“See You in Kalamazoo?”
You: “Hey Google, where is the best place for a weekend getaway?” KPS3: “We have an idea...”
Discover Kalamazoo aimed to elevate their beautiful Michigan town from a quick stop along the way to a destination worthy of an overnight stay. Kalamazoo has the outdoor adventure, local cuisine, and family-friendly attractions that make it a top-tier destination for any traveler, but it was overlooked for bigger cities like Grand Rapids. The Discover Kalamazoo team needed help translating their overall marketing into paid and organic search—and they turned to KPS3.
First stop: Paid Search
We developed a search advertising strategy that would capture visitors in our target markets that were looking to travel but didn’t yet have a destination in mind. Our key objectives:
- Increase overnight stays by driving consideration of Kalamazoo as a destination for visitors in their drive-market.
- Boost awareness of Kalamazoo among those that have interests in their offerings (i.e, craft beer, outdoor adventures).
- Grow website engagement.
Within the first six months of launching the paid search campaigns, we saw immediate success, resulting in 10-14% CTRs, $0.70-$1.50 CPCs, and 10%+ conversion rates. The paid search strategy drove nearly 50% of all lodging package clicks, and Discover Kalamazoo saw over a 50% increase in website engagements.
Less than a year later, the Discover Kalamazoo team asked us to take on their SEO work.
Next stop: SEO... or world domination?
Kalamazoo’s website ranked well for branded terms, but struggled to rank for searches relevant to prospective visitors. They needed an SEO strategy that would help raise awareness of Kalamazoo and drive website conversions (lodging and local business referrals).
The main components of our strategy involved optimizing towards high-volume search terms with travel intent in addition to lower volume—yet highly valuable—keywords related to attractions and things to do in the area.
In the first three months, we increased their average keyword position by nearly 10 spots for all target keywords, leading to an 18% engagement rate. So far, we’ve been able to increase traffic from our target markets by 20% with the collaboration of the Discover Kalamazoo team. We can't wait to see where we go next.
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First stop: paid search
We developed a search advertising strategy that would capture visitors in our target markets that were looking to travel but didn't yet have a destination in mind.
Next stop: SEO. Or world domination?
Kalamazoo's website ranked well for branded terms but struggled to rank for searches relevant to prospective visitors.