The BuildUp Bookings team loves client projects, but without testing and experimenting any digital marketing agency cannot evolve and learn new things. In 2016, the BuildUp Bookings team wanted to try a new challenge: starting a niche travel website in a competitive destination and drive traffic through Facebook, Content Marketing & SEO strategies.
Starting with a brand-new (never used) domain and a simple WordPress install, the BuildUp Bookings niche travel website has drive in over 21,000 unique visitors with $0 invested in any paid traffic.
The website strategy focused around three primary areas and two main marketing channels.
Opportunities & Areas To Address
- Starting with a blank slate, content-wise, both topics and keywords were researched to organize the website
- Website design and layout focused both on selling the unique beauty of the destination as well as driving email signups/newsletter subscriptions
- Content needed to be created in a cost-effective way — focusing on just the high-impact pages, blog posts and supplemental content that can drive traffic
Planning & Execution
- Link building was key to start to drive organic traffic – email outreach to local businesses in the destination proved to be the most effective and inexpensive method to pick up traffic
- Facebook proved to be an excellent way to drive awareness – short micro video clips were used to sell the area’s beauty and drive site traffic on social media
- Top keywords were researched and adjusted as needed – the top-performing pages were expanded upon and improved to generate Featured Snippets for dozens of keywords
- Mini-giveaways on the website (swag + stickers) helped grow email signups and start the newsletter list
Results / Lessons Learned
- With minimal resources and budget, you can still win in Google. The niche travel website has keywords outranking top travel sites like TripAdvisor, VacationIdea and USA Today Travel Tips
- Google AdSense can be tweaked to monetize travel content in a quick and easy way, however native advertising remains the top option for revenue-generating destination sites
- Driving newsletter signups requires a compelling offer – freebies and area information are excellent bribes to subscribe
- Engagement of video on Facebook outpaces other ad post formats by a wide margin – reuse videos where possible to get the most bang for your buck on production costs