Award-winning +221% revenue uplift for Icelandic airline

Holistic Digital PR drives record visibility growth

Icelandair was founded in 1937 and is today one of the leading airlines offering flights to and from Iceland. Their unique transatlantic flight options allows customers to stop-over in Iceland at no extra cost.

For Icelandair, it doesn’t just stop at flights. Their multifaceted holiday packages make them the giant of Icelandic tourism, offering fantastic options for travellers all across America and Europe.

The challenge

Icelandair and Builtvisible are long-term partners since 2013. Our shared aim is to work together to continuously drive search and content performance.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the global impact to organic search demand throughout the travel industry was colossal.

Prior to the pandemic Icelandair had strong momentum in key markets, with organic visibility and revenue increasing consistently. Navigating a turbulent and ever changing landscape was our fundamental challenge; we needed to ensure years of hard work and investment to date weren’t lost and to lay strong foundations for the future as the world began to recover and open up again.

Our work together had already identified a sizeable opportunity within Digital PR for priority markets like the US and UK. Our aim was simple; maximise visibility and organic performance through link building so we could capitalise on consumer demand when it returned.

Why we love this case study

  • This work won three awards across the Global Search Awards and European Search Awards in categories “Best use of Search – Travel (SEO): Large,” “Best use of PR in a Search campaign: Large” and “Best Use of Search Travel.”
  • Leveraging automation platform EveryMundo allowed us to innovate on-page optimisation at scale
  • Our success was reliant on strategic, long-term decision making born out of a ten year, two-way relationship driving multi-market impact 

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The results

At a time of global turmoil, Icelandair made the forward-thinking decision to continue to invest in SEO and Content. Through proactive organic implementation and Digital PR we navigated the dramatic business and sociological changes that occurred throughout the pandemic together.

The results of this validated all challenging decisions made during the pandemic, exceeding forecasts and expectations.

Due to the agility and creativity of both the Builtvisible and Icelandair teams we were able to achieve fantastic results at pace. The hard work from the team, as well as the pent-up desire of the general public to travel and explore, led to Icelandair’s organic performance surging well above pre-pandemic levels, achieving record breaking highs in both the UK and US markets.

Some of main highlights are below:

The US Market

+226% more organic revenue in Jan-Aug 22 vs 2019.

  • Icelandair’s organic presence grew +35% since the beginning of 2019.
  • Visibility for priority keywords also increased by 39%, driven by a 62% growth in top 3 rankings (+168), 22% growth in page 1 rankings (+192) and 68% increase in the overall volume of ranking keywords (+998).

The UK Market

+103% more organic revenue in Jan-Aug 2022 vs 2019.

  •   +40% increase in visibility for priority keywords, from 114% growth in top 3 rankings (+157), 101% growth in page 1 (+343) rankings and 72% growth in new ranking keywords (+744).

The surge in visibility  safeguards Icelandair’s long term organic performance, allowing them to maximise revenue from consumer demand now that travel restrictions are largely lifted. They are in optimal positions prior to their winter peak.


We’re delighted to see the results of this work recognised across three awards:

  • Global Search Awards: Best use of Search – Travel (SEO): Large
  • Global Search Awards: Best use of PR in a Search campaign: Large
  • European Search Awards: Best Use of Search Travel

Don't just take our word for it!