Entertainment.com.au is a coupon membership that gives discounts and exclusive offers to its members, helping them to discover new activities and entertainment experiences in their area in the process.
Think Groupon, but with a membership.
Entertainment has been around for many years in the form of a coupon book and has just recently moved to a full online experience.
Here’s what I would do to grow this business.
Entertainment is not so different from a site like Grubhub, a delivery service based in the US. Grubhub has a variety of restaurants with different cuisines on offer for a multitude of cities across the country.
To grow its SEO game, Grubhub organised its offering (mostly) along two axes: cuisines and cities.
The benefit? Hundreds of landing pages that specifically cater for the search intent of its users. Looking for any type of cuisine or restaurant in your city? Grubhub has a page ready to serve you.
Instagram accelerated its SEO visibility in a same fashion developing a landing page for everything under the sun along two axes: locations and hashtags. A bonanza of category pages that help Google make sense of your website and information.
In comparison, Entertainment’s navigation bar and footer do not make it easy for Google to understand the structure of its website, missing on highly valuable category pages that users are searching for (e.g. “Dining in Sydney” etc). Even high-level categories are buried under an “Offer Categories” link.
So how do users search on a website like Entertainment? My hunch is that in 99% of the cases they start with the city they are currently in, and only then start drilling per category.
This is how Entertainment should optimise its website structure. It could look something as follow:
- Location: entertainment.com.au/[city]/[category]
- Merchant: entertainment.com.au/merchants/[merchants-name]
Currently Entertainment organise its content following this structure: entertainment.com.au/[category]
By not including the city as a top folder, Entertainment is not building a cluster of content around the city itself, limiting its prospect to rank for valuable keywords such as “Sydney dining”, “Sydney activities” and other “activities near me” that feed the high local intent of Google users. Indeed, 43% of total Google search queries are local, making it critical for a business like Entertainment.
Merchants can remain outside of a localised folder simply because, in many cases, a business chain can be located across multiple cities, making it more difficult or simply counter-productive to try ranking that business for a particular city.
Compare the URL between a Japanese restaurant in Sydney (Entertainment) and a Mexican restaurant in San Diego (Grubhub).
The page itself is overall a good start from a user perspective, though can easily be improved (see comments below).
However, to truly start ranking for this page, Entertainment would need to add:
- UGC (User Generated Content) such as reviews. Every time a user redeems a coupon for a merchant, they should be incentivised via email automation to leave a review.
- FAQ: what are the most common questions users have about the merchant? This is easy to collect via a simple form during the on-boarding process of merchants.
With such a large collection of merchants and offers in different cities, Entertainment is ripe to benefit from a strong content strategy. And yet, the blog falls short on several aspects.
First, the blog page does not invite the user to browse articles, but instead force you to select a category, which is a poor discoverability practice and doesn’t make the page enticing to investigate further.
The blog also appears to be fairly new with very “slim” content that is unlikely to rank or attract any backlinks. This is a very common error from a lot of businesses, trying to tackle too much at once with a very limited budget.
Entertainment is better of only producing one or two high-quality pieces of content per month, focus on the most valuable vertical of the business (dining perhaps?) and dominate that niche.
Compare it with a blog such as the Tokyo Chapter that includes incredibly in-depth articles that easily rank and are incredibly useful its readers. This is what Entertainment should be chasing. Perhaps hiring similar “mummy bloggers” with great knowledge about their city and a unique perspective could seem more relatable to the Entertainment audience.
Moreover, the blog should not be about selling deals. It’s important to keep that as separated as possible to appear authentic and as unbiased as possible. So including links to existing deals is a big no-no likely to backfire as deals come-and-go on a regular basis.
Entertainment benefits from 2,092 backlinks from unique domains, which is great.
However, a few links tested redirect to a 404 page, which is not good from an SEO perspective. Entertainment should go through an exercise of redirecting those 404 links to more appropriate pages.
Additionally, most backlinks found are pointing users to buy their Entertainment Book for charity purposes on their own Entertainment charity page.
The issue is that backlinks work on a per-page basis, not domains. So even though Entertainment has a lot of backlinks, they simply don’t link back to valuable pages that will help the website to rank higher, such as “Sydney Dining”, “Car Renting Hobart” etc
I believe Entertainment has some sort of personalisation built in the website to show you relevant activities based on your location. However I’m sure it’s quite working as intended (see below).
Beyond this basic personalisation, the most important distinction that I’d like to see on this website would be current member v. non-member.
If I am a non-member, I expect the homepage to sell me the benefits of the memberships, giving me a sneak peek and an easy way to join, which Entertainment currently somewhat does (more on this later).
If I am an existing number, I would instead expect a different homepage to be a fully personalised experience with potentially a search bar and a listing of merchants nearby, like Apple map for example.
I have yet to test if this is the case.
I have a few issues with the header section on the homepage:
- I am not sure who the image relates to. I would have assumed (perhaps wrongly) that the target market for Entertainment are primarily families.
- The primary benefit of the membership is to save money, not to “discover your own backward” — this is simply a nice byproduct of the membership. “Daily savings for local explorers” highlights the many positive aspects of the membership. Daily: not just a one-off benefit. Local explorer: this is how we identify Entertainment’s target market — people enjoying discovering new activities and spots in their local neighbourhood.
- We need to be more specific in our copy: how many merchants are participating? What categories does the membership apply to?
- Social proof: is it “cool” to join? Am I the only one? What are existing members saying about the membership?
- CTA: not everybody will join right here and then. Therefore, Entertainment needs to offer a secondary CTA to the user that entices them to explore more. We could have used “how does it work”, but visitors can simply scroll down the page to find more. Instead, we can be more immediate and start showing them deals right away.
The rest of the homepage also suffers from a few issues, such as:
- The steps to join and benefits from the memberships are repetitive and perhaps redundant. The activation step can probably belong to the on-boarding process of purchasing a membership, reducing the journey to only two steps.
- Pricing is located very high on the homepage. Asking for money when a user may have spent less than 10 seconds on your website can seem a bit abrupt. Best to keep pricing on a separate page where Entertainment can explain the benefits of the membership more in-depth.
- The Multi Plus offer is simply the Multi City Offer with a $10 discount. I wonder how popular that offer might turn out to be. To me, there is simply nothing enticing enough to commit for several years.
- Moreover, The Multi Plus offer mentions that “Offers will refresh each year”, implying that offers with a given merchant are only applicable once. I see that as a major drawback, both from a user and merchant perspective. What Entertainment sells to merchants is traffic to their outlet. To make Entertainment truly valuable, offers need to be redeemable several times.
- The Recent Offers section is probably what is most likely to convert a user who first visits the website. Instead of recent offers, it would have perhaps been better to present the most popular offers, or at least what is most likely to get the attention of viewers. A 4% discount for a Woolworths Supermarket Store eGift Card seems a strange editorial choice to me. Additionally, there are only four offers to explore on the homepage. Very limited.
- Very little thought has been given to the testimonial section — it seems either poorly done, or worse — fake. Best to include reviews with some authority (Google Reviews, Autopilot etc) and show real users using photos.
To me, the biggest threat that Entertainment is facing remains its poorly rated app. Currently sitting at a low 3.2 and not trending any higher over the past few months, this is a major red flag for a service that is primarily used “on-the-go”.
Entertainment could cut dev time and simply focus on a web app, but it would lose on push notifications that are critical to bring users back to the app.
Overall, the feedback is that the app feels old and has simply not been updated to the latest Iphone standards, as perfectly summarised by a user below.
The other issue that seems to upset many customers is the uncertainty that an offer presented will:
- Still exist at moment of purchase
- Be honoured by the merchant
To solve this problem, one of the possible solutions could be to let users pay “in-app” for deals and present the coupon to redeem their offer in store. The agreement with merchants is that once paid, a deal MUST be honoured or face penalties.