Blogging is one of the most effective ways for your winery or wine business to stay relevant in today’s constantly evolving digital landscape. According to Opt-In Monster, companies that blog get 97% more links to their website. Plus, websites which also have a blog have 434% more indexed pages, a.k.a. web pages visited and recognized by search engines. Think of it this way: the more content you have on your website, the greater the opportunity your website has of getting found by potential customers. However, don’t just throw word spaghetti at the walls of your winery blog and hope something sticks. It won’t. Instead, use these SEO tips and blog content creation strategies for maximum impact.
Why Does My Winery or Wine Business Need a Blog?
Before we dive into SEO tips, let’s look at why your company needs a blog. First, all major search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo, love having fresh, relevant content to index. Blogging is an easy solution for consistently producing new and interesting content for your company website. Your company’s blog provides a platform for inserting relevant keywords, questions, and solutions to problems for which your target demographic searches on the internet.
Secondly, blogging allows you to foster relationships with current and potential customers while building credibility. It’s an easy way for you to boost the know, like, trust factor that’s so essential for developing brand loyalty. And you’ll establish your business as an industry leader. The more valuable content you produce for your audience, the more top of mind you’ll remain. Moreover, blogging is one platform that you own. Unlike social media where your content is at the mercy of tech giants and their ever-changing algorithms.
Next, blogging allows people to connect with your brand. This medium allows you to provide value for your target audience while also allowing them to see a more personal side of your business. You can dive into your brand message and open up about your company, values, and industry standards in a way that’s not possible with outbound marketing techniques.
Tools to Help You Get Started
Google Keyword Planner
- Google Keyword Planner – a free keyword research tool to help you determine the most effective keywords for your content. You can search for keywords you have in mind. Then, the keyword planner will suggest tons of other keywords with varying volumes so you can establish the most strategic mix for your content.
- The free Google keyword planner doesn’t show you the specific keyword search volumes. But you can use the super affordable Keywords Everywhere plug-in for Google Chrome or Firefox to have the keyword volumes show. (The key to selecting the best keywords is to choose those with significant, but not too large, preferably with low competition.)
- Check out this blog post from Monster Insights on how to use Google Keyword Planner
- Ubersuggest – one of the most affordable SEO and keyword research tools available created by SEO and digital marketing whiz Neil Patel. The free version allows for a limited number of searches per day. While the paid version is a one-time or monthly payment which varies based on your needs. Ubersuggest is great for analyzing your website and the websites of your competitors. You can see easily see which keywords your ranking for and determine areas of opportunity based on gaps on your competitors’ content. Plus, you can analyze backlinks, get content ideas, and figure out the best way to phrase your keywords for more traffic.
- Google Trends – a great tool for developing content ideas based around what is currently trending in search engines. This helps you create more relevant content which has a higher chance of being searched for right now.
Answer the Public
- Answer the Public – another tool to help you create content relevant to your audience. You enter a few keywords and Answer the Public will share the most frequently asked questions or most commonly search topics around those keywords.
Other Tools & Resources
- Click worthy headlines are crucial to drawing people in to spend time exploring your content. Pay attention to how headlines are structured in your go-to wine magazines, the news, and even sights like Buzzfeed for inspiration.
- SEMRush and Ahrefs are two other popular paid SEO research tools. Though I have not used them before.
Types of Content for Your Wine Business or Winery Blog
While publishing a winery blog is a great way to boost your SEO and provide value to current and potential customers, it’s not always easy coming up with creative content ideas. Here is a short list of different types of blog content to help you get started:
- Answer frequently asked questions about your winery or wine business
- Create content around the most commonly asked questions on wine in general; i.e. serving temperatures, how to properly store wine, vineyard management, steps of the winemaking process, etc.
- Guides to your wine region, city, or a specific region whose wines you sell
- Industry news updates and your take on their impact
- Controversial topics in the wine industry; for example, when Cameron Diaz launched her ‘clean wine’ brand, Avaline
- Listicles or list articles
- Interviews with key players in the wine industry
- Behind the scenes look at current projects in your business; i.e. what’s happening in the vineyard, changes to the winery, updates on how the current weather will impact harvest, etc.
- Highlights of a recent event you hosted or attended
- Round up of your favorite tools for enjoying wine
- Recipe ideas for the ultimate wine pairings for wines in your portfolio
- Video blogs (Vlogs) with your winemaking or vineyard team
- Invite guest bloggers to contribute relevant content to your site
The options are endless when it comes to blogging, which is the beauty of this medium. You get to use your creativity and voice to uniquely position your brand within the wine industry. Just be sure to use the following SEO tips to drive results with the content you create.
Need more inspiration? Check out these winery blogs:
- Tablas Creek – a finalist for “Best Winery Blog” eight times since 2008.
- Jordan Winery – another award-winning winery blog that does a great job of sharing behind the scenes winery and vineyard content, as well as social impact stories.
- Frank Family Vineyards – has a fantastic mix of content on their regularly updated winery blog including wine pairing recipes, vineyard and winery updates, educational content on grape varieties they work with, etc.
SEO Tips for Boosting Website Traffic with Your Winery Blog
Keywords & Keyphrases
After selecting a topic for your blog post, conduct keyword research to ensure you’re creating strategic content for which your target audience will actually search. A keyword or a keyphrase (2+ words) helps search engines understand the content of your blog post. Then, they can rank the webpage within search engine results based on factors like readability and domain authority. You’ll want to have one main target keyword or keyphrase which you use throughout the blog post. Additionally, search for 2-3 additional keywords relevant to the topic to include in your wine blog post as well. Cumulatively, these keywords will help optimize your content to rank in search engines.
To choose the most impactful keywords for your article, take into consideration these 3 factors: search volume, authority, and relevance. For example, selecting a keyword with 6,000 searches per month as opposed to 60,000 searches per month increases your chances of a higher ranking.
Also, look for keywords with low competition. This means you’re more likely to rank higher in results. For relevance, get into the mind of your target audience. Try to utilize keywords or keyphrases for which they are likely to search. If your ideal keyword has an extremely high search volume, then find a keyword with a smaller search volume by adding more words to create a key phrase.
Consider this example:
- Wine: 2,240,000 monthly search volume with high competition
- Wine tasting: 110,00 monthly search volume with low competition
- Wine tasting in Paso Robles: 4,400 monthly search volume with medium competition
- Wine tasting in Napa Valley: 4,400 monthly search volume with medium competition
- Wine tasting in California: 1,600 monthly search volume with low competition
- Wine tasting tips: 320 monthly search volume with medium competition
Which keywords or keyphrases would it be easiest for you to rank higher for in search engine results? Wine tasting in Paso Robles, wine tasting in Napa Valley, wine tasting in California, and wine tasting tips would all be great options
Bonus SEO Tip: Use a question as your keyphrase to boost your rankings in search engine results.
Think about common questions your target audience asks related to your niche. Then, develop content around those questions using the question as your target keyphrase.
SEO Tips for Using Headers
Headers (H1, H2, H3, etc.) establish a hierarchy structure for your wine business or winery blog post. This structure allows search engines to easily crawl and understand the content, thus helping your rankings. Additionally, headers improve readability, which is also important for search engine optimization. More on that later. Finally, headers and subheaders provide an additional space to include target and related keywords. Use them! And keep the word count to under 300 words per header.
Titles for Wine Business and Winery Blog Posts
The titles of your blog posts should not be left as an afterthought or thrown together haphazardly. An optimal title length is 6-8 words. This length increases your click-through-rate (CTR) by 21%! One of the best title SEO tips is to include your exact keyword(s) at the beginning of the title. It helps further optimize your blog post. Plus, be sure to create a title your target audience won’t be able to resist clicking. If you don’t consider yourself a wordsmith, then download one of the countless plug-ins available to help you create click-worthy titles.
Images & Alt Text
Amongst the many SEO tips for blogging, including images and image alt text is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to optimize your content. In fact, articles with images get 94% more views as opposed to those with no visuals. So, don’t skip images. If you don’t have photos on hand, create infographics or look to a stock images website for visual content. Try Canva, Envato Market, Unsplash, and more.
Most importantly, be sure to include image alt text with your target and supplemental keywords. When you upload the photo to your winery blog post, there is a field title ‘image alt text’ where you can include these details.
Internal backlinks are a great way to improve on-page SEO. They also help to increase session duration, or the amount of time a user spends on your website. To use them most effectively, link to other blog posts, products, or pages on your website relevant to the content.
Also, include external links to other websites related to the content of your blog post to boost SEO. However, be sure the pages you’re linking to are not trying to rank for the same target keywords as your post.
Why Readability Matters
Readability is the process of making your writing easy to understand for your target audience. There are many factors which play into readability, including:
- Headings and subheadings
- Sentence length
- Use of transitions words
- Limited use of passive voice
- Paragraph length
- Not starting 3 consecutive sentences with the same word
- Inclusion of images
And more! Search engines mimic humans. Therefore, readability factors into SEO and rankings in search engine results. Moreover, readable, user-friendly content improves your website’s user experience, which is always beneficial. Reading your content to yourself out loud is a great way to edit your work and improve readability.
Yoast SEO Plug-In
For actionable SEO tips while you’re publishing blog content, I recommend the Yoast SEO plug-in for WordPress. Yoast analyzes your content in real time, highlights areas of improvement, and gives tips for how to optimize your content for search engines before publishing.
Blog Content that Works for Your Wine Business
In order for your wine business or winery blog to have the most impact, be sure to implement these SEO tips on every single blog post.
Before writing your first blog post, do your research. Develop a plan for keywords you want to rank for and topics your target audience is actually interested in.
Create a blogging content calendar, like you would for social media, utilizing this research. Consistency is one of the most important aspects of blogging. So, whether you post one, two, or three blogs per week, choose a cadence you can realistically maintain.
Finally, get the most mileage out of blogging by repurposing your content. Break down a blog post in different social media posts and send new blog updates to your email subscribers or in your weekly newsletter. Questions on best practices for your winery blog or need help getting started? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org