Cover Story: In Search of Rejuvenation
So all these efforts, which were directly related to the site, increased organic search results. Then the reach extended.
“You can’t just focus on your own Web site and how it shows up in Google anymore,” Bifulco says. “You really have to make sure you’re keeping up with the times. In the travel industry, sometimes we call that travel 2.0.”
To that end, Travel Spike optimized videos, photographs, text, the blog and the e-newsletter for search. The company also monitored audio, video, blogging and podcasting search engines, in addition to the major players like Yahoo and Google. The Atlanta company worked on digital public relations efforts and getting third-party links to the site, for instance, via travel blogs. “So we do focus on words like ‘Spanish tour operators’ or ‘Iberian Peninsula travel deals’ to attract qualified users to our deals page,” Bifulco says.
Common sense indicates that optimizing for generic words, such as “travel,” would not benefit PortugalSpainBoth.com. Meanwhile, more specific keywords are rather easy to test in real time, as Internet feedback is instantaneous, he says.
As of press time, Bifulco reports PortugalSpainBoth.com has spurred more than 11,000 “social media marketing hits.” Having started with zero hits, he says this is an impressive number and includes mentions of Spain and Portugal on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and blogs.
“Because the search engines are changing what they’re doing all the time and also the competition is changing what they’re doing all the time, the one thing about any search engine project is that it’s dynamic, and it’s kind of a living, breathing thing,” he explains. “It’s not set in stone, so you’re really never done. I mean, you can always tweak things and change things and add things and subtract things and try to find that magical mix.”