Reefs To Rockies
Overview: Phenomenal traffic boost for a Denver eco-tourism website
Case Study Type: Consulting, SEO, and website improvements
Reefs to Rockies (R2R), a Colorado eco-tourism company, sought the help of our Denver web development and online marketing agency to analyze and audit their website. We were tasked with proposing a custom SEO and website improvement Action Plan to boost online traffic.
Results at a glance
Within the first 3 months after implementing just the first step in our strategic Action Plan:
- Site traffic up: +128.59%
- Unique website visitors up: +135.15%
- # of pages seen by visitors up: +52.69%
- Bounce rate* down: -44.66%.
* A website's "Bounce rate" refers to the percentage of people who visit a website but leave without going to another page.
How it all began
When they initially reached out to our Denver web development team, Reefs to Rockies was looking for a trusted advisor who would provide expert guidance on a key question: Would investing in their business website help them achieve their long-term business goals of:
- Boosting site traffic
- Increasing leads and annual revenue
- Adding more support staff
- Decreasing the amount of time the owners spent on non-critical tasks
Initially, Reefs to Rockies thought the answer was a complete website redesign.
However, after digging and asking (a lot) of questions, we discovered that there was more to the story.
Perhaps a design wasn't the actual problem?
It turns out, the company's real frustration wasn't necessarily with their site's design—it was the fact that they weren't seeing the traffic, leads, and sales they needed their website to deliver.
Although they feared their company's website appeared dated and that the user experience it offered was sub-par, they didn't truly know how to identify the actual problem. That's why their best guess was investing in a website redesign; it initially seemed like a solid solution for getting the customers and traffic they were looking for.
Identifying the challenges
After an initial consultation with us, R2R realized they wanted more than just a new, good-looking website design.
They wanted expert advice and guidance to lead them to the best solution—whether that was a new website design or something different altogether. After all, they weren't confident a new website design would actually help them achieve their goals; it was simply their best non-expert guess as to what might help them.
After our initial consultation session with them, we uncovered that one of the company's biggest challenges was that they didn't have the right data to make smart, confident decisions on how (and how much) to invest in their website. Should they redesign their site? Change the way they managed their blog? Invest in Search Engine Optimization? Rework their brand?
It was our job to help them find that data, analyze it, and create an Action Plan that would help them get the most out of their online marketing dollars in the shortest amount of time.
The Action Plan
After an in-depth audit and multiple conversations exploring their search engine rankings, lack of traffic, and usability of their website, we crafted a custom, three-pronged Action Plan for R2R.
The Action Plan was divided into 3 stages:
- Research & Audit
- Recommendations & Strategy Development
What we discovered
Our findings during the Research & Audit stage of the Action Plan were far more positive than expected. In fact, we determined that the site's performance and potential had actually been underestimated by the client.
The R2R website had a great deal of value, and the likelihood of achieving significantly improved search engine rankings was far from being out of reach.
We identified a variety of potentially profitable keywords, and determined that a substantial clean up of the site's code could improve both its effectiveness and rankings.
Developing prioritized recommendations
Creating quick, high-impact results for R2R was essential, so we took all the Action Plan's recommendations (about 15 - 20 total) and prioritized them. That way, R2R could move forward with solutions at their own pace, while staying within their online marketing budget at all times.
Our top recommendation, based on information uncovered during our Research & Audit stage of the Action Plan, was to properly integrate their WordPress blog into their website.
R2R filled their blog with valuable, original content on a weekly basis. But, because it wasn't properly built or integrated, Google viewed the entire blog as a separate website—which meant R2R wasn't getting credit for all the new, keyword-rich content they were generating. This was having a substantial negative impact on their Google rankings.
From recommendations to real results
The results of implementing just the first step of our strategic Action Plan—out of nearly 20 steps—were tremendous and nearly immediate.
In the first three months following the blog's proper integration:
- Site traffic increased a whopping 128.59%
- Unique visitors to the website increased 135.15%
- Page views increased by 52.69%
- The site's bounce rate decreased by 44.66%
This was a huge win for R2R, and helped them achieve their initial goal of increasing website traffic.
We look forward to supporting R2R's ongoing success as we help them continue to work through their prioritized Action Plan.
(If you're curious about eco-tourism in South America or Africa, we strongly recommend visiting the Reefs to Rockies website to learn more.)