Rich Holladay retired from the United States Army, but his love for outdoor adventure didn’t. With Fort Campbell, Kentucky, minutes away, and the campus of Austin Peay State University right there in Clarksville, Rich knew he wasn’t alone. “You’re looking at some high-adventure types, and they all fall in love with scuba when they try it,” he says. So in 2013, he and his friend Cecil Stout, a Marine who also retired from military service, opened Waterdogs Scuba and Safety to bring the excitement of diving to the Clarksville community.
“Without the internet, I don’t know that a business like ours could survive.”
Rich Holladay, co-owner
Google has been there to help Waterdogs from the very beginning. They use AdWords, Google’s advertising program, to drive customers to their brick-and-mortar shop and find information about lessons. “AdWords makes it easy to let people know that we are right here in their local community,” Rich says. “AdWords is great because people search for ‘scuba’ and ‘Clarksville’ and we pop up.” Waterdogs also uses Google Apps for Work to enable instantaneous collaboration from anywhere. “We live and breathe by Google Calendar,” he says, which lets customers view and sign up for Waterdogs’ scheduled trainings and events. Google Analytics gives Rich and Cecil insights into how visitors are interacting with their site, which helps them get the most from their website and advertising efforts. “We’re constantly amazed at the wealth of Google tools we can use,” Rich says.
60 percent of Waterdogs Scuba and Safety’s revenue comes from the internet
Waterdogs is now an institution in central Tennessee and a destination for inland scuba lovers from all over the Southeast. Combined with their safety and certification instruction for first-responders and medical professionals (Cecil is an instructor trainer for several medical agencies), they have carved out a niche with a bright future. “We’ve seen explosive growth through the Internet,” Rich says, and the entire Clarksville community is reaping the rewards. Waterdogs employs nearly 20 Tennesseans and they hold camps and programs at schools all across the region. “You have a bunch of smiling people having a great time, all brought together by one common love,” Rich says. “It’s wonderful.”
For more information on the Waterdogs Scuba and Safety case study, visit https://economicimpact.google.com.
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