Relaunching A Brand Online: Alaska Tours

Relaunching A Brand Online: Alaska Tours

All Alaska Tours is a 25+ year old family and group tour packager offering Alaska and Canadian cruise and land-based vacation opportunities to Alaska visitors. The company sells both direct-to-consumer under the Alaska Tours brand and to trade customers (travel agents, wholesalers and international tour operators) via the All Alaska Tours brand (lead generation for Alaska and Canadian tourism suppliers).

The company’s Alaska and Canadian vacation packages include railroad trips, wildlife viewing, bear viewing and cruise tours, whale watching and glacier viewing activities. Target markets for All Alaska Tours products include primarily U.S. based affluent baby boomers traveling both independently or as part of an organized group (clubs, churches, affinity, etc.) or occasion-based trip (family reunions, anniversaries/celebrations, family vacations).

Having worked together in 2008-2009 on the State of Alaska Tourism Industry Association Marketing Committee, in 2010, the CEO of All Alaska Tours approached Leapup seeking to develop a new brand strategy for the company.

The Challenge

Leapup was initially hired to:

  • Conduct a brand audit and competitive scan to better identify and benchmark branding needs, best practices and opportunities.
  • Create a compelling new visual identity for the All Alaska Tours brands to better position the company’s brands competitively (palette, logo system, site wireframes)
  • Develop online recommendations (sitemap, site architecture, navigation typologies) to improve merchandising for vacation products and increase conversion potential on the existing Alaskatours.com site.

Leapup Leaps In

Original Logo:

New Logo (2011):

Upgraded logo (2015):

In 2015, after the company completed implementation of its new CRM, Leapup was then retained to plan and execute the relaunch of the current AlaskaTours.com site, improve mobile responsiveness and usability, enhance merchandising of tour product, create a technically-optimized front-end, search optimize the new site and integrate the site the Softrip reservation platform.

Leapup redesigned the sitemap for AlaskaTours.com, significantly expanding the content of the site and capitalizing on high volume and popular keyword queries around Alaska terms. Search optimizing all the content including the blog, Leapup was able to turn the Alaska Tours site into a hub for Alaska visitors seeking information about traveling to the 49th state. Working closely with Simon de la Salle, Leapup then architected the site and designed page templates, code and WordPress taxonomies to maximize search engine opportunity.

From:

To:

The new site was relaunched successfully in Fall 2016:

Working closely with Simon de la Salle, web designer and developer, the new site features include:

  • Video headers with enhanced messaging
  • New and expanded image and video database
  • Simplified tour page with easy embedded navigation to itinerary, dates/rates, photo gallery etc.
  • CRM linked form system for lead capture data
  • Visual doormat style dropdown navigation

  • Post taxonomies (featured trips, related tours, mode of travel, activity, special interest, testimonials, blogposts etc.) allowing tour inventory to be indexed and merchandised multiple different ways and content to be streamed across the site in multiple locations.
  • A tour finder filtering for activity, mode of travel and/or duration.
  • Significant increase in content (destinations, outdoor activities, ways to travel) anchoring expanded Alaska term SEO opportunities and cross merchandising of trip inventory:
  • A trip favoriting feature for users
  • Expanded and more visual blog for SEO:

Leapup’s Leverage

Since the launch of the new site:

  • Total traffic to the site has grown by +51% (Feb 2016 –  Dec 2016 vs the comparable period in 2018)
  • Organic traffic is now 70% of total site traffic and has increased +40%
  • Direct traffic is +40%
  • Social traffic is +367%
  • Site transactions are + 24% and e-commerce revenues +55% 

Leapup is now working with the team at Alaska Tours to continue to build an inbound marketing plan to further expand site visibility with qualified Alaska visitor markets, expand marketing initiatives and generate new sources of leads and conversions for the company.

“I first contacted Annie in 2010 regarding the redevelopment of AlaskaTours.com as we were moving to a new technology platform which would greatly increase our service efficiency.  The first priority was to evaluate usability of the existing site and develop a branding strategy for our B2C business opportunities allowing us to aggressively market our Alaska travel services to a wider customer base.  Annie clearly understood the nature of our business model, as well as our destination, which greatly helped jump start our revised site design and the development of  our web marketing strategy. 

After several years of continued traffic and sales growth we found ourselves falling behind in responsive web design and with the ever-increasing web analytical and advertising tools I reached out to Annie again in 2015.   Annie was quick to jump in an lead the redesign and development process bringing to the team Simon de la Salle.  We began the process of redeveloping AlaskaTours.com on a new technology platform to meet the user demands in the ever-changing marketplace including a comprehensive content and SEO strategy.  All together, we successfully relaunched our site on October 2016 and have since seen significant increases in site visitors and sales.  Annie is a rock star in my book, and I would not hesitate to recommend LeapUp Marketing Solutions to anyone looking for personalized, profession expertise for any facet of web site development and digital marketing.”

Al Koch, President, All Alaska Tours