• Implementation of 'hreflang' and canonical tags resulted in tens of thousands of pages on international versions of the site being indexed and ranking.
  • Traffic for travel holiday related pages more than doubled in the first three months of the new format pages rolling out.

The Challenge

Virgin Australia is Australia's second largest airline and had two main objectives.

  1. Increase traffic and bookings via organic search for holiday packages.
  2. Increase organic traffic on international versions of it's website (e.g. USA or UK site) to attract more direct international bookings.

I headed a team at SEO agency, Dejan SEO in Brisbane and we were lucky to have earnt the trust of Drew Ascough from Virgin Australia as he'd seen our team speak at conferences. However, a big challenge was that all on-site changes needed to go via a development queue at Virgin that had a major backlog due to an upcoming change to their flight booking system. The challenge therefore was convince others within the Virgin team of the potential value of our recommendations to allow them to be prioritised.

The Process

We started with a full technical audit of the site and found a number of issues such as:

  • duplicate content (lack of canonical tags)
  • thin content for holiday package related pages (or in some cases their simply were no pages targeted high value potential terms).
  • majority of the pages on international versions of the site such as UK, USA were not being indexed by Google

Once the audit was done then we broke up recommendations into:

  • Technical changes requiring internal development tasks: We split these into individual tasks to be lodged based on priority. For example, the international sites lacked 'hreflang' tags to signal to Google the language and location of the site.
  • A content strategy was created for holiday package pages with advice provided on what content and sections to include for these pages. We worked with Virgin's team to create a template for these pages which could then be populated by their content team.
  • We then did outreach to earn links to the new pages to boost authority.

Note: Budget below related to monthly SEO retainer for agency (not paid search)

The Solution

  • Implementation of 'hreflang' and canonical tags resulted in tens of thousands of pages on international versions of the site being indexed and ranking.
  • Traffic for travel holiday related pages more than doubled in the first three months of the new format pages rolling out.
Skills Used



Travel & Leisure

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