Just like Google, Tee Time Market Place websites rank golf courses on a variety of factors meaning that if you show up near the top of search results you'll more likely get more page views and therefore bookings.
So how do you best manage your profile?
1. Manage your promotions: Quite often golfers visit market place website looking for last minute deals and offers, so make sure you utilise your listing to sell any green fee offers you have in place - don't always discount and have the same price, dynamic pricing can help attract a different clientele.
2. Manage your inventory: Don't be afraid of not releasing all of your inventory, on some occasions you may not wish to sell your prime tee times through a third party due to the associated costs. If you don't have an electronic tee sheet (what are you doing? It's 2018 and people book golf online all the time!), or your tee sheet does not connect with all of the market place websites, make sure the inventory you post is accurate or you may encounter customer service issues. Incentivise customers to book directly by having longer lead time availability through your own website and only make it available to third parties if you still have spare capacity at the last minute.
3. Respond to reviews: Unlike the hotel industry there is no common rating system for golf courses. This means that golfers are more likely to study customer reviews to understand what type of golf course you are and whether the price represents good value. One of the most popular golf review sites in the UK is Golfshake, so make sure your listing is accurate. Google and Facebook reviews are also very important, and you may also want to look at TripAdvisor and Golfadvisor.
4. Manage your listing: When was the last time you looked at your listing on the market place website? Is the information and photography up to date? If not, get it sorted straight away, this could be putting potential golfers off.
5. The customer: When the customer arrives for their round of golf, make sure you capture their data so you can market to them directly. If you take bookings through your own website and this is not the largest channel then you need to shift people to that channel. Its more cost effective and it gives you better control of your budget. For example, if a golf club down the road from you runs a special offer through a market place website, it is likely to have a big impact on your sales. However if someone is used to booking direct with you, they may not even be aware of that offer, and will book with you.
6. Hook Pricing: This is an effective way of driving traffic to your webpage. Think about how Easyjet and Ryanair capture your interest with their headline prices and consider how you might do the same with your green fees. Clearly this needs to be done in a way that does not have a detrimental effect on your brand. A competitive 4 ball rate in your quietest times is a good way to do this without displacing your existing revenue.