Mission-Critical Organic SEO
Tourism is a massive industry in Nova Scotia. NovaScotia.com is its portal to the world and the center of that industry with hundreds of charts, maps, videos, photos, contests and interactive features, and thousands of tourism business listings.
I was selected to lead a team in the complete search optimization of the website to attract organic search traffic.
My goals were to increase the number of targeted search terms and to raise the search rank for those terms, to improve the reporting structure, and to strengthen the targeting of both national and international markets including especially the US and European markets.
Deliverable 1: Higher Ranks, More Traffic
Over the course of the project my project team successfully raised the Google (and other engine) search rank for hundreds of terms. Other project results included:
- Double the number of search terms targeted and tracked for better reporting
- Raised year-on-year targeted search traffic rates by 10-20%, representing tens of thousand of additional visitors per month
- Improved search rank and traffic for highly competitive and specific branded terms
Deliverable 2: Improve Reporting
Even on large websites, reporting tends to focus on broad metrics – traffic is up, or traffic is down – or quickly spiral into small details. The problem with this is During the project I developed new methods of reporting for simpler, more meaningful tracking. As part of this I created a set of distinct indexes, clustering related terms into groups so that we could track the ups and downs of different. This helped us to follow changes and improvements by market and product category and to identify new goals.
Deliverable 3: Traffic Migration to New Website
Several months into the project, the team began to prepare for the launch of a completely new version of the website. The client’s understandable concern was a loss of search traffic which can happen during a site change. We were able to successfully migrate the organic search traffic to a new site with no loss of visitation.
Parting Thought: Tourism SEO & Brand Conflict
Major tourism marketing tends to focus on carefully crafted brand messaging. As a result, internal stakeholders can be at odds with search marketing which seeks to emphasize researched key phrases and authentic phrasing over brand copy. It’s search marketing represents the consumers’ voice and its emphasis on ‘common’ language could be incorporated in branding.