This week, the UK’s largest travel firm officially changed its name from Thomson to TUI. Thomson has been a familiar name in the UK travel industry for over 50 years, and the company was very much aware of the risks involved in rebranding. A shift from one website to another could have been devastating to its travel bookings if the company did not do it correctly.
The company has devoted the past six months to painstakingly changing the Thomson brand to TUI, the name of the parent company in Germany. The challenge for the company was protecting the SEO equity it created in the thomson.co.uk website, as 50% of the traffic to that site resulted from SEO activities.
The company’s new website, tui.co.uk, has much less SEO equity in travel and holiday searches compared to its old site, and the company wanted to avoid a decrease in relevance and authority when it made the switch. To accomplish this, it decided to create a digital content centre to dramatically increase the SEO equity in the new URL.
The rebranding effort began with developing a landing page to communicate the name change, and it grew into a group of pages with a Hello TUI theme. These pages provide visitors with videos showing holiday locations combined with articles describing those locations. By including targeted images and fast-loading multimedia presentations, the Hello TUI content centre is SEO-friendly, and the content is also mobile friendly. The company optimised the content to entice visitors to stay longer and to obtain higher rankings in search engine results.
TUI noted that as of the end of September, the digital content centre has attracted over two million visitors, and they have spent an average of over 11 minutes engaging with the content.
TUI worked closely with Google in making the switch to the new website, and it was that collaborative work that led to the idea of creating the digital content centre. Google demonstrated to the company the importance of engaging content in the algorithm it uses to rank websites.