Did you know you only have an average of ten seconds to wow a consumer before they move on from your website? This rule may be different for people who are already familiar with your winery and are seeking particular information. However, the majority of new business will assess your winery by its website design, navigation, and overall value within a matter of seconds.
Let’s talk about the customer journey and expected site flow first. When a user first arrives on your landing page, which is generally the homepage from an internet search or an ad, they will ask themselves, “am at the right place?” If not, they will leave immediately, resulting in a “bounce.” If they like what they see, they will then assess, “do I want to stay longer to learn more?” Usually, great website design and great content will pique their curiosity. Next, they’ll “browse” your site, based on user friendliness and call-to-actions.
Here are the components you need to consider to keep them on your website:
1. User Design
This is a major part of any wine marketing. The elements that comprise your site are all storytellers of your winery and its brand. Does your website design look like it’s from the modern age, and does it match your logo or winery aesthetic? These factors are often defined in the digital space by your usage of graphics, imagery, fonts, and colors. For example, if your winery target is formal, your site will present a polished, clean and minimalist finish. Ensure your website is representative of your brand values, know your audience, and communicate to them through design.
2. User Experience Navigation
You might wonder how this differentiates from user design (commonly also known as user interface, or UI). With less of a focus on branding elements, your site navigation is crucial to ensuring a flawless browsing experience. Say you walk into the grocery store looking for apples, but when you find the fruit and produce section, you cannot find them. This is equivalent to a poor user experience, or UX. The flow of your site should easily predict and match a consumer’s footprints, allowing for them to smoothly move from page-to-page and learn more about your winery hours, wines, tasting room location, and more.
3. Your Branding
The strength of optimizing your website is being able to differentiate the voice of your brand. In-store, 57% more consumers notice the most visibly-designed bottle over ones that stood out less, telling us that branding does have a large influence on the consumer. Your brand isn’t just your label, but it’s everything you do: your copywriting, how your cellar hands interact, your bottle appearance. Going hand-in-hand with user website design, your branding online comes to life, beyond the shelf or menu. Take advantage of this with wine marketing!
4. Site Speed
If your pages are taking too long to load, you risk a high bounce rate. This is important, because it means many visitors may leave your site out of frustration or impatience, before pages even load. This does not calculate well with Google’s algorithm in terms of great SEO, and can potentially lose promising visitors. It’s suggested your pages load in less than 2 seconds, and the faster is better to outperform your competitors.
5. The Information
Overall, perceived value will answer the consumer dilemma: does this website provide what I am looking for? If the information someone is looking for simply is not on your website, they’ll go elsewhere to seek that information: think Google Reviews, blogs, social media. Of course, authentic and positive shout-outs to your brand on these platforms can often be more valuable having “authentic” input, but it’s always the most reliable to directly communicate to prospective visitors what you stand for, and your business details. A simple checklist that is top-of-mind for the consumer is generally About Us, Location, Hours, Wines, Events, and Wine Club. To expand your marketing, find a way to connect with the consumer in the future, by encouraging sign ups to a newsletter, or following on social media.
Now is a great time to ask yourself, does my winery consider all these factors, and what can I improve? Strengthening your winery’s digital strategy should be a priority to increase your conversion rates. Once you start optimizing these factors, you will likely notice an increase in the time spent on your website, fewer bounce rates, and higher quality traffic in general.