The more places your winery is seen online, the more wine you sell. Showing up at the top for your own name and slight variations of it is a valuable tool in making sales online. Your name showing up at the top of search results is your Number One fix to increase your winery visibility on Google.

google search sucess

How’s your Google winery visibility? Search Google for your winery. Try these variations: Example Wines, Example Winery, Example Cellars, Example Vineyard.

What comes up? Is there a winery with a similar name to yours in another part of the country? A winery with a slight variation on your name that is showing up above your listing for that search term?

Check variations of your name. You might show up for your name but Google searches might not show your winery’s home page at the top (or even on the first page of results) for even slight variations.

You should show up at the top of Google’s organic listings for each of your wines, for your wine club, and for any other popular phrases on your site. Check variations of your name. You might show up for your name, Example Winery, but Example Wines, Example Vineyard, and Example Cellars, all popular variations on a winery name, might not show your winery’s home page at the top.

Online sales of wine are Direct Sales – your favorite kind of sale. And in 2013, 26% of those sales came from customers who found your site using search. Overwhelmingly, that means Google.

The fastest ways you can increase your visibility and presence at the top of the search listings is to (1) purchase urls containing words similar to your name that people search with, and  (2) optimize the pages on your site to rise above listings with similar winery names. I’m not saying that you can show up on top of the search results for strings like “Oregon wine” or “Oregon Pinot noir” but you can try for things like “Example Winery Pinot noir”, “Example Winery Pinot gris”, “Example Winery hours” etc.

Search results vary greatly with small differences. Let’s take a look at four searches on google: Canyon wine, Canyon Cellars, Canyon Vineyards, and Canyon Winery. These searches were made with cookies turned off and represent a neutral search by someone whose results were not being personalized by Google.

search-canyon-winery

SEARCH TERM: Canyon Winery

Canyon Road Winery
Peachy Canyon Winery
Canyon Road Wine
Cottonwood Canyon Vineyards
Laguna Canyon Winery
Coyote Canyon Winery
Woodward Canyon Winery
Lost Canyon Winery
Happy Canyon Vineyards
The Grand Canyon Winery

SEARCH TERM: Canyon Wine

Canyon Road Winery
Woodward Canyon Winery
Cottonwood Canyon Winery
Buy from Canyon Road
Peachy Canyon Winery
Coyote Canyon Winery
Laguna Canyon Winery
Happy Canyon Vineyards

SEARCH TERM: Canyon Cellars

Canyon Wind Cellars
Clearwater Canyon Cellars
Blodgett Canyon Cellars
Canyon Wind Cellars
Shadow Canyon Cellars
Clearwater Canyon Cellars

SEARCH TERM: Canyon Vineyard

Kelsey See Canyon Vineyards
Happy Canyon Vineyards
Ranchita Canyon Vineyard
Coyote Canyon Winery
Cottonwood Canyon Vineyard and Winery
Jericho Canyon Vineyard
Peachy Canyon Winery

You can see how very different the search results are with changes to the business name.

Purchase the urls for your winery’s Search Terms

You want to own the url for every variation of your winery’s name that people use to find you online. People don’t search for the exact name of your winery. Very often they search for “Example” and “wine” – like “La Crema wine” or “La Crema Wine Club” rather than La Crema Winery.

Google will almost always show the listing for an exact url match over other listings. A search for Example Cellars will show the url examplecellars.com over examplewinery.com, even if the winery is much larger than the “cellars”. If you own the url examplecellars.com and point it at your domain, you gain that advantage.

If your name is something other than Example Winery, say Example Vineyards, you especially need to own the urls for variations on your name. Too many times I’ve started to check a client’s digital presence only to discover that searching for a slight variation of their name results in a competitor with a similar name. Many consumers will search using the words “wine” or “winery” rather than “vineyards” or “cellar” or other less common variations. You want to show up on top for the most frequently used search terms.

Other reasons to own urls related to your winery: Owning all the variations of your name keeps other people from owning them. Wineries have been known to purchase urls of competitor wineries and point them to their sites. While Google usually catches this, better to avoid the possibility. New wineries start up all the time and you may not want someone calling themselves a slight variation of your name. You might not be able to stop them from using the name, but if you own the url, at least you can keep them from confusing your customers by denying them a website with their name.

Recommended variations of your url to purchase

Example Winery, Example Wines, Example Vineyard, Example Vineyards ,Example Cellars, Example Vineyard and Winery, Example Winery and Vineyards, Example Pinot noir, Example Tasting Room.

Every winery has their own names and variations they need to purchase. With prices as little as $10 a name per year, this is one of the best investments you can make to gain exposure and protect your identity on Google.

How to Use Your New Marketing Tool

Once you own your urls, the next step is to set them up to help with your Google listings.

– Have your ISP point them at your home page (this is the easiest but not necessarily most effective way).

– Consider creating a website using the url you have the most competition for and use it for part of your site (complicated but you have to weigh whether it is worth it). It is generally considered better to consolidate all of your content under one url, but in some circumstances several may be appropriate.

– Evaluate your home page and make sure the winery name variations are present in a way that helps sell wine and satisfies Google’s criteria for “good” use of keywords. Take a look at the wineries appearing among your results. Evaluate their popularity and the way they use their name on their page. You may be able to rise above them by shifting the title, header, and text on the page.

With a little testing and time, most wineries should show up first or close to it for the urls you have purchased that are very similar to your name. Over time, being first for the most common ways people search for you will add up – more people go to the first organic listing on a page than the next four combined.

by Jean Yates

Below, results of Centura survey showing 26% of direct sales coming from search engines such as Google. Second most common direct sales resulted from a winery sending a marketing email, and third lost came from advertising on search engines. online sales by channel