Supporting the tourism sector during Covid-19

SEO Case Study


HTA membersAbout the client

Hampshire’s Top Attractions (HTA) is a destination website that showcases the best things to do in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They work directly with over 65 attractions across the county, showcasing them to tourists, covering itineraries, events, and useful information.


The challenge

The Marketing Collective, is a destination marketing company, that owns and manages the HTA website and continually seeks to provide additional value to the attractions represented by the site. They compete with significant industry players including TripAdvisor, National Trust, and Visit England sites who have considerably larger budgets and resources.

As such, they have to ensure they are a good investment for the attractions they represent and that they stand out amongst these larger rivals. They already invest in social media, content marketing and printed collateral and wanted to further support these efforts with a Search Engine Optimisation campaign.

Devise Marketing was chosen for their excellent track record with SEO projects and the close integration they could provide with The Marketing Collective team.

The project proved especially challenging, as multiple lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic led to attraction closures and reduced searches for days out.


SEO during recessionSolution

  • Conducted an SEO audit and resolved all technical issues to provide the best user experience possible. This included migrating to a new host (supported by WP Doctors), drastic improvements to site speed and resolving thousands of specific issues
  • Trained over 20 local attractions in SEO best practice so all user generated content added to the HTA website was optimised as best as possible
  • Performed a content audit to determine which content was and wasn’t driving traffic. We then worked with The Marketing Collective to remove or rework underperforming content and generate new content on an ongoing basis
  • Full review of competitor link profiles to identify new link building opportunities. We submitted HTA to hundreds of the best link prospects
  • Quarterly updates given to over 30 attractions to provide guidance on SEO best practice and site performance
  • Worked with The Marketing Collective on Conversion Rate Optimisation by mapping the user journey and streamlining login, registrations, and voucher downloads
  • Additional time provided free of charge to support the site during lockdowns where it was needed the most
  • The Marketing Collective continued to keep brand awareness and user interest high through other marketing channels including organic & paid social media, email marketing, PR campaigns and other content creation

Hampshires Top Attractions SEO case studyResults

  • Whilst competitors were reducing SEO and marketing efforts during lockdowns, Marketing Collective were keen to keep SEO going with Devise Marketing. Due to this they were able to gain significant ground
  • HTA set record months for organic traffic for a continuous period of 11 months after lockdowns. They outperformed all prior performance, even pre lockdowns.
  • Organic traffic increased by 61% year on year in total.
  • Helped drive a 142% increase in email subscribers and registrations to the site, providing multiple ways to encourage return visits. Over 7,500 new subscribers were added.
  • The majority of attractions stayed with HTA during the pandemic and renewed their membership with HTA for 2022.
  • As a result of the success the individual attractions that form HTA and Marketing Collective agreed to renew SEO for 2022 and to increase the budget to cover further content creation from Devise Marketing.

“Supporting the Hampshire’s Top Attractions members through the pandemic was a key priority. We needed to ensure that the brand helped to not only communicate messages of Covid-19 closures, opens and restrictions but that it also helped to drive visitors and sales. SEO was key to this and Devise Marketing provided content ideas and keywords / phrases so that the information on the site was what people wanted and needed to know. The site received the highest number of visits and helped the attraction members to attract visitors at a critical time. We would highly recommend Devise Marketing for SEO projects.”

Jo Andrews
The Marketing Collective

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