Tillamook Coast Case Study
Meet Duane Cardwell
Duane Cardwell is the owner, Principal Designer, and Art Director at Cardwell Creative – a full-service digital marketing firm that emphasizes web development, video production, and branding.
Based in Salem, Oregon, Duane is a keen outdoorsman—taking on all manner of activities such as rock climbing, abseiling, camping, and hiking.
Wanting to make sure one of his favorite places on earth was getting the attention it deserved, he and his agency completely redesigned the website tillamookcoast.com.
The new site features an array of gorgeous multimedia content, with clean lines and inviting white space that truly highlights the region’s beauty.
It also includes excellent resources for would-be travelers, including downloadable destination guides.
Tillamook Coast’s Struggle
Cardwell Creative knows how important SEO is when designing a site.
That’s why they wanted to ensure the new Tillamook Coast site was optimized right from the start, with expert SEO that would help the site stay on top, both now and in the future.
They also needed help minimizing the loss of traffic and lowered search rankings that can happen after a significant redesign and changed URL structure.
Additionally, they were dealing with a ton of content on the site’s blog, much of it with little visitor or SEO benefit.
They called on Papaya Search to help, and we formulated a proactive and comprehensive plan as a team.
Working closely with the Cardwell Creative team, we performed an exhaustive SEO audit.
Once we acquired the necessary data, we identified some quick fixes that would see immediate improvement, such as adding Title Tags and optimizing or purging blog posts to streamline content.
We then focused on more advanced issues, such as adding schema markup to pages and updating the site structure.
Our team also developed a comprehensive new sitemap with a folder structure and pages organized accordingly.
In addition, we included mechanisms to help filter their Google Analytics of junk traffic.
Our SEO solutions provided the near-term organic search traffic results Cardwell Creative sought, plus ongoing optimization for the site.
We were pleased to achieve a 65% increase in organic search visitors to the website in 2018-2019 vs. 2016-2017. In addition, the destination guide was downloaded 17.4% more during the same period.
At the start of the project, the Tillamook site had 660 keywords on the first page. We almost doubled that figure to 1276 keywords at the close of the project.
Featured snippets keywords rose from 104 to 177, improving search visibility for potential visitors.
This white-label project shows how working with Papaya Search can help agencies achieve the site performance results they seek for their clients.
Cardwell Creative was very pleased with their vastly improved organic search traffic and the reduced amount of junk traffic data in Google Analytics.
In late 2018, Travel Oregon evaluated the state’s regional DMO websites on elements such as SEO, user-friendliness, and quality of content. Visit Tillamook Coast was rated #1.
Why Papaya Search
We asked Duane Cardwell to tell us what he likes about working with Papaya Search and why he recommends us.
1. Comprehensive Expertise
Duane told us that accessing a ‘white label’ expert like Papaya Search “adds a ton of credibility” to his agency team.
He was particularly impressed by the things he didn’t expect us to do, like pointing out best practices they weren’t aware of.
Seeing how we did things like optimize blog category landing pages and eliminate index bloat on the site has helped him better understand the mechanics of SEO.
Most of all, he has been pleased with the website speed performance improvements he has seen since partnering with Papaya Search.
2. Easy Communication
We often hear about SEO agencies who don’t explain things well or are just plain difficult to talk to during projects.
Papaya Search is dedicated to accessible communication and being forthcoming and explanatory at every stage.
Duane noticed this and described the ease of his experience working with Bobby Kircher and his team at Papaya Search:
“Working with Bobby is easy. He makes complex concepts easy to understand and is always willing to sit in on meetings with the client.”
3. Professionalism and Transparency
One of the things we pride ourselves on at Papaya Search is clearly explaining our process for each client.
We made sure Cardwell Creative understood our process at every stage and how our plans would work to achieve results.
Duane enjoyed learning more about what goes on behind the curtain, so to speak, and knowing how each step we took would help him achieve his goals.
He was also pleased to have access to ongoing optimization advice and results he could see and monitor in the future.