Huge growth across organic and paid traffic, coupled with increased rates of conversion

Cruise1st UK appointed Banc to address an issue of declining online sales in a downturn economy.

Cruise1st UK is an award-winning online travel company based in the North West of England and specialise in Mediterranean Cruises, Caribbean Cruises and Worldwide Cruises.

  • Testimonial
    “We have been delighted with the return on investment generated by Banc’s PPC, SEO & CRO campaigns. They really know their stuff and we feel we get real value for money.”
    David Rowlinson, General Manager - Cruise1st UK
    #3 out of 5

The Challenge

  • A changing Google landscape with more condensed SERPs and complex algorithmic updates
  • Increased competitor activity and a requirement to improve conversion
  • Change to buyer behaviour towards mobile
  • Rising PPC CPCs and new bidding guidelines from key cruise operators

The Objectives

  • Find niche segments across Paid Media to increase CPC efficiencies - maximising monthly sales call volumes
  • Capitalism on ever-growing mobile traffic and increase mobile conversions, across all channels
  • Stay ahead of the latest organic updates and ensure the website is technically sound, fully crawlable and indexable, with strong engagement that allows the site to benefit from algorithmic changes - in terms of traffic and visibility
  • Improve on-site performance, conversion and sales

Our Approach

  • PPC: Revised the budget away from the higher CPC areas of the account towards key cruise routes and user-based bidding, in which we utilised remarketing lists for search and demographic data
  • PPC: Banc drove brand awareness of high-profit cruises to key customer segments to create a halo-effect around the increased media investment. YouTube pre-roller campaign was deployed as a cost-effective alternative to TV spots. The first stage was building data, during the second stage we refined the campaign age targeting and in-market/affinity audience
  • PPC / SEO: Cross-departmental working with technical SEO to deliver an effective mobile strategy. Banc produced a streamlined, quick-loading mobile site which integrated with mobile- specific ad texts and an upweighted bidding strategy on key products across critical call centre hours and drove low-cost in-bound calls
  • SEO: Adhering to strict Google webmaster guidelines and applying advanced onsite technical SEO techniques to allow the safe negotiation of several algorithmic updates, and crucially benefit from them
  • SEO: Ensuring the sites were technically sound, fully crawlable and indexable, with strong engagement, allowing the site to benefit from algorithmic changes in terms of traffic and visibility
  • CRO: Combined a package of Analytics Health Checks, User Research and CRO Road Mapping. Banc then executed all A/B testing, reporting and user research into a comprehensive CRO strategy on an ongoing basis
  • CRO: Conducted a full qualitative and quantitative analysis phase which was used to identify the high impact issues restricting the website’s conversion rate

The Outcome


  • 35% reduction in CPC resulting and 157% increase in CTR
  • 15% increase in sales calls
  • 438% increase in mobile enquiries/133% increase in mobile conversion rate


  • 78% increase in Organic Non-Brand traffic 2015 vs 2014
  • 52% increase in Organic Non-Brand traffic 2016 vs 2015
  • 72% increase in Organic Non-Brand traffic 2017 vs 2016 (Jan – July)


Banc conducted a series of successful tests, with the following impact:
  • Category Page ‘Hot Deals’ test: Booking form visit increase of 65%
  • Homepage Wizard Prominence test: Booking form visit increase of 39%
  • Redesign of cruise package pages: Booking form visit increase of 37% and bounce rate decrease of 15%
Talk to Neil Birchall, our Operations Director, to see how we can emulate this success for your brand!