In the second part of this series, I will give you a rough overview of the topic of search engine optimisation(SEO) for wine producers. You will be able to take some important steps on your own based on this information. If you prefer to give the topic to a service provider, the article will help you understand the different offers in the field and then hopefully choose the right partner. Of course, wine merchants and others can also apply what has been written here to their needs. To be upfront: Wein-Plus had a very reasonably priced consulting offer for search engine optimisation some time ago, but due to capacity reasons we cannot offer this again at the moment.
You can't do without search engine optimisation
Most! Visitors to a homepage come via a search engine. Therefore, I consider everything that promotes this kind of visits to be the most important marketing measure after the creation of the homepage.
In Europe, we can use the term "search engine" practically synonymous with "Google". Other search engines have no significant relevance in Europe.
You can and must do a lot to ensure that a page is found via Google. In this article, I will limit myself to the non-advertising search results in Google. I will come to the advertisements on the right-hand side and partly above the search results in the 5th part of this series.
In order to get many visitors via Google search, your page must appear as high up as possible for the relevant search terms; ideally on the first page as high up as possible.
How does Google determine the order of search results?
Google puts a lot of effort into developing algorithms that lead to a meaningful sorting of the results for a search. Google's goal is to list results that are relevant to the user as high up as possible and less relevant results as low down as possible. Relevance is determined using the following basic criteria:
- How relevant is the respective page for the search terms entered?
Google checks whether the search terms appear in important places on the page.
The aim of the "internal search engine optimisation" of Webpages is that important search terms appear in important places on the website.
- How important is the respective page on the Internet for the respective search topic?
This is not about the content of the page, but about how important the respective page is on the Internet as a whole. Google essentially uses the concept of link relevance for this purpose: From Google's point of view, a page is important for a topic if many other topic-relevant Webpages link to it. At first glance, the term "important" seems to bite the cat in the tail, since the importance of a page depends on the importance of other pages. Today, well over 10 years after the establishment of this algorithm, we can ignore this problem (which is exciting in theory).
If the importance of a page depends on how many links from other important pages link to it, then every link on the internet to my page leads to my page becoming more important from Google's point of view. The more links, the better. The more important the linking page is to the search topic, the better.
The aim of the "external search engine optimisation" of Webpages is therefore to ensure that many other links from important Webpages point to your website.
- How important is the respective page for the respective user?
For some time now, Google has made the sorting of results dependent not only on the two "classic" criteria above. In addition, Google also tries to assess how relevant a website is for the respective individual user. For this purpose, Google notes the user's surfing behaviour and the user's region of origin. However, I don't want to go into these criteria any further at this point. As a website operator, you have little influence on them anyway. Just don't be surprised that different people get different results in Google when they enter the same search terms!
The ABC to a better position in the search results
A. Search terms and landing pages
The first and most important question is for which search terms you want to be found. Here you quickly run into a dilemma:
- The more frequently a term is searched for, the more a good position for this search term will help you, but on the other hand, the competition for this term is also very high. Of course, it would be good to appear at the top for the term "wine", but practically it is hardly possible for a wine producer to get to one of the top positions here.
- The more specific a search term is, the less competition there is. On the other hand, it is of little help to appear high up for a very specific term if this specific term is rarely searched for. Example: It is certainly easy to get to the top for the term "cold fermentation", but what good is it if this term is only very rarely searched for?
My recommendation: think about typical scenarios of people you want to attract on your homepage. Examples:
- Someone searches for "Riesling", lands on your page and orders a Riesling. Let's be honest: Do you believe that? Do you believe that someone will find your homepage so great that they will order a Riesling there quasi blindly? I would delete such unrealistic scenarios right away
- Someone is planning a visit to your area and finds information on your site that, when and how they can visit you.
That's much more realistic. So consider search terms like "wine tasting" or "wine tasting" or similar in conjunction with the name of your place or the name of your area.
- Someone is looking for information about your winery because they have heard about it or read something about it. From my point of view, this is very realistic and important. Search terms here are your name, the name of the winery and other names that someone might use for it.
- Someone is looking for sources of supply for wines with a very rare grape variety.
If you grow a rare grape variety, this is an option to attract interesting visitors. The search term here is the name of the grape variety
- Many other scenarios are possible. Invest a lot of time in these considerations. No one can do it for you. Not even an agency!
For each of these scenarios, there should be a special page on your website where visitors can find specific information for their particular request. These pages are called "landing pages".
B. Internal optimisation
Now optimise these landing pages for the specific search terms of the respective scenario. When thinking about the content of the page, first of all do not think about Google, but about the people whose specific needs you want to satisfy on the respective landing page. You have to "pick up" the respective users with their respective needs in the best possible way so that they continue to stay on your page.
In the second step, you make sure that the important search terms appear in the text, in headings, in the page title and ideally also in the URL of the page (see"Talking URLs".
There is a popular phrase in the search engine optimisation scene: "Content is king". What is meant by this is that lots of good and relevant content on your homepage is of course an important basis for being found often and for many terms. So invest a lot of time in good content. It is worth it!
C. External optimisation
This is about increasing link relevance (see 2. above). You need to get many other website operators to link to your pages (possibly directly to the landing pages described above). There are many ways and tricks to do this. I would like to go into some of them here:
- Ask traders, suppliers, associations, partners and friends to put links on your homepage. In return, you can offer a link. This "horse-trading", which is very common on the Internet, is called link exchange. And why shouldn't you also link to other wine producers? Of course, there is a certain amount of competition. Nevertheless, you both help each other equally and both together gain an advantage over everyone else.
- Search Google for your keywords. The pages that appear on the first pages are particularly interesting link providers, because these pages are already very important for your search terms. (For this simple but very effective tip alone, it was worth reading the entire article up to this point)
- Make sure that your site is linked to important wine portals on the internet. Wein-Plus is particularly important, as Wein-Plus is also the most important site on the subject of wine in the German-language Internet from Google's point of view. Your winery must be listed in the wine guide at Wein-Plus, must appear in the Weinlotsen with a so-called top placement, etc. Just get in touch with us. Please believe me that I am not giving you these tips out of self-interest. Any independent search engine optimiser will confirm this.
- There are many thematic link collections on the Internet. Just search for "catalogue wine", "wine links", "links wine" or "internet pages wine" etc. in Google. You will find many catalogues in which you can register free of charge.
- There are many other possibilities, but dealing with them here would go beyond the scope of this article. It is also possible to buy links! However, please keep your hands off them. Google does not like this and could punish you by lowering your position. In addition, there are many possibilities for fraud in this area.
By the way, the link's environment is also very important, for example the link text. In the following example link"Page on the subject of wine", for example, there is a link to Wein-Plus.de and the link text is "Page on the subject of wine". This means that Wein-Plus is now again listed somewhat better for the search terms "page" and "topic" and "wine" (link text)! But also better for all other terms in this article (thematic environment).
There are many agencies that can support you in this area. Unfortunately, there are also many black sheep in this field. In addition, the costs are relatively high and exceed the budget of most wine producers.
In this blog, I will reveal tips on search engine optimisation from time to time. So let me surprise you...;-)
To the entire series "".