Consumers today use their computers and mobile devices to research products before they make a decision to buy. To attract these consumers, you need an attractive, user-friendly website to provide a firm foundation for your business. It needs not only to exist; it needs to attract visitors, answer their questions, and entice them to buy.
Here are my top 5 suggestions to improve your chances of “Getting Found” online. I’ve included some of my favorite winery websites that do a remarkable job.
1) Remarkable Content
Search engines and people like fresh content. Content is what drives visitors to your website and keeps them coming back. Remember, customers want you to solve their problems, educate them, and offer value. One of my favorite winery websites that consistently offers timely fresh content is St. James Winery in Missouri. The photos are colorful, the messages are timely, and the headlines grab your attention.
Why blog? Blogging helps establish you as an authority in your industry. By blogging you create more pages with fresh content which is great for Search Engine Optimization. (SEO is a whole topic on its own, maybe another article) Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors. I like wineries who have blog posts from different winery staff on topics that they are passionate about. Oliver Winery in Indiana includes blog posts about vineyard progress, new releases, and recipes with wine pairing suggestions such as Blue Cheese Potato Chips with sparkling Vidal (I think I have died and gone to heaven…), all from different winery staff contributors. Visitors want to connect with the winery, and putting a face to the name allows that customer engagement. Make weekly blog posts that are 300 – 500 words to keep your visitors coming back. Include a RSS feed button (Really Simple Syndication) to make it easy for followers to get updates. (Another favorite winery blog is from Lynfred Winery in Illinois. Check it out.)
3) Calls to Action
A call to action is an image or text that suggests a visitor buy, subscribe, or click for more information. When they click here, they are directed to a landing page that collects their contact information or to shopping cart to make a purchase. Fox Run Winery in New York does a great job of this with the Join Now call to action. Calls to action should be spread across your web pages but the home page must have at least one and could have several to target different buyers.
4) Mobile Friendly
In 2011, website traffic via mobile devices was up 102% from the previous year, according to the Walker Sands Quarterly Web Traffic Report. Smartphone ownership nearly doubled in 2011. With statistics like that, the important thing is to make sure your website is easy to view and navigate when accessed by mobile devices. Chateau Chantal and Black Star Farms have exceptional, mobile friendly websites. The mobile versions are easy to read, the contact information is listed first, and they offer menu choices for navigation to find what you are looking for.
5) Promote with Social Media
Encourage visitors to talk about and share your website pages and posts with their friends. Adding social sharing buttons is a simple and effective way to boost page views. Follow Buttons versus Share Buttons: Social media follow buttons allow your visitors to follow your business on social media sites and generate fans or followers for those accounts. Social media share buttons allow website visitors to easily share your content from website pages or blog articles expanding the reach of your audience. Check out Salado Winery in Texas for their example of social sharing buttons.
While having a website alone isn’t going to bring you business, it should be an essential piece of your marketing strategy. Today’s buyer wants to find information when they want and how they want. This is why having an effective website is crucial for attracting more visitors to your business. If your winery website is over 5-7 years old, the html code is probably outdated, and the site needs to be updated to ensure the above website features can be optimized. Contact me to evaluate your website and for website marketing strategies to apply the above ideas and improve your winery website.