Future plc golf website Golf Monthly saw a huge spike in interest during November fuelled by the 2020 Masters and the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period.
The site registered 1.8m users (up 249% compared to November 2019) and monthly page views surged over the 4 million mark (up 130% year on year) for the first time in the brand’s history.
Golf Monthly, which celebrates its 110th year of publication in 2021, will benefit from a six-figure investment over the coming 12 months to help drive further growth and work towards realising the ambition to become the global number one source of buying advice.
Dave Clutterbuck, Future’s Managing Director for Sports, says: “We’re enormously excited about the potential for Golf Monthly, and we’re bullish in our approach as a result. Future’s operating model, based around building global enthusiast audiences by delivering the best buying advice, fits well with Golf Monthly, and complements the great content the brand continues to deliver around technique and how-to guides, and news for the keen golf fan.”
Digital growth was not limited to the brand’s website; Golf Monthly’s social media footprint expanded to over 495,000 followers and its YouTube channel broke through the 100,000 subscribers mark thanks in part to the phenomenal performance of the video on ‘8 Rules Golfers Break… Without Realising’ which accumulated over 300,000 views in its first three weeks and helped contribute to a record 1.1m video views in November.
Part of the strategic focus for Golf Monthly is to drive more qualified buyers to the site through a combination of quality buying advice and SEO expertise. This has allowed Golf Monthly to rank highly in search engines for key golf buying terms, and use Future’s proprietary ecommerce platform, Hawk, to drive direct sales to merchant sites.
“An increased focus on buying advice saw the site generate in excess of £200,000 of sales orders for golf brands and retailers in November,” says Golf Monthly editor Michael Harris.
As part of the growth plans, the editorial team has taken on a raft of high profile UK and US contributors, including Alison Root, Mark Townsend and Kit Alexander in the UK, while the recruitment of Brian Wacker, Scott Kramer and Nico Bollini in the US reflect the ambition to grow rapidly in the key US market that is home to 24 million active golfers.
These new expert contributors, combined with the recruitment of two new full-time staff writers, will allow Golf Monthly to significantly increase its content creation capacity in 2021.
To further boost Golf Monthly’s audience reach, the website domain name will switch from golf-monthly.co.uk to golfmonthly.com in January and, in time for the 2021 US Masters, will relaunch on Future’s proprietary ‘Vanilla’ platform that offers an enhanced SEO authority, a premium user experience and suite of exciting new ad formats.