What Your Website Says to Prospective Members
If it’s true that first impressions mean everything, your website often is your club’s first impression. So, ask yourself, what does your website say to prospective club members? Keep in mind that once prospective members visit a few clubs, the collateral material you gave them and your website are the only tangible things they have to help them make a decision on which club to join.
To help ensure your website provides a strong impression to those prospective members, I would like to review a few key areas for you to consider during your next marketing meeting.
Photography on Your Website
When was the last time your club hired a photographer to capture new and exciting photos? And I don’t just mean photos of the 18th fairway at 6:45 a.m., with dew and a sunrise. You need to think about people! When was the last time you hired a real photographer to capture your members having fun at a big club tournament? If you did, is it reflected on the website?
Faces engage the viewer to feel something. Sure, an empty fairway gives that relaxed feel, which is great. But what about the fun and excitement that really make your club special. According to the data from the more than 7,000 avid golfers who have completed our ProGuide3, we know that Beauty of Landscaping, Friendly Culture, and Social Interaction rank high among the internal and external factors of prospective members’ dream clubs.
Here’s a Project to Consider: Gather a focus group of members and ask them what’s their favorite aspect of your club. If they say “social,” then get social photos. If they say “staff,” get staff photos. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
And get action photos! Hey, think about golf photography from the early days – four guys standing around in a suit looking stiff and stoic. It makes you think that they didn’t have fun and everything was extremely serious. So, when you go to take your staff photos, get fun staff photos!
Are you writing new content or updating content on the website? I don’t just mean about the over seeding you did on hole 14 with “before and after” photos. It’s important to portray that your club is keeping up with the times and you’re always bettering your club. Again, according to the ProGuide3 data, the Quality of the Club ranks high for both males and females.
Here are some content Ideas that need to be updated on your site.
- Renovations on any part of your club
- Additions to any part of your club
- Staff awards: Did your Chef win an award. Did your Head Professional win an award or win a tournament?
- Bios: All staff should have a bio of accomplishments and origin. SHOW THEM OFF!
- Internal Club events: Did your Art group win an award
Clubs Within the Club
Many prospective members who have taken the ProGuide3 indicate they are looking for more than just Golf. Oftentimes, it’s different aspects of the club – like tennis, cards, or bocce bal. Whether they are run by the club or run by the membership, you need to include it on your website.
We need to remember that new members often don’t know many people or anyone at the club, so having as many of these social clubs posted may give them the welcoming feel they have been looking for.
Remember, your website is one opportunity to set yourself apart from the club next door. If you are working with a website company, make sure they are using your keywords. Don’t get wordy but don’t just list 15 bullet points either.
Find the happy medium on your website that matches the attitude of your club.