Boosting tourism with an award-winning organic search strategy

aruba beach

During the pandemic, the travel industry was turned upside down. This was evident in our physical world—where airports looked like ghost towns compared to their previous capacities—and the digital world as online searches for travel and holiday destinations dropped. The term “Aruba,” once searched thousands of times daily, saw online searches dwindle to only a handful per week. wanted to change this, so with the help of DEPT®, we set out to get people dreaming of and searching for the destination island again.

One Happy Island

Aruba, also known as One Happy Island, guarantees joy for its visitors through beautiful white beaches, crystal-clear blue sea, warm temperatures, and cheerful culture. Through its digital presence, proudly showcases the island’s beauty and aims to demonstrate to people worldwide why this island is the ultimate holiday destination. 

Tourism is a crucial source of income for the island, and the pandemic-driven decrease in visitors resulted in a steep loss of revenue from this industry. As a consequence, faced a reduced budget for destination marketing, including paid media. Simultaneously, uncertainty among’s target audience caused changes in online search behavior, leaving the brand and DEPT® with a challenge: How do you attract visitors to the vacation-based website and ultimately draw travelers to the island during such an uncertain time?

aruba home
aruba bridge on water

New priorities

To begin, we needed to re-evaluate the priorities of and determine where we could continue to make an impact digitally until the travel industry resumed some normalcy. Together, we deemed that travel bookings were not currently the top priority and turned the focus to growing a pipeline of traffic and visitor interest through Search Engine Optimization.

This meant scaling back paid campaigns and targeting current goals via a smart organic search strategy. To keep pace with and stay ahead of pandemic-related developments in the tourism industry, we laid out two new objectives:

  • Minimizing the decline in website traffic
  • Increasing the website’s top 10 rankings

Our approach

Smart SEO strategy

Profiting from lower competition

A solid technical base

The results

2020 was a tough year for the travel industry, but with the smart organic search strategy, we booked significant results for Aruba, including:

  • Minimizing the decline in organic traffic to less than 10% reduction
  • A 27% surge in the number of top 10 rankings
  • YoY increase in organic traffic visits for multiple months

This success did not go unnoticed: Our SEO strategy was awarded a European Search Award.


European Search Award


Increase in top 10 rankings

Learn more about how DEPT® pioneers tech/marketing in the travel industry.


Strategy Director

Danijel Bonacic

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