TRAVEL SEO Case Study

Creating Order and Structure for More Competitive SEO

thrifty traveler logo no background

About Thrifty Traveler

Thrifty Traveler started as a passion project in 2015 – now it’s a thriving online business dedicated to helping its audience travel more for less. They post flight deals daily, run a paid subscription service for domestic and international flight deals, and share big news in the travel industry to keep readers in the know.

Thrifty Traveler Home Page Screenshot

Thrifty Traveler’s Goals

Thrifty Traveler wanted to clean up their website’s structure. Before working with us, the Thrifty Traveler site had more than 3,000 URLs with no sections or organization. They also wanted to improve the keyword rankings for their most valuable articles.

The Challenge

Did we mention their main competitors are high-profile travel and credit card sites? That means Thrifty Traveler regularly competes with big sites with higher budgets and more resources in an already competitive niche.

"We’ve attained the No. 1 SERP on several key terms within only a few months. As a result, the volume of organic Google traffic we receive increased dramatically."

Jared K.CEO and Founder of Thrifty Traveler
Thrifty Traveler Logo

Our Strategy

We started with a technical analysis. Our services always begin with audits, which helps us get to know everything we need to know about the website we’re working on.

For Thrifty Traveler, our technical analysis showed multiple redirect chains across the website. These redirects were because Thrifty Traveler is a travel news site, with new posts and URLs updated or added daily.

From there, we knew we needed to add some structure and optimize authority.

Our Unique Method

First, we performed a complete website overhaul. This redesign was an enormous undertaking because of the number of pages, but it was necessary, so Google could crawl Thrifty Traveler with ease.

We added a Directory A and Directory B folder structure to organize the website. And we used the primary categories of Deals, Reviews, Comparisons, Guides, and News to keep the structure organized. This structure helped with the overall structure of Thrifty Traveler’s content organization. It also made it easier for them to examine sections of their site and how each section was performing with the new URL structure.

Then, it was time to optimize the flow of the site’s page authority.

Because Google crawls through links, redirects can cause a site to lose “link juice,” or the SEO value Google believes that URL has. Because there were so many redirects, we knew we could staunch the flow of that link juice so Thrifty Traveler could rank higher in searches.

Using Screaming Frog, we identified the starting location of all those redirected links on the website and replaced them with their final URLs in the redirect chains. We also deleted any redirect chains and created new one-to-one redirects.

Thrifty Traveler also used several affiliate links for credit card websites in their post and resources about using credit card miles for travel. Google can frown on affiliate links unless they’re coded correctly as “no follow” links. So to prevent the loss of authority Thrifty Traveler had built with their content, we encouraged them to add a no-follow attribute to all their affiliate links.

1

Our Timeline

Six months
2

Services Provided

• Technical analysis
• Directory A and Directory B folder structure
• Repaired redirect chains
• Recommended no-follow link attributes
3

Outcomes

• Increased email subscriptions and purchases to their Premium cheap flight service
• Client now ranks in the Top 3 positions for their most desired keywords
• Website structure is clean and easy to navigate
• Writing team is educated on SEO best practices with educational lessons from our team to help create synergy between content creation and our SEO efforts
best day to book flights screenshot
Google Flights Screenshot

The Results

The Thrifty Traveler team already had a foundational understanding of SEO, but they were ready to take it to the next level to compete with some pretty big names in the travel space. Jared Kamrowski, Thrifty Traveler CEO, brought the same level of drive and passion to this project as he did to the creation of Thrifty Traveler itself, knocking it out of the park when it came to results.

Traffic Improvements

Thrifty Travel Search Impressions

The average daily search impressions in the first three months of the campaign were about 275,000. In the most recent three months of the campaign, the average daily search impressions were 900,000. The average daily clicks in the first three months of the campaign were 1,700. These impressions increased to an average of 7,000 average daily clicks in the most recent three months.

Thrifty Traveler Organic Keyword Growth Performance

At the start of the campaign, Thrifty Traveler had 4,989 keywords ranking in the Top 10 and 488 keywords ranking in the Top 3. By the end, they had 26,973 keywords ranking in the Top 10 and 5,687 keywords in the Top 3. Thrifty Traveler’s keyword rankings in the Top 3 Google search positions increased by 1,165%.

Notable Keyword Rankings

  • Google Flights
    • Current Position: 2
    • Keyword Difficulty: 59
    • Monthly Search Volume: 7,480,000
  • Best Day to Book Flights
    • Current Position: 1
    • Keyword Difficulty: 37
    • Monthly Search Volume: 12,100
  • How to Find Cheap Flights
    • Current Position: 2
    • Keyword Difficulty: 69
    • Monthly Search Volume: 14,800
  • Google Flights Search Anywhere
    • Current Position: 3
    • Keyword Difficulty: 46 
    • Monthly Search Volume: 22,200
  • Southwest Low Fare Calendar
    • Current Position: 3
    • Keyword Difficulty: 34
    • Monthly Search Volume: 135,000
Google Flights Organic Performance

Before working with us, Thrifty Traveler’s Google Flights page could not break onto the first page of search results. Now, it’s ranked second only after the actual Google Flights website. There was some keyword cannibalization – where your site has URLs competing against each other to rank for the same keyword – that we caught to improve the overall ranking of the Google Flights page. From Jan. 1, 2021, to Nov. 30, 2021, the Thrifty Traveler Google Flights page was responsible for 15,428 goal completions in Google Analytics.

900,000
Average Daily Search Impressions
7,000
Average Daily Clicks
26,973
Top 10 Keywords

Since implementing Propellic’s recommendations, we’ve attained the No. 1 SERP on several key terms within only a few months. As a result, the volume of organic Google traffic we receive increased dramatically. Previously we spent thousands of dollars per month on social ads, but we now spend less on ads!

They never overpromise and underdeliver. Email and Zoom communication are solid. Projects are always on time. And if something comes up, they are nimble and adjust quickly.

We’ve worked with many companies during the six years since I started Thrifty Traveler. Propellic was the easiest company we’ve worked with. It’s been a great experience. They care about their customers, root for their success, and cheer them on.

Jared KCEO and Founder of Thrifty Traveler