About the project

While the National Trust is one of the UK’s leading charities with over 5 million members, only a small proportion of those members and even fewer non-members are aware of the breadth of what the Trust has to offer. The challenge for both Passion Digital and National Trust was to raise awareness of the Trust’s UK holiday offering, focusing on increasing organic traffic to their accommodation and type of holiday pages, including working or dog-friendly holidays and their stunning cottages, bunkhouses and bothies across England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

What we did

The target audience of this campaign was couples and families looking for a holiday in the UK that would take them back to nature

Although the broad objectives were focused on cottages, accommodation, bothies, and bunkhouses across England, Ireland and Wales, there were specific areas of focus. Within these broad topics, there were key opportunities related to dog-friendly cottages, cottages with sea views and priority regions for the National Trust like Norfolk & Cornwall. The key to our strategy was to recognise the strengths of the Trust’s offering and building awareness of those strengths.

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The target audience of this campaign was couples and families looking for a holiday in the UK that would take them back to nature

Although the broad objectives were focused on cottages, accommodation, bothies, and bunkhouses across England, Ireland and Wales, there were specific areas of focus. Within these broad topics, there were key opportunities related to dog-friendly cottages, cottages with sea views and priority regions for the National Trust like Norfolk & Cornwall. The key to our strategy was to recognise the strengths of the Trust’s offering and building awareness of those strengths.

Moreover, we understood that bringing the holidays website (previously on a subdomain) onto the main domain would allow us to benefit from the SEO authority of nationaltrust.org.uk

Following a successful migration, our strategy to build awareness was through consolidation of competing content, clear structure and content hierarchy and on-page optimisation. Due to the strength of National Trust’s domain authority, we honed in on improving on-site SEO and indexation.

Migration onto a single domain – successfully moving the holidays subdomain onto the main National Trust domain and preserving the value of inbound links.

Consolidation of competing content – with dozens of editors able to add, remove and edit the content on the National Trust website, there was a big issue with cannibalization and duplicate content throughout the site, which we tackled through auditing the content and correctly using canonicalisation tactics.

Providing a clear structure and content hierarchy – the site’s URL structure adds an extra challenge for Google to understand the hierarchy of the content. We had to tackle this through internal linking optimization and clear signposting of content.

SEO optimisation and education – the content previously in place was written by editorial team members that weren’t writing with SEO in mind. The pages were reviewed and amended to align with search intent and cover topics that we knew users were searching for. Moreover, we set up SEO guidelines and best practice documents to be shared across the editorial team across the whole of the National Trust.

83%

increase in YOY traffic for the holiday section of the website

200

200 non-brand keywords ranking

94%

Page 1 rankings up 94%

198%

uplift in revenue from organic traffic

Results & Stats

This campaign is a great example of how with a clear, data-led SEO strategy, rigorous migration plan and working with clients as an extension of their team can achieve fantastic results in a very competitive holiday industry.

Digital Marketing Agency London +Mike Grindy