from WP Engine Agency Partner Zehnder

Industry: Travel, Tourism

Site: |

Challenge: Reimagine a traditional chamber of commerce website as a visitor-centric destination experience to drive user engagement and business growth.

Solution: Site redesign and custom development led by Zehnder; Migration to WP Engine’s enterprise WordPress platform for industry-leading speed, security, and support.

Results: Immediate improvements to site performance and engagement including a 94% increase in Average Session Duration. Since launch, the new Chamber website has experienced higher-than-ever traffic, faster page speeds, and surging ad performance.

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce shares information about Siesta Key, Florida, including its local businesses, events, and activities. Siesta Beach, voted a #1 beach in the U.S., is one of Siesta Key’s main attractions. Made of 99% quartz, the beach has some of the finest, whitest sand in the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors annually.

Zehnder is a fully integrated agency that offers all of the digital and traditional marketing services brands need to thrive. Using its one-of-a-kind Listen Hub® data studio, Zehnder’s dedicated research and analytics teams and business strategy specialists help clients make data-based decisions that benefit their bottom line.

“The beauty of WP Engine is that we were able to use our resources in the most effective way. We focused on our strategy and vision from a design and development standpoint, and WP Engine met us in the middle with managed infrastructure we don’t have to worry about—in fact, it provides us with incredible results.” 

—Dave Maher, Chief Digital Officer, Zehnder 

Creating a Visual Vacation

Siesta Key, Florida is an award-winning beach destination with quartz sand, inviting accommodations, and plenty of charm.

The Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce is an association of businesses organized to encourage the Key’s strong local economy through marketing, member services, and tourism. 

Siesta Key is known for its crystal white beaches and smooth quartz sand

In 2020, the Chamber approached Zehnder, a fully integrated digital agency and WP Engine Agency Partner, with the goal of transitioning its traditional chamber website to a visitor-centric destination experience that also promoted Chamber business. 

“As so many traditional chamber of commerce sites still rely on a brochure model, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce had the foresight to relaunch its digital presence as a visual vacation, focusing on a user-first experience that conveys the beauty of the Key while making it easy for site visitors to plan their trips,” said Zehnder VP of Client Development Jennifer Boneno.

 To accomplish the Chamber’s goals, the Zehnder team focused on three key objectives: 

  • Create a visually appealing, easily navigable site for potential and existing Siesta Key visitors
  • Provide Chamber members with an easy-to-use digital resource 
  • Grow Chamber membership and participation in its advertising program

As a first step, the Chamber site was rebuilt on a new WordPress install and launched via Zehnder's AWS platform.

From there, the Zehnder team used WP Engine’s Automated Migration plugin for a simple, fast site migration to the managed WordPress provider’s enterprise platform

“We did run into some challenges with cron jobs and import process running on a regular basis during the migration,” said Zehnder Chief Digital Officer Dave Maher, “but the WP Engine team was quickly able to help us get those in place.”

As a WP Engine Agency Partner, the Zehnder team was augmented with ongoing technical and account support from a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Technical Success Manager (TSM). 

With migration support and back-end site maintenance offloaded to WP Engine, the Zehnder team was free to focus on the project at hand. 

Pairing Agency Expertise With the #1 Platform for WordPress

Zehnder’s digital and creative teams led the project, providing website and UX design expertise as the Chamber site was reimagined.   

An updated logo mark modernized the brand, as did a clean, visual-first site layout. Intuitive information architecture was also added to the site, which funnels users to the exact information they’re looking for.

First-time visitors can explore the Key and discover its diverse offerings, while those familiar with the destination, or currently visiting, can easily filter for accommodations, restaurants, and a wide variety of activities. 

In addition to enhancing the experience for site visitors, Zehnder also ensured the site would serve as an easily-navigable resource for Chamber membership, creating a member portal that easily directs members and prospective members to key chamber business and information. 

The new Member Directory used by the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce

Because the Chamber also helps members raise awareness for their businesses through advertisements on its website, the final objective of the site was to entice Chamber membership and grow participation in its advertising program.

Zehnder concepted numerous high-quality advertising locations that have helped the Chamber exceed its annual sales goals

“With the new site, our teams concepted numerous high-quality advertising locations within logical consumer pathways,” Maher said. 

“In addition to the design and implementation of ad sales software, our Business Strategy team developed an advertising model that Chamber staff not only implemented but expanded upon in order to exceed annual sales goals.”

Partnering with WP Engine helped the Zehnder team stay focused on the above, while website performance, security, and support throughout the site migration and launch were all taken care of.

The Results

Upon launch, the new site immediately began to make an impact. In just the first few weeks, engagement across the site jumped significantly, including: 

  • A 44.6% increase in Pages Per Session 
  • 22.6% increase in Pageviews 
  • 16.78% increase in Average Time on Page
  • 13.95% decrease in Bounce Rate

Additionally, the updated Chamber site has seen an impressive 94.11% increase in Average Session Duration, reflecting a massive increase in sitewide user engagement.  

Higher engagement has also helped the Chamber achieve valuable return on its investment (ROI) through its advertising program, including an 800% increase in views for a single partner and above industry average click-thru rates (CTRs), both of which serve as powerful metrics for use in additional sales efforts.

From a performance perspective, the Chamber site experienced an immediate boost after migration to WP Engine’s platform. 

With faster page speeds and a smoother user experience that complements the enhancements developed by Zehnder, the new Siesta Key site has provided the Chamber with exactly what they were looking for.   

“The performance gains we were able to show the Chamber, paired with the new design and navigation elements, were a total slam dunk,” Maher said.  

“The beauty of WP Engine is that we were able to use our resources in the most effective way. We focused on our strategy and vision from a design and development standpoint, and WP Engine met us in the middle with managed infrastructure we don’t have to worry about—in fact, it provides us with incredible results.” 

A smarter way to WordPress hosting.

What will you build? Get started today with WP Engine.