USA Tourism Finds it’s Niche in Online Travel Resources
posted by Sharon Villegas on October 9, 2015 at 08:28 PM
In the early 90’s, the web was relatively new and those who jumped quick, were able to secure some great URLS. This is where our Sean Casey story begins. Referring to himself as a poor bear farmer, Sean, owner of Bearizona, also has a love for computers and marketing in addition to his love for the furry. In 1995, or so, Sean purchased a URL USATourism.com. The value in itself is amazing. But, now what? Sitting idle for more than a decade, Sean had a team build a website back in 2005. And as easily as that, if you build it, they will come. With the simple design, Sean found himself thrust into the arena of online travel resources. This strong URL worked its own magic bringing in more than 600 travel listings. Broken and on its last legs, Sean reached out to Peppertree Marketing in late 2014.
Our challenge was to rebuild this search and ecommerce site, breathing new life into it, but also to build it with the competitive landscape in mind. How will USATourism.com, without the millions of dollars in budget, compete with the Trip Advisors of the world. In two words, we don’t. The long-term strategy was to design a site that was not only modern, hip, fresh, responsive and user-friendly, but one that could be built upon easily with unique travel content. The website, built as a custom wordpress CMS theme, looks great, functions quick and easily. And is also robust in unique event content, allowing for USATourism.com to become relevant and an authority in searches when travelers are looking to visit a US destination for a specific event.
Our fist event, built for Sean’s home state of South Dakota, was the 75th Anniversary of Sturgis which was held in August of 2015. The strategy is to focus on events that are evergreen; events that happen every year, so that we can easily build out more events and still be able to use those already built. The event, micro-sites within the website, offer travelers an easy way to find places to stay, places to eat and things to do in the area while they are in town for this event. These events also have mini maps so that travelers and plan out their trip.
Since the new build of the website, which launched in April of 2015, along with our SEM efforts, we have seen visits to the site double, the listings have grown to more than 850 and organic searches up more than 40%.
Check out the website for yourself. And if you’re in the travel industry, you may want to list your property, before prices go up.