At the end of 2009 Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) launched the website www.liveriga.com, which was also the first step in the development of the LIVE Riga portal under the name LOOK RIGA, FEEL RIGA, STAY RIGA, and WORK RIGA. The portal’s mission is to provide information on tourism, leisure, entertainment, and investment opportunities in Riga. A marketing communication campaign for Riga was created in seven countries (Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland, Germany, and Sweden) under a single brand – LIVE Riga. However, at the end of 2020, it was decided to abolish the Riga Tourism Development Bureau (RTAB) and instead create the “Riga Investment and Tourism Agency”.
The Uprankd’s main objective is to create a sustainable and transparent investment and tourism promotion worldwide. It also aims to reach target groups such as primary – investors, businesses, and tourists, and secondary – the citizens of Riga. The main tasks of the Agency are to provide information, solve problems and be able to ensure a prosperous and sustainable environment for business development, promote the development of investment projects, as well as tourism development and the international visibility of Riga in general. The new agency took over the management of the website.
During the Expo 2020 Forum, a Memorandum of Cooperation (Agreement) was signed between the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) and the Riga Investment and Tourism Agency “Live Riga”, which provides for close cooperation on investment attraction and servicing, tourism development and national image communication.
Uprankd SEO specialists conducted a full LIVE Riga SEO audit to find out whether the website is reaching its target audience and meeting its goals. After the research, it was found that liveriga.com can attract visitors from Latvia, but is not able to reach tourists from other countries, even though it wants to focus primarily on this audience. There is an urgent need to improve the choice of keywords and backlinks in the text.
Liveriga.com mainly attracts visitors from Latvia, but as a tourism site, it should focus on foreign countries, as there is a strong interest from foreign tourists to travel to Riga. In order to improve organic traffic from abroad and in Latvia, work should be done on keyword building and backlink building.
Most of the content on the page is meaningless because it is not useful. For example, there is no useful and up-to-date information, history, interesting facts, useful links, images, interactive map. Improving the content would not only improve the ranking of the website itself but also the visitor experience.
Liveriga.com has major indexation problems and over 10 0000 URLs are not indexed in the Google search engine. These could be the main reasons why this is the case:
- Lack of quality backlinks;
- Server response time of less than 200 ms;
- Low quality content;
- Slow page load speed.
Improving page load speed can always improve the user experience and the search engine’s ranking. This can be done by removing rendering blocking resources and converting images to WebP format. The website needs to make many On-Page SEO improvements, some of them are:
- Establish a proper hierarchy of H tags;
- Fixing duplicates (page titles, H1, meta descriptions);
- Reducing the number of pages with the 404 status (page not found);
- Replacement of Dofollow tags with Nofollow for all irrelevant outbound backlinks;
- Creating a sitemap and adding it to the robots.txt file;
- Add “self-referencing canonicals” to main pages (this indicates the main version of the page);
- Replace “canonicals” for isolated pages (the most popular pages are not found in the site structure);
- Adding “schema” or structured data (it is a way of describing the site to make it easier for search engines to understand it and to provide additional information);
- Add “ALT text” to images (this helps Google to determine the context of images);
- Optimizing page titles;
- Add and optimize Meta descriptions;
- Fix HTTP issues (all pages load via the secure protocol).
Taking these recommendations into account, liveriga.com would be able to increase visitor traffic, which would be beneficial for Latvia and Riga. It would then be able to achieve its objectives – to promote tourism and investment in Riga, to provide a sustainable environment for business development, to attract new investment and promote existing investment, to provide all the necessary information to citizens, tourists and businesses, and to improve the international visibility of Riga.
The following findings emerged from the audit:
- 46,2% of all keywords are in Latvian;
- According to Ahrefs data, 89.2% of all the traffic of LIVE Riga is from Latvia;
- LiveRiga.com, as a tourism website for foreign tourists, does not fully fulfill its function because foreign tourists cannot find it (53.75% of all keywords are from abroad, e.g. the keyword Riga is in the sixth position in the USA, Rygos zoologojos sodas (Riga National Zoological Garden) is in the sixth position in Lithuania;
- Germany is in second place in terms of visits, although it has lost many of its largest keywords in terms of volume;
- https://liveriga.com/en/visit and https://www.liveriga.com/en/invest should be among the top pages, but both barely receive visits and both have few keywords related to liveriga;
- The “Invest” page ranks for only 6 keywords;
- The website has a lot of isolated URLs, which means that many URLs are not found in the structure of the website and can only be found through “canonicals” (this is the case for the most popular LIVE Riga pages).
Riga has always been known as one of the countries of the Baltic Sea region, and this has even been a driving force in promoting the country’s visibility. Unfortunately, however, it is not possible to find a website on the internet that would provide information to foreign tourists about Riga’s opportunities, travel destinations, or foreign investors. Therefore, the idea of becoming a city that is easy to reach but emotionally difficult to let go of will not come true because the website is not fulfilling its function.