Carson City Visitors Bureau sees ‘progress’ marketing to tourists

A 2014 year-end marketing report Monday to Carson City’s Visitors Bureau board cited progress that included search engine successes in reaching prospective tourists.

Kyle Horvath, bureau social media guru, made the marketing presentation for colleagues that included Kat Hood’s report on what is called search engine optimization (SEO). He said upgrades in SEO techniques mean 160 or more per day visit the bureau’s website and it is on the “front page” in a solid position each time people look for Carson City, a goal for the year.

“That absolutely happened,” Horvath said, citing both the bureau and Nevada 150 Fair efforts when the latter applied prior to the late July and early August state sesquicentennial event at Fuji Park and Fairgrounds. Joel Dunn, bureau executive director, chimed in to say the bureau website generally comes up second behind the city government’s site — The bureau’s site is at

Horvath said 67 percent of traffic was from new visitors with 54 percent male, 46 percent female, and most from California or Nevada. However, visitors were from elsewhere as well, and time spent on pages accessed went up 17 percent. Mobile traffic advanced 6 percent.

Goals for next year include increasing traffic from outside California and Nevada, using search key words to drive even more traffic onto the site, and increasing visitors not only from other states but also outside the United States. “What we’re doing is working,” said Horvath.

“We’re certainly ahead of the game,” said Dunn, comparing Carson City’s website and social media efforts to those of other communities.

Horvath also said USA Today opened a competition Monday regarding the 10 best state capital cities worthy to visit and Carson City is among the top contenders. He urged people to visit to vote for Nevada’s capital or access either the bureau’s or USA Today’s Facebook opportunities to do so. He and Dunn said the competition runs through the week.

That was part of Horvath’s own social media report, in which he said the bureau has doubled Facebook “likes” and tripled the share rate on that social media platform. He said progress on Twitter also has been strong.

“We get way more bang for our buck than we do on Facebook,” he said of tweets and Twitter.

Dunn closed out the short meeting with just a cursory overview of lodging, saying there are two properties in town under new direction and he hasn’t received reports on their occupancy or other relevant financial data. However, he said the ones reporting showed aggregate increases and promised a full report at the next meeting on Jan. 12.


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