Using storytelling to improve Google visibility and visitor conversions.
Trips & Tramps is a family-run guided walking and hiking operator based in Te Anau, Fiordland. While they have few direct competitors, their experiences cover locations like Milford Sound, the Milford Track and the Routeburn Track – place names that are highly competitive in the online space. It was clear they were struggling to get traction in organic Google rankings.
The Trips & Tramps brand very clearly lent itself to telling engaging, varied stories online. Yes, there’s a strong walking & hiking element to Kate and Steve’s operation, but their experiences also appeal to nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, bird watchers and photographers. The challenge was to harness all of these topics, and craft content around them that A) would engage and inspire potential travellers to Fiordland and B) help them establish a stronger Google presence.
Content can take a few months to index on Google, so the full effects of a content marketing strategy on organic traffic won’t be felt immediately – so we were strategic in the timing of how we kicked off this work. We started the process towards the end of the Autumn shoulder season, with a view to expect an impact by the following Spring.
An author, an audience and a travel style
We began by giving the Trips & Tramps blog section a name, and positioning Kate as the ‘Author’. Tales from the Trails sounded so much more interesting than the standard Our Blog, and Kate’s background as a well-travelled, outdoor-loving hiking enthusiast (and mother of 4 to boot) was the perfect ‘voice’ for this content.
The next step was pinpointing the types of travellers who are interested in the Trips & Tramps offering. We came up with professional and retired couples over 35 and families with children who were primary school aged or older. In general, these audiences were internationals with somewhat low knowledge of New Zealand.
Using Google search behavior to pinpoint the opportunities
Using search tools, we could see there was a heap of content for preparing and planning for the Milford Track, but none focused on shorter, day trip options. We could see a lack of articles that compared the benefits of guided vs independent hiking in New Zealand, as well as opportunities around content that helped hikers plan a Great Walk in Fiordland.
Since working with Maverick Digital, Trips & Tramps have grown their online acquisition (traffic from Google rankings) by 103.3%. Search-optimized content marketing is a big part of their current online visibility.
Driving Google Visibility through targeted content
We harnessed these opportunities to create a calendar of content that would meet users’ search query needs, addressing topics related to the Trips & Tramps offering.
Best performing blog posts include:
- Top 4 Kepler Day Track Walks
- Top 10 Fiordland hiking photos
- Ten New Zealand hiking trails you’ve never heard of
- How to experience the Milford Track in a day
Fresh, search-optimised and well-written content is one of the key ways to achieving better visibility in Google – but it must always be attractive and engaging for a target audience.