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CVB using Google resources to target visitors

Dickinson Convention & Visitors Bureau is using Google resources to create greater visibility of Dickinson and its businesses.

"We attended the North Dakota travel conference last April, and one of the keynote speakers talked about the importance of posting to your Google," Julie Obrigewitsch, CVB social media director, said. "We came from the conference and implemented it into our office here."

A Google search for Dickinson, N.D., CVB brings up a "knowledge panel" on the right side of the screen with information about local businesses and events, and regularly updated official images and posts.

"We're targeting our visitors before they actually come to our website," Obrigewitsch said. "We have found through our Google analytics that over 90 percent of our traffic comes to our site from a Google search."

Dickinson CVB also does promotions for local businesses, including attractions, lodging and shopping.

Since April, the CVB has added 358 photos for different businesses in town.

"The 358 photos we've added have had 593,451 views," Obrigewitsch said.

Dickinson's Griffon Theaters was added Thursday, and by Friday its photos had received 262 views total.

"We can tell these businesses the importance of posting photos and video because we see the numbers on our end," Obrigewitsch said.

Dickinson CVB began its efforts on April 26, and was the first CVB in North Dakota to post to its panel.

In May, the CVB took over the panel for City of Dickinson.

For City of Dickinson, they've done 87 posts since May, so far receiving 260,342 views.

"We've had 11,802 views in the last seven days of people searching 'Dickinson, N.D.,'" Obrigewitsch said. "The city is getting traffic and what we're doing is targeting them with attractions and things to do."

States can also post to their knowledge panel.

"Florida was the very first state to post to their Google knowledge panel. They started theirs on May 31st, and we started ours on May 30 of last year," Obrigewitsch said. "We posted to our city page before the first state in the U.S. did. We're very proud of that."

With the efforts comes greater exposure for Dickinson.

"It shows the quality of our town, the value of our attractions," Obrigewitsch said. "It shows our great dining, whether it's through a good picture or story we put on their, or a video we grabbed at a local coffee shop."

Terri Thiel, CVB executive director, applauded the service.

"There's a lot of things you'd like to do, but don't always have the budget to do it, and this is such a tool for what we're doing," she said. "It's really been as asset for us."