How To Create A Website For A Winery That Rocks
So you want to create a website for your winery. Great!
Are you starting a new venture from scratch, or are you just giving an online dimension to a well-established elixir-producing company?
Either way, congratulations!
And welcome to the right place to get valuable information, be your business a winery, wine bar, wine
Wineries are amazing enterprises. We at 2000ft love to work with them.
Not only because we sometimes accidentally receive, ehm, free samples , mostly because there’s an energy, a deep bond with values we cherish.
That doesn’t mean it’s an easy task, to create a solid, beautiful and effective website for a winery.
There is a number of challenges to overcome, on our 4D material world as it is in the digital one.
Competition gets tougher by the day, regulation isn’t getting any looser, the food and drinks industry has been going through a a revolution that is reshaping the way we produce, buy and consume wine and beverages.
If you want to create a website for a winery, call us.
Meanwhile, we summarize for you here below 10 reasons why you should reach us out and how we could help.
For the purpose of this post, we presume you don’t desire a mere online store, but a more comprehensive website showcasing your business 360-degree.
You’re welcome 😉
For a winery, brand means really a lot.
It’s not enough to have a delightful wine: people need to trust you on that. To trust, they need to taste. To taste, they first have to feel the strength of your brand.
If business-wise you have already come a long way, bring your offline-built brand to the online world: logo, colours, lines, shapes, fonts.
Don’t be different on the Internet from who you are among your vine rows and barrels. Don’t be baronial online if you are laid-back offline.
Don’t appeal to different customers – unless it’s a precise and well-managed business choice – or your brand will be shattered.
We have had winemakers who wanted to conquer too many segments through an investment and an effort that could merely garder a couple of them.
It didn’t go well.
If, as a winegrower, you want to sell premium vintage to wealthy customers, moderately-prized less-sophisticated rosé to youth, aristofunky vermuts to yuppies and on-site vineyard experiences to families, you need to do it well.
We at 2000ft can help you translate this all to a website for a winery.
We can help you creating and silo-ing your content; we can help you setting and managing your social media accounts to reach the audience you intend with the message you want.
We can coordinate your online presence in a pool of websites, which is also a sound option.
The two golden rules here are:
- Go out, speak your voice, shape your brand. Offline and online.
If you don’t, you will leave others to do the job for you, and it is quite a bad idea.
- Be consistent.
We may like them or not, but rules are rules. We have to comply.
In most countries, selling or advertising alcohol is strictly regulated.
But even if it was not, you would still want to cover your back.
In the US, for example, the TTB is the authority: the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
In there (but not only) you have to make absolutely clear that what you market is intended for adults, normally older than 21 years old.
Now, that can be troublesome on social media and other advertising mediums.
Nonetheless, on the website of your winery, you have full control: you are normally required to put a warning at the very beginning of the user journey.
Something on the line of this:
If the age calculated from the entered date of birth does not match the legal requirements, the access is denied.
In most cases, that’s what it takes to comply.
There’s also the option of producing different kinds of filters according to the user’s IP location, in order to show up a different message.
On top of that, you may need to publish information about licenses you have received, released by the relevant authorities: permits to farm, ferment, distil and distribute wines and spirits may vary.
It may also be the case if you hold special certification like organic, vegan or other sorts of labels.
Please be aware that all we mention here does not constitute under any circumstance a legal advise.
We are nerds, not lawyers. If you need guidance about this, please contact a local legal advisor.
#3 A premium visual experience
If you work in a bucolic valley, you want to highlight that fact in the website of your winery.
If you don’t, do not despair.
If your grapes are grown in a setting which rustic views cannot rival with those of Borgogne or Napa, you still can show your best possible image.
A good photographer, a skilled videomaker and a great web designer can pour the beauty of your offline winery into your online face.
Offer awesome pictures.
New buds, blue ripe grapes, morning dew on green leaves.
The mesmerizing simmetry of view rows, the frolicsome atmosphere of the harvest, the giant barrels in your cellar.
There is a lot to offer to your user’s eyes, other than a grainy 150px x 150px picture of a bottle.
We can say the same about videos.
You don’t need to call Mr Spielberg or hire David Attenborough: brief clips can yield a lot.
Because you know it better than us: wines and spirits have a huge emotional component.
One cannot stress enough how important it is to play the emotional chord.
And this leads us to another very important point.
#4 An impressive About Us page
Products are important, but a big part of them is the person behind them.
That’s not to be forgotten, in a website for a winery.
We connect to one person. To one group of persons. To a family.
That’s the huge advantage family-run businesses have over hedge funds-owned companies: hedge funds do not have a welcoming face.
This is a core principle of marketing and you need to use it to your favour in your website.
The humanity factor enables you to compete on equal grounds with corporations like LVMH, conglomerates investing yearly dozens of millions of euros on marketing.
That’s why you need in your website a gorgeous About Us page.
Many companies are afraid to introduce themselves to their audience.
That’s a fatal mistake.
You are not obliged to be on camera if you dislike it – although, mark our words, it can be enormously beneficial.
You do however need to tell a story: how come your coupage is so special, what does your winery mean to you, when and how did you start, how much plonk you had to sip before to find the right recipe.
Without knowing you, why should a customer be enticed to pay you a visit and buy your bottles?
One thing we saw in our years of webbing, businesses showing their souls have a much better success rate than those who don’t.
In the digital world, we talk about increased traffic, total sessions, new users, active users, signup, session durations.
That translates into increased revenues, as simple as that.
In a website for a winery, given the archaeotypal significance wine has in our society, your About Us page is therefore more important than for any other business.
#5 Design a slick website for your winery
Design is part and parcel of brand, usability, visual appeal, conversion power… well, summarizing: of everything.
Websites for wineries have been going through all the trends we have been observing elsewhere.
Flash animations, bright (and terrible ) colours, fonts… quite ugly too and brief adventures to 3D design before to pass on to simpler yet impressive solutions.
We now have video background headers with drone-captured videos, one page websites, high-definition backlit white glasses so realistic you can almost scent their fruity bouquet.
In a field so visual- and emotion-focused such as wine & spirits, design is paramount.
High quality appearance and extraordinary UX powered by a reliable infrastructure.
Ah, and well, the capacity to look marvellous on both mobile and desktop: definitely not an easy goal.
At 2000ft, we delight ourselves producing websites equally astounding on any device.
Ring a bell and let us give you a hand (and a mouse).
Videos have the amazing power of captivating people’s attention in a way pictures and texts cannot.
If you make use of videos in the website of your winery and you do it the right way, be sure good things will happen.
Visits will go up. Time spent on your website will go up.
Google will detect it and deduct hmm, this website interests a lot of people, let’s rank it higher in my pages.
And that’s (also) how eventually you rank number one on Google. This is a simplification, albeit correct.
Tell a piece of your winery through videos:
- the history of it,
- how vines are cultivated,
- the crucial moments of the grape cycle,
- how wines come to life and age,
- suggest pairings,
- let your audience know you participate to contexts,
- etc etc.
If you go organic, scream it out. If yours is a multigenerational enteprise, stress it: put the elders and the kids on camera.
If Robert Parker visits you, capture the moment and surprise your audience.
#7 Sell your products and services through your winery website
Other than being obliged and brand awareness, you would want to sell your products through the website of your winery.
Running an online store is a discipline on its own.
Too many entrepreneurs believe it is just about tell the IT guy:
Hey, add me a shopping cart somewhere in the Homepage.
Ehm, it doesn’t work like that.
Selling online is just every bit as difficult as selling offline.
Nonetheless, the initiative may become highly lucrative, if planned and executed carefully.
The range of options is wide and it depends on a number of factors:
- What are your overal business goals
- How much do you plan to sell online (and offline)
- What’s your price policy
- What’s your budget
- How much eCommerce-savvy personnel you can count on
- Where and to whom do you want to sell
- Etc etc.
WooCommerce is a viable option. Online wine retailers are too. Huge marketplaces like Amazon may be another.
There is no one-size-fit-all solution here.
But then, services are not a negligible source of income either, for wineries.
Wine tours, tastings, harvesting workshops… there is a breadth of experiences you may want to advertise through your website.
From our tech side, we have seen at the very least calendars and booking systems implemented.
But also virtual tours, testimonials about how awesome was to celebrate Mike and Gilda’s wedding anniversary with a Gran Cru tasting or tread grapes by foot the harvest day.
More broadly, you should conceive your whole digital presence as a brutal selling machine.
And to go brutal, compelling copywriting is a great weapon.
We at 2000ft have seen awesome growth thanks to that.
Contact us if you’re wondering what it can do to your business.
#8 Contant info and location
If you sell bulk on a B2B basis, this section may not be as relevant – we wouldn’t hide the info either, though.
If you go B2C, however, that is something else entirely.
You need to make immediately and absolutely clear to the users some basic information.
One more click and you will have lost them.
Here you are:
The location of your business
You know it because you live there or you drive there every day, but can someone from 100 kms away understand how to get there in the blink of an eye?
Oftentimes, a winery isn’t located next to a major infrastructure.
Make as visible as you can an enlargeable map, your address and your GPS coordinates.
And we beg you: do the same on your Google My Business profile.
Your opening time
You never got upset when you showed up somewhere or phoned, only to find out you were the only one out there?
Many wineries fail to update bank holidays schedules or they do not advise when due to celebrations some part of the premises may be unavailable to general visitors.
So, if the routine of your winery is interrupted, let people know through your website – and Google My Business and social media.
Your email and phone number
Be professional. Don’t make available email accounts you never open, don’t put in the French version of your website phone numbers of personnel unable to speak French.
Do you sell blue wine to rogue hipsters like those guys? Communicate millennial-ly.
Do you sell Grand Réserve to Bentley owners? Speak and write as classy as you can possibly be.
#9 Content Marketing is pure stamina for wine-related websites
Content Marketing is a powerful tool to drive traffic and sales.
Here you have another reason why you should put time and effort in this.
Consider this bewildering truth:
Most wineries do not know what Content Marketing is.
They know about good quality videos and pictures.
They make substantial investment in Public Relations, trade shows, paid ads in press and PPC campaigns.
But no Content Marketing.
They don’t know what they’re losing.
In countries where wine is still perceived as an elitist product, a winemaker can target through Content Marketing the uniformed bulk of consumers with little, informative guides hosted in a section of their websites.
They could call them Get Started With Wine– or, if they target millennials, How To Pretend Like You Know Wine-guides.
Content Marketing is like throwing fish nets out into the sea.
If you do it right, you’ll catch a lot of them.
Talk about white, red, rosé wines. Sparkling wines, ice wines, alcohol-free wines (yes, yes).
Talk about vintage, coupage. Talk about spirits, pairings, prizes.
Talk about how to enjoy your products with family and friends and colleagues, at home or at your winery.
Content marketing is an excellent tool to implement in a website like yours, as most players in the market neglect it.
Give value to your customers.
Be informative and pepper your content with your own magic.
A customer of ours plow his land with a horse: you are quite sure he talks about it in his website!
Another does not use sulphites, another runs a 100% organic farm and another manages a 0% waste-certified enterprise.
These are major examples, but there’s no need to go extremely special, to have something to say.
The only thing you should care about is to let someone skilled take care of your Content Marketing.
It is not just about writing one or two paragraph. It is important to know the matter and to write skillfully, but even more important is to be knowledgeable about writing for a digital medium with an eye (or both) on SEO.
If you write for a website, you write for your user – and for Google.
Respect this fact.
If you give your Content Marketing to someone who doesn’t know, it’s like trying to make yourself be heard in the middle of the crowd – but you’re mute and you don’t know it.
And given that Content Marketing is effective but slow to catch up, it will take months and years before to realize you did it wrong all the way.
Content Marketing, however, only makes sense in the broader context of SEO.
#10 Winery-specialized SEO
If a user tap the name of your company into Google, he should see a little box popping up on the upper right side of the screen, showing the most meaningful info about it at a glance.
That’s a first step.
On the main body of the search result page, you should rank first, at the very least when the search term is your business name.
That is not the case, all too often. How come?
Because some other websites have been doing SEO better than you.
They were able to rank high even on keywords righteously yours.
It happens with restaurants, hotels, B&B, retails and a hell of a enterprises of all sorts.
The solution is straightforward: do SEO better than them.
First of all, if you don’t own your Google My Business page, go claim it and fill it with the highest possible care.
Then, go back to your website and take care of the fundamentals:
- loading speed,
- smooth usability,
- content in the language of your customers,
- image and video optimization,
- server speed and reliability,
- the right information in the right spot when the user precisely look for it.
Then, set goals for everything in your website and start working on it: pages, landing pages, web posts and cornerstone content, media and every botton or filter you maye have.
Create beautiful rich product sheets, assign to each product the proper category and tag.
If you have a SEO specialist in your team, involve him in every step of your website construction.
If not, call us: either through periodical auditings or a long-term cooperation, we can help you out in making your winery stand out above all others.
That’s all we can say about website for wineries, without writing a textbook 😉
Now, you may think: hey, great article (thanks), but I run a different wine-related business, like:
- a wine bar
- an online wine store
- a wholesale distributor
- an import-export company specialized in wines
- a wine-related experience agency
Don’t you have a solution for me?
‘Course we have! Reach us and let’s have a chat about it.
Thanks for the time taken to read this. And cheers.