This week I wanted to talk about Google and how it can influence the marketing of a golf course online, with a particular focus on selling green fees. We also take a brief look at Golf Tours, how this can influence your long lead time green fee strategy and our pals over at Golfbreaks.com.
Firstly Google… I am going to focus on two particular areas of Google today, Google AdWords and Google Analytics. I believe both of these tools are under-utilised by almost all golf courses in the UK. Conversely these tools are used very well by third party tee time resellers such as Teeofftimes.co.uk, Teetimes.co.uk and GolfNow.com. We want to make it clear that the individual course can use these tools to drive digital tee time sales, but before we talk about how we do that lets look at exactly what Google AdWords and Analytics are…
Google AdWords is an online advertising service, developed by Google, where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy to web users. Google AdWords’ system is based partly on cookies (information stored on your computer about your browsing history) and partly on keywords determined by advertisers. Google uses these characteristics to place advertising copy on pages where they think it might be relevant. Advertisers pay when users divert their browsing to click on the advertising copy. In marketing speak it can also be referred to as PPC (pay-per-click) however, note that Google AdWords only exists within Google’s Network, not on search engines like Bing. It is also worth noting that Google is by far the most popular search engine.
Google Analytics is a free web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports website traffic. Google launched the service in November 2005 after acquiring another business. Google Analytics is now the most widely used web analytics service on the Internet.
So what do these tools mean for me and how can they help me sell my green fees online? (I hear you ask). Well in short, Google Adwords can help you drive more traffic to your tee time booking engine, and as long your conversion percentage (lookers to bookers) remains steady and the ROI from the ad spend is there, then keep using Google AdWords. Google Analytics on the other hand is the tool you can use to understand where the website traffic comes from, and what the demographics of those visitors are, allowing you in turn to measure the impact of any marketing activity and become more targeted with it.
The Revenue Club are both Google AdWords and Google Analytics certified, so if you want to increase your digital green fee income then please get in touch. It is worth noting that Google AdWords is only a tool we would employ once we have a full understanding of your organic web traffic and how your booking engine performs.
So on to Golf Tours and our friends over at Golfbreaks.com. Golf Tours are becoming more popular among golfers, in essence a golfer will stay in a city centre hotel (within walking distance of the bars etc) and then play multiple courses in one area normally ticking off a couple of ‘bucket list courses’ on the way. Golfbreaks.com as a tour operator are helping golfers take the admin out of booking a golf tour and they are using technology to make this process easier. From a golf courses viewpoint booking in groups of golfers (usually between 4 – 12) is a great way to secure a higher/rack green fee rate 1 – 6 months in advance. Please get in touch with us if you would like to learn more.
Thanks again for reading, I hope you are enjoying The Open and please pass this blog on to anyone who you think will be interested.