Questions about Wine Chemistry

(and their answers)

How can we get more traffic to our web site?

Increasing traffic to your winery’s website is a challenge that almost every winery faces — and understandably so. You’re in a saturated market, and your specialty is not in web strategy. Fortunately for you, very few wineries understand web strategy, presenting you with an opportunity to get a leg up on your competition.

When thinking about getting more people to visit your website, the first thing to think about is How people get to your site. Of course, some of your website's visitors will find you by searching for something on Google, but search engines are just one source of traffic. In addition, there are your social media channels (more about this in a sec), links from your emails, promotions in your tasting room or offsite events, ads in print media, being spotlighted in magazine articles, cross-promotions with other businesses, and so on.

Regarding social media, it's interesting that for many many wineries, social media is a bigger priority than improving their websites or sending better emails. Many wineries post incessantly on Instagram, but how many of those posts lead people to the website? Instagram is actually designed to keep people engaged on the site, so they don't click away, making it rather ineffective as a tool for driving traffic to your website (which is where you actually sell wine).

If you use social media to promote your winery (and I hope you do) you should have a social media strategy. That is, a strategic plan for how you will use social media to accomplish some business objective, whether that is to increase traffic to your winery's website, increase email subscriptions, get people to visit your tasting room or attend an event. Keep in mind that if your goal for social media is to get more followers, then you're running an awareness campaign — much like how a billboard works — it won't get too many people to your website, and it won't sell too much wine, but it will get people to recognize your name and maybe that's your goal.

Your strategy for increasing visits to your website should include all possible avenues that have an effect, and they should be prioritized according to the magnitude of that effect.

If you're looking for a digital marketing agency to help you get more traffic to your winery's website, you've come to the right place.

How can we increase online wine sales?

This question is really about two things: "How can we get more of our website's visitors to our web store?" and "How can we improve our website so that we overcome our users' perception of risk in buying our wines?"

Many website owners believe that it is enough to simply get people to their homepage, and that they will naturally find their way to your web store, using a button labelled "Acquire." But a quick look at the Analytics for those sites reveal that there are very few clicks occurring on that button, and diving deeper, we notice that a large percentage of people who click through to the store, are exiting the site from that page (meaning: they didn't buy any wine). It's like your website has a big itchy case Leaf Roll Virus and there's no sugar getting through your phloem to your fruit. Problem.

Fortunately, restructuring your website is a lot easier than tearing out a vineyard. The first thing we need to recognize is that not all of your website's visitors are the same.

Your hope is that many of your visitors have never heard of your winery before — these are potentially your brand new customers — but they'll need a little more encouragement to visit your store than your other visitors. The tricky part is, how do we persuade these folks to do something, when we don't know anything about who they are or what they're interested in? This challenge can be addressed through the clever use of user pathways.

Our wine speaks for itself. Why do we need to hire winery marketing services?

Back when I served my time in a tasting room, I would often ask guests which other wineries they had visited already that day. Most folks considered it a big win if they could name even one. Sure, there may have been other factors contributing to their short-term memory loss, but the point is, to be remembered, wineries need to make an emotional connection with their audiences, and no matter what you're putting in the bottle, it's never going to have that effect. Sorry. Had to be said.

It is natural to view marketing as just one more expense. As a small business owner, you need to be able to build a business case for every expense you incur, justifying the return on investment and deciding whether it pays off. So, consider this: is being remembered by your consumers a high or a low priority for your winery's business?

We know that effective winery marketing covers its own costs many times over, and for years to come. But just in case you still need convincing, we let our clients decide what our service should cost them, so you'll pay what you believe our services are worth. If you're still on the fence, we should talk.

What is Winery Positioning?

I’m glad you asked! (I didn’t want to seem pushy by bringing it up myself).

Winery Positioning is process of identifying how your winery or wines are unique in a way that your target audience cares about. If done successfully, your positioning puts your winery at the top of a category. For example, it’s not enough to say that you’re a small, family-owned winery, because there are thousands of wineries that have already chosen that as their "unique positioning," but what if you could claim that you produce California's most-loved sparkling Syrah?

Picture your favorite anthocyanin, ok now imagine that your winery is the Oxygen at the top of that phenol ring right there ... THAT's positioning!

Imagine a glass of say, cool climate Syrah. Let's pretend that this glass represents the entire universe of Syrah. I bet you're already picturing all those juicy rotundone molecules just bobbing around in there, funking up the joint with all those peppery aromas. Ungggh! So good! Anyway, each of those molecules represents a different category within Syrah: you've got the ones from Cote Rotie for $38 a bottle, the ones from Cotes du Rhone at $14, there's South African ones in there, and Australian Shiraz which are just all over the map, I mean, are we talking Barrossa Valley or are you leaning more towards Clair or Hunter? And there's also the Rogue River, and Paso Robles, and Sonoma Coast. None of these different molecules are actually competing with each other — they're all contributing to that wonderful world of Syrah, blessed be. You could consider these to be separate categories, but this kind of "positioning" is done by the market — the consumers themselves are deciding what kind of wine you are, and where you fit in (if, that is, they know what a cool climate Syrah is).

Now, pause for a moment and consider this: you have the choice to compete with every other winery that the consumers think are similar to you — and we're talking about people who might not know the difference between a Syrah and a Pinot and even a Cab Franc (I know, and to think that you just spent three grand on an amphora), or to choose for yourself which wineries you will be compared to. You are the oxygen ion, selecting wich rotundone you want to be attached to. See how I brought that around?

We can help you with that. We help you look at the marketplace and determine which corner would be best for you to set up in and lead, and then we guide you with marketing to the exact people who care about that.

Why is your company called Wine Chemistry? My wife thinks that's stupid.

Wine chemistry, the actual science of wine chemistry, is something that our founder Brad finds deeply fascinating. I mean, in much the same way that Saccharomyces cerevisiae needs more than just glucose and fructose to grow and be healthy, a winery needs more than just to offload its cases. Wineries really do best when they have a loyal following.

This goes beyond wine club members and happy customers — wineries need to create a real connection with their existing and future customers. They need to create Chemistry. Wine Chemistry.

And besides, the name “Better Than Cream Cheese” was already taken.

What is SEO, and does SEO work for wineries?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing the structure and content of your website to make it more likely for it to appear on the first page of search results. In the past, SEO relied heavily on keywords, the words that someone would type into a Google search field. To give an example, if a website mentioned the term Cabernet Sauvignon enough times, it would be enough for that site to be displayed in the search results when someone typed Cabernet Sauvignon into Google’s search field. That was back in 1996. That tactic doesn't work any more.

The thing with SEO in the wine industry is that the people responsible for the websites are still only using keywords to try and get their sites to rank, and a quick look at the analytics for that site will show that it is not having any effect. Today, SEO requires a lot more strategy and involves many more channels than simply what’s on the page.

Here's what you need to know about SEO for your winery: having the right CONTENT will determine if you can rank; LINKS to your website from other sites will determine if you will rank; and USER ENGAGEMENT will determine if you will continue to rank.

Ok, I know that doesn't tell you anything about what you need to actually ... do. The thing is, it's enormously complicated and time consuming. Any website you see that ranks consistently high in search engine results pages (and I mean the top 5 results on page 1) is there because of thousands of hours of content writing, strategy, design, and coding. In other words, they have someone in-house who thinks about this stuff all the time.

The key is to view your winery's SEO efforts as providing cumulative benefits over time. By putting in weekly, or even monthly incremental improvements, your website will inch its way toward the top positions.

SEO for wineries can seem quite unintuitive, but with a little guidance, wineries can use it very successfully to greatly increase the traffic coming to their website. We can give you the quick 10-minute rundown on what’s involved so you understand what you’re getting yourself into, if you choose to take it on.

We're a small winery. Do we really need winery positioning?

We understand how it is to be a small winery, just starting out. It seems that every time you open your eyes, there’s one more thing you need to spend money on. It's easy to view Winery Positioning as one of those things that can wait until you have money in the bank. But for small wineries who are struggling to be seen, struggling to keep against larger, more-established wineries, strategically positioning yourself within the marketplace can be one of the most effective things you do.

As small winery, this very moment is perhaps the best time to examine your winery’s position in the marketplace, before you spend money on the wrong marketing efforts. Wineries that skip this step often spend much more time and money over the years in wasted marketing efforts, lost sales, and missed opportunities.

We'll help you define a category for your winery that significantly reduces the number of wineries you're in competition with.

There’s never a cost for just asking us a few questions, and if we feel we can't provide a tremendous benefit, we’ll tell you up front.

How does your pricing work?

Pricing for many of our services is based on what you perceive the service to be worth. That is, you pay what you believe is the value of the service we provided.

Why do we do this? For two reasons: first, we want you to feel that you are making a worthwhile investment in your winery's marketing; and second, if you don't feel that our services were worth very much to you, we'll part ways with no bad feelings on either side. This way, we are always working with people who value us.

We'll still provide a statement that let's you know how much time we're spending on your projects, and what the market rate for those services would be, but the decision is always yours to pay what you feel the service is worth.

We do everything ourselves. Why do we need you to do it?

The thing with marketing is, it can feel like you’re doing everything right, covering all the channels, sending compelling messages, but for some reason people still seem to forget to buy your wines. You might tell yourself that it can take some time before your efforts bear fruit.

Marketing can be surprisingly similar to grape maturity analysis. "How in bloody hell is marketing anything like grape maturity analysis" you ask? Well, suppose you're out there, berry sampling, and while you're collecting your samples, you're tasting the grapes, chewing the skins and crunching the seeds and you think "Say, these are a lot sweeter than yesterday! The vines are still storing sugars in the grapes. Not time to pick yet." But when you get back to the lab, you see that the Brix is 24.5 and, knowing that grapes stop storing sugars at 24, you realize this is just dessication. Maybe it is time to pick, after all. THAT is exactly what we do in marketing!

How many people visit your website? Let's check the analytics. Are they reading your content? let's find out. Do your emails suck? Let's measure and see. Are you meeting industry standards for people clicking on your links? I just bet we can look that up too. Are there ways to improve these numbers? Yes! Are there ways to test what works best? Yes! Are there ways to make our email subscribers more engaged and “clicky”? Yes!

We’ve been around since the very beginning of the web, following all the changes in online behavior, keeping up with email marketing, and the evolution of landing pages. We've been there, done that, and I actually do still have the t-shirt, which my daughter hates.

We work to change how people interact with your brand. We can save you a lot of time, and we can help you increase your sales. It won’t cost you anything to just drop us a line, so … like, drop us a line!