After 10 years of hard work, Virgin Experience Days (VED)’s website was already well-optimised for experience day keywords. There were no quick wins that would boost visibility and traffic for peak – not that would make a difference against the likes of Amazon, John Lewis and Not on the High Street anyway.
With the busiest time for retail around the corner, we needed to shake up our SEO strategy to increase non-brand traffic and visibility.


We pinpointed potential through PPC
Our Dynamic Search Ad activity showed a continued shift towards long-tail searches, with further head-term analysis confirming that consumers are becoming more search-engine savvy – using long-tail searches to find exactly what they want.
From then, our strategy was simple: To focus purely on increasing the breadth of keywords we ranked for and creating the most relevant content.
We carried out an n-gram analysis through our PPC search queries to understand which long-tail searches performed best and drive our new content and meta data optimisation. And identified pages in VED’s navigation that could serve specific searches; indexing them and blocking others to reserve crawl budget.
Previous work on tech product launches gave us the know-how to get our Black Friday and Christmas Gifts categories indexed quickly and ranking well.
And innovated on intent
We used insights from social listening to identify trends to serve through new landing pages (a ‘gin experiences’ page drove 20k traffic YOY in Q4 alone). And worked with VED to create a gift finder that targeted a brand-new set of keywords based on interests, including ‘gifts for foodies’ and ‘gifts for petrol heads’.
We tested core Christmas Gifting category links to the top-level navigation, to make sure authority was flowing from the home page to the most important URLs (as well as from historical blog pages with inbound links).
And, knowing we’d never be able to rank where the intent was to find the best Black Friday deals, identified top-ranking publications and passed these over to the VED PR team and our own affiliate experts to pick up through partnerships.


  • 24% increase in organic sessions YOY
  • 19% increase in non-brand keyword impressions YOY
  • 566% increase in ‘Christmas Gifting’ keywords in top 3 results (3 to 20) YOY
  • Average rank increase of 16% across all gifting keywords