Helping The Wine Buyer Find The Wine Seller
Keyword research is a significant part of any good marketing mix. But, wine keyword research can be more challenging than most consumer products. That’s because the big brands and retailers dominate broad, highly competitive terms like red wine, vineyards, etc. The cost to rank against these terms is prohibitively expensive for small wineries. Drill down on specific, less competitive wine terms, however, and search volume can get very low. A term like “best wine tasting rooms” might get only 100 searches per month, while, surprisingly, “wines I should try” returns zero search volume. It takes creativity and lots of trial and error for the wine marketer to come up with search terms and keywords they can own. But opportunity awaits!
The Short Story Of The Long Tail
The long tail has been a marketing buzzword since 2004, when it was coined by researcher Chris Anderson. It refers to the strategy of selling low volumes of a large number of niche products to small groups of consumers. The internet is responsible for the success of the strategy, since it allows marketers to specifically target groups of consumers. Calisto Media is a good example of a company working the long tail strategy. Calisto uses big data to find niche areas of interest. They then publish small volumes of books to meet the needs of that niche. Because they can research their customer base against keywords related to that niche, they know just how many books to print. It’s a brilliant strategy, and the company is growing like wildfire.
Making Keywords Work For Wine
Utilizing big data requires big budgets and big staffs, but small wineries can use the core long tail strategy to find their customers and drive converting traffic to their site. It’s a simple idea. The key is to test, test, test keywords and search terms against your converting traffic. So if you don’t have Google Analytics set up on your site, do it now. Then you’ll want to follow these basic steps:
Research, Test, Rinse, Repeat
- Do your keyword research. To start, follow the number one rule of marketing: think like your customer. I write about this in my post, Why Do We Think Wine Is So Special? What are they shopping for? What questions do they have? How can you help solve a problem they might have? With wine, we’re not talking life or death problems. The biggest issues facing the wine consumer are related to confusion and intimidation. How do I serve wine? What wine goes with what food? How much wine do I need for my party? And so forth. As I mentioned before, wine terms can get very obscure very quickly. Use Google Keyword Planner to play with different terms. “Red wine with steak” garners no more than 100 searches per month. But “best wine with steak” can return up to 10,000. You can also type terms into Google, and look at the search suggestions it returns. There are lots of free and paid keyword search tools out there that give you much more insight than Keyword Planner. The idea is to find unique terms that you can deliver against, that return between 1,000 and 10,000 searches per month.
- Once you have your list of terms, start testing, and using the terms consistently. Pick a few to start with, and write your blog posts, video scripts, emails, recipes, product page copy, and any and all content using the terms. Don’t pack your copy with them; that’s a big Google no-no. Write naturally, using the terms in context. If you’re advertising, whether on Google, Facebook, or elsewhere, test headlines and body copy using the terms.
- Build landing pages on your site designed to deliver against your keywords. Google loves content, so the more content you have, the better. The more targeted landing pages you have, the better your chances of getting high quality traffic to your site. One of the great advantages of the long tail strategy is that, while volume of traffic may be low, the customer searching for that term is highly motivated to buy. The person googling “best wine with steak” is definitely cooking dinner very soon, and needs advice about what wine to buy.
We’re Just Getting Started
This post is intended to be a starting point for thinking about keyword strategy. It’s a complex and wide-ranging topic, and I’ve just barely skimmed the surface here. But the core mindset is always the same: find a need, and fill it. As wine marketers, we just need to get a little more creative than most.