The official site launched in 1996 with the goal of helping outdoor enthusiasts explore all that Utah has to offer. The site underwent numerous changes from when it first launched over 20 years ago and has since become the information hub for anything related to Utah. From lodging and transportation to campgrounds and events, individuals can find everything they need in one place.
Utah.com + Stryde
Since the site was designed to be an information hub, it grew to more than 200K web pages. Finally, plans were put in place to undergo a massive overhaul of the website. The site was running on an old platform, which made it difficult to manage the backend infrastructure. In addition to the new CMS, the navigation, content, and design were being completely updated.
Prior to making the switch, site traffic was growing more than 25% year over year and during peak months site visits reached over 300K. It was vital they kept as much momentum as possible with the new site. We talked with the client, analyzed analytics, reviewed keyword data, and Google Search Console data to understand the challenges the new site would have on traffic coming in.
Organic Search and Content Opportunity
We put together a two phase project for the Utah.com site overhaul.
Phase 1 – Covered the following pre launch and post launch audits:
- Web Page Analysis – Identify all pages driving traffic by using Utah.com sitemaps, Google Webmaster Tools data, and through crawling the current website with internal crawling tools. Pages were analyzed and sorted by importance based on analytics data.
- Keyword Analysis – Analyze search query data using various tools and grouped them together
- Keyword Mapping – After analyzing and organizing URLs and looking at keywords driving traffic to the website, we gave recommendations on the most important keyword variations that need to be included on the pages of the website
- Redirect Strategy – Provided a redirect strategy for all pages that needed to be consolidated
- Web Page Optimization Guidelines – Provide web page optimization guidelines and specific optimization recommendations so the content team could ensure each page was perfectly optimized.
Phase 2 – Covered the following post launch audits and optimizations:
- Site Audit – Reviewed and gave title, description, H1 and other metadata recommendations for numerous pages being created on the new site
- Analytics Analysis – Analyzed analytics data for top performing content and mapped out projections on traffic trends post launch
- Redirect Audit – Tracked and analyzed the redirects that were put in place to make sure things were redirected properly
- Site Architecture Audit – Looked at the navigation of the new site and gave recommendations on how to better structure each section of the site to help search engines crawl and index pages easier
- Weekly Site Monitoring – Monitored page performance on a weekly basis to see traffic patterns
- Rank Tracking – Tracked and provided a ranking report on the top 5,000+ keywords Utah.com was ranking for each month. Additionally, we ran a head term vs. longtail keyword for various section of the site to see the average ranking position comparing pre and post launch metrics