Sydney opera house under blue sky

A SWOT analysis of the Sydney Opera House website

July 6, 2017 By: In: Business

Here are some key takeaways from our 2015 SWOT analysis of the Sydney Opera House, and the changes they’ve since made to their website — ones you can ‘beg, borrow and steal’ today.


The 2015 SWOT

In 2015, I was involved with an agency pitch for the Sydney Opera House content strategy tender.

As part of that, I was asked to perform a SWOT (Stregth, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the Opera House’s existing website, and identified the following:


  • Website page visits relatively high
  • Existing website relatively mobile friendly
  • Large audience sizes across social media channels with strong sentiment across audience responses
  • High quality inspirational imagery and videos used throughout
  • Mostly mobile-friendly website
  • Video-rich content



  • Calls-to-action relatively low
  • Content drives users to third party websites, rather than utilising the existing SOH channels
  • Partner content not being leveraged
  • Content from some shows overshadows content from lesser-known ones
  • Website UX is confusing e.g. Music At The House landing page is difficult to find within existing Sydney Opera House website
  • Website doesn’t have deep links (takes users back to earlier pages)
  • No virtual tours on the website



  • Increasing personality and conversation amongst
  • Original real time content could leveraged more frequently
  • Web pages could be optimised more effectively to include all social
  • Build a stronger SEO keyword strategy
  • Communicating the seven spaces using a sophisticated content strategy



  • Visitors only take selfies outside of the Sydney Opera House, do not transact
  • Locals not understanding the varied experiences that exist at Sydney Opera House
  • Competitors leverage partnerships more effectively
  • Competitors have strong digital footprints reaching both brands can leverage their TV sponsorships and associated personalities

While the agency I was working with didn’t win the pitch, I have recently checked in on the Sydney Opera House website, and some of what was identified in the SWOT has been implemented.

The Sydney Opera House homepage in 2017

The website comes up on the first page of Google results, which means the SEO copy (and everything else they’re doing to rank higher with Google ﹘ which is up to 200 factors ﹘ is working). However, their meta description is too long at 171 characters:

A place to take in a spectacular horizon, then broaden your own. With over 40 shows a week there’s something for everyone. Events, tours, food, drink – find out what’s on.

A good meta description should be about 160 characters. Theirs could be easily shortened to 150 characters:

A place to take in a spectacular horizon, then broaden your own. There’s over 40 shows a week plus events, tours, food, and drink. Discover what’s on.


The navigation

Sydney Opera House homepage



From the top of the homepage, the navigation is easy to use, clear and concise. Good navigation reflects good information architecture. This is a lot better than it was when we did the SWOT analysis, so they’ve made it a lot easier to use.


The first CTA

Sydney Opera House homepage








On the homepage, we now have video content behind the copy, and underneath the heading is a strong call to action.



Sydney Opera House homepage








Scrolling down, we see they’ve listed their upcoming shows inside the Opera House in a fun way with CTAs that create an image behind as your mouse moves over it. This also addresses the weakness that visitors didn’t take photos inside the Opera House (only on the outside).


Secondary CTA

Sydney Opera House homepage





Further down, we have another CTA to encourage visitors to sign up for exclusive offers, and capture email addresses to continue to market to potential visitors.

The verdict

So upon first glance of their homepage, we can see that the Opera House has addressed some of the weaknesses it once experienced during the SWOT.


Room for Improvement

However, there are still avenues for improvement with:

  • More original content, highlighting the shows and the Opera House’s history
  • SEO keywords and meta description improvements
  • More CTAs
  • Building and leveraging brand partnerships
  • Highlighting the seven spaces within the Opera House more clearly.


Even for well-known brands like the Sydney Opera House, there are always avenues for improvement.

So how is your business website looking?

Do you need a SWOT to see what opportunities you’re missing out on that your competition is using?

For a limited time, we’re offering five FREE ‘Send In The SWOT Team’ Audit to help you 100% personalised critique of your current online presence, to work out exactly what you’re saying to your customers right now, as well as game-changing tactics you can implement to REALLY get your customers talking, and the steps you need to take to get there and have an online revival.

Click here to claim your ‘Send In The SWOT Team’ Audit today.