For vineyards in the digital age, it’s not enough to just have a great-tasting wine. Having a strong online presence—like a functional website or dazzling social media page—is just as important.
Many companies use SEO techniques to boost their businesses reach. SEO can help you and your wine business move products, promote events, connect with potential merchants, and reach your target customers.
Here’s everything you need to know about SEO for wineries or vineyards.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
When your customers type in a relevant search term like “pinot noir [your location]”, they get a list of results on a search engine results page (SERP). Wine SEO, or search engine optimization is a set of tools, techniques, and methodologies that boost your website’s ranking. Getting you on the first page of the results is a great way to reach your customers before your competitors can.
Why Do Wineries need SEO?
The wine industry is particularly competitive, so you need to do everything you can to come out on top. A good SEO strategy can help you get that edge.
Reach Your Customers
SEO is very different from other online marketing practices; customers come to you, not the other way around! They are already looking for what you have to offer, and you don’t have to convince them to buy your wines. Instead, implementing effective SEO for wineries helps these customers find you, learn about your product, and contact you for more information.
Ranking higher in Google’s search engine results page won’t earn you money directly, but it will give you the next best thing: website traffic. A higher ranking (especially that coveted first-place spot) means a higher likelihood that your customers will click on YOUR website, not your competitor’s. The more clicks you get, the better the chances that one of those clicks will convert into a sale.
If other wineries and vineyards in your area aren’t already on the SEO train, you can really set yourself apart and tell your customers what makes yours special. SEO makes your business appear more credible and authoritative. Plus, SEO requires you to create content for your customers that is useful and relevant; your customers will appreciate that you’re providing value, not just trying to sell them your wine.
SEO For Wineries: Techniques To To Boost Your Vineyard’s Rankings
SEO isn’t just one thing, it’s a series of practices you can implement to help boost your search engine index rating. In this guide, we’ll go through all the steps you can take to bring your winery business above and beyond.\
1. Keyword Research
SEO matters because you want people to find your company when they search for a relevant keyword or phrase. When coming up with the keywords you want to focus on, brainstorm some phrases and topics that relate to your business.
It’s important to choose keywords that are relevant yet not too broad, such as “wine”. It’ll be very difficult to rank for that term! Plus, more people search for what is called “long-tail keywords”, or keywords that are four words or longer, such as “best merlot winery in Melbourne.” The more keywords you can come up with, the better!
You can use SEO tools such as the Google keyword search tool and SEMrush to find the keywords you should target. Look for high-volume search terms, that is terms with a lot of monthly searches. These are more likely to bring in traffic than search terms that rarely anybody looks for.
Not only will using keyword research help you rank better in the search engine results page, but you’ll also find out the kind of content your customers are looking for. That will help you out a lot in the next step.
2. Quality Content
The backbone of any good SEO plan is your content. This is one of the biggest contributing factors to your ranking. Once you have your focus keywords, you can start writing good-quality content around those topics. The kind of content you can create is limitless, whether you want a short blog, a long article, a services page on your site, or even an infographic.
It’s important to incorporate your keywords into your content so that Google can rank you better for those search terms. However, don’t just stuff keywords left an right! In this case, more isn’t always better. Google is sophisticated enough to weed out content they think is just spam.
When in doubt, write for your customers, not the search engine. Create actual useful, valuable content that answers some of their biggest questions about your industry. Give them information on the differences between the wines you offer or write an article about what kind of wines go with which types of food. Be creative, be unique, be relevant.
Search engines greatly prefer quality over quantity, but a good rule of thumb is to go for long-form articles (1000-2000+ words) and update your blog regularly. Longer articles mean that you can add more information and therefore more value, so try to hit those numbers. Constantly churning out new content tells Google that your website tries to be beneficial to its users, which will likely help increase your rankings.
Want a quick way to help out your website? If you post PDF files of your wine list, your tasting notes, or anything else that is relevant to your business, try creating a content page for them instead! Search engines can’t crawl your files for keywords, so put that great content on-page and see your ranking soar.
3. Link Building
Google admitted that, next to quality content, backlinks are one of the most important determining factors in your search engine results page ranking. Backlinks are basically when another website links back to yours. Backlinks only count inbound links, so adding more outbound links in your web content doesn’t help.
Backlinks are important because it acts as a vote of confidence. When a website links back to you, it tells Google that your content is relevant, accurate, trustworthy, and high-quality. You get even bigger points if the website is an authority in your niche, like a news site, popular wine blog, or a major winery.
The more your website content gets featured and referenced (and by the right people), the better your rankings. One way you can encourage better backlinks is by guest blogging for popular wine blogs and linking back to your site. This helps you create valuable connections within the wine industry, promote your vineyard to a new audience, AND raise your search engine rankings.
Be careful about websites that sell backlinks! Google weeds out millions of these so-called companies that try to game their indexing algorithm. Focus on getting quality backlinks from trusted websites and the rest will follow.
4. User-Friendly Website
SEO is more than just your on-page content, it also involves a ton of off-page tweaks! Believe it or not, your website code holds the key to better search engine results page rankings.
As we’ve mentioned before, Google rewards you for being useful to your customers. That extends to how user-friendly your website is. Amazing, optimized content won’t do much if readers can’t access your website!
Because of this, having a fast-loading website is absolutely crucial. Customers who wait too long for your site to load will likely get frustrated and just exit the screen.
You also want your website to be well-organized and structured appropriately. Navigation should be intuitive. Information should be easy to find. Having a navigation bar or menu gives users a much more seamless experience.
It’s also important that your website be responsive, a.k.a. it should function just as well on any devices. Over 60% of searches are conducted on phones or tablets, so not having a mobile-friendly website will lose you valuable customers and cost you a good Google ranking.
5. Local SEO
For most businesses, especially a local winery like yourself, local SEO is more important than general SEO practices. 30% of mobile searches are limited to a specific location, so going local will help you reach the customers who are actually near you.
Make sure to register your businesses with the important online directories such as:
- Facebook Places
- Trip Advisor
- Yellow Pages
Ensure that your information is consistent across every directory. Details such as your address, contact info, operating hours, and email should match so that Google—and your customers—aren’t confused.
Encourage your customers to leave you reviews on these websites. More reviewed businesses get better rankings. Additionally, it gives you a chance to listen and respond to your customers’ comments and make your business better.
Results don’t happen overnight, especially with search engine optimization. SEO is a slow, ongoing process that you have to keep doing to stay on top of the game. Done right, SEO can help your winery crawl up the rankings and attract more customers to your vineyard or shop.
SEO is an absolute MUST for your winery or vineyard. Outrank your competitors, attract more customers, and see your business flourish. Contact us today to get an expert’s help on an SEO strategy for your website.