The numbers during a recent six-month period told a story about our online traffic that we simply couldn’t ignore: Well over half of the Speedtrap.org and Roadblock.org audiences used mobile devices rather than desktop or laptop computers to view the sites.
Visitors per month 25,930 21,190
Accessed site by mobile device 59.1% 87.9%
These results were particularly noteworthy considering that neither website had – note the use of the past tense, more on that in a bit – a responsive design, one that would automatically adjust to the screen size of the user’s device in order to offer full functionality to everyone.
But what this really meant is that we weren’t catering to the needs of the majority of our audience, a fairly sizable group at that. This is something we tackled in late 2015 with the modernization of the NMA’s flagship website, Motorists.org. That upgrade incorporated a fully responsive design.
When the ‘new’ Motorists was introduced in October of that year, the reaction was swift and positive. Visits to the site rose 28.0 percent virtually overnight (to 62,985 per month) and have held steady at that level ever since. It helps that a larger audience has had more opportunities to find the NMA and Motorists.org since late 2015. Google rewards responsive-design sites with greater online search visibility.
The only thing that held us back from making the same improvements to Speedtrap and Roadblock was a lack of funds. That was taken care of during last fall’s NMA Foundation campaign when NMA members generously donated to a grant that allowed the NMA to proceed with the site upgrades. We are pleased to announce that the new-look, and newly responsive, Speedtrap.org and Roadblock.org websites went live on January 19, 2017. Click on the links to check them out.
Motorists, Speedtrap, and Roadblock now have common characteristics that identify them immediately as NMA sites. Information is accessed more directly and it is easier to navigate directly between the sites. And, of course, all three are now more responsive to smart phone and tablet users. We also constructed common banner space among the sites to leverage the 110,000 auto enthusiasts and motorists’ rights advocates who visit us online every month into attractive advertising packages, revenue that will help with operational costs and allow us to take on more of the issues affecting drivers.
During the upgrade of the Speedtrap and Roadblock sites, we took advantage of the opportunity to develop a new NMA travel-planning app that makes accessing the driver-sourced information of both sites fun and practical. The NMA app, which will be available only to paid members as a new benefit, is just about ready to go. For those who receive Driving Freedoms, look for more details in the winter issue of the magazine which will be arriving at homes in late January. We will also be featuring the capabilities and features of the new app in this E-newsletter within the next few weeks. Stay tuned!