OCEAN CITY — Last year, Ocean City got a new website that cost them $178,000, but this year, the resort will finally get to enjoy the entirety of the product that it funded.
When MGH Advertising won the job of constructing the town’s new website, www.ococean.com, the plan was to totally revamp the look and feel of the site, and then come back and add some state-of-the-art components to the site after ensuring that the so-called “nuts and bolts” of the site worked properly.
The site, which was launched last May, posted gigantic increases in almost all visitor categories, received high praise locally and nationally, and perhaps earned the resort the first reputable “web presence” it has ever had.
Tourism Director Deb Turk said this week, however, that the site is actually not entirely finished, as the final touches are being developed to bring the resort’s website “up-to-speed” with the fast paced world of technology.
“We are going to make it even more interactive than it already is,” said Turk. “It was always the plan to get through the first season and then add some more bells and whistles to it once we got a feel for how it was being used.”
Streaming video, applications for smart phones and even Itunes music lists are in the works to be added to the site in some capacity, in hopes that users will spend even more time on the resort’s website and explore town businesses.
“We are going to be really maximizing how much we are cross marketing the businesses,” said Turk. “Just like on Amazon, when you search a book and it offers up suggestions that other people who chose the book also bought, we are going to do that on our site’s search engine.”
Turk noted that the forthcoming features are all part of the original price tag and stressed that the goal is to make the new features just as easy to navigate as the ones that users found so accessible last season.
“We are going to be fine tuning some things and expanding on some things that worked really well for us last year,” said Turk. “The best way to describe what’s coming is to just say it’s going to be more interactive than ever.”
In addition, Turk noted that the Rodney the Lifeguard media spots that became well known last year will be used again through the first part of the summer, but new spots will be cut and produced in July, once the fiscal year ends, allowing the tourism advertising budget of more than $3 million to replenish.
“We are going to continue to use the spots from last year, but we are going to have everything ready as far as ideas go so we can shoot some new ads in July,” said Turk. “Rodney is still going to be saving people and bringing them to Ocean City, but expect it to be on a much grander scale.”