When you think of sunny beaches with verdant pines and snow-capped mountains in the distance, you’re thinking of Lake Tahoe. Set on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe draws millions of visitors from across the globe each year. A majority of them eventually make their way to the lake’s south shore, where there’s skiing, gambling, dining and beaches for year-round fun. It’s the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority’s job to make visitors aware of South Tahoe’s stakeholder businesses.
Where do you suppose the bulk of your website’s overall traffic comes from? According to a channel performance report by BrightEdge, it’s organic search. Which means there’s no buying your way out of low quality traffic problems. Plain and simple, good organic traffic comes from authentic, quality content targeted to a specific audience. On top of that, it’s vital to constantly measure your results to ensure you’re getting the right eyeballs that lead to conversions.
Such was the crux of the problem Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority: they needed the right eyeballs at the right times. It’s no secret that 90 percent of travelers research their vacations online. So, providing the right information at the right time to the right viewers – especially when you’re competing on a global scale – is critical for DMOs such as LTVA and its brand, Tahoe South.
Using Brightedge’s built-in SEO research tools, Noble Studios quickly pinpointed the audiences most serious about visiting Lake Tahoe and developed related content to entice them.
Leveraging BrightEdge’s content performance marketing platform, we identified several long-tail search terms (longer, highly-specific phrases) specific to the Lake Tahoe area (i.e. ‘Best Tahoe Après Ski’). While these niche search terms generally see lower overall traffic, they actually proved to be rich content opportunities for Tahoe South.
By prioritizing long-tail terms, we identified existing content opportunities and created and optimized a content structure into Tahoe South’s website that would produce long-term results. We took the “evergreen” content approach, focusing on creating recurring content that could be updated each year. This allowed the content to be properly indexed on TahoeSouth.com, ensuring future visitors would always find what they were looking for.
After closely watching the search trends on TahoeSouth.com, we realized content on local events drove the most qualified web traffic. Visitors searching for these events not only showed a lower bounce rate, but also visited more pages. We then optimized these specific events each month to drive traffic. As a result, the keywords jumped in rank. Dierks Bentley Events moved from search result number 101 (page 12 of Google search results) to result number 16 (page 2 of Google search results).
We recognized and isolated Tahoe South’s leading annual events and developed evergreen pages for each. This tactic lets events pages continue to develop authority over the years, which is much more efficient than letting the pages expire and having to rebuild them year after year.
We also developed a content strategy around Tahoe South’s prominent seasonal attractions – the keyword “hiking,” for instance – and created evergreen pages around them that would continue to grow in authority over time. Additionally, we anticipated traveler searches based on time of year and their location. The Noble team created relevant, timely content about weather, events and season deals for travelers from as close as the Biggest Little City in the World, Nevada, and as far away as The Harbour City, Australia. We created personalized landing pages designed to offer relevant experiences to prospective drive market and fly market visitors, making it easy to plan the perfect trip.
This combined approach of targeted content, and seasonal and long-tail keywords along with Brightedge’s tools were the ultimate keys TahoeSouth.com’s success.
Since the project has launched, traffic to Tahoe South’s mobile site has increased by 134 percent and page views are up 102 percent. The mobile site also saw a 345 percent increase in organic search. Traffic to the desktop site has increased 14 percent and page views are up 32 percent. The desktop version has also received a 38 percent increase in organic search.