News Article ————

Contiki – Travelling to New Organic Heights in a Post-Pandemic World

Author image Published by isobel.regan@dontpanicprojects.com
Published Date 03.07.2023

Who are Contiki?

Contiki are the world leaders in organised youth travel. We’ve been providing amazing travel experiences for young travellers, from 18-35 years old, since 1962. Imagine how good you would be at something if you had been doing it for more than 60 years?

Everything about Contiki is deeply rooted in our two values ‘Make Every Moment Count’ and ‘We’re About People’. We don’t just talk, we walk the walk and live by our brand philosophy of ‘Travel.Together.’ which means to travel with one another, with the destinations we visit, the people and cultures we enjoy and the environment.

You’ve never experienced travel like this.

What was our entry based around?

As the social travel company for 18-35 year olds, the pandemic was obviously an extremely challenging era for Contiki. During this time, our organic search activity helped to keep users engaged and reading about our different trips. We targeted relevant high volume search terms with new content as well as optimizing existing content, so that as soon as we were able to sell to our demographic again, they knew exactly what our brand was about and were desperate to not just travel, but travel with Contiki.

As we entered 2022, travel was well and truly on the way back with consumers beginning to have faith in booking holidays once again, and we needed a more aggressive strategy.

However firstly, we needed to address how we would approach a major platform migration from Sitecore to Umbracco. If we didn’t carefully consider SEO in this, we would lose vital traffic and organic conversions.

Secondly, we needed to create content that proved to be more relevant to our Gen-Z and millennial consumers. While the search terms we looked to target during the pandemic had interest from a broader age demographic, we needed to ensure that the ones we focused on in this period were exactly what a younger adult needed, which obviously would make conversion more likely. We therefore closely analysed the age demographics interacting with our content on Google Analytics and conducted extensive keyword research off the back of this.

And finally, we needed to ensure we had a stronger backlink profile to better our offsite SEO profile – giving authoritative publications a reason to mention our brand and link back to our website.

And how did it perform?

A website platform migration can typically trigger a lull in performance, however not only was there no let-up, we also went on an upwards trajectory compared to our 2019 performance in a pre-Covid world. Add in the fact that we drove our editorial offering forward with more content relevant to our ever changing audience, and built unique tools and thought leadership pieces to earn coverage and vital backlinks, this entry shows an SEO program that has not just been rebuilt, it’s been revolutionized.

What does it mean to us?

“It’s hugely exciting to be nominated for this award. When I joined the team in the middle of 2022, I was immediately impressed by the strategy put in place by our SEO Manager, Laura Condrut, and the way she worked with key stakeholders, and our SEO agency Starcom to ensure we were perfectly set up for the migration to ensure maximum benefits, while also developing our content to interact with our ever changing audience.”

“To then see the excellent results come through off the back of this was incredibly satisfying and testament to the work Laura and the team have done. Our SEO program is now in a very strong place, and we look forward to pushing it even further this year.”

Nick Roberts, Senior Content Marketing Manager

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