Helped Bike Rental Service for Tourists Grow in COVID-19

Our longtime and trusted partner, Fancy Apple, which has developed the travel business for many years, is facing enormous challenges in 2020. The pandemic has dealt a serious blow to literally all types of businesses, but some industries have been in a particularly precarious position. Tourism was one of them.

Since its inception, Fancy Apple has been renting bikes in New York City’s Central Park, and tourists have always been the main target audience. When tourist flows were blocked, planes stopped flying, and even movement within the country was limited, the company completely lost its customers and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Realizing all the risks, the owner of the company turned to Lasting Trend, and we undertook to help.

This type of business has one feature – it is completely dependent on the weather and is seasonal. In the fall and winter of 2020, when the pandemic raged, the entire Fancy Apple team was on seasonal vacation. This means we had time to take action and restart the business before the spring/summer period.

As a result, we have achieved real success – the tourism business in Central Park not only survived the crisis period but also moved to a new stage of development.

Step 1. Find new ways to develop the tourism business

In the current situation, we could go along the beaten path. For example, continue to actively invest advertising budget in SEO and promote the same services, but with the expectation of domestic tourists. That is, now focus not on foreigners who have recently arrived in the United States but on Americans who have arrived on business in New York.

Bike Rental Service

However, it was clear to us that such a strategy was unlikely to succeed. So we decided to take drastic measures. We asked our client to think about what new services his company could provide. After some time, we received a list of several items.

Then our team, primarily digital marketers and SEO experts, got down to work. They did a huge amount of analytical work to get answers to several questions:

  1. How in demand is each of the offered services?

In other words, can the company make a profit if it launches these services?

  1. Does anyone else offer these services in New York?

That is, how many competitors will we have and will we be able to win at least part of the market?

  1. Can campaign for new services get to the top of Google in a very short time?

We had about six months at our disposal – from October to April, so the criterion of time was very important for us. If the set goal could be achieved in a year, we would abandon this idea.

Having received answers to these questions, we concluded that the best solution in this crisis is to launch a service for renting electric bicycles and scooters for locals.

Step 2. Distribution of the advertising budget and investments

The problem was that Fancy Apple only had a handful of electric bikes at the time and no scooters at all. It means that amid the crisis, the company should not have saved money, as others did, but, on the contrary, should have made serious investments in the business. It was risky, but the owner of Fancy Apple agreed to take this step.

Having received the go-ahead from him, our team began to act as quickly as possible. No more than three weeks passed from the moment the decision was made to the launch of the project. During this time we managed:

  • do SEO analysis;
  • think over an off-page optimization strategy;
  • create, optimize and publish several feature articles for the blog;
  • launch an advertising campaign.

The size of the advertising budget remained within the same limits as before, but we distributed the flows differently:

  1. Almost all funds were used to promote two new pages of the site. One of them is dedicated to electric bicycles, and the other is dedicated to electric scooters. In short, we have completely focused only on new services.
  2. Although we needed a very fast result and in such cases marketers usually use PPC, we decided not to forget about SEO. We split the advertising budget 50/50 between these two approaches.

Subsequently, it turned out that our strategy was correct. We were able to not only keep Fancy Apple afloat but even increase the company’s revenue.

Now let’s discuss the results of the work in more detail.

Results: Tripled traffic and TOP positions for high-frequency keywords

We designed new pages in the same style and placed the most important and interesting information about new services there. In particular, we indicated the cost of rent and possible discounts, gave answers to popular questions, and also talked about the benefits of Fancy Apple services.

Also, we have completed all the necessary tasks for optimizing texts:

  • analyzed and identified high-frequency keywords and made up the semantic core;
  • developed the structure of texts;
  • paid special attention to localization;
  • registered title and description;
  • internal linking between pages was added to the finished texts (for example, “Visit New York Film Locations – E Scooter Tour” and “Are Electric Scooters Allowed In NYC? – Everything You Need To Know” were relinked), etc.

Here it is worth recalling once again that we faced a very difficult task – to promote new pages in a very short time. Therefore, each of the optimization points was critically important.

So, let’s start with the page that is dedicated to renting electric scooters. For clarity, we compare the results for the first and second seasons of operation.

  1. During one season, this page receives over three thousand organic visits per month.
  1. In the first season after launch, the new page had 90-100 conversions per week. In the second season, the same page had 110-140 conversions per week.
  1. The page was among the leaders in high-frequency keywords with high KD (keyword difficulty).

The second page is dedicated to renting electric bikes. Here the numbers are somewhat lower, but even these results were sufficient for business development.

  1. During the season, this page receives about one thousand two hundred organic visits per month.
  1. In the first season after launch, the new page had 30 conversions per week. In the second season, the same page had 45 conversions per week.

Thus, with these two pages, we were able to increase organic traffic to the client’s site three times in one year and 5.5 times in two years.

But the main result is the fact that Fancy Apple has successfully passed through a difficult crisis period. The company found a new direction of activity, refocused on the domestic consumer, updated its vehicle fleet and paid off its investments.

Success factors of the tourism business in a crisis

We can explain the high result of this project by several factors.

  1. The client’s willingness to take risks and make difficult decisions. 

During the pandemic, many types of businesses were practically frozen. The owners tried to keep all expenses to a minimum: they refused to advertise and rent premises, cut salaries, etc. Their main task was to save the team, if possible, but even this goal was not achieved by everyone. Against this background, any large investment in the business is a dangerous step with unpredictable consequences.

However, the Fancy Apple owner took the risk. Perhaps experience played a role here. Our client has been working in the tourism industry for more than ten years, knows this industry well and feels the trends. He noticed the growing interest in clean energy – and offered New Yorkers an exciting vacation combined with new technologies.

Now, the updated Fancy Apple`s vehicle fleet consists of half electric bicycles and scooters.

  1. A deep analysis of the situation and the ability to correctly set tasks in a crisis. 

After a brainstorming session, the owner of Fancy Apple offered us several options for growing his business, and each of them could very well be successful in normal times. However, the tight time frame forced us to choose only one option out of several. We made this choice based on a thorough study of statistics, analysis of competitors and the general situation on the market – and we were right.

  1. The correct distribution of the advertising budget and the choice of marketing tools. 

At the start of the project, we considered the option to direct the entire financial flow to PPC. This approach was logical since this type of promotion gives a very fast result, and for us, the timing was very important. But our marketers and SEO experts did the calculations and concluded that the cost of such advertising is too high. It will not give our client the desired result. According to our calculations, if we directed the entire advertising budget to PPC, the bike rental service would be left with zero profit. However, we were confident that we could achieve a better result.

Therefore, we invested half of the budget in SEO optimization and promotion. Yes, this approach is slower. On the other hand, the experience of Lasting Trend experts helped speed up all processes, and six months later SEO began to bring its first results. A year later, it became clear that this method greatly influenced the development of the business and brought profit.

The Fancy Apple case is very revealing and important for the entire Lasting Trend team. It is an example of how smoothly and clearly we can work together with our clients, achieving high and ambitious goals, even in critical situations. Once again, we were convinced that a well-thought-out strategy, analytical work, non-standard solutions and team expertise are a guarantee of success for our clients.

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