E-commerce website for holiday bookings
Carbis Bay Holidays is an established holiday lets agency based in St Ives. The agency has been providing luxury self-catering holiday rentals to visitors to St Ives and the surrounding area of Carbis Bay since 2000.
In their 20 years of business, Carbis Bay Holidays have grown to become one of the leading holiday rental agencies in the South West of Cornwall. Establishing themselves as an authority on Cornish holidays.
What they wanted
Carbis Bay Holidays came to us in 2017 looking for help with improving their visibility in the search engines.
Having previously used a wide range of digital and traditional marketing techniques, including Pay Per Click (PPC), Google Adwords, social media platforms and coverage in the national and local press, Carbis Bay Holidays realised they needed to adapt their strategies.
Having recently relaunched with a new website, Carbis Bay Holidays had found that their rankings in the search engines had dropped.
To recover from this hit to their rankings and subsequent loss of traffic, the client came to us with a list of target keywords which they wanted to rank in the top 5 positions for.
The travel and tourism sector is incredibly oversaturated and competition is fierce among those businesses operating in the industry, especially in a popular destination such as Cornwall.
Therefore, our biggest challenge with our work for Carbis Bay Holidays would be to increase their visibility in the search engines so that potential new customers saw Carbis Bay Holidays’ content ahead of their competitors’ websites.
Alongside our work to address this challenge, we also wanted to increase the number of returning visitors to the site.
We aimed to achieve this through remarketing, to hook audiences in at the start of their search journey, when they were in the research stage. By drawing audiences in at this early stage, and providing content which solved their problems and eased their concerns, we would build up brand awareness and authority.
The idea being that this authority and awareness would then pay dividends when those audience members moved to the commitment phase of their buyer journey. With them choosing Carbis Bay Holidays, a brand which has gained their trust through providing valuable content at the awareness and research stages, to book their stay with.
What we did
At Hedgehog Digital we believe that understanding search intent is imperative for truly successful digital marketing.
Knowing the highest reward keywords to target is no longer enough, you need to go deeper and understand why users are searching for those keywords and what they’re hoping to get from the search results.
Therefore, when working on Carbis Bay Holidays’ search strategy, we put a spotlight on the search intent of their target audiences.
Google, the most popular search engine across the world, has been systematically updating its algorithm to better understand the intentions behind user searches and prioritising content which it determines best satisfies these intentions.
Once we gained a thorough understanding of the intentions behind the searches of Carbis Bay Holidays’ target audiences we were able to target content to the search terms that were relevant to their audience at various stages of the consumer journey.
This meant that we could speak to target customers at specific times in their customer journey, building brand awareness and authority and cementing Carbis Bay Holidays as the go-to source of information about holidaying in Cornwall; from research all the way through to booking.
Search performance is the foundation of any SEO effort; getting digital content performing optimally so that the search engines will reward it with higher positions in the rankings.
For Carbis Bay Holidays, their initial request when they came to us was for better performance in the search engines. All the work we did from that point forward was working to improve the site’s search performance.
We ensured that the pages of the website were optimised and performing well for Google’s bots to crawl them and read the content contained within them.
Links from authoritative websites which point back at your own site, known as backlinks, act as virtual votes of confidence, telling Google that your content is so useful and relevant that it’s worth linking to.
For a business trying to increase it’s website’s visibility in the search engines, these backlinks are essential. Google uses the number of backlinks a site has as one of the determining factors when ranking a site’s positioning in the results page.
Therefore, to increase their visibility in the search engines and boost their authority in the eyes of Google, another focus within our work for Carbis Bay Holidays was to generate more backlinks for their site.
We set about researching which sites would offer high-value, relevant backlinks, that is, links from sites connected to Carbis Bay Holidays’ industry but not in competition with the brand. The ideal source of backlinks for Carbis Bay Holidays was the websites of highly regarded travel publications.
Link building requires a ‘linkable asset’, something that our target high authority websites will link back to. A linkable asset is usually a piece of content which is high quality and highly relevant to our target websites.
In the case of Carbis Bay Holidays, this came in the form of research comparing the costs of holidays in Cornwall to similar holidays in popular European destinations, presented in a post on the company’s blog.
Not only was this a piece of unique research, but it was also a great display of Carbis Bay Holidays’ authority and knowledge of the travel and tourism industry.
95% Traffic Increase
Carbis Bay Holidays saw an incredible 95% increase in traffic coming to the site via organic search between 2018 and 2019.