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40% year-on-year increase in organic traffic for Tour Operator website!

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A Case Study: using simple SEO to increase traffic

We thought we’d share one of our success stories with you in SEO and Marketing work for one of our Clients.

In less than 6 months, we have managed to increase the level of traffic to one of our Tour Operator customer websites by an amazing 40.67%.  Note – this wasn’t through PPC or a massive back-link campaign … but sheer fine-tuning and proper optimisation of their site, leading to an increase in purely organic traffic.

The Challenge
Now we can’t say that it has been easy.  For a start, our client operates in the some of the most competitive markets in Travel, as far as search terms in Google go, i.e. Turkey.  With the problems in the Eurozone and Turkey being outside of the EU, over the last 2 seasons this has become the most popular holiday destination for us Brits.  Needless to say, all the major Operators have been vigorously competing for Search Terms on those destinations and resorts.

Another issue that made it all the more difficult for us was the Travel CMS being used by the Customer to manage their site content which, although reasonably SEO capable, it is a neglected system, not updated to the most recent stable version and therefore had plenty of bugs.  Duplicate page titles and meta descriptions were found throughout the site causing Google and website visitors much confusion and leading to poorly ranked pages!

Finally, we inherited a Blog site which was disjointed from the main website and not integrated in any way; it hadn’t been updated in several months.  There was a complete lack of consistency in branding; the site looked fine, but the Blog and the Email Marketing didn’t match the branding. 

The Workload
Over the first month, we spent considerable time in running analysis and reports on the site structure, content and SEO positions.  We identified some lost opportunities with regard to various neglected products and destinations.  We considered how we might separate the content in the site from the purpose of the Blog and how it needed redesigning.  We looked at the branding and layout of the Email Marketing.

The first step was then to prioritise the tasks, starting with the ones that met the immediate needs of the business, then the ones with the most impact on resulting traffic, then on the more minor issues and additional opportunities.

Initially, there was a host of missing Content from the site, which was key for certain destinations, resorts and products, filling the gaps for what was on sale.  Needless to say, all this was SEO’d during writing and entered directly into the site CMS, to save revisiting later.

Next job was to tackle all the coding and technical issues within the existing CMS content.  This involved setting/resetting titles, tags, header code and styles, rewriting raw page content and eliminating old and different versions.   This is an ongoing job, as new material is added.  Some of the 301 redirects had also been incorrectly set-up which had to be addressed with the hosting company.

During the same period we also set about redesigning the Email Newsletter templates and took over responsibility for their production each week, to maintain consistency.  We did the same with the Blog, completely overhauling the look-and-feel to better represent the main brand and integrate with the website.

Finally, we settled into generating some unique and optimised content for the Blog, on a regular basis, to keep the site fresh, increase Google listings for relevant search terms and subsequently build the traffic. 

We have sourced some new backlinks for the site, but only ones that would be seen as “natural” backlinks, concentrating on quality rather than quantity.  We only employ “white-hat” SEO practices and adhere to Google’s guidelines for best practice, therefore never jeopardising our client’s rankings in Google.

The End Result

In the 5 months that we have been tasked with this site: –

  • We have increased year-on-year organic traffic to the site by some 40.67% !!
  • We have improved positions on virtually all the targeted keyword phrases in Google
  • We have suggested, introduced and gained positions for completely new phrases
  • The Blog pages we produced are some of the most highly visited sections of the client’s website

A happy customer!

UPDATE: 15th June 2012
Since posting this, we have now managed to DOUBLE the traffic to this customer’s website, thus dramatically increasing their online sales opportunities!

For more information on how we can help do the same for your business, please contact us.

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