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Behind the scenes of the newzealand.com refresh

Six weeks ago, newzealand.com underwent a facelift, with a number of enhancements to user experience, mobile and technical performance being introduced at the same time as the new 100% Pure New Zealand campaign.

A key priority for Tourism New Zealand is to improve the usability and effectiveness of newzealand.com, delivering results for both New Zealand operators and offshore travel sellers.

“Digital analytics are an increasingly important aspect of our marketing work and I’m pleased to see strong initial results since the site’s refresh,” says Andrew Fraser, Director of Marketing Tourism New Zealand.

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“The bounce rate has fallen by 12 per cent across the site, consumers are viewing more content and are also more likely to make a referral. The site is faster too, with the new homepage loading in half the time of the previous version.”

A three-month series of rigorous testing was carried out prior to any site changes being introduced.

Andrew says: “Careful experimenting with the changes we wanted to make was integral to the change process.

“We can’t underestimate the importance of testing as we wouldn’t want to do anything to compromise a traveller’s ability to make contact with a travel seller.”

The series of site testing - known as A/B and multivariate tests - was conducted across multiple markets and the results were measured via website analytics. Site prototypes were created and face-to-face research was conducted with international visitors at the Auckland Central i-SITE to observe their behaviour and reactions to the proposed changes. Tourism New Zealand used these strategies to get a better idea of what was driving engagement and referrals – and how to improve them further.

Tourism New Zealand’s digital platforms are performing well with more traffic to newzealand.com than ever before and site visits up by 34 per cent year-on-year to 24.4 million.

The number of site referrals is an important performance indicator for the wider tourism industry. For the year ending June 2015 newzealand.com delivered a total of 2.1 million leads to the industry and the volume of leads from all Tourism New Zealand digital marketing activity was up 64 per cent year-on-year.

Note: If you have any questions about your listing or feedback about the newzealand.com refresh please be in touch with Tourism New Zealand’s digital team at register@tnz.govt.nz