SEO, or search engine optimization, may seem like a mysterious and intimidating concept. But with a little up-front work, you can make SEO a key element of your winery's digital marketing strategy and a DTC revenue driver – with zero media dollars needed!
If you feel lost on how to get started, let’s step through the process of identifying keywords and understanding how search engines like Google and Bing rank webpages when displaying search results.
First, let’s start with the basics. Otherwise known as organic search or natural search, SEO is the practice of improving the visibility of your website in a search engine's unpaid search results. You do this by optimizing your webpages to rank organically for targeted keywords. But how?
You have free tools at your disposal, such Google AutoSuggest, Soovle and AnswerThePublic, to generate as many keyword ideas as you can. Work as a group with your winery team. Have fun with it! Once you have brainstormed a list of keywords, move on to step 3.
The trick to selecting the best keyword phrase is ensuring it has enough interest from searchers, as indicated by search volume or monthly average searches. Narrow down your keywords based on relevance using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to see what the search volume is – and maybe generate some additional ideas while you’re at it.
On the flipside, the keywords you select can't be so broad that they will be hard to rank. You can use tools like Ubersuggest (again!) to see what the SEO difficulty is – i.e. how many other wine brands are already using this phrase. Don’t select keywords that would be an uphill battle for you.
For example, the keyword phrase “red wine” would be much more competitive than “Napa red wine” – so focusing on a phrase like “Napa red wine” would be easier to rank in the search results page. Use the Google search results page to see what the competition looks like. Ask yourself, should you rank alongside these other listings?
You can start by looking at the pages of your website that you want to show up in a search engine. Then decide which search query (keyword or keyword phrase) someone would use to find each page, using the research from steps 1-4. For example, if you have a page about your organic growing practices, perhaps you optimize that page to show up for the keyword “organic vineyard.” Go through the exercise of mapping each page to a relevant keyword or keyword phrase.
This foundational work is so important to do before we get into the actual optimizations on your website. And once you complete these steps, you'll want to check out Part 2 in this series, 5 Easy SEO Elements You Can Optimize Today. In the meantime, here are 10 more tips on how to improve your winery website.
If your team needs website design assistance, WineDirect has a roster of certified designers available, and a consultant at Modern Digital is always here for help and personalized training to enable you to take your business to the next level.