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Sheri Hebbeln
 
December 11, 2015 | Sheri Hebbeln

The importance of Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization is a must for every business. Search engines are inherent to the shopping experience of today's online consumer, and RetailingToday shared data from GE Capital Retail Bank that underscores this reality. According to the results, 60 percent of consumers begin product research through a search engine before making a large purchase. For your winery, this could mean potential shoppers search for information on their favorite varietals, compare common prices, seek out tasting room events and inquire about the best wine clubs to join. With this in mind, you should ensure their online presence is optimized for the highest search engine ranking.

Here are five tips to keep in mind:

1. Ensure mobile friendliness
Mobile friendliness is one of the most important parts of a strong SEO strategy. Search Engine Watch noted that as of April 2015, Google favors sites optimized for the mobile experience. Considering the impressive growth of mobile shopping in recent years, this is even more important.  You can take steps to optimize their sites for mobile by leveraging responsive design and using Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to determine how much work needs to be done.

2. Publish custom content
Custom content is also crucial for SEO. The Content Marketing Institute pointed out Google will only direct traffic to sites that create custom, high-quality content. For wineries, this could mean authoring a blog on wine or providing tasting guides for users to download. CMI also shared a handful of criteria Google considers when analyzing content:

  • Expert-level writing.
  • Excellent user experience.
  • Content published consistently.
  • Interaction with other sources.
  • Providing easily accessible contact information.
  • Keeping the content new and fresh.

Custom content is also an opportunity for wineries to incorporate search-friendly keywords in a meaningful way throughout the site.

3. Use high-quality images
You can go a long way toward driving traffic to your site by including high-quality images in your product pages. In fact, A/B testing has revealed larger product images increase sales by about 10 percent. The combination of large, high-quality images and keyword-driven alt text will help your site move closer to the top of search results.

4. Pay attention to wording
Wording throughout an online store is crucial to SEO success.  Conduct thorough keyword research and develop a strategy for each page that will garner the most results. By tapping into keyword insights from Google AdWords, you will optimize custom content, product descriptions and even their URLs for improved search traffic.

5. Incorporate interactive features
Finally, interactive features can improve search results. Product videos, 3D features, high-quality images and other interactive elements vastly improve the customer experience. In addition, these features make a site more likely to appear at the top of Google's search results.

Search engines like Google favor websites that offer consumers the best experience possible, because those interactions directly reflect on the search engine's credibility. By optimizing for search, you can increase sales for your winery as well as guest satisfaction.

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