Dive In and Discover “The Way To Beach” with Visit Pensacola’s New Website

Three members of the Tempest team pose for a photo in front of the Flora-Bama Yacht Club in Pensacola, Florida.

The new website delivers an experience as smooth as the destination's famed sugar-white beaches and as immersive as the emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Visit Pensacola, the destination organization for Escambia County, Florida, which includes Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key, recently partnered with Tempest for a dramatic reimagining of their website, VisitPensacola.com. Together, we were able to deliver a user experience that is as smooth as the region’s famed sugar-white beaches and as immersive as the gulf coast’s beautiful emerald waters.

Prior to constructing the website, the Tempest team embarked on a three-day discovery excursion to better understand the intricacies of the destination and to seek inspiration for the website’s overall look and feel. Activities included visiting top attractions and historic sites such as the Gulf Islands National Seashore and Fort Pickens, sampling local seafood and sipping craft cocktails, touring the National Aviation Museum and learning about the Blue Angels, and, of course, feeling the sand beneath their feet with a trip to the beach.

Helicopters and airplanes on display within the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
The Tempest team tours the National Naval Aviation Museum to gather inspiration for Visit Pensacola's new website.

This research resulted in a new website that features a refreshed, mobile-first design which places increased focus on the natural beauty of the Gulf Coast destination, with full-width photos providing awe-inspiring moments to visitors of the site. A retooled and streamlined information architecture — fueled by Tempest’s SEO and content expertise — aids in discovery and navigation, prioritizing top interests for a variety of audiences.

For example, Pensacola’s trademark beaches now have increased prominence within the navigation, delivering users straight to one of the area’s most-searched-for experiences. Dining content has been recategorized into fewer subtopics (6 instead of the previous 14), relying more on curated blog content to support each dining style, cuisine or locale. A menu of Things to Do has been tailored to better reflect the most captivating types of experiences, as identified during Tempest’s initial client discovery phase. Gone are broad categories such as “Attractions,” and top search terms and activities such as the Blue Angels Air Shows have been elevated within the sub navigation.

The sun rises over a beach and buildings to the left as waves wash upon the shore to the right.

If you look closely, you’ll also notice subtle improvements bespoke to the destination, such as custom icons that speak to different Pensacola experiences or activities, like a beach-bound van topped with a surfboard and a beer tap that is inspired by the region’s pirate history. The website’s color palette reflects the rich emerald of the water, sharp white of the beaches, and royal blue of the aerial spectacle that roars overhead and delights visitors year-round. Other small touches include soft fade transitions that mirror ocean waves gently washing upon the shore and simple shadows of palm leaves that subtly transport viewers to a shady beachside lounge (Bushwacker in-hand, no doubt).

Built using Craft CMS, the Visit Pensacola team is provided with an immense amount of flexibility to create and modify the website’s content to fit their vision or leverage the most relevant stories and experiences. This level of customization ensures that each content piece can deliver the same inspiring, rich experience as the homepage, complete with easily modifiable text blocks, showcases, and other design elements.

On the new site, local businesses can take advantage of Tempest’s Destination Signals solution to enhance their exposure and grow their reach among prospective visitors considering a trip to Pensacola. This native advertising program places advertisements for Pensacola’s restaurants, attractions, shops and other businesses onto landing pages, blogs and other content pieces that are near-indistinguishable from existing web content.

“We worked closely with the Tempest team to ensure the design and user experience of the site authentically portrays the spirit of our destination.”

- Darien Schaefer, President and CEO of Visit Pensacola

“This dynamic new website will dramatically improve Visit Pensacola’s ability to market our visitor experience to potential travelers around the globe,” said Darien Schaefer, President and CEO of Visit Pensacola. “We worked closely with the Tempest team to ensure the design and user experience of the site authentically portrays the spirit of our destination.”

Jenny Rose, Vice President of Integrated Marketing Services at Tempest stated, “the new VisitPensacola.com website is an immersive digital platform built on advanced technology that delivers unparalleled flexibility, allowing the Visit Pensacola team to execute its critical mission to drive economic impact for the Pensacola community through travel.”

Dive in: VisitPensacola.com

Visit Tempest’s website to learn more about integrated marketing and web solutions, and see more examples of recent destination marketing projects.

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