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5 Winery SEO Tips to Get Your Wine Brand Noticed on Google
If you want to bring more organic traffic to your winery's website, you need to learn SEO. While it is possible to spend a lot of money optimizing your website to rank high in search engine results pages (SERP), it need not cost an arm and a leg.
SEO is one of the most important (and least expensive) things a winery (or craft distillery) can do to increase sales beyond their tasting room and sell more wine online. It is also something that is well within even the smallest winery’s control which feels great. Paying attention to small SEO improvements can make a big difference over time.
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What exactly is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization” and it is all about improving your website to rank higher in search engine rankings (i.e. Google. Yahoo, Bing, etc). These “natural” or “organic” results happen automatically as wine lovers all over the world jump online to search. Some of the most popular searches include keyword phrases such as:
- What is the best Cabernet Sauvignon under $50
- How long should I age my wine?
- What is the best wine for ______ (fill in the blank)?
- Where can I find ____________ wine?
- Are there any wineries near me?
- Is _________ a good wine?
You get the idea. Depending on the types of wines (or spirits) you produce and the price points at which you sell them, you are going to want to “optimize” your website to show up in the search results.
Even small wineries can stand out if they know what to do.
Given the fact that on any given day, there are more than 120,000 wines available in the US market, it can be very hard to stand out. But, the good news is that most of your competitors are asleep at the wheel and the wine industry in general is very far behind other consumer product categories when it comes to wine SEO. NOW is the time to submit to this learning curve!
With this in mind, here are 5 tips for improving your search results and selling more wine:
Tip #1: Do your research.
The best place to start learning about winery SEO is to get on your own computer and start searching for everything you can think of. What you want to look for here are “keyword phrases.” Modern search engines have become so sophisticated, there is a ton you can learn just from studying the search engine results.
You will want to take notes here, so open up a document or spreadsheet on your computer to record your research.
For example, try searching for “best Pinot Grigio under $20” on Google. First, pay close attention to the ads that appear at the top of the page. Next, scroll down PAST the ads and see what the first 3-4 results say. Make a note of the specific search terms AND the website address. Next, look carefully at the “People also Ask” section. This is a treasure trove of knowledge! Google is telling you what else people are searching for related to “best Pinot Grigio under $20.”
Make notes on all these results. You should already have ideas going off in your head about what keywords and keyword phrases you might want to include in your website copy.
Now try searching all of your keyword variations you have uncovered. Keep doing this until you have exhausted all the things that Pinot Grigio lovers are searching for.
Tip #2: Create relevant content.
Armed with lots of research, you can begin planning your content strategy. Do not let this intimidate you. In fact, the simpler the better. There is no benefit to spewing keywords all over the place. Keep it simple, keep it direct.
Sticking with the Pinot Grigio example, when you describe the wine on your website, you should make the description specifically contain language based on your research. You already know what people are searching for:
- What is Pinot Grigio good with?
- Is Pinot Grigio sweet or dry?
- Where is your Pinot Grigo sold?
- Which is drier? Pinot Grigio or Sauvingon Blanc?
Most wineries give no thought whatsoever to what the wine buyer wants to know! This is good news for YOU because you can focus your descriptions and information on what you already know consumers are searching for!
There are multiple places in your marketing efforts to use great content. These places include:
- Various pages of your website
- Your posts on social media
- In your email marketing
- On a blog
It is this last item (creating a blog and posting content to it) that I want to talk about next.
Tip #3 Create a blog.
One of the very best ways to boost your winery's SEO is to add a blog to your website. It is super easy to add this page to your website and begin posting. Most website software comes “pre-wired” for creating and maintaining a blog simply because it is one of the best ways to get more website traffic. If you are new to blogging, I highly recommend this video which will walk you through the basics of how to drive traffic to your website with a blog.
Now, we need to take just a minute to talk about what a blog is. The definition of “blog” has evolved over the years. It’s not just about committing to a regular posting schedule or trying to get subscribers. Think of a modern “blog” as a resource center or library of content. You might have a mix of different articles, videos, recordings of webinars, recipes, and educational materials.
But what if you lack writing skills? Do not let this stop you from having a blog and using the content to drive traffic to your website! You need not have expert writing skills to do solid keyword research. Once you have decided on the keywords you want to rank for and the topic of your post, you can hire someone to write the article for you. I love to write and I think I am very good at it, but even I hire out the writing of content from time to time. The going rate for a 1,000-word blog post is typically around $120. Considering how valuable SEO is, this is a bargain.
Tip #4 Structure your content for maximum effect.
Even the best, most well-written content will fail to drive traffic to your website unless it is properly optimized for search which largely has to do with STRUCTURE.
One of the things Google does best is analyze websites so it can return the very best search results for each user. It is quite mind boggling to fathom how powerful Google’s web crawlers and algorithms can be!
Once your content is written, there are several things you need to do to make sure it gets noticed. The most important are listed below:
- Break up the text into smaller chunks. Google does not like to see long batches of text because they know most people will skip over it. But, breaking your content into smaller paragraphs will alleviate this problem.
- Use lots of subheadings! I like to say you can never have too many subheadings. The reason is most people “skim” an article before they commit to reading it. These subheadings make it very easy to understand the gist of the content while scanning it.
- Break up the text with images. Just make sure your images are captioned and compressed to a small enough size to load quickly. There are many free apps that can help you optimize your images such as Optimizilla.
- Make liberal use of internal links and external links. Internal links link back to content that already exists on your website. External links take viewers to other websites. Very often, you can then get those websites to “link back” to your website (known as “backlinks”) and Google loves to see backlinks!
Tip #5 Have your website audited routinely.
If you are new to SEO or simply want to get more serious about it, having an audit is a great place to start!
An SEO audit will analyze your website and tell you how effectively you are showing up on search engines. An audit will also provide you with a nice checklist of things you can do to improve your website’s performance.
We use a tool called SEMRush but there are many other reliable tools for conducting an SEO audit including Ahrefs and Google Search Console.
Here are some of the things you can learn from an audit:
- Is your website mobile friendly?
- How Google indexes your website
- Evaluate your site speed and receive recommendations to make it faster
- Find and fix broken links or “zombie” pages
- Assess your organic traffic performance
- Identify keywords you are already ranking for
- Analyze your backlinks (and discover which other sites are linking to yours)
We would like to extend an offer to any winery, distillery, cidery, meadery, or RTD brand to have us conduct a complimentary audit of your website.
Do what most of your competitors won’t do.
Getting winery SEO right can be one of the most effective ways to increase your sales. The good news is the wine and spirits industry is so focused on the product itself, we are way behind most consumer product categories when it comes to leveraging digital marketing tactics.
This is great news for winery and distillery owners like YOU because it is an easy way for you to get a leg up on your competitors. We recently surveyed 500 wine company websites and found that most wineries are not fully prepared to sell wine online.
NOW is the time to jump on the SEO bandwagon!
If you are inspired and ready to take action and want to learn more about ALL THE WAYS a winery or distillery can accelerate your sales, please explore our new group membership program called Wine Sales Stimulator. You are literally one click away from more revenue!
We also have a free checklist you can download to help you optimize your winery's digital marketing strategies. It's packed full of helpful marketing checklists to help you sell more wine online. Click below for more information and download your copy today!