A Forest Holidays break is all about reconnecting you with nature, yourself and your nearest and dearest. It’s the kind of holiday where you can hear a pinecone drop. Our brief was to make more noise and put them on the map for holidays in the UK.
With a desire and need to rank for terms such as ‘UK holidays’ and ‘UK breaks’, Forest Holidays was like a vole competing against much larger and more ferocious beasts: Hoseasons, Travelsupermarket, Haven and Thomson amongst others.
Getting the basics right
We decided to get the fundamentals right first. Technical SEO ‘quick wins’ started to improve positions immediately. Our paid team got involved and we saw a 192% increase in traffic delivered by PPC, with the number of cabin bookings increasing by 171%. By the end of 2012 we were well on the way to putting Forest Holidays into prime position in key markets.
A plan built on insight
We really wanted to understand how new customers might find the Forest Holidays website, and what might be the best way to serve up relevant, engaging and recommendable content to make their experience more rewarding, informative and entertaining. Ultimately, we wanted to encourage them to book. We realised that our four key persona types – couples, families, pet lovers and groups – could be indexed against search queries. We then used that data to build a highly relevant and rich content hub. And so, the multi award winning Forestipedia sprang to life.
A content-based campaign
Living on the main site, Forestipedia presents a variety of content types from different sources: Forest Holiday’s own experts, user-generated content, wildlife experts, lifestyle pieces from award winning journalists and authors. It broadly sits in four main sections:
Because the features reflected our different personas we were able to explore subjects as diverse as ‘How a holiday in a forest might actually improve your relationship’, ‘An exploration of the rise in the popularity of foraging for food’, ‘A beginners’ guide or stargazing’ and ‘Simple information on flora and fauna’. Forest Holidays’ own team of highly trained Forest Rangers provided the backbone and authority with a selection of forest guides.
This rich bank of content was then seeded out to relevant websites and online influencers to secure links and social shares for the Forest Holidays site.
Four years on and our work for Forest Holidays has seen the brand rank higher than those bigger brands for the term ‘UK breaks’. It’s also seen the client pick up a fair bit of recognition in various industry awards schemes – not bad for a challenger vole!
We’re proud of this on-going success story. It has appeared to be anything but a ‘one hit wonder’, and has formed a blueprint for our other client success stories, with parallel content-led activities.
We’re even prouder of the results we’ve won for Forest Holidays. No matter what size you are, you can defeat the bigger beasts and Be Found, in even the densest competition.