Mobilegeddon: How Google’s new rules affect your winery website

There have been a lot of headlines over the past few weeks about Google’s new algorithm that have been causing business owners with HTML websites to panic. For example, a client emailed me two weeks ago saying he wanted to immediately go live with his new responsive website we had been creating, but hadn’t been proofed.

While it is great to have business owners sit up and realize how important having a mobile-friendly website is, if you have an HTML website you do not need to bury your head in the sand in misery.

Here is what you need to know:

Google’s search algorithm will favor mobile-friendly sites for users who access Google on their mobile devices. This does not include desktop or laptop users. So, if your website is built in HTML, your website is still going to showing up normally in desktop searches. Plus, the new algorithm applies to individual pages, not entire websites.

Responsive websites

If you haven’t already changed your website to a responsive design, this is the year to make room in your budget.

Think about this: you are at a concert or restaurant and all of the people are staring at their cell phones. Everywhere we turn people are on Facebook, playing games, taking selfies, checking work email and sharing their every move.




Smartphones are the fastest consumer growth product ever. In August 2014, Nielsen reported that 70% of all Americans own a smartphone and the average person spends more than 38 hours per month on their smartphone. Wow, that is almost a full work week that we are staring at our phones!

This is why responsive websites are so important. It is a pain to look at HTML websites where you have to zoom to read text and try to press on tiny buttons. Here is Google’s example of a HTML site vs. a responsive website on a smartphone:




Here is an example of a responsive website we designed in WordPress that auto-adjusts across smartphones, tablets and desktops:




Mobile-Friendly Test

Still not sure if your existing website is mobile-friendly? Type in your web address in Google’s free tool to see if your website is mobile-friendly.

Review the data

Check out your Google Analytics and see how many people are coming to your website from mobile search. What percent of your customers are mobile? Has there been a drop since the Google Algorithm changed April 21st? If there has, what is your action plan?

If your site isn’t responsive

Don’t panic, we can help. We have several different responsive website packages. One is for businesses that love their current look and just want their HTML site switched to a responsive WordPress website.

We also offer strategic re-designs, where we analyze your goals, present design options and show off your unique brand story. Email [email protected] for your free estimate today.




4 clear best practices for mobile marketing engagement

In August 2014, Nielsen reported that 70% of all Americans own a smartphone and the average person spends more than 38 hours per month on their smartphone. Think about that – we are staring at our phones for almost a full 40 hour work week! So what does this mean?

When my clients ask me what I think is the future of how we interact with customers, I find myself mentioning mobile more and more. It’s essential to make it as easy as possible for your customers to interact with you – with social media, making your website design and emails responsive (auto-adjusts to desktop, phone, etc), and learning about new ways you can reach customers on their smartphones.

I ran across this great video that illustrates the 4 best practices for mobile marketing engagement. These stats were taken from thousands of mobile phone users world wide who were surveyed for their attitudes towards mobile marketing to understand how this affects business. Here is what they found:

Want to learn more about what mobile apps can do? Click here to read about how a mobile app can help grow your business.

Come listen to me on Saturday, January 31st, 2015 at the Illinois Wine Conference as I guide you through “Getting started with Mobile Marketing.” I’ll discuss 6 types of mobile marketing, plus dive into best practices and examples of wineries that have taken the plunge into mobile.

Upcoming wine business speaking events in 2015

Join me as I present at the following wine business workshops/conferences:

  • January 31, 2015 in Springfield, Illinois at the Illinois Annual Wine Conference “Getting started in Mobile Marketing”
  • February 19, 2015 in San Marcos, Texas at the TWGGA Annual Conference “How to Increase Retail Sales with Wine Label Design”
  • Plus, visit me March 10-12, 2015 in St. Charles, Missouri at Booth #210 at the Midwest Grape + Wine + Craft Brew.

Now accepting 1-on-1 appointments

I love meeting people in person and am now scheduling individual appointments at upcoming conferences. I’ve met with people about wine brand name ideas, questions about their websiteEmail me at [email protected] to set up a time to discuss your specific situation!

Are you looking for a wine marketing speaker?

Do you need a wine marketing speaker that has a passion for branding the wine industry? I now offer presentations and workshops on wine marketing, branding, online website strategy and wine label design for the wine industry. I strongly believes that any piece of your marketing – print collateral, website or your wine label – should immediately communicate your brand. I have worked with wineries and vineyards across the country, and am passionate about helping small businesses succeed. Check out a few of the wine marketing and wine branding topics that I speak on here.

How a Mobile app can help grow your winery

I recently went to an outdoor concert at a winery and laughed to myself at all of the people staring at their cell phones. I know this concert wasn’t alone, everywhere we turn people are on Facebook, playing games, taking selfies and sharing their every move.

Smartphones are the fastest consumer growth product ever. In August 2014, Nielson reported that 70% of all Americans own a smartphone and the average person spends more than 38 hours per month on their smartphone. Holy Cow!

So what are all those consumers looking at on their smartphones? The answer is they are using mobile apps. For instance, we check email through mobile apps, play games and many of us, check Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Facebook announced that 48% of all Facebook users are using Facebook solely through a mobile device.  If you saw the video I created 3 Tips to Reach More Winery fans with Facebook, you also know that owners of Facebook business pages have seen a downturn in how only 4-6% of fans that have liked your page are seeing your posts.

So how can you reach happy customers who already love your brand? One successful tool I often mention to clients is the importance of regular email newsletters. Email newsletters still have one of the highest conversion rates of all marketing tools. But let’s face it, we all get a ton of emails and don’t have time to open every single one.

The other tool I see as being the future for wine marketing is mobile apps for wineries. Remember how the average person spends 38 hours per month on their phone? Mobile apps give you the ability to reach a customer where they are already spending most of their free time.

Here are a few of the features Mobile apps are capable of:

Push Notifications

You know how on most smartphones you get an alert with a preview of a text message or email message? These are called push notifications and you can schedule a Mobile winery app to alert your fans of different messages at a specific day and time. For example, you can schedule a message to everyone who has downloaded your winery mobile app to go out on a Saturday at 10 am that says “Stop by today before 5 pm to taste our special wine pairing with Godiva chocolate.” Push notifications also can alert your fans of upcoming events, sales and incorporate brand messages. Below is an example of a push notification:

Winery mobile app


Solves spotty internet connection issues

While I often preach the importance of a responsive website, the type of website you have will not matter if the consumer is in rural area with no cell service. Native mobile apps work without cell service and WiFi. Pretty cool!


Mobile apps can seamlessly work with Google maps. With most apps, a “get directions” button appears and when clicked it opens your Google maps app. This saves the customer the trouble of trying to copy and paste your address from your website. Plus, if they are out of cell service, they will still be able to access directions.

I dream of data

Ok, I don’t really, but many of my marketing consultants do. They LOVE looking at Google Analytics – who clicked on what link and how each person got to your website. Why? It helps them advise clients on when to send out messages, and what type of products each client is most likely to purchase.

Mobile apps can tell you more about your customer more accurately than any other marketing tool. Apps can tell you where your customers are when they visit your app, how often they open it, and what their favorite products are. Plus, mobile apps give you the ability to ask for a registration, where the customer can put in their email address, age, etc.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

I love SEO. There I said it. Following SEO guidelines has helped me get clients all over the world. Mobile apps are another great place to put your keyword phrases in the title and description to attract your ideal audience. Need a quick run down of what SEO is? Check out Part 1: How to be number one on Google.

Integrate with Social Media

Mobile apps now have the ability to integrate with social platforms like Facebook and Twitter, which can be huge for spreading the word about your wine brand. For example, a customer could post to Facebook from your winery app “I’m going to Chaumette winery this weekend at 2 pm, who is going to join me?” This would share not only awareness about your winery, but also promote your winery app.

Another way social media integrates with mobile apps is it allows you, the winery owner or winery marketing director, to schedule one message to be broadcast as a Push Notification and also automatically post on Twitter and Facebook. Huge time saver!


Part of building a powerful brand is delivering the same consistent message across all platforms. This includes your tone of voice, how you interact with your customers and the repetition of brand elements, like your logo, wine label and color palette. Mobile apps are especially important because your brand advocates have the ability to rate your products and your app overall. They can also increase your brand awareness by spreading the word on social media.

But aren’t apps really expensive?

Mobile apps sound amazing don’t they? The wineries I have worked with over the past year have said “I would love a mobile app, but I just can’t afford to pay $15,000 to create one.” This is where it gets exciting. I met the owners of earlier this year and partnered with them to create a winery app for my client, Indian Hills Winery.

Now that we have created one and it is live, we are ready to offer this mobile app to other wineries. The most exciting part? It only costs $499 to sign-up for the mobile app and then $49.99 per month. The monthly fee helps offset the updates that will be needed as Android and iPhones come out with new updates. Plus, they are working on adding e-commerce to the Mobile app.

Want to see the app in action? Go here for Android and here for iPhone.

Easy Control Panel

Want a preview of how the control panel works for the winery mobile app? Check out in the below video how easy it is to schedule push notifications and events:

Want to see the Winery Mobile App in action?

Check out this video on the live Indian Hills Winery mobile app on an Android and an iPhone:


Ready to get your Winery Mobile App?

Go here to find out more and to sign up:

The turn around time for setting up a new winery is only 2 weeks!


Looking for a speaker on Winery Mobile apps?

Rebecca Ritz, owner of Bauerhaus Design, offers presentations and workshops on mobile marketing, branding, online website strategy and wine label design for the wine industry. She strongly believes that any piece of your marketing – print collateral, website or your wine label – should immediately communicate your brand. Rebecca has worked with wineries and vineyards across the country, and is passionate about helping small businesses succeed. Read more about presentation topics here: /speaker-on-luxury-wine-branding-and-online-web-strategy-and-wine-label-design/