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A world-renowned marathon that attracts athletes from all over the world needed a multi-site website to bring them up to speed.

The Honolulu Marathon is one that runners around the world look forward to, since 1973 the picturesque views have been the backdrop of the USAs fourth largest marathon.

Thanks to our approach to user experience (UX) design, web development and paid ads we worked with the Honolulu Marathon team to build a site to showcase the marathon and generate more competitors.

Logo for the Honolulu Marathon featuring a stylized runner with flowing hair against a blue background, surrounded by the text "Honolulu Marathon.
Macbook Mockup
A person wearing a colorful flower crown and wrapped in a flag stands outdoors, profile view with a serious expression.

The Challenge

Such an event needed a website that would reflect the grandeur of the event, however, the existing website didn’t reflect the event.

Therefore, we set about understanding more about the challenges they were having with the existing website and understanding the direction of travel. This led to a collaborative decision to undertake a visual and technical overhaul of their existing website. In addition to this, we agreed that the website should be developed in such a way that it allowed the Marathon, to stand alone from the other 2 events which attract a different group of competitors.

The objectives for the project were to drive online registration numbers, to promote the marathon across the world, and welcome a more diverse range of competitors.

Macbook Mockup
Four runners are competing in a race at night, moving swiftly along a paved road, with greenery and a building in the background.
Mobile Mock

The Solution

First and foremost we sought to understand the objectives of the project by getting to know the organisers and what they envisioned – a key part of any project that we undertake.

Initially we built a responsive WordPress site which was fully aligned with the brand guidelines, transferring all historical data from the old site in the process. We integrated MailChimp to assist data capture and the sending of targeted emails, and designed bespoke email newsletter templates.

The new site incorporated a range of engaging features including live Marathon countdown timers, animation and video. We also added Google Analytics and the Facebook Pixel to track traffic and measure the effectiveness of the PPC campaigns.

After the first website, we continued to work with the team to produce two further websites to cover all three events that are hosted – the Honolulu Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k. Each of these sites could work together to reflect the specific event’s brand and entice runners to sign up. Additionally we planned and implemented a brand new PPC strategy to drive awareness and sign ups. We now create, optimise and report on a number of campaigns across Google Search, Display, Retargeting and Programmatic.

Taking prior knowledge of the demographics that were interested in the marathon we were able to target key audiences in the locations that traditionally drove the most sign-ups including the USA, Australia and New Zealand. This encourages runners to take the trip of a lifetime and run in the marathon, with great pictures to show off their achievements thanks to the beautiful views!

Following on from this we developed YouTube ad campaigns and were appointed to run digital marketing for the marathon’s sister event, the Hapalua Half Marathon.

What’s next

Since the new site was launched we’ve seen a boom in engagement, including:

  • 22% increase in sessions with the biggest increase coming through organic search, highlighting the effect of search engine optimisation on the new website.
  • 93% decrease in bounce rate indicating that users who visited the website were less likely to leave straight away.
  • 92% increase in pages per session.
  • Average session duration decreased by 6.36%. This is positive as people are finding the information they require more easily and quickly. This is backed up by the increase in conversions and conversion rate.
  • Conversion increase of 28%
  • Conversion Rate increase of 5%.

We continue to support the group of websites and drive signs ups to the fourth largest marathon in the US.

Conversation between two employees at their desk

We have worked with WebBox on a range of projects including PPC Management, Programmatic campaigns and 3 website builds. WebBox is very approachable and has been instrumental in creating our digital presence. Thank you and we look forward to working with you on the next project!

Fredrik Bjurenvall, Honolulu Marathon

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