How to Double The Traffic and The Number of Reservations From Your Travel Agency’s Website?
Estee Šilo – case study
In this case study, we will show how our client, thanks to quality optimization, managed to nearly double visibility, indexing, organic traffic, and direct bookings through the client´s website despite a difficult year for tourism; the tourist revenue on the Island of Krk dropped by 50% in the season 2020, compared to the previous year.
Estee d.o.o., a travel agency from Šilo on the Island of Krk, offers all types of accommodation services (apartments, houses, rooms, villas with swimming pool) especially in the town of Šilo, but also throughout the entire island. As with most travel agencies of this type and size in Croatia, traditionally revenue was mostly generated through offline marketing, personal recommendations, and cooperation with major online platforms in tourism. However, this kind of cooperation has its drawbacks due to the fact that such platforms charge a commission for their services.
In approaching this client, our goal was, therefore, with the help of website optimization, to provide support and generate as much revenue as possible through their own website, and to establish tools that will ensure efficacy in the long run.
The first step in improving our client’s online traffic was to improve the quality of the company’s website in terms of modern design, speed, security, and quality CMS, in which Hexis proved successful. The strategy here was two-pronged: implementing a much-improved web design and installing Hexis’s own booking software – Goldfish Booking System.
The only thing missing was SEO ☺
SEO process & procedures
As the SEO procedure dictates, we first talked to the client to find out as many details as possible about the business. Through this interview, we defined the target audience and keywords for which the client wants to be indexed and visible on Google search (SERP – search engine result pages). After that, we were able to start with the analysis of the market, the competition, the volume of keyword searches, the current state of indexing, and the position on Google. At the same time, we detected parts of the website which needed optimization. In addition to the usual OnPage SEO works (URL, Meta description, Title, H Tags, Keyword Decoration, List Formatting, Image Optimization, etc.), we also made small corrections on the static pages, especially on the front page.
We also added two new text blocks, a block of testimonials, a blog block, and a news feature that will allow Google better indexing, recognition, and eventual positioning of this website. It then possessed a rich and optimized text and overall fresh content directed at the target audience.
Last but not least, these corrections improved the user experience and reduced the rate of site departures (bounce rate), which is a strong positive signal for Google.
We started doing SEO on 1st November 2018. For the first few months, we retained the existing domain https://estee.hr/. However, when we completed the changes in design and the general structure of the website in line with SEO, we recommended the client to buy country domains.
SEO Tip for domains: this page was on a .hr domain and had a multilingual structure. In addition, the cover page was in English which made little sense given that the target markets are primarily Germany and Italy, with the domestic Croatian market in third place. English is convenient for guests from countries such as Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, etc., but this whole group of countries was not a priority for our client. Allow us here to give a brief comment on the history of the WorldWideWeb.
In the years when it was much smaller, Google had one search page – Google.com. However, since the ‘90s, WWW has grown significantly so Google decided to make localization by country (language). In other words, it began to give priority in search results to “domestic” pages with the domain of that particular market and country. Today, multilingual domains only make sense if a website addresses a multilingual market such as Canada, Switzerland, California, etc. In all other cases, it is practically unnecessary.
The same approach in optimization was applied to all new domains just as it was done to the “old” domain, respecting the specific features of each language and the market. In that same year of 2019, the results were already showing. Comparing the end-of-season results, which for Croatia is the end of September, a growth of organic traffic of 75% could be seen, compared to the previous year 2018.
Website-traffic and booking during the pandemic
When the pandemic stuck in the first quarter of 2020, we knew we could expect a drop in revenue. The figures for the high season simply could not be predicted. However, we were optimistic, and the way the events turned out, in the end, justified our optimism. Organic traffic (visits to the website) and the number of bookings on the website fell only on the Italian market (by 17%), while other sites recorded a substantial increase compared to 2019:
The end value for the client, i.e. the number of bookings grew proportionately.
As a follow-up, we compared the number of visits to the website from Google for organic traffic in 2020 and 2018, when the website was not yet optimized. In the observed period, despite all the difficulties which marred the year 2020, organic traffic has increased by a full 92%.
The described case study was another proof of the value of SEO, and we know that we have in our hands a powerful tool to boost your visibility and your sales, whatever your field of activity may be.
To sum up, if you are looking for efficient ways to reach your desired audience, increase traffic to your website, or prepare it for quality advertising, contact us for a free assessment!