Research, Strategy, Content, SEO
Create content to help boost the performance of the Mail Travel ecommerce site
Mail Travel is an ecommerce site selling travel products ranging from days out in London to long-haul escorted tours and international cruises. The ‘Inspiration’ area of the site is a blog used for travel content intended to inspire and inform readers while promoting Mail Travel products. The blog is an important tool for generating traffic to product pages to drive sales, and is a key part of Mail Travel’s content strategy.
We used the methodology from our content marketing framework to quantify the performance of current content, assess its quality and develop a calendar of creative content that is measurably improving results. Our editorial team is delivering 20 articles of 500–1,000 words per month that are showing improved user metrics, including average time on site.
We began with keyword research targeting Mail Travel’s core product areas to identify popular themes and qualify areas of interest, including specific destinations for cruises, age brackets, and related terms. This allowed to build a clearer picture of users, from where they want to sail from to what kinds of tours they like.
We gathered the Google Analytics data for all traffic to pages on the blog and selected those with the most meaningful data to make sure that we were auditing pages with substantial traffic that would lead to reliable user metrics. We then selected the highest- and lowest-performing pages, and carried out a detailed editorial audit of the content to look for common factors. High performance meant positive user metrics such as high dwell-time, high page count and number of conversions; low performance meant high bounce rate and low.
At surface level we established several topics (e.g. cruises and other specific holiday types, certain destinations) that were common to high-performing content. Diving deeper, we also saw editorial themes and practices that explained both high and low performance. This helped us make several recommendations to immediately improve content across the site (e.g. a style guide to ensure consistency, establishing a clear link between headline and content, greater use of dynamic subheadings).
Just as importantly, analysing the keyword research alongside the site metrics allowed us to develop personas and themes for content that were qualified and couched in solid data. This meant no hitting-and-hoping with content that we suspected would appeal, but a sound basis for a content calendar with definite appeal for Mail Travel readers, along with seasonality.
Four distinct personas emerged from our analysis and we developed a quarterly calendar carefully based on these and Mail Travel’s priority products. We came up with an initial calendar of 60 headlines and briefs designed to appeal to Mail Travel readers’ known interests and preferences, and to get them clicking, reading, talking and buying.
We work closely with Mail Travel to make sure that we also use the calendar to promote the right products and destinations at the right time, and we are constantly in touch to stay informed on new product and business goals. So through all 60 pieces of content in Q1 there is a clear link between the content – down to its tone of voice – and Mail Travel’s commercial aims.
The in-house editorial team that carried out the content audit developed the content calendar and they continue to write the blog posts with the rest of our team. We established a set process at the outset with dates, conventions for image sourcing, and formatting to make delivery as smooth as possible. We also remain flexible so that we can accommodate changes to the calendar as and when the Mail Travel team launch new products.
We are also managing Mail Travel’s social media alongside the content work, providing an easy single point of contact for producing and promoting content to boost engagement.
We report monthly on our content’s performance using the same user metrics that we used to audit the content. In the first month our content led to increased conversions and better engagement, and is continuing to boost the blog’s performance; content produced by Melt has seen a 50% increase in one conversion goal.