Golf Holiday Provider Drives For A Digital Sweet Spot

Glencor Golf offered incredible golf holiday experiences around the globe, but their online efforts were below par. Old school marketing and word of mouth sales were keeping Glencor out of the traps, but the next generation of the family-run business knew cracking digital marketing would drive growth on to the next level.

Teeing Up A Challenge

Glencor were lagging behind in an incredibly competitive marketplace. By not entering the digital realm until many years after their main competitors – who were already gaining traction from their own SEO and PPC efforts – Glencor’s online presence lacked the authority required to push up the rankings and onto page one.

A two-pronged approach was decided on: A PPC campaign for instant visibility paired with help from a large digital agency based in Leeds who were to help Glencor drive organic traffic by way of improved SEO.

The second part of this dual approach was deemed necessary as Glencor ultimately wanted to reduce their reliance on Pay Per Click advertising. Costs per click were being pushed to unsustainable levels, but the removal of Google ads meant they would disappear from search results altogether unless they were generating traffic organically.

SEO, therefore, became an essential component of their overall strategy.

Watch the Glencor Golf Case Study

Colm: Glencor Golf came to us with a very specific challenge and issue because they weren’t visible for a number of terms that were marooned on page 2, there was quite a strong reliance on pay-per-click advertising.

Corrie: We’ve been working with other agencies, we were not on the first page of Google.

Glen: A lot of our leads came from PPC, which to us had a really high acquisition cost.

Colm: First impressions of the Glencor Golf site was actually that it was quite tidy. On the surface, everything looked very good, it looked like all the correct things were being done, but we did a deep dive exercise into trying to understand why a number of these terms were just not moving from page 2 to page 1 when everything seemed to be done correctly to best practices.

Corrie: So previous agencies employed probably more old-school methods of essentially trying to put as many keywords related to golf and holidays and breaks into our pages, content, and images as possible.

Colm: We discovered that actually the website was massively over-optimized in terms of what we would class as keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is something that used to work in the past, but it was very much a quick-win, short-term tactic that the search engines clamped down on quite some time ago, yet people still do it.

Corrie: We’re now on page one for pretty much most of the destinations in the regions that we now sell and are becoming a much bigger brand within the golf holidays market. Since Edge45 have taken over the site, they’ve really made it much more customer-focused. So, they’ve focused on the conversion rates, how to make everything really readable. Even basic things like increasing the font size because a lot of our consumers are from an older demographic. So that’s really helped. The forms are a lot simpler and easier to complete and the navigation is much improved.

Colm: And so since solving that specific issue that they had and kicking these terms onto page one they’ve seen incredible growth, I think what that’s ended up doing is building a level of trust with Glencor Golf. And so when we make new suggestions for other opportunities to exploit, to continue that growth, Glencor Golf chooses to take those because they know that they’re going to get the results that we’re saying that they will get if they do this.

Glen: We’ve obviously seen great results and it’s freed up a lot of my time, a lot of Corrie’s time in terms of generating the leads, doing a lot of the legwork on the website and all the marketing. The organic leads have increased dramatically, almost pretty much overtaking PPC. It’s been a huge, huge factor in our growth and we have so much trust in them moving forward that long may it continue.

increase in the number of keywords ranking on page 1 in the 4 – 10 positions) (24→266)
New Agency, New Heights

“After partnering with our SEO agency in Leeds, we began to see some encouraging results. Rankings were improving and, with that, traffic to the site and bookings.

However, we felt that after a period of time, we’d hit a wall. We had so many pages ranking at the top of page two for a number of key terms that we just couldn’t get onto page one and we knew, deep down, that if you aren’t on page one you are nowhere. Try as our old agency might, we seemed marooned on page two.

This, combined with the fact that our agency had outgrown us (we were small fry compared to the customers they were now targeting and acquiring), left us feeling that a fresh pair of eyes in the form of another agency would be beneficial.

A key criteria for us was to find an agency that wouldn’t discriminate against us for being a smaller client compared to other larger ones they might have. We wanted an agency that would give us strong levels of contact time and support.”

Owner, Glencor Golf

Customer Service + Results = Edge45®

“As we wanted a better degree of contact time, we decided to look for an agency more local to us, so our starting point was to Google ‘SEO York’.

Search Engine Optimisation is the only profession where your rankings are a direct reflection of your ability to practice successful SEO, so naturally we researched the number one result for that term first, which was Edge45®.

Given the difficulty we’d had hitting a brick wall at the top of page two, and our previous agency inability to decipher why that was the case, we were attracted to Edge45®’s strong engineering background, which was underpinned by great problem-solving skills and analytical and logical thinking.

We felt that if anyone could deconstruct why our rankings were not improving, it would be Edge45®, thanks largely to their innate, analytical skill set.”

Chipping Away At The Key Problem

Our analysis showed that much of Glencor’s inability to break into page one of the search results revolved around over-optimisation. Keyword stuffing is now, thankfully, frowned upon, but Glencor’s previous agency didn’t heed the warnings and were far too aggressive in their attempt to rank certain search terms. This resulted in Glencor’s pages becoming effectively invisible to those searching for their offerings online.

For example, the term ‘golf holidays’, which generates 5,400 searches per month in the UK alone, was pushed way too much across Glencor’s pages. Their average usage of this term was 38 compared to a mere 7 being used by competitors who were outranking them in the search results, putting Glencor way outside any normal distribution curve.

So, by way of a solution, Edge45®’s priority was to engage in the practice of de-optimising multiple keywords across the site, which is something that runs counterintuitively to traditional SEO ‘wisdom’.

An Eagle Was Landed…

After implementing our strategy, Edge45® are pleased to report:

increase in the number of keywords ranking in the top 3 results on page one (3→43)

Glencor’s previous agency achieved a YOY increase in new organic users of 30%.

Our efforts, in the first 12 months of working closely with Glencor, achieved a YOY increase of 66%. We then backed that up with another YOY increase in the second 12 months of 99%, this is over and above the first 12 months’ results.

As for 2019, we are on course to achieve another YOY increase of 72%.

Organic Leads

Leads generated by the Organic Channel now equal that achieved by PPC meaning the value of Glencor’s business, should they ever sell, has been massively increased:

Number of leads

“We have been working with Edge45® for almost two years now with the objective of improving our organic traffic from search engines. Historically we have found this difficult to achieve despite using the services of various agencies in the past.

Only now, and after working with Edge45®, are we seeing the kind of results which we were aiming for, which is down to the team’s commitment to improving not only our our rankings but also the overall user experience of our website.

They go above and beyond what they are asked to do, take the time to get to know your company and market, whilst you can rely on their experience and expertise when asking questions.

I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending them.”

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