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Here at the North Entrance Surf Life Saving Club (NESLSC), we have a lovely function centre, which is one of our main streams of income for the charity. The problem, however, is that we only had about 10 bookings for the whole year in 2017-2018 FY making us $10,000. This amount is far less than what we would receive if we even just rented it out long term very cheaply, but it’s a newly renovated building. We would get about one phone call or email a week and maybe one booking every month to six weeks.

In August 2018 we engaged TheOnlineCo. (TOLC) to see if we could improve our performance by using Google. We learned that not only can TOLC help us in this regard, but they also explained that being a charity we may be eligible for a $10k a month grant in advertising from Google. The OLC applied for the Google Grant on our behalf and were successful.

We approved a 3 month trial for the TOLC at $699 per month to see if we could improve our performance. The first 2 months were very slow and we didn’t notice any big improvements. TOLC then did some more research and discovered that we were getting a high number of clicks on our ads, but no calls. They suggested that something was letting them down once they reached our website and that it wasn’t a matter of them just not making any inquiries. TOLC looked at our website and explained that being old and having too many places for customers to click was a confusing message to customers and it was not clear what we wanted our prospective customers to do – we had no clear “Call to Action”. TOLC then created a “Landing Page” for our ads which is a single specific webpage that directs people to our page when they click on our ad. The results were astounding! The very next day we were receiving one to two phone calls a day as well as a further to one to two email inquiries per day.

In the first month of having the Google Adwords Grant along with TOLC management and also the new TOLC landing page, we had 3 bookings along with many very hot leads. Each booking gives us approx $1,700 profit, so for our $2,100 spend we received $5,100. We expect these figures to improve dramatically with more time, as in this case, the first two months spend of $1,400 we received no bookings and no leads due to our website having no clear call to action.

In conclusion, if there are any Surf Life Saving Clubs out there that is a registered charity which has a product to sell and they don’t have a managed Google Grant then they are really missing out! I would highly recommend that every club in Australia jump on board and at least get their own Google Grant, even if they manage it themselves.


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