Does Your Golf Course Website Make This Common Mistake?

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One of the most common mistakes many clubs make on their golf club website is linking to other websites. If you’ve got external links on your golf club website, your website is leaking money.

External links on your golf club website are a leak in your cash register.

You’ve spent a lot of time and money on your golf club website. When people visit, your website’s number one job is to convert visitors to customers or help current customers spend more.

You want visitors to book tee times or to find your location or to download a membership package. Your website’s job is to turn interested readers into committed customers.

External links are exit doors for your visitors. They increase the chances that your visitors leave your site without spending money, leaving an email address, or filling out a form.

But they seem harmless, don’t they?

“It’s a link to our Facebook page. What’s the big deal?”

Remember your golf club website’s number one job: Convert visitors into customers. External links work against the mission.

The website is the first impression your potential customers get of your golf course. Most customers research spending decisions online. So when somebody lands on your golf club’s website, you want to keep them there and let them see why your course is the best choice they can make. Prior to the web, this was up to retail shop sales associates and trade show demonstrators. “Can I help you find what you’re looking for? Have you owned a product like this in the past?”

Keep the prospect focused, educate and inform, and ask for the sale.

To do this effectively, you have to limit distractions and opportunities for your visitors to leave.

Casinos Get It Right.

If you’ve ever been inside a Las Vegas casino, you might have noticed how hard it is to see the exits from the casino floor.

You might have noticed how hard it is to find a clock as well.

The primary objective of a casino is to relieve their visitors of their money. Giving their customers easy opportunities to avoid placing bets or spending money isn’t the goal.

Casinos are designed to make it easier to keep gambling than to leave.

This philosophy extends to great casino websites as well. Look at the website for The Bellagio in Las Vegas. It’s loaded with information about the hotel and casino, but it doesn’t direct people away from The Bellagio unless it’s to another property in MGM Resorts Group. Even when they do that, they do so with low-contrast links inconspicuously placed in the footer instead of brightly colored buttons.

They do, however, have links to their social media sites. Again, these are placed in the footer and are low-contrast so as not to attract attention. If a site must have links to social media feeds, this is the best way to do it.

Even still, we don’t recommend linking to social media from your golf club website.

The Bellagio website is a good example of giving visitors fewer opportunities to leave without becoming customers.

Some Common Golf Website Examples

We see a lot of external links on golf courses. The most obvious external links are links social media related.

Many golf courses want to see their Facebook feed displayed somewhere on the site, often the front page. What happens when a visitor clicks on the link to a Facebook post?

They leave your golf course website and end up on Facebook.

Now they’re surfing social media looking at cat videos!

The same thing happens with twitter feeds on golf course websites.

One of the worst offenders is the GolfNow websites that have the Golf Channel News Stream on the site. That’s a pretty smart move for NBC and Golf Channel Solutions to use golf course websites to direct traffic to their golf channel property. But it certainly isn’t a good bargain for the golf course. I guess that’s what you get from a “free” website.

Here’s The Point

The website is an extension of the golf course. The website is a billboard and a hard-working employee all at the same time. You would never spend money on a billboard that says “Golf at our Course… or spend your money at the mall” and you’d certainly fire any employee who repeatedly escorted customers from your pro shop to the local sporting good store for equipment and apparel.

When somebody lands on your website, you’ve done most of the hard work. Don’t blow it by showing them the exit before they’ve had a chance to become a customer.

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About Offcourse Golf

We're Josh & Roger. We started Offcourse Golf to combine our expertise in custom app & web development and digital marketing with our passion for golf. If you're looking to grow your golf business and earn more money, we have the tools and expertise to help.

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