AllAboutRivers.com is the premier online river guidebook for planning kayak, raft, and canoe trips. Started in 1999, it is the original online river guidebook. It's interactive tools allow site visitors to:
Plan & review river trips
Contact trip providers, kayak shops, and paddlesports schools
Purchase the gear, books, and videos they need to enjoy their time on the river
Suggest new content
Chat with other users about their experiences
AllAboutRivers contains over 20,000 pages of content...and growing monthly. The site receives over 1 Million visitors annually.
This site is owned and operated by Quicksilver Interactive Media.
Based on the combination of attractive design, ease of use, and depth of content, AllAboutRivers.com is the most useful resource for rafting and kayaking. While these are very desirable properties for a website to have, they do not guarantee organic search results.
We ensure this by building the high quality SEO techniques into the fabric of the website. Woven into that fabric are ultra efficient processes for managing content, link partnerships, and content partnerships.
Integral to our business is the ability to acquire site visitors at a minimum of expense and to maintain the quality of the site with a minimum of labor. It is also important to show positive traffic year every year. To that end, our goal is to grow our traffic in 2011 to over 1.1M visits.
(last updated: 06/30/2012)
Because the site is constructed with such thoughtfulness and planning, we are able to maintain our vast network of content and partnerships with a surprisingly small staff. For the past 7 years, approximately 75% of the traffic on our site is delivered by organic search placements in search engines. And since organic traffic is free we are able to get large numbers of people to our site with a minimum of expense.
From 2004 to 2009 we increased the traffic by 1200%. We were able to accomplish this by increasing the amount of optimized content greatly. Because of the quality of our website many people linked to it during this period as well. These two things are what's necessary to create the perfect storm of organic search results. Using any other marketing methods, the expense of generating that kind of growth for 5 straight years would cost well over $500k. However, our marketing budget was a small fraction of that.
Unfortunately, for the first time in the history of AllAboutRivers, the traffic dipped a bit in 2010. It was apparent that we had relied on our previous work a little too heavily. We decided to roll up our sleeves and retool the site from top to bottom. As of the end of May 2011 the redesign is nearly complete. As you can see from the monthly graph above, we have already started to see huge improvements in traffic and sales and expect our growth to be strong once again for the next couple of years.
Smoky Mountain Outdoors is the largest outfitter on the Pigeon River in Tennessee near Smoky Mountain National Park. They are also one of the largest rafting companies in the U.S. However, they were being outdone on the internet by smaller companies and as a result they were losing market share.
They were spending alot of money on traditional marketing and felt they weren't getting the most out of their marketing dollars. Admittedly, they aren't the most technology savvy people and they needed some help. They wanted to dominate on the internet the way they dominate the local rafting market.
Monthly Traffic on smokymountainrafting.com
Their previous website hosting company didn't have good traffic reports for them so we didn't have traffic history until we moved the site to our hosting environment in February of 2006. We finished optimizing the site in March of 2006 and immediately Smoky Mountain Outdoor Center saw an increase in business. In 2006 they saw a 30% increase in business which moved them into the top 5 largest rafting companies in the U.S.
After the initial optimization in 2006, we didn't do anything new with their content. We did work on getting them more inbound links. Because of the nature of search engine optimization, their site traffic continued to grow steadily through 2008. In 2009 and 2010 it reached a steady plateau.
To put their site on a healthy growth path, in 2010 we engaged in a complete site redesign with our custom built content management system. Smoky Mountain Outdoors is very pleased with their ability to update their content on their own. They are also enjoying a nice increase in traffic this year due to the additional content they created with the CMS. Through May 2011 their site visits are up about 10%.
Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe is the largest paddle sports retailer in the Pacific Northwest with 3 locations in Portland Oregon. They carry core kayak and canoe gear as well as Stand Up Paddle equipment.
Alder Creek already had an online store through monster commerce. They updated the inventory manually and as a result weren't able to put much of their inventory for sale online. They also did not have the ability to optimize the store for natural search results. They wanted an e-commerce system that was integrated into their point of sale system and that would significantly contribute to their overall sales.
We first started working with Alder Creek in December of 2006. We began with hosting their existing website at aldercreek.com. At that time, we also started building a custom e-commerce application that would be integrated into their point of sale system. We finished in the spring of 2007 and launched it in late April. The store had many SEO friendly features built in. Over the course of the summer and fall of 2007, they continued to add inventory to the site. We optimized their main site and added new functionality. In the first year that we worked with Alder Creek we increased their traffic by 3x.
Over the course of 2008 and 2009, we continued to add features and content and their site traffic as well as their online business continued to show very strong growth. By the end of 2009 we had increased their traffic by 600% in 3 years.
Norton Comfort Shoes is an independently owned comfort shoe store in Colorado Springs Colorado. They are recognized as a leading provider of state-of-the-art foot health products that offer immediate relief from painful foot conditions.
Norton Comfort Shoes had a very simple website and it didn't receive very much traffic. They wanted to invest in an e-commerce system that was integrated with their point of sale system so they could offer their entire inventory for sale online. However, their biggest challenge was their inexperience with using the internet as a tool for commerce.
We launched their online store in late November 2007. They started receiving orders in December and have had orders every month since. Their traffic has increased by about 17x since the launch of their store. Their online store synchronizes on a regular basis with their POS system and they are able to sell their entire inventory online. The Norton Shoes staff has been able to manage the product photos and descriptions in the online store using an administrative back end. Because their e-commerce application is built using high quality search engine optimization techniques, their traffic and sales will only continue to increase.
Wilderness Adventures runs rafting trips on several rivers in Northern California and Southern Oregon. They run excellent trips with great food and have a great group of guides. However, their website had several missing pages, information was out of date and the site wasn't really driving business. A very high percentage of their customers were from repeat business and referrals. They felt like they were being left behind in the internet marketing world and wanted help getting into the game. So they turned to us to help them out.
Wilderness Adventures wanted a complete site overhaul. They wanted to increase their organic search results so they could boost business. They aren't a big company and don't have a big advertising budget. In addition, they don't have the time, money or technical expertise to effectively manage a pay per click campaign. They wanted to find a trusted partner that would help them increase business through internet marketing and they wanted to be fairly hands off. They also needed reliable hosting with good website traffic reporting software. That's where we come in.
The biggest issue with their old site was the use of graphical links instead of text links. As a result, search engines didn't even know that many of their web pages existed. We implemented text links to each of the pages on their site so that it fit in well with their current look and feel. We also optimized the content on each page to get better natural search results. We helped them get links pointing to their site as well. We created some new content and cleaned up old content that needed a face lift. We finished the site and launched it in May of 2006. Because we didn't have good historical data for their traffic, it's difficult to say what the exact improvement was but we can see that the traffic increased by 70% immediately after launch and much of that increase was a result of the enhancements we did. We've added some new functionality in May of 2007 and we've done some minor SEO work as well. Now that we have some historical data to work with, we can see that their website has experienced a 102% traffic increase for 2007 . We expect that trend to continue for the near future requiring a minimum of effort.
The Chaffee County Visitors Bureau (CCVB) is a county supported organization to promote tourism in Chaffee County. Chaffee County includes the towns of Salida, Buena Vista, Monarch, and Poncha Springs Colorado. This county has the most 14,000 foot peaks in Colorado and the most popular whitewater rafting destination in the U.S. This area relies heavily on tourism and wanted to compete first regionally, then statewide, and finally nationwide for tourists. They've found that the internet is most cost effective way to do so.
The site visits had fallen significantly in 2004 compared to 2003. After our successful redesign in July 2004, the CCVB found that the site was much better than the old site but the traffic wasn't quite back to 2003 levels. The goal was to reverse the trend of decreasing internet traffic on their site and compete with other tourism locations like Aspen, Vail and Summit County Colorado. Measurable goals were to increase site visits by at least 2x.
We started optimizing the site in February of 2005. As of the end of May 2005, we had only optimized about 10% of the site but had seen a 2.7x increase in site visits. The CCVB also did paid online advertising through the summer months which helped boost traffic. However, once the paid advertising stopped, the traffic dropped significantly. We continued with more site enhancements through 2005 and 2006, however no further search engine optimization was done until April of 2007.
The CCVB saw the benefits of the SEO work of 2005 and those positive results carried over into 2006. However, near the end of 2006 while the traffic was much higher than it was prior to the seo work, it started falling again from '05 levels.
In the spring of 2007 we were contracted to reverse the slow but steady decline in website traffic. We worked on optimizing the rest of the site and completed the work in March of 2007. We've been able to turn things around and the traffic continues to grow in 2008.
Overall, since we took over the management of this website the traffic growth from 2004-2008 has quadrupled.
A Wanderlust Adventure runs rafting trips on the Cache La Poudre River in Northern Colorado near Fort Collins. They have been in business since 1982 and have a large number of repeat customers. They have a very experienced team of guides. Their website and domain name are mature and they had decent search engine results for a limited number of search terms. The meta tags and content were not focused on a broad range of terms and as a result they were missing a good deal of people who were searching for rafting trips they do.
Wanderlust thought that they were doing okay and didn't want to mess up their current search engine results. However, they also felt they weren't getting the most out of their website that they could. They have someone in house who does their website design and maintenance so they needed someone who could work with that person. They also didn't want to spend alot of money and since pay-per-click advertising can be expensive we focused on search engine optimization. They understood that search engine optimization would give them the best cost/click by far.
We started on this project in late January and finished it in early February of 2006. We researched a broad range of search terms related to the river they run, the towns near them, and implemented a different set of terms on each page. We didn't create any new content, we just optimized the content they currently had. We also worked on link building and increased the number of links pointing to their site. The result was a 31% increase in traffic for February and a 40% increase in traffic for March. They now have many more top 10 results in google.com and other search engines. Over the next couple of months, they should see even greater increases in traffic.
Dinosaur River Expeditions runs rafting trips in Utah and Northwestern Colorado. They are a small company that specializes in multi-day trips on the Greem River and Yampa River. They also run day trips on the Weber River near Park City.
They had a nice looking site that was designed by another company but felt they would like to get more traffic to their site. They didn't want to move the site or do any design changes.
The initial optimization was completed in July of 2005. Initial results were difficult to measure because there wasn't a solid history of traffic to measure against. Since the first SEO work we've continued periodic optimization efforts with good results. In the two years since we first worked on the site, the traffic has nearly doubled.