Croud x Avanti: On track for exceptional travel content

Listen to article

The challenge

The challenge

Avanti West Coast, a UK train operator that specialises in offering popular rail routes such as those serving Manchester, Liverpool, and Glasgow, found itself grappling with significant challenges.

The launch of their website was followed by a series of train strikes and a noticeable shift in consumer preferences from train travel to car. Meanwhile, their primary competitor, an aggregator platform for train and bus travel, was surpassing them in terms of awareness-related travel content.

The challenge was clear: the train operator needed to enhance its visibility for awareness content and persuade leisure travellers to opt for trains over cars.

The strategy

To address this challenge, Avanti worked with Croud to formulate and deliver a comprehensive SEO-led content strategy.

We started by conducting meticulous SEO research to identify knowledge gaps, scrutinise the competition's content, and delve into topic and keyword cluster research.

This groundwork paved the way for the ideation of 100 blog post topics, carefully researched, and then ranked in priority order to come up with the top 50 blog posts, each created to resonate with Avanti’s target audience. These ideas spanned topics such as local events, travel experiences, and common travel-related questions.

Crucially, the primary objective was to encourage leisure travellers to make the shift from cars to trains.

The content creation process consisted of generating detailed briefs for each article, specifying the ideal structure and the keywords to target. To execute this, Croud harnessed our network of expert copywriters and editors, ensuring that a reader-first approach and SEO excellence were maintained.

The success of this task was solidified by unwavering communication between our in-house and external teams. A rigorous internal quality assurance process ensured that every article delivered value and remained reader-centric. Croud and Avanti set a deadline of one month to research, write and deliver the 50 blog posts - something that thanks to Croud’s network of global digital experts, was able to happen without sacrificing content quality.

The results

294% uplift in clicks | 462% surge in impressions | 166% increase in rankings

Within just 100 days of publication, the 50 blog posts yielded outstanding results, garnering an impressive 10k+ clicks and 841k+ impressions. The overall blog traffic witnessed a remarkable upswing, with a 294% increase in clicks and a 462% surge in impressions over a span of three months.

Additionally, the blog's rankings soared, with Page 1 rankings seeing a notable 423% boost and a 166% overall increase in rankings.

The user engagement metrics were equally impressive, with bounce rates decreasing from 34% to 13%. The average session duration remained high, showing a slight increase.

The new blog posts also had a positive impact on the train operator's visibility for Owned Featured Snippets, with the total number of owned featured snippets surging by 310%.