Hands down, the easiest and fastest way to increase website traffic is to advertise. Traditional advertising can be expensive and results can be hard to quantify. However, digital ads are targeted, measurable, and effective even on a shoestring budget. Facebook ads have some of the lowest advertising costs available and can produce some surprising results. A 121 Marketing client recently generated over 30 solid golf membership leads from just $150 in Facebook ads. If one of those leads turns into a paying member, the ads have paid for themselves 20x over.
For public golf courses, search engine advertisements (ie. Google AdWords) tend to perform exceptionally well. A properly setup Google AdWords campaign can sell thousands of extra dollars in tee times and provide exposure amongst local golfers. It's not unrealistic for public golf courses to yield 10x ROI and attract thousands of golfers to the website each month from a Search Engine Marketing campaign.
2.) Sponsor Events
Many golf facilities sponsor events and tournaments for philanthropy purposes, more or less. It’s okay to also use these opportunities to attract golfers to your website. Provide details about the event on your website, making it the hub for all regarding information. Also, ask the promoters of the event to give your course a quick shout out on social media and other outlets, whenever possible.
3.) Invite Influencers to Play Your Course
Influencer Marketing is when a business leverages influential people to promote their product or service. With the rise of social media, Influencer Marketing has become more effective than ever. Now, we aren’t saying to go out and pay the Kardashians $100,000 to post a picture of your golf course on Instagram. However, every town has their fair share of influential people that have a following on social media. Reaching out to these local influencers and inviting them to play our course for free in exchange for mention on their social media profiles can be very advantageous. The million-dollar question in golf these days is “How do we reach Millennials?”. This is an answer.
4.) Have a Presence on Online Directories
One of the easiest ways to increase traffic to your website is to be on every online business directory that you can. Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, Facebook, and Yellow Pages are just the top level sites. There are hundreds of others that can bring more traffic to your website on a regular basis. This also assists with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which we’ll go over next.
5.) Search Engine Optimization
SEO is one of the most effective ways to bring more qualified traffic to a website. As you can imagine, being easier to find on Google can make a world of difference. We’ve had golf courses that have more than doubled their website traffic from an SEO campaign! Local businesses that leverage SEO are typically going to see more website traffic and sales than their direct competitors that are not.
6.) Make Email Marketing a Habit
We have worked with thousands of local golf facilities around the world, many of which don’t use email marketing to its full advantage. Even after all these years, email marketing is still very effective at bringing traffic to websites (and sales!). If you haven’t already, make email marketing a part of your routine schedule. Sending out an email to your database a couples a week could boost your traffic numbers a considerable amount immediately.
7.) Have a Fast Website
Want to know the #1 reason why people will leave a website and never come back? It’s slow! There is nothing more frustrating than a website that takes forever to load, especially when on a smartphone. Having a website that loads quickly may not gain you more traffic, but it will preserve the traffic you already have. Actually, Google takes a serious approach to website speed and even considers it for SEO factors, so we take it seriously here at 121.
8.) Get Active on Social Media
Just like email marketing, social media often goes overlooked by golf course operators. It’s hard to find time to run a business and manage a handful of different social media profiles, but it’s a digital world that we live in. Simply existing on social media is not enough. Make it a priority to post to your social media accounts a couple times a week. If nothing else, at least post to your Facebook page. You’ll not only increase website traffic, but you’ll grow your social reach.
These 8 traffic-boosting tips are used by all of the world’s most successful businesses and for good reason. Not only will these methods increase traffic to your website, but they can help you sell more rounds and memberships.