July 21, 2011

An SEO guide for Wineries Part 1

posted by mark in Winery SEO Guide

So you want to SEO your winery’s website

That’s absolutely fantastic! You’re bound to get increased traffic and visibility in the search engines. Making it easier for your fans to find you is a noble goal, and it doesn’t have to be mystifying or difficult. Let’s start with one simple rule: When you publish content on your website, first make sure that a robot can find it and can understand what you’re trying to say.

What’s a robot? A robot (in search engine terms) is a piece of code that reads through your website looking for great content. Every search engine has its own robot, and depending on the size of the search engine and website, sometimes the robot can be fairly active. For example, the Google robot visits an average of 570,000 pages per day on Snooth.

As I said, the robot is looking for great content, but it needs your help to find it. If the robot can’t find your content, then you have no chance of ranking in search engines when users are searching for you. If you focus on clearing a path for the robot, then you have a fighting chance to rank in the search engines. Read on and I’ll explain how.

But I don’t want robots scraping my site! That makes sense to me. You worked hard to create your website and your content, and at first blush the idea of a robot coming and stealing it seems horrible. If you want to, you can block robots from visiting and reading through your site by following the instructions on the robots.txt site. Personally, I recommend a change of heart. The content that’s out there on the web belongs to everyone. It’s public because it’s posted and hosted publicly. The best thing for your brand and your business is to get credit for all of your great content. “Credit” comes in the form of increased audience and reach. Sharing content is what the web is all about. Sharing strengthens your brand and helps you build a larger following. If I’ve convinced you or I’m preaching to the choir, great! Let’s get your winery’s website SEO ready.

What will follow in the coming weeks is a step by step guide to address any issues that might exist on your current site. It’s written specifically for a winery owner, but the techniques are useful for other websites as well. I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments as well. This is, after all, about your site and growing your business. I’m hoping we’ll have the chance to do a few case studies on winery websites, so if you’re interested in having me take a look you can post that in the comments as well (Hey, who doesn’t like free advice!).

Structure of this Guide
This guide will end up being composed of around 20 posts. I believe that SEO touches on so many fundamentals of building great websites that in order to do a great job of explaining it we need to start at the basics and work our way up. To add some context I expect it to break down like this:

Parts 1-8: Understanding the fundamentals of Search Engines and Websites and Users
Parts 9-15: Let’s roll up our sleeves and talk about concrete steps to SEOing a winery website
Parts 16-20: Site audits – let’s look at some sites that are already out there and talk about what they could do better

Again, if you have any questions for me please don’t hesitate to ask!

Ready to move on? Proceed to Part 2: Not All Content is Created Equal

by Kirsy · July 22, 2011 at 10:43 am

Much looking forward to the upcoming post! This is very useful for anyone in a small company lacking a tech department (wine related or not). Gracias!

by Christian Godfirnon · August 8, 2011 at 8:57 am

I’m an importer of Spanish wines.It’s a passion for me. I taste about
1000 wines a year. I in business for about 20 years.

by Ali · August 10, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Thanks for the info. As Kirsy said, this is extremely helpful for a small winery without a tech guru, and not enough time to scour the internet for resources.

I’m a little nervous when I say this, but we would welcome your SEO input on our current website. We’re in the process of redesigning to add new features, so the timing is perfect, and we would appreciate any insight.


by mark · August 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Ali – I’ll be happy to take a look! Thanks for putting yourself out there.

by Marie-Ora · October 1, 2011 at 11:40 am

Thank-you for this very helpful advice. Although I would not tar every SEO expert with the same brush, there are so many ‘experts’ that will happily take your money and give you very little in return. I have a site and a blog specialising in the pronunciation of food and wine brand names and I find it very difficult to find my SEO feet. As far as it related to wines, you are welcome to use my site as a test subject. I really appreciate seeing this info on Snooth btw, and not having to wade through truckloads of SEO experts on the web – it can be difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat. Great posts!

by santiago · October 2, 2011 at 5:12 am

We are working so hard in our web site http://www.vinus.com that this information is very usefull for me and our “on line team”. We love wine, we sell spanish wine in Spain for eight years in our seven wine shops in Barcelona and other spanish locations.
Thanks, we apreciate this help!

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