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In today’s digital age, many arts organizations face a unique challenge: combating ticket resellers who capitalize on the popularity of certain events, often at the expense of both the organization and its patrons. These resellers can drive up perceived ticket prices, not to mention create a bad user experience for the folks who may ultimately mistakenly associate that experience with your organization!

With big on sale dates looming, you may be starting to think about the reseller challenge for the hottest-ticket items in your upcoming season. We’re here to help with a handful of tips and examples we’ve seen over the years.


As a general SEO best practice, it’s important to have Title Tags on each page of your website, which act as a reference for Google when people are searching (Google will automate these if you don’t provide them, but they won’t be as specific and tailored to your content). We recommend adding “Official Site” or “Official Ticketing Site” in all tags, to indicate to Google’s algorithms and to searchers that your website has this authority.

If it’s a recurring show or event (think The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol), consider using the same URL year over year to build and retain your organic search authority over time.


Limit the number of tickets a user can buy via your ticketing platform–send them to group sales for those larger orders. This will make it much harder for bots to buy up big chunks of inventory. To determine what kind of limit makes sense for your organization, consider pulling the average and median number of tickets in a given order for a comparable past performance or program, and add one or two to that number!


You can use your email and social channels to reinforce to your patrons that you are the official channel for ticket purchases. While it’s usually not helpful or encouraged to call out specific secondary sites to avoid, you can remind people of your own website domain and range of ticket prices so that they have all of the information they need to purchase wisely.

You can have fun with the messaging and copy here, too (see the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park example below with “Don’t get Scrooged”!).



Ultimately, ticket resellers are for-profit companies who can afford to spend on paid search. It may not always be possible to outrank them on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) with purely amazing SEO or investment via a Google Grant account. We do recommend investing in ongoing, branded paid search campaigns. But whether or not you’re already doing that, there’s quite a lot of ground to be gained by adding a paid search campaign for your most popular show(s). It will help you rank much higher on the SERP, particularly on mobile (in our Cultural Compass study, we saw that 71% of spend/impressions from Grant accounts were on desktop). Plus, it gives you an additional opportunity incorporate language like “Official Site” or “Official Ticketing Site” throughout the ad copy.


Get in touch with our Digital Advertising team to prepare for those big-ticket shows you’ve got coming up.