SEO for Wineries
Your website is all set up and ready to go. Now you are just waiting for customer traffic to browse your products and access other information available on your winery’s website. But you are concerned; sales are not occurring at the pace you expected. Perhaps it is time to investigate SEO and how it can assist your winery’s growth.
SEO Strategies and Your Wineries
As the owner of a winery, it is important for you to have an understanding of how to effectively utilize the tools of the internet. There are thousands of other wineries with whom you are competing for online sales. Knowing what SEO is and how to employ its techniques will complement other aspects of your online and physical presence.
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. Whether on a smartphone or laptop, when customers are seeking information, they type a few words to initiate a search and Google will kick out results that its algorithm determines is most relevant to the terms they searched. Your website’s authority on the topic that is searched for will determine where your website will appear in the results. Know that about 90% of clicks happen on page one of search results.
Search engine companies have developed extensive algorithms to analyze searches and develop means to find resulting matches. Your first step in building search ranking is to determine the who’s and hows of your wineries SEO effort. Having a plan to build great content and understanding how search engines disseminate content is an important part of building meaningful traffic. 80 percent of consumers search online for products prior to engaging with a business and purchasing products. So, regardless of whether it is done in-house or outsourced, you need to be familiar with how effective website management impacts your business.
How People Search for Wine Online
Think of how a consumer might find your business through a search for products they’re interested in. For example, someone traveling to Walla Walla to visit wineries might search something like ‘walla walla wineries;’ or maybe they’re interested in a specific type of wine and type in, ‘rose walla walla.’ Maybe they want to view opinions for something like ‘who makes the best syrah in Walla Walla?’
Surprising no one, Google doesn’t actually know who has the best wine, but they are keenly aware of who’s website is most authoritative on the topic. Making a deliberate effort to rank for such terms is paramount to success in organic search, but most people set it aside because they don’t understand it.
While Google’s algorithm takes into account some factors that are uncontrollable from a site administrator’s point-of-view, many of the variables that determine a website’s authority and ultimately ranking, are well within grasp.
It’s also important to understand the difference between branded and unbranded search in improving your winery’s SEO.
Here’s an example of that: There are 600 people each month that search for “Nocking Point wine” and another 1,000 searches for “Leonetti wine.” As you might expect, each of those respective businesses ranks number 1 on Google for those search terms. Your winery should too.
Conversely, there are all sorts of terms that are up for grabs for each of these wineries including location-based terms (like “walla walla wineries”) or vintage and varietal-based ones that they both make like, “2022 Rosé.” On a much bigger scale, there are very general terms that require significant authority to rank for, but can represent hundreds of thousands of visits like, “Cabernet Sauvignon,” or “Syrah.”
So establishing a list of search terms that address your customers is a key starting point. From there, you can refine the list and set realistic and attainable goals and in doing so, unlock web traffic that otherwise would not exist for your site.
Off-Page SEO & Site Authority
Your website’s authority is not limited to content – the old adage, “Content is King” is a bit of a misnomer. If your content never gets viewed, or sits static on an unvisited website, your content is more like a jester, rather than king, and serves as little more than entertainment to you or whoever created it. Don’t get me wrong, content is critical – but in order for it to be regarded with any sort of favor by Google, you either have to have massive site authority in the wine industry, or your content should be specifically authoritative.
Backlinks are how authority is generated.
Effective links and backlinks are a credible means to improve the SEO for wineries. A backlink is a connection from one website to a page on a different website. These are also referred to as inbound links. Backlinks validate your website and offer the nod of approval from one site to another. If a well-regarded wine distributor connects to your website, that will enhance your site’s authority. The more authority, the more likely Google is to rank your site high for related search terms.
Search engines consider these links in their algorithms when they rank responses to a potential customer’s keyword search. Therefore, link building and earning links need to be part of your website development and continual growth. Not all links have the same value, so making connections to and from different sites must be thought through.
Generally this linking effort is called Off-Page SEO and the term encompasses all in-bound links to your website. When you are first starting your webpage, this can feel overwhelming. Just as with all reputations, it does take time to earn one for your website. However, you can explore backlink profiles of websites similar and dissimilar to yours. This will provide ideas for websites to explore connecting with.
Websites without backlinks or spam-related links do not earn positive ranking attributes; actually, they might have lower scores. So, this is a key area to explore.
Using SEO Strategies to Increase Traffic
When it comes to translating organic site visits to actual dollars, it’s important to be both strategic and patient. Understand that unless you’re a newspaper, Google will take its sweet time working your content up the list of search results. This is why when posting on a blog, or writing content, you should be deliberate and thoughtful on what you want to rank for. Most importantly, be consistent.
Building content that is relevant and clear is of the utmost importance. Most wineries I’ve seen take a very honest approach to blog writing and write about things relevant to the winery, which is great. Keeping on eye on analytics will provide an idea as to how people are responding and what sort of traffic you’re gaining from the article.
Managing such content is referred to as on-page SEO. You need to consider all elements that a visitor to your website views. Each page of your website, all the images, all the verbiage – including blog posts and/or newsletters, and sales pages.
Your website is a direct extension of your brand and is an extension of your physical winery. Your website traffic is a direct reflection of website’s content, if you don’t write about it, you probably won’t rank for it. Once you begin ranking, you can begin measuring conversion rates for organic traffic. Typically, the more traffic, the more conversions.
The last element of SEO strategy is assessing your technical component. Another part of the SEO measurement is the durability of your technology base.
One component of your SEO technology is the speed of your pages loading. If a potential customer is browsing with their keywords and accesses your site, but the pages take too long loading, the once potential customer clicks back out. This is called your bounce rate. People expect fast and reliable loading times when searching the internet. Irritated customers are not likely to return.
Page hierarchy is also super important. Having Page titles established, meta descriptions written, mark-up tags in the right place and diverse content like images properly titled will help Google understand the page’s purpose.
Page to page navigation is also part of the SEO process. This measurement expects speed and the establishment internal links. Customers want to move from page to page rapidly and accurately. Internal links also allow you to create your own reference library for various topics written on your winery website.