Should non-profits have websites for their shows?

I was honored to have been asked to speak on a panel about marketing last night at The Women’s Project.  During the panel, search marketing and organic rankings came up as a Producer expressed her frustration with Google.  The problem?  When she googled her latest show, a bunch of ticket-hawking brokers came up first, and the official page for the show on her website failed to make it into the top 10 organic Google recommendations.

As we discussed strategies for getting her show ranked higher, I had to wonder: why do non-profits have all of their show pages inside their main site . . . why not have separate show sites?

I know the answer, of course.  A non-profit is like . . . well . . . like a fancy dress shop. They point all their traffic to the address of the dress shop. Then, once the customer is there, they can choose which of the many dresses inside the shop they’d like to see.  And hopefully they’ll buy more than one.

Makes sense, right?

But we also know that Google rewards the most relevant sites when users are searching for specific terms.  Could a non-profit be better served by having another site, with the title of the show in the domain, that is solely for the selling of that specific show?  Certainly a customer looking just for that show may be more likely to buy if the show marketing isn’t diluted by institutional call to actions.

More importantly, a site like that might be easier for the consumer to find via search.

I wouldn’t lose the show marketing on the main non-profit site . . . but I would use this other site as as a defensive play against the brokers and the discount farms that have been stealing our search traffic, and as a better way to sell the show to the one-off consumer who doesn’t want to subscribe to the non-profit . . . yet.

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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.