Curating an overwhelmed content library and putting quality first

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About the Client

As the official tourism website of Great Britain, VisitBritan represents the British Tourist Authority for the UK and leads the way in showcasing what Britain has to offer. By building the value of tourism, they encourage potential visitors and develop the visitor & tourism economy.

VisitBritain is a non-departmental public body underpinned by the government Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The organisation also operates a separate domain for VisitEngland, offering inspiring content to a domestic or “staycation” audience.

Business Challenge

VisitBritain knew they had to refresh their digital presence and came to us with a flexible brief for a digital transformation.

The organisation needed to balance a varied set of stakeholder priorities, technical deadlines and separate budget pots to produce a solution that served real users’ needs.

The digital transformation project would be an immense undertaking, encompassing 12 separate websites, each with content translated into up to 20 languages. 

Coupled with that, several sites in the VisitBritain estate were reaching end of life on their existing platforms. Creating challenges of compliance risks, copyright concerns, and an unsustainable digital estate structure. 

To make the situation even more complex, the VisitBritain domain also competes with the local websites that they seek to support. With that in mind, we needed to clarify the role that VisitBritain would play in a visitor’s journey to the UK.

Our aim was to:

  • Simplify and overhaul a tangled digital estate

  • Improve internal practices for content editors across the globe

  • Curate content to position VisitBritain as an authority on UK tourism.

Synthesising a Mountain of Content

To fulfil its purpose as a ‘trusted voice in tourism’, VisitBritain needed to tidy up a vast content archive. We sought to reduce duplicate content and unearth hidden gems from a library of over 15,000 pages. In doing so, we helped the client-side team to focus on producing valuable content that visitors actually want to see.

We began with an audit of all 12 sites to gain a clearer understanding of the full estate. Our qualitative and quantitative audit criteria spanned performance metrics, essential structural elements, and user experience factors. We assessed a representative sample of 450+ pages, identifying opportunities to produce better content. 

Our audit findings highlighted inconsistencies, duplication, thin content, and a need for clearer calls to action (CTAs). As such, our subsequent content strategy would need to rectify these common issues and embrace opportunities for optimisation. 

Beyond identifying specific opportunities for on-page content, our rigorous content audit allowed us to develop a clear view of the entire VisitBritain estate. For perhaps the first time ever, we connected the silos within the organisation to inform a global approach to transformation.

Visit Britain - Content Strategy Case Study | CTI Digital


Centralising operations with a core content strategy

VisitBritain’s audience ranges from tourists and family visitors to international trade and partner organisations. What’s more, VisitBritain employs internal team members operating across 17 different global regions. Because of this, we needed to create a single core content strategy, to form the central foundation for all future decisions regarding digital content.

We synthesised our extensive Discovery findings into a Core Content Strategy centred on curation. Our Content strategist team verbalised VisitBritain's purpose and a condensed definition of what all content ought to achieve for the organisation. 

Using our work, we summarised and presented VisitBritain’s strategic vision in a way that is easily shareable and understandable to enable all stakeholders to jump on board with the changes.

Defining a streamlined set of content types


In the legacy estate, editors across the global network had used multiple content types interchangeably. As a result, it was near impossible to identify duplicate content or to be certain where to look for relevant information. To help the VisitBritain team host content consistently across all sites, we defined a clear set of content types and criteria. 

By defining a new set of discrete content types, we:

  • Underpinned the new information architecture

  • Outlined the initial technical specification for development

  • Mapped all valuable content for migration to a new categorisation model

  • Produced core templates for consistent content creation.

We accompanied these foundational definitions with an easy-to-follow decision tree to support VisitBritain staff in applying the new content types. VisitBritain are now encouraged to consider the unique value of every content item they create before they create it. In following this new approach, the team can fulfil their goal to help visitors 'see things differently’.

Creating content-led wireframes and designs

We wanted to ensure VisitBritain was in a position to maintain a continuous approach to content curation, so we produced detailed guidance documentation. Built on a foundation of customer research, we created core templates - or ‘Page Tables’ - for each content type to encourage consistent and comparable content creation.

Primarily our content templates are designed to support content writers in meeting users’ needs. These templates also benefit our design team by underpinning the wireframing process.

Our design process combined insights from content audits and workshops with findings from user surveys, stakeholder interviews, and competitor research.

We produced content-led wireframes and design prototypes to demonstrate what the new content strategy would look like in action. Rather than writing to fit the gaps in an aesthetic design, we produced designs built to host the content that users need. As such, the final designs centred on usability, accessibility, and positive user experience.

Curating content to engage and excite audiences

The purpose of VisitBritain’s web presence is to incentivise visitors and guide them to find further information elsewhere. The consumer-facing websites should be a directory for signposting, not an encyclopaedia.

To achieve this core strategic goal and to fit the newly defined site structure, we adopted an intensive approach to content curation. We recognised that 80% of organic search entrances came from just 20% of the existing content. As such, we adopted a strict approach as to what content we would even consider migrating based on performance and engagement metrics.

By defining clear criteria for ‘valuable content’, our approach allowed us to cull content without losing visibility. We manually reviewed over a thousand pages and validated our final outputs with the VisitBritain team. Our ultimate aim was to produce an MVP website that addresses audience needs without being overwhelming. The Beta site launch achieved just that, with engagement levels increased by an average of 9% and average engagement time increased by 21%. Said engagement levels have also led to a 35% increase in the proportion of quality visits. 

Defining realistic, actionable content governance

Throughout the entire content strategy project, we worked closely with the team at VisitBritain, allowing us to gain a clear understanding of the elements required and the best formats in which to distribute our strategy.

Our team hosted several workshops, bringing together content editors, managers, developers, and strategists from both sides. By laying out current content management within VisitBritain, we identified what the new CMS needed to improve and support. We defined user permissions, workflows, and notification systems to resolve the underlying issues which had led to duplicate content creation in the past. 

Our strategy documentation defined the technical specifications for the website build, setting out clear rules and permissions to create a system that works for all. By developing our content strategy to this level of detail, we were able to define a new CMS that would prioritise content creators’ needs. 


Inspirational and informational content is the primary “product” that VisitBritain offers. As such, content needed to be at the core of this digital transformation project.

Our multi-channel approach produced a content-first website. The VisitBritain content strategy is underpinned by technical solutions and strategic documentation that will bring structure and consistency to their organisational approach. Above all, we were proud to create a best-in-class website to help the tourism industry bounce back after the global lockdown.

The digital transformation for VisitBritain needs to be consistently developing. Our ongoing relationship with VisitBritain means we can continue to provide their web visitors with a seamless, engaging experience and, overall, encourage them to visit Great Britain.