Internet, Marketing, tourism bc

Tourism BC 2010 Online Olympics activities: #6 – SEO & SEM

By William Bakker | 02.19.10 | 2 Comments

Search Engines have been our biggest source of website visitation for years now. Search Engine Optimization and Marketing is also a long tail strategy. In 2009, over 500,000 unique queries drove visitors to HelloBC.com, accounting for 80% of visitors in 2009.

Still from the NBC’s opening ceremonies pre-show

People watch TV with a computer close by. All it takes is that one beautiful shot to make somebody interested in British Columbia. And the obvious place to go when you see something and want to learn more is a Search Engine.

Search volume for the keywords ‘beijing travel’ during the 2008 games

The chart from Google Insights for Search above shows the increase in search volume for the keywords Beijing travel. It demonstrates the games generates increased interest in a destination and consumer behaviour on search engines. Taking advantage of this search activity to move consumers closer to a trip to BC has been one of our top priorities in our Olympic strategy.

Organic Search

We’ve been working on improving organic search traffic for a number of years and the results have paid off. Good content covering everything BC has to offer (more about in a laster post), combined with the right technical implementation has resulted in 60% increase of organic search visitors this year alone. Chances are high that something peaks somebody’s interest during the games, the organic search results will point to HelloBC.

And so far organic search has spiked significantly during the games, with daily organic search visitors more than doubling the highest organic search day last year.

Paid Search

To compliment our organic traffic, we run pay-per-click campaigns on the major search engines. A strategy was developed with our SEM agency Enquiro in Kelowna with the help from all three main search engines. PPC campaigns allow us to fill in gaps in our SEO efforts and target Olympic related keywords that meet our KPI’s in priority markets.

We maximize our large set of ad-groups containing our regular destination related keywords.Somebody who’s interested in anything BC related as a result of the games will be intercepted with one of our regular ads.

During the games, we compliment these adgroups with specific Olympic related adgroups. Those are keywords that relate directly to the games but people still might use to learn more about the destination. We’ve used the months prior to the games to fine tune our campaigns and find Olympic related keywords that meet our KPI’s. And even during the games, we monitor things closely, adjusting our campaigns on a daily basis to find the gems in Olympic searches.

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