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Sell More Wine with SEO and Corksy

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The wine industry is at a critical turning point in many ways, including on the digital frontier. Today’s wine drinker likes to buy and drink at home, but they’re willing to try little-known wineries from across the country. This trend towards curious, adventurous wine buying is a potential bonus for your wine business.

But to make the most of wine buying trends, you’ll need an easy-to-operate eCommerce wine website that’s optimized to rank higher in search engine results. Wineries that embrace an optimized online presence will thrive, attracting wine buyers who are enthusiastic about your products and loyal to your winery.

So for your winery to meet wine buyers where they are (at home!), you’ll need to adapt your business and your selling techniques.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the master key that unlocks the potential for growth as a winery in a digital world.

But what is it? And where to start? We’ve got some answers for you:

What Is SEO?

SEO is a group of strategies that help your business rank better online. Your place in online search results is called your organic ranking, and when your organic ranking is high, it’s easy for your potential customers to find you.

To improve your ranking in search results, you’ll need to structure your website strategically behind the scenes. SEO tactics do just that, adjusting the design, layout, and the on-page material (like your “About” page or any wine descriptions) to make them more attractive to search engines.

The 4 categories of a good strategy for any winery are:

Local SEO

As you might guess, local SEO focuses on the wine buyers who are searching for local wineries. These are the people who type “winery near me” into Google to find the best local results for wineries. People planning a vacation might also use local search terms like “winery in Houston, TX” to find a winery to visit while they’re relaxing in the (blistering) Texas sun.

Local SEO helps those physically closest to your business find you first. To use local SEO tactics, you’ll want to make it clear that you are, in fact, local.

First, determine the local SEO search terms that wine drinkers are likely to use to find local wineries. These are usually phrases that include the product or experience they’re searching for (like “wine tasting” or “winery”) as well as the name of your local area (“Houston”, “Texas”, or maybe “South Texas”). So, for our example winery, a popular search phrase might be “wine tasting in South Texas”.

Local SEO also involves claiming and maintaining your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), encouraging online reviews, and getting listed on websites that spotlight local attractions. This is the perfect time to make sure that your business address and contact information are accurate and consistent across all of these sites. Consistency is a key part of smart local SEO practice!

Technical SEO

Technical SEO sounds tricky, but it’s more straightforward than you might think. Technical SEO includes any measures in the technical “backend” of a website that make it easier for users to find and navigate the website.

There’s a lot of information that we, as humans, might not notice on a webpage but which search engines love. Descriptions of images and of the web pages themselves might not be immediately obvious to a human reader, but if you’re looking for an image description and you can’t find one, you’re likely to be frustrated. 

This type of data on a website is called “metadata”, and search engines always look for it. When they find descriptive and accurate metadata on your website, they’re more likely to give it a higher search ranking.

Another aspect of technical SEO on a website that humans take for granted is the navigation. A poorly-laid-out website is frustrating to navigate, leaving wine drinkers clicking in circles to find the type of wine they want. Search engines can see straight away whether users have a hard time navigating a website, and they’ll demote websites that don’t prioritize ease-of-use.

Content SEO (On-page)

Search engines also look for clues that the information you include on your website is directly related to the search terms wine drinkers use to look for wine online. If wine drinkers spend time on your website reading product descriptions and clicking onto other pages for more helpful information, search engines notice and reward your website with higher search rankings.

To entice buyers to stay on your website longer, it needs to include high-quality content that keeps them reading. Every word on your website needs to attract the right wine buyers and keep them interested. Homepage copy that catches their attention is a great start. A library of blogs that share relevant and interesting information is even better.

When your on-page content strikes a chord with your ideal buyers, they’ll stay longer on your website. In turn, search engines will notice that you’re delivering good content for wine buyers, and they’ll rank your website higher in search results.

Link Building (Off-page)

Off-page SEO refers to the SEO tactics that aren’t actually on your website. Links back to your website from other websites are called “backlinks” – kind of like a reference for your website.

The more backlinks that link to your website, the more credible it’ll be to search engines. Building relationships with brands (that aren’t competitors) in connected industries is a good way to get quality backlinks to your website.

The Practicals – what SEO really looks like

Practically speaking, SEO involves: 

  • Fixing technical issues in your website design that impacts SEO
  • Creating quality industry-related content for greater website relevance and authority
  • Optimizing local listings and maps for effective local leads
  • Building links from other websites to increase digital credibility and targeted traffic 
  • Improving your website’s user experience to attract and retain visitors, like increasing page load speed

Meeting Customers’ Desires

SEO helps your winery or vineyard draw a direct line from the customer’s desire to your unique wine product. It helps your ideal customer find you, and it helps eliminate customers who aren’t part of your target audience. 

But to do that, you need to understand who your target audience is, what they look for in a winery or vineyard, and what makes your product uniquely attractive to them.

The online market is and always will be oversaturated with ads – and on a psychological level, people tend to instinctively mistrust  “Sponsored” search results while browsing.

SEO is the opposite – it allows your website to meet those who may already be interested or even ready to buy your wine directly. Over time, it increases your website traffic and helps you establish a more loyal and interested customer base.

Organic Traffic vs. Ad Spend

SEO supports your ranking in organic search results. So, you won’t appear in the “Sponsored” section of Google’s search results unless you’ve paid for an ad. But that’s okay.

Ads only work as long as you pay for them. SEO constantly works in the background, only requires a bit of effort up front, and best of all, it doesn’t cost you anything to keep it running. 

Better yet, the traffic from SEO actually compounds over time, whereas ads generally plateau and continue to burn cash to stay effective.

The Benefits of SEO for Your Winery or Vineyard

So why should you approach your wine SEO more strategically? There are both immediate and long-term benefits:

Expense vs. Investment

Marketing expenses may seem like an outgoing expenditure at first, especially if you only use paid ads for your winery marketing.

But SEO is an investment. It’s a long-term strategy that, once implemented, continues to generate a return without additional time or money. You can think of SEO like a savings account with a good interest rate and paid ads like a slot machine. Sure, you may hit it big on the slots. But over time, you’ll see better returns from a savings account that continues to work on your behalf, year after year.

Getting Found

Not every wine drinker is your ideal customer. SEO helps your ideal potential customer find your website. The customer who’s most likely to buy a bottle. The customer who’s most likely to return to your website because it resonates with them on a deeper level.

Good SEO leverages customer awareness, interest, desire, and loyalty. It benefits your wine brand, attracting customers that want to buy your products. And it benefits wine buyers, helping them find the vineyard or winery they want more quickly.

Sell More Wine

The best bit is that, if you get more eyes on your website, and those eyes are potential customers who are looking for wineries or vineyards just like yours, you’re more likely to sell more bottles.

Good content helps you and your ideal customer find one another. When you get more of those ideal matches, you’ll see growth in tastings, wine sales, and overall revenue – all just from getting your digital house in order, and making it visible to the right online community.

Does Wine SEO Really Work?

SEO will take 3-6 months to see significant results, but the long-term benefits are well worth the effort. 

You’ll see increased targeted traffic from interested searchers, and organic and compounding growth from the influx of website visitors.

Google and other search engines will see your website as an online authority, boosting your existing marketing platforms and efforts, as you’ll be reaching the right areas for future customers to find you online.

So, Where Do I Start with SEO for Wineries?

First, it’s important to know yourself and your business goals – what’s your brand identity, and how do you present yourself online? Where do you want to grow? 

Next, you need to define your target audience and understand the values that drive their purchasing decisions. Then, identify the unique features of your winery or vineyard that make them want to buy from your brand.

Finally, implement the practical steps we’ve outlined to match those growth goals – you can start high-level with the strategies we’ve mentioned, and even optimize some of your website features today, including generating valuable content for your ideal customers.

SEO is worth the effort – but it can take some effort to get the ball rolling! It helps to have a professional in your court to advise and even handle the nitty-gritty tasks of making your winery or vineyard website the most attractive and effective it can be. 

If you are looking for a DIY guide, check out the winery SEO starter guide. If you’re looking for an expert to you it for you, schedule a free call with Kru Marketing. To learn more about a first-class winery eCommerce platform, you can get in touch with Corksy.

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