City Explorer is Liverpool's leading tourism carrier, transporting tens of thousands of visitors every year with its extensive fleet of open-top sightseeing buses.

The Objective

City Explorer approached us to build a brand new online platform to increase ticket sales, deliver an improved user experience and bolster international search rankings. The majority of the client’s customers choose to buy their tickets when they arrive in the city, which means that it was essential for the website to perform exceptionally well on mobile devices. We wanted to create a bold and interactive digital experience that entices visitors to explore and discover the tourist-friendly city of Liverpool. Following the launch of the new website, our next target was to dominate high-value tourism keywords on Google and Bing.

Web & UX/UI

The New Website

We wanted to move away from the traditional and static format of the existing website and instead use impactful imagery and bold design choices to wow users. Our design team utilised vibrant images of the city alongside high-quality photoshoot assets to flawlessly capture the tour experience. We designed a highly interactive user interface incorporating modern UI/UX principles such as overlapping elements, easy-to-use functionality, superb performance on mobile and tablet devices, and rich on-site content. As the client offers a combined tour package that uniquely differentiates them from other businesses in the tourism sector, we ensured visible promotion throughout the site. Working with a third-party booking system, we focussed on creating a smooth and frictionless process for buying tickets online while optimising performance for peak load times.

Interactive Stops Map

Using the Google Maps API, we constructed a custom tour map informing users of their nearest bus stop, current running times, and where to book tickets. To ensure the custom map remained on-brand, we used the API to modify the colours of roads and waterways to match City Explorer's corporate colours. Most of the tour's customers only book tickets after they've arrived in the city, so it was vital for us that the interactive map was just as usable on mobile devices as desktops and laptops.

Live Weather Widget

As an open-top al fresco experience, we wanted to let customers know what they could expect from the typical British weather! That's why we used the Dark Sky API to build a custom weather widget that displays forecasted temperatures and weather conditions within a scrollable feature. The colour of the weather titles will automatically change depending on the average temperature for each day. The live weather widget is a feature that sets the tour apart from comparable visitor experiences.

High Ranking Content

The new City Explorer website contains several pillar pages that rank internationally for high-volume tourism keywords. We produced pages that present deep and rich visitor information about Liverpool, generating arguably the most comprehensive online guides to the city and offering superb value to website visitors. As users scroll and read through cornerstone content, we ensure that a booking widget is always present so that if they decide to take action, they can proceed to book tour tickets with ease. Pillar pages are arguably the most effective method to capitalise on inbound traffic from generic organic rankings.

Promoting Liverpool to an international audience


Growing Traffic Internationally via Organic Search

As one of the UK's most popular cities for international tourism, we found that thousands of people are searching for attractions and things to do in Liverpool every month. This massive audience represents the opportunities available to position City Explorer in front of a vast pool of potential customers. Our primary goal was to reach this audience and show them what they can discover on the bus tour. The keywords searched for by prospective customers, such as 'things to do Liverpool', proved highly competitive. Through a consistent focus, innovative SEO strategies and dedicated work ethic, we maintained top rankings on some of the city's most valuable tourism keywords. The campaigns continue to be highly effective in acquiring visitors from anywhere in the world.

Campaign Highlights

No. 1 on 'bus tour liverpool', 'liverpool city tours'
No. 2 on 'things to do liverpool' - 220k searches per annum
Increase of over 593 places on Google
Increase of over 372 places on Bing
Acquired traffic from over 90 different countries
Average session duration of 2:09s
Last updated 20-04-21

They've helped us dominate for the things to do keyword which alone has brought in thousands of visitors and possible customers

We've worked with Activate Digital for several years now and they have always brought new ideas and energy to our planning. Most recently, we asked them to provide a brand new modern and attractive website that would show us off as an appealing attraction. They used their creativity to combine information on the city and our tour, along with unique features to keep customers engaged and informed, such as the fancy live weather widget. They also recognised why it was so essential for people to book tickets within minutes, especially when on the move and using a mobile device. We are so impressed with their search marketing work. They've helped us dominate for the things to do keyword which alone has brought in thousands of visitors and possible customers. It has been a massive success for us and their hard work and dedication is hugely appreciated and admired. A big thank you to the team for everything you've done so far!

Ann Meek

Director, City Explorer

Countries Served


Rise in Google/Bing


Average Visit Duration

2m 09s

Last updated 20-04-21

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