Websites are not the Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come. A website’s goal should be to grow either online sales or in-store sales.
Simply having an online presence is not the only reason to have a website.
Websites can be expensive compared to other marketing! Partly because they require time, vision and upkeep. They’re also expensive because they’re an investment, and ultimately bring in profit.
When you have a high-quality, effective website, you’re not just being known.
You’re strengthening your brand, delighting your audience, generating leads, walking your customers through the customer journey and making sales –
And all of that’s happening while you’re, well, making wine.
The question is: Are you harnessing the potential of your website?
Are you investing in a quality website and seeing a return on that investment, or are you simply paying for a website as if it were an expense because that’s the way it’s done?
My hope is either that it’s the former, or that by the end of this post, you’ll be dialing my number so we can get you set up with an effective, profit-churning, relationship-building, brand-enhancing website that gets results.
Here are the top 9 tips for creating a website for your winery that gets results.
1. Highlight customer stories
Telling stories about your customers – the experience they had at your winery, how they discovered their favorite varietal when they visited last summer, what kinds of foods they love to pair with your signature blend – showcase the relationships you have with your customers. When you highlight customer stories on your website, new leads can get to know, like and trust you more easily.
2. Have clear calls-to-action
Your website should spark engagement. AKA, clicks.
Invite website visitors to shop online, visit your winery, schedule a tour, join your wine club, download a freebie – Whatever you’re offering, encourage your website visitors to take to action.
3. Offer incentives to catch email addresses
Giving website visitors freebies, such as a free tasting or 10% off their next purchase, in exchange for their email address is an effective way to start building your email list.
Email marketing is one of the most efficient and effective marketing tools out there. If you’re not building and engaging with your list, you’re missing out (Here’s why).
4. Make it abundantly clear how you’re different than your competitors
You should be able to convey this in just a sentence. Then, make sure that sentence is all over your website. Visitors should know within seconds what sets you apart from the rest and why they should buy your wine above all others.
5. Show the kind of customer you’re targeting on the home page.
If you’re targeting Millennials, use photos of young people throughout your site. If you’re trying to reach Baby Boomers, show pictures of Baby Boomers. Know who your target audience is, and make sure they seem themselves on your home page. This makes your customers feel welcome and understood.
6. Don’t use stock photography (or at least, use it selectively)
Show your customers – your real customers. Take photos of real people enjoying your tasting room.
We all spend a lot of time on social media and online, and so we see enough pictures to know a stock photo when we see it. Use pictures of your real customers to start building a genuine connection with your audience.
7. Have a navigation system that’s easy to understand
The menu bar at the top of your site should be clear and impossible to miss. Use simple words people recognize, like “Home”, “Contact” and “About”.
Your site’s navigation should encourage people to engage and interact with your content, not confuse them and frustrate them to the point where they just leave.
8. Stay mobile friendly
According to Perficient Digital, “In 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices,” and that number’s only going up.
Be sure your site is responsive and up-to-date so that it’s both beautiful and functional on mobile devices.
9. Have a plan for where you want your website visitors to go
Have you ever arrived at a website, looked around for a few seconds, then left the site? This happens all the time, and it happens when visitors aren’t directed to click on anything. Online, people lose interest pretty quickly. If you want visitors to stick around, you need to give them something to click on right away.
When you have a plan for where you want to lead website visitors, you’ll be more effective in doing so. This is where understanding the customer journey – Awareness, Consideration, Decision, Loyalty – comes in handy. You can leverage your website design to guide website visitors along the customer journey, from becoming aware of who you are and what you offer to becoming loyal fans.
As you design and continually redesign your website, keep these top tips in mind to ensure your website is generating engagement, automating some of your marketing, and ultimately leaving you with a return on your investment.
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If you’re not sure about the state of your website, let’s talk about it! Your site is the face of your business, and it makes a big impression on your customers and potential customers.