McCarthy River Tours

Website Redesign and Branding

Client Problem

McCarthy River Tours (MRTO) had a 7-year-old website created in 2015 that could not showcase the rich media images of Alaska wilderness adventures and was clunky on mobile. While it was a pretty high-performance website for MRTO in the early years, the performance had dropped off over the last several years while competition ramped way up. The vast leaps in features, functionality, and ability to use large, stunning images to tell a richer story made it clear it was time for a total redesign. In addition, the original site was not built from the ground up with SEO informing the site design, copy, and navigation.

Our Solution

A complete website redesign and rebranding

  • New Branding: McCarthy River Tours is situated in the remote town of McCarthy, Alaska, 8 hours from Anchorage in the wild frontier of Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. We wanted to bring a fresh redesign to the company’s branding, from its outdated, hard-to-print logo, fonts, and vibrant new color palettes drawn from the spectacular natural beauty of Alaska. With the new logo design, we wanted to highlight the classic river company attributes of MRTO’s location and products while prioritizing flexible use of the logo on various merchandise to maximize sales.
  • A Complete Website Redesign: We overhauled the old website entirely with a modern, clean WordPress theme that we customized with the new branding, including the new color palette, fonts, and logo. We also leveraged the fantastic imagery of McCarthy, Alaska, to reflect the beauty of the new website.
  • Site Structure, Content Optimization, and SEO:  We streamlined the site’s organization and navigation to help visitors immediately get to the content they need and want, based on MRTO’s sales funnel. We updated content and layout to improve visitor engagement (time on site, number of pages/visits, movement through the site to requesting itineraries and booking reservations) and used content toggles to optimize the user experience and still maintain all the depth needed for great SEO.

Before – Old Website

After – Redesigned Website


Increase in Engagement


  • The new website delivers WOW factor immediately from the first view of the home page, all the way through every major landing page on the site.  Mission accomplished – the new website showcases the wild, expansive beauty of McCarthy, Alaska.
  • The newly launched website resulted in a jump of 21% in engagement across pages/visit and time on site.
  • We are excited to see more results throughout the coming months as McCarthy River Tours turns their attention to handling 2023 advance reservations.

“The pieces of creating our new websites were both challenging and rewarding. Growing our business and integrating our offerings’ different aspects was exciting and daunting. My biggest challenge was overcoming my perfectionist drive and working through the process. Liquid Spark did a great job at trying to keep me on track while I was finding all sorts of others things to distract me. I’m excited to see our concept come to reality and continue growing our brand and offerings.”

Nik Merlino, President of McCarthy River Tours