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How Hawaii-Guide.com Gained a 30% Traffic Boost and Doubled Content Output

Julia McCoy
Monday, 10th Jul 2023
hawaii-guide.com case study

Overview

Customer: John & Victoria Derrick, Hawaii-Guide.com

Results: Gained a 30% traffic boost and doubled content output with AI and Content at Scale

Customer: John & Victoria Derrick, Founder/Editor-in-Chief and President/Publisher of Hawaii Guide

John and Victoria Derrick are certified Hawaii destination experts. Together they built Hawaii-Guide.com to provide travelers with all the tools and resources they need to create the perfect Hawaiian holiday.

John has been an avid fan of Hawaii for the last 20+ years. A seasoned traveler who visited all the other 49 states by the age of 19, he fell in love with the islands after his first trip back in 2002.

John gained extensive experience in content marketing, SEO, web design and development, and business strategy from his previous job as a front-end web developer and VP of Operations for a local firm.

Today, as founder and editor-in-chief of Hawaii-Guide.com, he continues to enjoy immersing in everything Hawaii — from the culture and history to the flora and fauna of the islands.

Like her husband, Victoria embodies the glowing spirit of Aloha — laid back, calm, and caring. As a former SEO consultant and graphic designer for a local newspaper, Victoria has extensive knowledge in publishing and email/content marketing. She currently runs the day-to-day operations of Hawaii-Guide.com as president and publisher while managing both its content and marketing teams.

Victoria also contributes as a writer and photographer for Hawaii Guide, capturing the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands in digital content, photos, and videos.

John created GuideofUS in the summer of 2000 to provide visitors with free online travel information. Two years later, Hawaii-Guide.com came to life as part of that broader vision.

Each year, Hawaii Guide helps as many as 15 million visitors plan and book the Hawaiian vacation of their dreams.

As a one-stop resource for all things Hawaii, Hawaii-Guide.com is more than just a comprehensive travel guide. John and Victoria promote sustainable/regenerative tourism and encourage visitors to live the pono way so that the islands of Hawaii will endure as an authentic experience for generations to come.

The Derricks are also helping local businesses develop and maintain targeted and value-driven advertising campaigns through their exclusive guides: Hawaii-Guide.com: Kauai, Hawaii-Guide.com: Oahu, Hawaii-Guide.com: Maui, and Hawaii-Guide.com: Big Island

Today, Hawaii Guide is the most-visited independent Hawaii travel resource on the web.

Goal: Create Content Faster

Running four websites and producing hundreds of email campaigns, media packages, and ebooks is no small feat. And with only one contract writer, it was almost impossible for John and Victoria to get things done on time.

They had been exploring AI tools over the last couple of years, mainly Semrush and software that was provided by their ad management partner, Raptive (formerly AdThrive). 

But when ChatGPT exploded onto the scene back in November, that was when they fully embraced AI — having the same “ah-ha” moment other publishers had after seeing what GPT-3 could do. 

Since then, John and Victoria had been looking for tools to help them with their publishing journey, which led to the discovery of Content at Scale.

Solution: Publish Content with a Specialized AI Writer

When they started using ChatGPT, only a small fraction of their blog posts were generated by AI. That’s because the ChatGPT output was not good enough to publish as-is.

Since signing up for Content at Scale, Hawaii Guide now relies on AI to generate entire articles!

In fact, they have increased their weekly goal of publishing 3-4 new articles to 4-7 new long-form pieces.

And best of all, they didn’t have to hire more people.

With Content at Scale handling most of the bulk posts, John has assigned their lone contract writer to niche-related stuff that the AI is not yet good at.

But in terms of capacity, John is now able to publish more material faster thanks to Content at Scale. And he loves that the machine is able to generate content that already contains the proper number of keywords and strong outbound links, covers the topic/keyword thoroughly, and allows him to apply his own experience for E-E-A-T purposes.

Results: 2x Weekly Content Output and 30% Traffic Growth

As with many travel publishers, Hawaii Guide typically peaks in traffic around January and then slows down in the fall.

Here’s how it performed in 2023 with AI compared to 2019 without AI. Note that COVID almost killed the travel industry from 2020-2022, so 2019 is the last year we can accurately make a comparison. 

2019 vs. 2023:

This is the 2023 traffic to date:

John recently published a four-article series — one each for Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island — all generated by Content at Scale.

Just look at the early growth of these articles:

Hawaii Guide even snagged one of the highly coveted Top 3 spots for the keyword “which Hawaiian island to visit in 2023” in Google’s new Search Generative Experience.

Publish More and Rank Higher with Content at Scale

Content at Scale makes the entire process of creating rank-optimized content easier and faster than ever before.

This incredible tool changed the way John Derrick generates content for his Hawaii Guide, making it simpler, quicker, and with better quality than ever before.

With Content at Scale:

  • You get more consistent quality across all articles because every piece is created following an optimized template designed by experts. No more hit-or-miss results.
  • You benefit from faster publication times due to automation. This means fresh reads are always just around the corner.
  • The developers of Content at Scale continually refine these processes so expect even better outcomes in the future.

Despite the impact of AI on content creation, it is clear that human input is still needed especially in the travel niche where personal experiences have a significant impact on buyer decisions.

Balancing human and AI input has helped John and Victoria create more content that reflects the Hawaiian community they represent instead of sounding like it was written by a robot (even though it was).

Want to start transitioning to AIO content like John and Victoria? Check out our free resources, below, to get started.

Free Resources to Train Your Writers into AIO

I’ve been personally training agency owners and teams and helping them convert to the AIO way. Want these? You’re in luck – we’re giving them away.

Free Guide

First, I wrote a full guide – a writer’s worksprint, links to our best tutorials and training, and even a job description template if you want to find an AIO writer.

Want this incredible resource? It’s called the AIO Writer’s Worksprint. Download now for free.

Free Step-by-Step AIO CRAFT Writer’s Training Course

Additionally, after months of putting AIO and C.R.A.F.T. into action (over 40M words are produced each month by our users at Content at Scale, and our Done-for-You client side is another 500,000 words/month! Talk about AIO at scale 🤯 ) – we put together a step-by-step AIO C.R.A.F.T. tutorial.

Ideal for you, your writers, and any content creator ready to adapt to the CRAFT methodology and the AIO way.

Enjoy!

New to the idea of AIO and CRAFT? Read this to understand the innovation behind AIO. 

Want a written guide that has all the CRAFT steps from the YouTube video? Your wish is our content command. Step-by-step AIO writing tutorial, blog version.

Written by Julia McCoy

See more from Julia McCoy
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