Location: Myrtle Beach, S.C. • Title: Web Developer • Years worked: 2013-2014
In 2013, I had the opportunity to return to The Sun News — the company which had brought me to Myrtle Beach many years before — to help develop and launch a brand-new website.
This site, GoToMyrtleBeach.com, was designed to be a combination of a tourism portal site, designed to compete locally with MyrtleBeach.com and VisitMyrtleBeach.com, and a news site that would enhance the newspaper's overall coverage of tourism and entertainment news.
I jumped at the chance to become a full-time developer and went from a basic knowledge of HTML and CSS into architecting a fully-featured Wordpress site from the ground up.
After 6-9 months of planning and development, the site launched, and we hit the ground running, publishing 30-40 articles per month. In addition to continuing to develop new site features, I became very involved in content creation, writing daily plus a creating variety of content including videos, photo galleries, and infographics.
Through online marketing efforts including social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, and e-mail marketing, site traffic grew quickly to about 50,0000 visits per month within the first three months of GoToMyrtleBeach.com.
Thanks to the solid SEO strategy I designed — which involved creating MANY granular pages full of content and leveraging our media connections to get links — we soon ranked on the first page for many mid-tier and long-tail keywords related to Myrtle Beach travel.
By the time I left this project to pursue an amazing opportunity with the area's top advertising and marketing firm, GoToMyrtleBeach.com had surpassed 100,000 visits per month, well on its way to its first-year goal of more than 1 million uniques.
Since my departure, the site has continued a steady pattern of growth, and in 2017 was re-branded as Myrtle Beach Life, in order to encompass not only tourism but also all of the newspaper's lifestyles coverage.
Here is some of the design work I created at GoToMyrtleBeach.com, including promo panels, logos and advertisements:
Here are a few of the videos we produced at GoToMyrtleBeach.com. Click any thumbnail to watch:
Here are a few of the web pages and projects I created at GoToMyrtleBeach.com: