Summary

Desert Botanical Garden came to LaneTerralever with the goal of creating a website that would turn site visitors into Garden visitors, allow the Garden to better serve its current visitors, increase exposure to Garden events and information, and provide an opportunity to connect with new audiences. This new site needed to exude a clear brand identity and serve both the Garden and the visitor. With this charge, we set out to create a site that provided users with a frictionless and informative experience.

Digestible and Engaging Content

One of the biggest gaps we identified with the original site was that it lacked digestible and engaging content. The content existed but wasn’t being used in an impactful way. We worked with Desert Botanical Garden’s marketing team to create content that highlighted the Garden’s many events, programs, venues, and memberships to be featured on the new streamlined and more visually engaging website. By incorporating dynamic content, social platform integration, and easy transitions between parent-pages and eCommerce ticketing into Desert Botanical Garden’s new site, we were able to help engage potential guests and increase revenue through online ticket sales. A botanical garden that exudes such beauty and innovation clearly deserves a website to match.

Services

  • Website redesign
  • Content strategy
  • User experience design
  • Content development
  • Photoshoot
  • Website development
  • Quality assurance
  • Ecommerce website
  • Google Grant ads management 
  • Data and analytics
Desert Botanical Garden website displayed on various devices
Desert Botanical Garden mobile homepage

The Goals

This website redesign project sought to accomplish multiple goals to benefit both guests and the Garden itself. Through the newly redesigned website, Desert Botanical Garden hoped to primarily increase membership and attract donors. In addition, we had to find a way to easily share conservation efforts, allow users to register for classes online, market events, programs, and educational opportunities, create an easy way to purchase tickets, and increase the overall exposure of the Garden.

The Challenge

Their previous website was outdated and not very user-friendly; it did not reflect the exciting programming going on at the Garden and made it difficult for visitors to purchase tickets or become members. This was, in part, due to the previous ticketing website being custom-built, which made it difficult to integrate with the gateway ticketing platform. We had to find a way to keep the look and feel cohesive and the transition seamless as users moved from the main site to tickets.dbg.org. In addition, the mobile experience the site offered was dodgy at best. This made it difficult for a large audience to engage with the website, ultimately leading to lost revenue opportunities for the Garden.

Desert Botanical Garden event page
Desert Botanical Garden mobile event detail page
Desert Botanical Garden events mobile view
Desert Botanical venue hosting page

Guiding Principles

When creating the content, layout, and design we relied on the following guiding principles to help create a site that serves both the garden and its visitors:

  • Stay visitor-centered: Anticipate and meet visitors’ needs.
  • Focus on the big picture: The Garden is here to help you enjoy the beauty of the desert and care about it.
  • Make what they need easy to find.
  • Make it a story: Engage the user with content across the site.
  • Keep it short: simple, clear, direct, interesting and relevant.
  • We make communication a conversation: Make it easy to connect.
  • Pay attention to user needs and adapt so they are met.
  • Be open to visitors responding: Create a place for feedback and respond accordingly.

The Solution - Showcasing Guest Lifestyle and Garden Beauty

In order to achieve the goals laid out for the new site, we designed a fully responsive site that incorporated social media and event calendar capabilities seamlessly through the Garden’s main webpage. Every page is cohesively imbued with a vibrant color palette, modern typography, and dynamic media content featuring photos and videos of the Garden that work together to bring the beauty of the Garden into the website itself. Together, these elements serve to feature the balance of lifestyle, specifically guest diversity and inclusion, with the natural beauty of the Garden.

Many of the site’s forms previously existed in PDF format, which we converted to vibrant HTML interface which fits properly on mobile devices. This made the site functional for mobile users, a crucial feature considering that 70%+ of traffic to the site is coming from mobile.

Desert Botanical Garden website is designed to be responsive for mobile
Desert Botanical Garden mobile navigation
Desert Botanical Garden mobile weekly events
Desert Botanical Garden dogs' day in the garden event mobile screen
Desert Botanical Garden other similar events module on mobile
Desert Botanical Garden mobile form design

Serving the Visitors

All of our efforts aimed to ensure the new site is as easy to navigate for the Garden’s visitors as possible. This meant that they should have easy access to information about tickets, memberships, booking venues, volunteering, donating, and getting involved with events at the Garden, all of which is presented clearly on the site’s new homepage. Not only was this information made easily accessible, but it was also essential when guests are navigating from one page to another.

We also integrated a dynamic calendar feature into the site, allowing users to view a slider of events on the homepage, plan their visits through the calendar module, or view suggested “you may also like” events on the site, thus creating more opportunities for visitors to engage with the Garden online.

Selecting the Right Technologies

  • WordPress was chosen because we could easily integrate our custom plugins to the platform. This platform allowed for an easy-to-manage back-end experience for our marketing team and any future content managers.
  • Galaxy Store was the best choice for a ticketing platform. It was used to create a unified integration between the membership portal and ticketing while also integrating donations, ticketing, and membership purchases in real time.
  • SiteImprove was chosen to monitor and manage website accessibility.
  • The integration of the Crowdriff social widget allows visitors to view user-generated photos from social media accounts, creating richer opportunities for engagement.

Desert Botanical Garden's event calendar
Desert Botanical Garden upcoming events
Desert Botanical Garden event calendar
Desert Botanical Garden icon module

Measuring Success

When measuring the success of this project, we looked at ticket sales, volume of traffic to the site, driving a younger demographic of users, and the conversion level of site visitors to Garden visitors. So far, the new site has been a resounding success by all measures.

Metrics from Dec. 2018 - May 2019
YoY Comparison

167.9%

Online revenue increased

265.8%

Online transactions increased

47.5%

Site visitors increased

63.6%

Unique page views increased

28.5%

Site users age 25-34 increased

75.5%

Mobile site visitors increased

Striking the Proper Balance

The newly redesigned Desert Botanical Garden website is the perfect balance between lifestyle and Garden beauty that users can experience both online and in person. The simple textural components added depth, and the vibrant color palette provides a modern look and feel that was able to showcase the content in a more clear and digestible way. Information about the Garden is paired with photos and videos of the events, programs, and grounds to entice site visitors to become Garden visitors.

Don’t believe us? Ask their visitors who reached out following the launch.

"This site makes me proud to be a Member."

-Desert Botanical Garden site visitor

“The checkout experience ‘feels friendlier.’ Very DBG!”

-Desert Botanical Garden site visitor

“Nice feature to be able to view membership, order history, and tickets!”

-Desert Botanical Garden site visitor

Continuing Success

Since the launch of Desert Botanical Garden’s redesigned website, we have taken over the management of their Google Grant budget.

When working with a non-profit organization, Google donates up to $10,000 in free paid search ads. The challenge is that they cap the ability to bid on keywords that cost more than $2.00. Desert Botanical Garden tasked us with maximizing this budget to help increase their online footprint, thus driving more traffic back to the newly redesigned website.

Previously, the Garden had been spending an average of $2,000-$3,000 a month of their allotted Google Grant budget. Since we have taken over, the average monthly spending has been raised to $5,600, with peak months reaching the $8,000 mark. This increase has been made possible by our expansion of keyword bidding into different areas including events, classes, and venues that the Garden had previously not utilized.

Through these efforts, we have been able to continue our successful partnership with Desert Botanical Garden and drive qualified traffic to their website.