Do The Yarra Valley - YouTube Channel goes past 72,300 Views

In our first year of being online it's been great to see our videos proving so popular with our audience. Up until only 2 months ago our YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/dotheyarravalley had more video views than the official Tourism Victoria YouTube Channel, which is a great effort for a regional tourism website. In 2011 with continued content development and support from businesses in the region Do The Yarra Valley will continue to climb in rankings on both Google, Yahoo & Bing search engines, meaning our video content will be watched by an ever growing audience.  

Record Traffic For Do The Yarra Valley!

With Do The Yarra Valley going into it's 2nd year it's great to see site traffic growing. Last January the site was literally brand new and only attracted a few hundred visitors. This January has proved to be our best month with the site receiving over 2500 visitors. Below is a snapshot of our site's analytics account for January which shows the overall site performance. So why has traffic so much in the last 12 months well it's really due to the following: 1. Content Development - Our site is now ranking highly for many attractions in the region like Healesville market, Warburton Trail, Maroondah Dam, Badger Weir, Alowyn Gardens etc. 2. Google Ad Words - Even though all advertising on our site so far has been free, we have used Google Ad Words to drive traffic to our site so that it increases our brand awareness and so that advertisers can see we are serious about this website. What gives me great confidence in our site is the performance of paid search traffic on our site. As you can see below this traffic spends an average of 5 minutes on our site which is fantastic for a site with no booking engine. 3. Search Engine Optimisation - I work full time in Online Marketing and have spent many hours building links and  optimising Do The Yarra Valley so that it ranks well in Google. While there is more work to be done, the first 12 months shows great promise. Within the next few months the site will really cement it's position as one of the Top 4 sites for the region alongside Visit Yarra Valley, Wine Yarra Valley & Experience Yarra Valley. Tourism businesses in the region should really notice these sites ranking highly for all the keywords relating to tourism in the Yarra Valley and that will be great for these operators as these sites will really deliver value for money advertising and help to boost tourism in the region.  

Yarra Valley Businesses & Social Media Marketing!

This time last month we produced a graph which showed a number of businesses in the Yarra Valley's social media presence. Basically it was a breakdown of their Facebook and Twitter fans (scroll a long way down). With all the hype surrounding social media marketing we thought it would be interesting to see how tourism businesses in the Yarra Valley are using it to promote their products & services. From an effective marketing point of view Yarra Valley Regional Marketing & De Bortoli Wines have stood out over the past month in terms of attracting the most fans to their social media pages and this is because they have offered an incentive!  
Yarra Valley Marketing Facebook Comp

Yarra Valley Marketing Comp

  Whilst businesses like Global Ballooning, Healesville Sanctuary, Tokar Estate & even us here at Do The Yarra Valley have published some fantastic content over the past month, none of us have really attracted many new fans and this is simply because none of these businesses have provided an incentive. Overall there's no doubt social media avenues like Facebook & Twitter are fantastic tools for connecting with your customers but I don't think it's going to transform any of these businesses mentioned overnight.  

New Tourism Package is Great News For Rail Trails

The Brumby Government has announced a new $36 Million dollar tourism package for Victoria ahead of this year's state election. An integral component of this package is that $25 million will be for a fund "to support the development of world class infrastructure for tourism, particularly nature based-tourism projects such as walking and rail trails." Now compare this new announcement to the current $8million Provincial Pathways program which has been in operation since 2006 and it's easy to see that perhaps the Government has realised the important contribution that Rail Trails make to tourism in regional Victoria. This announcement is also potentially great news for the realisation of the Yarra Glen Rail Trail which would bring a fantastic boost for tourism in the Yarra Valley. The latest news from Bicycle Victoria is that town planning of the new roundabout in Yarra Glen, which is part of the new truck bypass shows the inclusion of a 2.5m wide shared path. Fingers crossed this shows foresight for the rail trail arriving from Lilydale.  

Marysville Tourism Website features Do The Yarra Valley

Marysville Tourism has recently launched it's newly designed website and it's great to our video of Jamie Oliver's appearance at this year's Marysville's World's Longest Lunch event featured throughout the site. This is a great vote of confidence in our work and over the coming months we'll be building more video content for the site. In return Do The Yarra Valley receives fantastic exposure throughout the site and links to our site helps to build our rankings in the search engines. Overall it's a fantastic example of a mutually beneficial relationship and we look forward to working closely with Marysville Tourism and the development of their online presence.    
Do The Yarra Valley on Marysville Tourism

Do The Yarra Valley Video & Link on Marysville Tourism

     

Lake Mountain Resort supports Do The Yarra Valley

Do The Yarra Valley now has a link from Lake Mountain Resort's website to help boost our presence in the region and drive traffic to our website. Lake Mountain Resort Website Whilst the link drives a comparatively small number of visitors to our site, those who do click on our link are impressed with Do The Yarra Valley. Over 90% are new users to the site and they spend an average time on site of 3:38 and view over 3 pages. This is a great vote of confidence in Do The Yarra Valley and over the coming months we'll be working hard to develop more links from high volume traffic sites in the region.  

Do The Yarra Valley - Starting to gain traction in Google

Exciting news today for the team here at Do The Yarra Valley. As part of monitoring the website's performance I go through our keyword rankings in Google, Yahoo & Bing. Today I noticed us ranking 46th for Yarra Valley search in Google and 15th in Yahoo. This is a great result for the website and hopefully over the next few months our hard work will see us ranking on the 1st page of Google & Yahoo. As our rankings improve and we continue to drive more traffic to the site we'll be delivering greater value to our advertisers and showcasing this gorgeous region to our audience around Australia & the world.

 

The Yarra Valley & The Buzz Surrounding Social Media

With all the hype surrounding Social Media Marketing I thought it was time to sit down and take a snapshot of how businesses in the Yarra Valley have embraced this new medium. The graph below was taken on Saturday 10th July 2010. As the graph shows most businesses prefer  Facebook to Twitter and I believe this is due to the fact that:
  • More Australians use Facebook than Twitter so naturally there's more fans to attract on Facebook.
  • Facebook is more fun to use on a day to day level and this is because it's a much more engaging experience and visual space.
I'm planning to update the graph below in 8 weeks time to see if any business has made a significant gain in their number of fans or followers so watch this space.      
Yarra Valley Tourism Businesses & their Social Media Presence

Snapshot of Yarra Valley Businesses & their Social Media presence

     

The Challenge for Yarra Valley Tourism Sites

The above graph illustrates the Yarra Valley online landscape as it currently stands and represents a huge challenge for local tourism websites moving forward.The market size in total is roughly 60,000 Unique Browsers a month and currently local tourism websites are only capturing approximately 60% of this traffic. The other 40% of the online market is being captured by directory sites like:
  • Wotif
  • Stayz
  • Total Travel
  • Trip Advisor
  • Take A Break
  • Please Take Me To
  • Great Places to Stay
The main problem with these directory sites owning such a large portion of the Yarra Valley’s online market is that they do little to promote tourism in the region. My main criticisms of these sites are that they:
  1. Provide little up to date or current information on regional events or attractions.
  2. Are only interested in selling accommodation or holiday packages.
  3. Are national based websites so it’s easy for the web user to change destinations.
  4. Generally lack images or HD video content to inspire tourism to the Yarra Valley.
Unfortunately though for local tourism websites there is no quick solution as the above mentioned websites rank very highly for numerous search terms related to tourism in the Yarra Valley. Examples include:
  • Yarra Glen Accommodation
  • Healesville Accommodation
  • Warburton Accommodation
  • Warburton Rail Trail
  • Yarra Valley Attractions
  • Things to do Yarra Valley
  • Healesville Sanctuary
National directory sites also have the advantage of being able to offer very competitive rates for advertising. This is because they derive income from all tourism regions in Australia and not just the Yarra Valley.

So the above mentioned sites rank well and also offer a cost effective advertising platform the question remains –

How do Yarra Valley Tourism websites beat the directories?

Whilst I could give a long winded answer to this question the solution is relatively simple –
  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and all sites should focus on –
  • Building SEO friendly content, content and more content.
  • Building specific landing pages targeting high volume keywords.
  • Following SEO principles like Page Titles, H1 headings, Meta Descriptions etc.
  • Focus on building links from businesses in the Yarra Valley.
  • Having patience – SEO is not an overnight solution.
Once Yarra Valley tourism websites start to rank well for important search terms and begin to build their web traffic, local businesses will start to see greater value in advertising with these local sites. Potential tourists to the region will also benefit as it will be easier for them to find up to date and current information on the local Yarra Valley websites.

Do The Yarra Valley – Delivering Page 1 Results for Advertisers

Do The Yarra Valley is the newest regional tourism website for the Yarra Valley and we’re taking the approach of providing visitors with the best quality content using a combination of text, images and engaging video. As an advertising platform for local businesses we are dedicated to providing a benchmark in customer service and results. After only 5 months of being live, we are proud to see Do The Yarra Valley delivering Page 1 results for our advertisers. Imagine what we will achieve in the coming months! An example of this is Tokar Estate Winery who has listings on multiple local directory sites including Visit Yarra Valley, Wine Yarra Valley, Whatzon & Do The Yarra Valley. It’s important that your paid directory listing ranks well for a search on your business name as consumers will often look for independent reviews of your business. This is particularly the case in the Hospitality, Accommodation and Tourism Industries. A search in Google for “Tokar Estate Winery” shows the following top 10 results*:
  1. Tokar Estate
  2. Tokar Estate Blog
  3. Wine Yarra Valley
  4. AGFG
  5. Tokar Estate Street Directory
  6. Do The Yarra Valley
  7. Visit Melbourne
  8. Your Restaurants
  9. Wine Companion
  10. True Local
As you can see the Do The Yarra Valley article on Tokar Estate ranks particularly well and this is only after the article has been live for a few short months. We also have many other advertisers who are seeing fantastic Page 1 results for their listing on Do The Yarra Valley. If you search for any of the businesses below you will find their article on Do The Yarra Valley achieves the following rankings in Google*.
YARRA VALLEY BUSINESS RANKING
Alowyn Gardens 2nd
Polish Jester Restaurant 2nd
Driven Indulgence 3rd
Cog Bike Cafe 3rd
Three Sugars Cafe 5th
Do The Yarra Valley also ranks on Page 1 for a number of attractions, activities and markets in the region*:
YARRA VALLEY ATTRACTION RANKING
OShannassy Trail Warburton 1st
Ferndale Farmgate Market 1st
Warburton Rainforest Gallery 3rd
Healesville Craft Market 3rd
Farmers Market Yering Station 4th
Healesville Trolley Rides 4th
Lilydale Farmers Market 5th
Another fantastic achievement for our site is that every single article we have written for events in the Yarra Valley ranks on the 1st page of Google*.
YARRA VALLEY EVENT RANKING
Lake Mountain Granite Grind 1st
Hot Rods on the Green Rochford Winery 1st
Just Cycle Yarra Valley 2nd
Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club Rally 3rd
Victorian 4wd Show 3rd
Worlds Longest Lunch Marysville 3rd
Yarra Glen Agricultural Show 4th
Yarra Glen Art Show 6th
The team at Do The Yarra Valley is committed to ensuring your listing not only ranks well for your business name search, but also for broader terms so that we deliver more traffic to our site and increase the exposure for your business to those planning a visit to the Yarra Valley. *Google Rankings measured on the 28/4/10 using Mozilla Firefox.

Do The Yarra Valley – Video Content is Proving Popular

Web TV - Video SeriesWith high quality engaging video content being a key point of difference for our website, it’s fantastic to see its popularity growing. Since November 29th we have produced 38 videos (more than 2 a week) highlighting local businesses, events, local characters, celebrities and more. To date our YouTube Video views stand at 11,516. According to recent Nielsen statistics web video is growing in popularity by 10.5% per year. Now is the time to take advantage of this engaging medium to promote your Yarra Valley business. For more information call (03) 8750 0343 or fill out our no-obligation enquiry here.

Web TV Video Views

Yarra Valley Wineries – Google Ranking Snapshot

Winery Position Page
De Bortoli 6 1
Fergusson Winery 7 1
Balgownie Estate 11 2
Kellybrook Winery 14 2
Ainsworth Estate 16 2
Rochford Winery 24 3
Riverstone Estate 25 3
Acacia Ridge Winery 29 3
Tokar Estate 33 4
Wild Cattle Creek 35 4
* Google Rankings were measured using Mozilla Firefox on 20th April 2010
With the Yarra Valley being home to over 50 large and small wineries, we thought it would be interesting to take a snapshot look at what wineries rank well in Google for the search term “Yarra Valley Winery”. Given that this search term is typed into Google approximately 8000 times a month,  ranking high in Google holds significant commercial value to a winery. As you can see De Bortoli and Fergusson Winery do particularly well by ranking on the 1st page for this search term. Whilst this installment was short and sweet over the coming weeks and months we'll be writing more pieces about the online landscape for the Yarra Valley. If you have any questions please click here.

Yarra Glen Rail Trail - Bicycle Victoria Launches Map to Outline Vision

Yarra Glen rail TrailBicycle Victoria has recently launched a map to outline its vision for the proposed Yarra Glen Rail Trail. The map has been sent out to all Bicycle Victoria members as part of their monthly RideOn Magazine. Download the Yarra Glen Rail Trail Map For further information please follow the link http://www.bv.com.au/change-the-world/41928/ to Bicycle Victoria's website.    

Why the Yarra Valley is quickly becoming Victoria's Top Cycling Destination

Cycling in the Yarra ValleyThis year has seen the Yarra Valley and it's surrounding region really increase the appeal of it's cycling product. What makes cycling in this gorgeous region so popular is that it does such a good job of catering to all segments of the cycling market from the recreational cyclist right through to the downhill mountain biker. Combine this wide appeal with the new trail developments at Lake Mountain Resort and Buxton plus four new major cycling events all within 2hrs drive of Melbourne and you have a region that is quickly winning the hearts of Melbourne cyclists. Yarra Valley’s Cycling Tourism Product Recreational Trails – Warburton Rail Trail, O’Shannassy Trail & Lilydale Lake Mountain Biking Trails – Lake Mountain Resort & Buxton MTB Loop Downhill Trails - Long Gully DH – Healesville & Warburton DH Course Road Cycling - There are numerous popular routes for road cycling in the Yarra Valley. Some of the more popular include the hill climbs from Marysville to Lake Mountain and Warburton to Mt Donna Buang.

Wine & Gourmet Food Trail -  For the cyclist that wants to indulge on food and wine then I highly recommend you pick up a map of the Yarra Valley Regional Food & Wine trail and customise a trail to suit your taste buds.

Events Calendar 2010 Long Gully - VIC DH State Champs – Presentation Day - May 15 – 16th Lake Mountain 6Hr Enduro - October  NEW Over the coming months the team from Do The Yarra Valley will be  covering these events, so stay tuned for more great articles, images and videos of the fantastic cycling opportunities the Yarra Valley provides.