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Three simple, effective things I like about Gunstock’s website.

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The other day Propeller’s Dave Gibson pinged me for some thoughts on something he was noodling on and used their efforts on Gunstock’s website as an example. I was intrigued by the stuff he was asking about, but was noticed three things they’d done on the main home page of the website that I really like.

None of these are groundbreaking ideas, but they are overlooked by so many resort websites I was happy to see them all in the same place.

Let’s dig in.

1) A Short Story

Yes, many folks coming to your website are there to buy something they’re already sold on. A season pass, a lift ticket, a weekend with the fam. But not everyone. For everyone else, I think it’s important you give them a way to learn what you are and who you’re for. That’s the first reason I love this content block placed right between the main hero area and the first major grid of content.

gunstock overview block

At 176 words, it fits nicely in that range where there’s enough information to be useful but it’s short enough that people are more likely to read it.

But there’s another reason I love this section, because do you know who else likes blocks of text? Google. These few paragraphs give the all-powerful-Goog a lot of nice, juicy bits of information that will help give it that extra chance of ranking for some of these keywords. However visual a page is for the user, I’ve always found that at least a little bit of text (even if it’s at the bottom) for Google is usually a good thing to consider.

2) Clean, Easy-to-Scan Grid

I’ve long loved the marketing concept that “clarity trumps persuasion” but I usually think of that in the context of marketing copy. I think the same is true for visuals as well. Sometimes in an effort to make our websites visual compelling or more conformed to design ideas we have taken a fancy to, we sacrifice utility for appearance. We make it more visually attraction to look at but harder for the user to actually consume.

I like what Propeller did with a subheader to introduce the section and then a simple, grid-aligned group of elements below that.

grid of summer activities

Even more, I really like that the relationship between these elements continues once you click on one to suggest the idea of moving back and forth through all of them instead of hitting back or moving on to a new part of the site.

activity toggle

I love they’ve really kept that hierarchy clear and let folks move around the same level instead of constantly moving up and down between levels.

3) Winter in Summer

Finally, I think it’s really smart how Gunstock handles the summer vs winter communication challenge. Yes, the main home page is summer-focused and leads with that imagery and copy from the top, but once you scroll down below that information they’ve added a content block that promotes their bread-and-butter; winter.

gunstock winter promo

By using the same styling for their text, their grid, and their header as the main content they’ve given it plenty of weight, made it easy to skim, and kept that winter-related content for Google to keep in mind during the summer months.

It’s a great site that’s clear, easy-to-navigate, and thoughtfully put together. Nice work Dave and Co.

About Gregg & SlopeFillers
I've had more first-time visitors lately, so adding a quick "about" section. I started SlopeFillers in 2010 with the simple goal of sharing great resort marketing strategies. Today I run marketing for resort ecommerce and CRM provider Inntopia, my home mountain is the lovely Nordic Valley, and my favorite marketing campaign remains the Ski Utah TV show that sold me on skiing as a kid in the 90s.

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