Good Sam Digital Has Excelled


My original post published in 2012 was pretty critical of Good Sam’s efforts to get on Google’s search results pages. However now it’s 2017 and things have changed a lot. So it’s only fair that I update my comments, and retract some of them to represent the current status of web search for RV parks and campgrounds.

Over the past two years or so, the management and IT people at Good Sam have figured out a couple of things.

  • Trailer Life and Woodalls are gone; transitioning to the brand name Good Sam
  • Google searches now FEATURE Good Sam’s links–often with top page rank

When I search on Google for RV parks in any city or state, it’s very likely that Good Sam’s listings for that geographic area will be at or near the top of the list for the “organic” search results. This is partly because Good Sam’s staff figured out better technology (although I don’t know what they did, exactly) and Google changed policies to favor large brands over individual properties.

Things have really improved for Good Sam online ranking on the web since 2012

However, the prices for the Good Sam Digital bundles have continued to rise, and are a substantial investment. For large RV parks with sizeable advertising budgets, and who are targeting RV Travel Consumers rather than tent campers or cabin rental customers, Good Sam digital ads are the top source of web site referrals.

Some Issues To Consider Before Buying Good Sam Ads

1) One Size Fits All Bundles
Pay per click advertising is the new norm but GS web sites charge a flat fee.

  1. GS web bundles are ‘one size fits all’ you pay the same whether you get 10 clicks or 10,000 clicks. Most click-thru programs only charge when clicks occur.
  2. if your locale is not a popular search term you’ll have little traffic, few clicks, but pay full price for the bundle.
  3. giant parks pay the same as tiny parks. There’s no moderation in the budget. Only large parks can afford the new digital packages. (Note: Good Sam now offers some smaller ad options–if you ask!)
  4. Contact Strait Answers to learn more about Google pay-per-click ads or go here.

2) Statistics Reporting and Tracking

  1. Web site statistics provided by the Good Sam Family for their services are somewhat limited, but your sales reps will be able to provide you with more detailed stats about clicks on Good Sam sites.
  2. Most of the page impressions and click-thrus are clicks from one page on the Good Sam directory to other pages on the directory—not to your web site. So take a close look at the stats reports to see how many times people clicked to your web site. You want the GS consumer to click thru to visit your web site, not stay on GS.

Google offers Analytics which are very comprehensive, and can be configured to count completed sales, and tell you a lot about your customers. Ask me for a demonstration!

Contact Strait Answers to learn more about Google pay-per-click ads or go here.

3) Only Good Sam Parks?

  • Good Sam Member Parks get priority listing ahead of non-member parks on web search results pages. If your park is not a Good Sam park, your placement on the Good Sam web site directory is almost useless.