Continuing our interview with Mike Duffy of The Winery Web Site Report, we asked Mike:
We asked Mike: What are the 5 most important things a winery website should have?
In no particular order:
1. A clear call to action
Although I've said that you need to make it easy for people to do what they came to do (visitor effectiveness), you should also tell them clearly what you would like them to do: buy some wine, visit, sign up for the newsletter, or join your club. Pick one or at most, two actions, and be clear about the benefits for a visitor if they take that action.
2. An easy way to update and change information on the site
This encourages freshness and experimentation. If you don't experiment, you can't make your site better or take advantage of the moment. For example, it's still the case that the websites of the Harvest Fair Grand Prize winners generally don't get updated for several days after they win, which misses the chance to sell to visitors who come to the website on the day the winners are announced in the paper.
3. A webtender
The best winery websites have someone who spends a lot of time thinking about how to make them better. This is hard for small wineries, where there are almost never enough people, and it's largely considered irrelevant at large wineries, where the impact of the website is tiny compared to the importance of good distribution.
4. Interesting copy
Can we just lose the marketing-speak on winery websites? You don't believe it when you read it on other websites, why do you expect someone to believe it on your winery website?
If you can't measure what's going on, then it's nearly impossible to improve your site. How many people visit your site each day? How many of them are return visitors? Where do most people start their visit to your site? (It's not necessarily the home page, thanks to modern search engines). What pages are most popular?
Google Analytics is free, and helps to answer all of these questions.
Of course, I could add a bunch of basic things like "the winery phone number at the top of every page" and "a good picture of your bottle or label on your home page."