When Jay Schwartz, founder and Creative Director of IdeaWork, was tasked with creating a new Gansevoort Hotel Group website, he drew upon his own experience with the brand. The hotel group had disparate Web presences, making searching for availability, regardless of location, a problem.
"Our primary objective was unification: aligning the corporate brand with the various properties, including hotels, restaurants and nightlife, while still allowing for growth within the site, as the Gansevoort brand expands," said Schwartz.
Design wise, Schwartz's main goals were to tell the Gansevoort story through visuals, colors and typeface. IdeaWork pared down the navigation to the essentials, with information restructured so that it is accessible in a logical hierarchy. Basically, IdeaWork wanted to keep things simple. The idea, well, worked, because the website aesthetics are not only appealing, but the site is functionable and, most importantly, creates a singular brand presence.
When developing the site, the agency also focused on SEO best practices to streamline each property's search spend and maximize ROI.
"Rather than take a cookie-cutter approach by repeating a bunch of keywords on every page, we took a more strategic approach from the ground-up," said Schwartz. "URL taxonomy, page-level meta data and keywords and page-level content were all optimized with organic search ranking in mind. We wanted to make sure that each property's content was unique but that it would also help lift the visibility of the sister properties."
The aforementioned unique content, can also be updated internally. IdeaWork integrated its content management system to empower the hotel group to manage their own site content.
"I believe it's important for any of our clients to be able to manage the day-to-day content on their sites without needing a developer," said Schwartz. "This is especially true for a hotel or hotel group, because things are constantly changing, such as specials, promotions, events, restaurant and spa menus. Of course, we're always here to help when needed."