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How Search Engines Rank Golf Course Websites

Want To Increase Your Web Presence?

 

"You can have the most interactive and amazing website, but if no one knows about it, what good is it?" 

 

Whether you are looking to increase Public Play, Tournaments/Outings, and or your Wedding/Banquet business, Search Engine Optimization should be a priority. 

 

Search Engine Optimization can be broken up into 2 components. (1) On-Page Optimization and (2) Off-Page Optimization.

 

On-Page Optimization is tweaking your website for the search engines.  Making sure your web site's copy is consistent with the key phrases you are targeting for search results in Google and other major search engines.  Naming your pictures after your target key phrases is also a great technique.  Meta Tags and Alt Tags are also important (If you don't know what Meta Tags and Alt Tags are, Google it).  Search Engine's use spiders to crawl your site and index your pages, which rely on internal road maps that the naked eye can't see.  Making sure your web pages are set up so the spiders can easily read your page is a must.

 


Off-Page Optimization is exactly what is says.  Off-Page Optimization is anything you do outside of your website.  Getting inbound links to your web site is where most SEO experts spend their time.  The strategy here is to get as many relevant websites to link to your site.  The search engines rank you on how popular you are.  The more popular you are, the higher ranking you will get in the search engines.  The latest change in Google's algorithm is to have more inbound links than outbound links.  This means reciprocating links with other websites is now frowned upon in Google's eyes.

 

Social Bookmarking is the new craze, which is having your customers link to your website from their social media page, i.e. Facebook.  You thought your highschool days were over, but the more in-bound links you receive from social media sites, Google and company will definitely upgrade your street cred.  Start asking your best customers to imbed links to your course on their social media page.

 

Google Maps, which are not just maps but local business listings by geographic areas.  All the new smart phones applications are harnessing Google Maps as their primary database to show search results for people trying to find local business.  Go to http://maps.google.com and create your course's listing if you haven't done so already.

I hope this article helps and if you have more questions about our Website and Email Marketing solutions please call us at 800.599.6310 or click here to schedule a demonstration

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Golf Course Dilemma

How many times have you asked your counter staff to ask for the golfers email address at check in?

For those owners/operators out there who's counter staff are successfully collecting 90% or more of the golfers emails that come through your doors, than you can stop reading and keep up the good work.

For the rest, Course Logix has developed iKiosk®.

iKiosk is a web based app that can be used by an iPad, Android Tablet, any touch screen PC.

The process is simple.  Golfer walks up to the golf counter and types in his or her email address on the iPad touch screen.  Their email address is instantly entered into your golfer/e-club database.

Imagine the possibilities....  taking the iKiosk with you to golf shows, and much more.

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Fire Yourself, and then Rehire Yourself
 
A few years back I read an article in the Wall Street Journal by Carol Hymowitz, that touched on this subject.  I am going to attempt to put it in a golf course operators perspective.
 
Just as employees often must learn new skills to meet changes in their careers, companies must repeatedly reinvent themselves to stay strong.
 
Faced with an over supply of courses, golf facilities can't survive as they once did by offering the same customer service or communicating to their golfers as they did in the past. The most successful golf facilities don't wait until they're in trouble or are overtaken by rivals to make changes. The trick is to analyze revenue trends constantly, to move quickly to shed weak businesses and to gamble on new opportunities without making the golf facility unstable.
Whereas in the past decade, the concern among courses was course conditions, and you build it, they will come.  Now a days, it's survival of the fittest, and running your operation "Lean & Mean" seems to be the common thread.  There are no new customers; you have to take them away from your competitor down the street.  We have also realized that customer retention is key to a courses success.
 
Many golf facilities are now investing more time and money into new websites, email marketing programs, growing their database, social media, and mobile marketing.

Golfer's needs are changing, but why is it that most golf facilities still market their golf courses as they did in the 80's.
"Windows of opportunity open and close so quickly today, you can't just mull decisions right in front of you. You have to look around the corner and figure out where you need to go, without becoming spastic or jerking your company in too many different directions," says Michael Fraizer, CEO of Genworth Financial, the insurance company based in Richmond, Va.
 
Every couple of years around this time, I fire myself.  At least in my mind.  I then rehire myself, and take a good hard look at the direction of the company. I implement the things that I've always talked about doing, but never got around to it.  It wasn't that I was lazy, but sometimes the business can run me, and not the other way around.  Here are 3 key words to remember - Prioritize, Prioritize, and Prioritize.
 
For 2010, objectively analyze your golf operation, and implement programs that you've always talked about doing, but never had the time.  Your business viability depends on it....
 
Whether you are looking to implement a new customer service program, or want to communicate to your golfers more effectively, doing something is better than not doing anything at all.
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How ISP's Work

Have you ever tried to send out an eBlast to your golfer/member database to then find out that you can only send 400 emails a day?
 
This can be frustrating when you are tying to send time sensitive messages to your most valued customers.
Many Public, Private, and Resort courses have invested in point-of-sales systems that have a email marketing component, but many of you are finding out that you can only send out 400 emails a day.

This slow process will not help your business if you decide to send a message on Thursday for a weekend rate, but find out more than half your database didn't receive the message on time. 
 
The Problem: 
Your current website, or point-sale-system uses the club's ISP (Internet Service Provider) to send out eBlasts.  ISP's, such as Comcast, SBC Global, Qwest, AT&T, Charter, and many more put limits on how many emails you can send a day.
 
 
The Solution:
For those of you who worked hard to grow your customer database, we have developed a way for you to send an eBlast to all of your customers in 10 seconds.  That's right, you can reach 10,000 golfers in 10 seconds. As we all know, time is money and being able to send and receive a message instantly will increase your sales.
 
Course Logix is an internet marketing company designed specifically for golf course properties.  We have proven strategies to help you grow your database, and have the relationships with the ISP's, to allow you to communicate to your customer database.
 isp
If you are interested in learning more, please call us at 800.599.6310
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Perception is Reality, Or Is It

Perception is Reality…Or is it

 

Last fall I was golfing with a client of mine.  He owns  a premium daily fee course and has seen year over year growth in golf revenues.  Things might not be as bad as they seem in this upside down economy.  If you asked him how he is doing it, he’ll just tell you “I don’t wait for business to happen, I make business happen”.  He’s been growing a strong segmented database, he communicates effectively to his customers via email on a weekly basis, and he’s automated his outing, membership, and league leads through his website.  “Life is good” he says…

He’s been making all the right moves from a marketing standpoint, but my question to him is “What do your customers think about your place?”  He said “They love it”.  My next question to him is “how do you know?” 

He said “I can’t prove it”, but we both agreed that customers vote with their wallet, and he’s been increasing his profitability every year.

My point is that even if things are going right, it doesn’t mean you should get complacent.  Successful owners and operators are always tweaking programs and making things better.

 

suvey-small

The Problem:
I believe that owners and operators get jaded sometimes when trying to evaluate the golfing experience.

The Solution:
We decided to ask his 5,000+ eclub members what they thought of his facility.  We sat down and created a 15 question online survey that touches on customer experience, the value proposition, pace of play, course conditions, course layout, and the overall golfing experience.

 

We e-blasted the survey to all 5,000+ of his eclub members.  Within 1 hour, 424 golfers filled out the online survey.  That’s an 8% success rate, and he didn’t even offer a reward for filling out the survey.

He discovered that customer service at the golf counter was just average, which he was touting to me earlier how great his customer service was.  Pace of Play, Course Conditions, and Course Layout were also just average.  The good news in “just average” was that he had a “pace of play issue” for years.  Last year he really worked on his “pace of play” and he was glad to see he received decent comments about the improvement.  We did find out that many people were not happy with the starters and rangers, which was news to the owner, since he spends most of his time in the shop.  We also found out that the perceived value was above average, and the overall golfing experience was slightly above average.  Each question asked also allowed the golfer to type in individual comments about each area.

 

I asked the same question at the beginning of this story “What do your customers think about your place?”  His answer was “slightly above average”.

It’s funny how perception is reality at least from a customer stand point, but maybe perception is not reality if you are the owner and/or operator.  I’m not saying you should make changes based on some constructive customer feedback, but at least it’s on your radar.  There is no such thing as the perfect operator, and we all overlook things in our operation.  Surveys give us a reality check, which offer us qualitative data to help us make better decisions.

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Support Like No Other

At CourseLogix, we pride ourselves with offering our partner golf course & resort properties with the highest level of support.  We understand that the industry demands more out of their internet marketing solution providers.  We stand by this commitment, and WE DO NOT REQUIRE LONG TERM CONTRACTS that force you to stay with us.  If you are not happy, simply tell us and you are not obligated to pay anything.