How to wage war on the Broadway discount sites. Part II
Alright, let’s talk about how we can do some damage and start to take back our discounts! (Insert revolutionary cheers and french people waving flags and putting up barricades here.)
Yesterday we talked about how the discount sites are beating shows to the box office, because of the modern consumer’s desire for a lower priced ticket, and the easy-to-find codes on sites like BroadwayBox, Theatermania, etc.
And why are they easy to find? One weird word. Google. Google makes these discounts easy to find. Because . . . and here’s where we’re going to try and insert ourselves . . . those sites have strong “organic” search rankings. When you search “ANY SHOW Discount” usually it’s one of those sites that pop up first. Click here for an example of one of my own shows search results.
Why does this happen?
It’s because these sites have the most relevant content, are the most aged, have the most links, and all those other things that Google likes.
And because the official sites aren’t even trying.
But they should.
Here’s the simplest trick that every single Broadway show should be doing when building their website in an attempt to at least get in the game of organic search for discounts in order to save money and/or make more money.
1. As soon as you know you might produce or create a show, buy the domain. See here.
2. As soon as you own the domain, put up a simple TWO page site. Google treats websites like a sommelier treats wine: the older the better. (Build the rest of your site as soon as possible as well – the more pages of content the better – but the two pages referenced below are the most important in this context.)
3. The first page should be your general splash screen that’s visible when you visit: www.NAMEOFSHOW.com.
And now, here’s the rub . . .
4. The second page should be an internal site page, named something like: www.NAMEOFSHOW.com/name-of-show-discounts. (See where we’re going?)
5. On that second page, list your discount information. Make it relevant for someone searching for a discount. Hire an SEO consultant to make sure you nail this page. Don’t link this page off your home site. Just let it live there for Google to see, and its spiders to crawl.
See what we did? We created a discount page, on the official site.
Now I know what you’re thinking . . . “I don’t want people to see that I’m discounting!” They won’t . . . unless, they are already looking for it. And there’s the key . . . if they are looking for it/searching, they are going to find a discount somewhere, right? They are better off finding yours than a third party discount site where you may not have as much control over price, over the marketing message, or heaven forbid, a site that actually costs you money.
If you can make this work, and I have . . . you can make more money.
On one show of mine, I made close to $10k extra in a 2 month period just by having a slightly higher priced discount on my “official discount page” that achieved high organic rankings thanks to the above tip (and some of the advanced tips below).
Let me state that this is not a quick fix, nor is it guaranteed to shoot you to the top of the first page of Google. But it can absolutely and without a doubt have an impact. Especially on shows with longer runs. Because the page is built on the show’s actual and official domain, it is very possible to rise high in organic rankings for someone searching for your discount.
Oh, and if you don’t build this page . . . the discount sites will! That’s exactly how they’ve been winning the search war. Sure, their sites are reputable, older, and get a lot of traffic . . . but watch them . . . as soon as a new show is announced, they’ll have a ticket page and a discount page up even if there are no discounts. They are just trying to be the first to the organic search front lines so they can get an advantage.
But since you know when your show is announcing before they do . . . that advantage can be yours.
Here are a couple more advanced tips to help you fight your pricing battles:
- Build the “Official Discount Page” referenced above on a Word Press or blogging platform. Update it often. Like everyday if you can, or whenever you have any relevant discounting content (rush, new discounts, changes to policies, etc.). Google likes old sites, yes, but they also like “news” sites, or sites that change everyday.
- Buy a “discounts” Google Adwords campaign . . . again, only for people searching for discounts. Send those people to your official landing page. This will help with Google, and again, if a consumer is going to find a discount on another site, why not pay a little bit to send them to yours where you may be able to get them to spend a little more (a lot of these folks don’t want to comparison shop – they just don’t want to pay full price). And on your site, you can do cool things like, collect email addresses in order to get the discount, etc. And that’s worth a lot in itself.
- Buy a domain with discounts in the domain itself . . . ex. NAMEOFSHOWDISCOUNTS.com. Build a simple site that is similar to your official site filled with relevant discount info.
There are a ton more of these little known search devices to help improve your rankings and help you at least feel like you’ve got a fighting chance. Talk to your advertising or marketing agency about it, or find a good SEO guy/gal to put in your army.
It might be too late to win the Broadway discounting war. But we could win some battles.
And each one of those battles means bucks to your bottom line.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.