I’ve seen quite a few television advertisements created by the State of Utah’s Office of Tourism, and I think they’re pretty solid when it comes to their call to action domain names. Not only does the state promote VisitUtah.com, but it also promotes SkiUtah.com in its commercials, although the later is owned by the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association. The Office of Tourism also operates a website in a subfolder on the state’s Utah.gov website.
There have been several times when I wanted to book a ski trip after seeing one of the commercials, especially since great skiing is just an hour from Salt Lake City, so they tell me. I think my next ski trip will likely be to Deer Valley or Park City instead of Breckenridge, Colorado.
One issue I noticed though is that the VisitUtah.com website does not appear to be ranking well in Google. When I searched Google for “visit Utah,” the site isn’t even listed in the top 100 results. Perhaps this could be related to the home page’s title tag being simply http://www.visitutah.com instead of the more SEO friendly Visit Utah, Plan Your Utah Vacation, or some other targeted SEO friendly keywords.
VisitUtah.com does appear in Google when I searched for the exact domain name, so it isn’t banned by Google. For some reason, the page title appears in Google as Utah.travel, which possibly was the former domain name or another domain name used for the same website. I believe it’s likely that the home page title tag is simply the url, instead of search engine friendly keywords, and it probably should be changed.
In my non-expert SEO opinion, the website needs to be looked at by a SEO professional to improve its search rankings. It’s great that the Utah.gov site is ranking well, but with sites promoting tourism like VisitUtah.com and SkiUtah.com, they should be dominating SERPS. When that happens, they will see an increase in traffic, and hopefully bookings.
On the other hand, it appears that the SkiUtah.com website is doing well in Google. A search of Ski Utah reveals the site as the top ranked in Google for that keyword. You’ll notice the search engine friendly page title “Ski Utah: The Greatest Snow on Earth – Home,” which is most likely helpful to its rankings.
I really think it’s quite important for the VisitUtah.com site to have some SEO attention paid to it. The Office of Tourism does not own Utah.com, so people searching Google for the Visit Utah website are more apt to land on Utah.com than their promoted website. With a call to action domain name that sounds like its telling people to visit Utah.com, it’s critical that they have everything else in order.
The Office of Tourism created a fantastic website in VisitUtah.com and Utah Ski and Snowboard Association’s SkiUtah.com is great. Kudos to them for their strong campaign, and with a little work, it can be even better.
BTW, Utah is an AWESOME place for skiing.