Building an Online Strategy for Success: O.A.R.S.

The Challenge

  • Outdoor Adventure River Specialists (O.A.R.S.) has been a pioneering icon in whitewater paddling and the adventure travel industry since 1969. Famous for their Grand Canyon rafting operations, O.A.R.S. runs river-based multisport adventure trips on 35 rivers and coastlines worldwide.
  • Steve Markel, Director of Marketing and Partnerships at O.A.R.S., knew that the company needed a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to dominating the online search market for key whitewater, rafting and multi-sport organic and paid terms as well as optimizing conversion of visitor traffic.

LeapUp Leaps In

  • In the fall of 2007, O.A.R.S. knew that they were not optimizing their use of paid search and asked LeapUp to evaluate their existing pay per click (PPC) campaigns to improve campaign conversion rates and reduce conversion costs.
  • In February 2008, the management of O.A.R.S. wanted to increase online visitor awareness and qualified organic online traffic to the O.A.R.S. parent site, facilitate better user navigation to conversion points on the site and increase conversion ratios/rates. LeapUp’s involvement with O.A.R.S. broadened to include organic search optimization (SEO) of the site, later expanding further to assist with pay per click and SEO for company sister-sites ( and
  • LeapUp also assisted the marketing team with the relaunch of the site in 2009 and 2010 providing recommendations for content additions, creative design (for improved visibility of messaging, calls to action, SEO, usability), navigation typologies and clickpath facilitation to conversion points.

LeapUp’s Leverage

  • Organic traffic grew substantially to the original O.A.R.S site based on a comparison of pre and post optimization periods:
    • Unique Visitors: +40.6%
    • Pageviews: +117%
    • Pages/Visit: +56.4%
    • Bounce Rate: Declined from 39.65% to 4.08% (-89.7%)
    • Search Engine traffic: Grew from 38.9% to 47.7%
    • Conversions: +96.3%

Posted on

September 1, 2012