man holding tablet looking at website traffic analytics charts and graphs

Optimized Content Boosts Traffic for Tourism Website by over 100%

The Challenge: Lack of Optimized Content

In the Spring of 2022, a Virginia tourism organization built a new website to better reflect its goals, branding, and the character of its locality.  As part of this website build, we optimized content to improve search engine rankings.  Most content on their old website did not incorporate content optimization best practices and many pages did not rank well in search engine results.    

The Solution: Optimized Content with RankMath

As part of building the new website on WordPress, we installed the RankMath plugin.  RankMath provides helpful suggestions to content authors on how to optimize their page content and provides a score that changes in real-time as they make improvements.

As part of the project, we conducted a full content audit to determine what content should be migrated to the new site.  Through this process, we were able to evaluate each page and make a list of optimizations that needed to be made.  For some pages, it was as simple as adding a meta description or maybe subheading tags in place of bolded text.  In most cases, adding appropriately named images with keyword-rich alt text was required.  

Lastly, on the old site, there were very few links within the content to other content pages on the site.  Conducting the content audit gave us the insight to create a plan for creating internal links between the content.  Improving internal linking is an easy and important optimization that can help Google crawl and index the website and improve page rankings. 

In some cases, the content needed to be rewritten to improve accuracy and focus on better keywords.  One such example is a page that describes a specific ticket package that provides discounted admission to local attractions.  The original content page title did not clearly reflect what the content was about and used a generic marketing phase (ticket to history) instead of focusing on the language people use to search for this content. 

Reviewing Google Search Console data, we decided to focus on keywords such as “discount tickets” and “admission tickets”.  When building the page on the new site, we updated and optimized all of the following: page title, page URL, page content and subheadings, meta description, and featured image. 

The Results: Higher Click-Through and Search Position

In the first six weeks after the site launch, we saw approximately a 1-point improvement in average search position (from 14 to 13) and a 130% improvement in click-through rate (.7% to 1.6%).  While the search position improvement may be modest, it’s a good base for continual improvement.  (UPDATE: the site has since improved to have over 2% CTR and an average position of 12.)

On the page about discount tickets, we’ve seen significant improvements.  The original page had a click-through rate of 5.4%.  After only 6 weeks of being published, the new page has a click-through rate of 10.6% (almost double). 

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