There are over 10,000 wineries in the U.S. which means if you operate one of them, you’ve got a lot of competition. One of the best ways to differentiate yourself is to make sure your website is doing all it can to showcase your business and wine offerings.

In today’s online world, your site is your digital storefront and where people are likely to go first when searching for information about your winery. But besides providing them with the basics such as your contact info and the list of wines you produce, your website should also be an effective branding tool.

Here are eight tips you need to know to make your wine website stand out

1. Tell Your Winery’s Story

Behind every winery is a great story of how it came to be. You left the corporate world behind to follow your dream of making great wine, or you inherited the land and decided to turn it into a lucrative business.

Whatever your winery’s story, don’t forget to share it on your website. Consider it an opportunity to make an emotional connection with your site’s visitors and show what makes your business unique.

2. Make It Pleasing to the Eye and Easy to Navigate

A professionally designed website that has the right balance of images, copy, and colors will entice a visitor to stick around and explore what you have to offer. On that note, you want to make sure your site features intuitive navigation so visitors can easily find their way around.

Remember that less is more, so you don’t want to go overboard with too many colors and fonts when designing your site. Stick to two or three colors that match or complement your logo, and one or two fonts. Any white space should be used carefully as well; too much white space on a page can make visitors wonder if the site loaded correctly.

You’ll also need to determine how many landing pages your site should contain to display content about your wines, events, history of your winery, and more.

A few large, gorgeous images of your vineyard and glasses of your wine can make a greater impact than showing multiple small photos.

If you don’t know how to design a website, it’s best to leave the job to the pros such as a website design company. An aesthetically pleasing and navigable site will more than pay for itself in the long run.

3. Highlight Tastings and Events

You’ve been exploring new ways of drawing wine drinkers to your winery by hosting tastings, live music, and other events. You’ll definitely want to highlight anything taking place at your winery on the website, and preferably give one or two a mention on the homepage to capture visitors’ attention.

You can link the announcement to an events section of your website where they can view the details and learn about other gatherings at your winery.

4. Start a Blog

Your winery or wine website can become a valuable source of expert information if you incorporate a blog into the design. Authoring blog posts can help give your brand a voice and it can also help improve your site’s SEO if you write about topics that people are searching for.

Some wine-related topics to write about can include a list of foods that pair best with your wines, tasting tips, wine terminology and definitions, and the best wine glasses to use, to name a few. You can also interview an employee at your winery for a “day in the life” type feature or talk about an upcoming or past event.

If it sounds like too much work, particularly with taking care of the day-to-day operations of your wine business, understand that a blog doesn’t need to be updated daily. You can put a new post up once or twice a month, as long as you remain consistent with it.

5. Give a Virtual Tour

Another fun way to make your winery stand out is to place a virtual tour of it on your website. You can show your visitors clips of the grapes being harvested and prepared and the bottling and labeling process.

Rich footage and photos of your winery will have your visitors envisioning the wine’s taste and aroma through their screen.

6. Make It Mobile Friendly

Considering that a whopping 96% of Americans now own a cell phone, you need to ensure your winery’s website can be viewed on a variety of mobile devices. A site that can’t load properly on smartphones means you could be missing out on visitors and revenue.

A professional design firm will test your site to make sure it displays properly on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

7. Invite Visitors to Sign Up for Your Newsletter

A newsletter can be a useful marketing tool for letting visitors know about new releases, upcoming events, sales, and more. Invite customers to sign up for your newsletter by placing a pop-up box right on the homepage where subscribers can enter their email address.

You can entice people to subscribe to the newsletter by offering them something in return, such as a promotional discount good for their first wine purchase.

8. Consider Selling Wine Through Your Website

While some wineries only sell their wines at their physical winery location or in stores, you may want to consider adding e-commerce functionality on your site and allow customers to order it online. It can boost your revenue and help get the word out about your wine selections beyond the local area.

Be sure to check local laws for shipping wine.

Make Your Wine Website a Success

While there’s a lot of planning and work involved in making your wine website stand out, this is an important part of your overall branding that you don’t want to cut corners on. A well-designed website will showcase what makes your winery and wine selections special, and make people want to visit you.

For more tips on content for your business, check out our business and finance archive.

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