Winery Website Navigation - How To Think Like Your Customers
By Courtney Holmes
It is one thing to have a beautifully designed website that represents your winery in the best of light. It is your first impression. But it's useless to your customers if they get to your website and can't find what they are looking for.
There is a famous website design book called, Don't Make Me Think. Essentially, it explains the online user's behavior. Internet browsers interpret a user friendly and easy to navigate website as common courtesy and if a business "disrespects" the user by poor site navigation, well then - they are on to the next winery website. So site navigation is just as important as the aesthetic design.
Winery Website Navigation
They call this "buyer persona" in the biz (marketing industry, that is). For a winery, think of your buyer personas in 5 possible types:
1. Tasting room visitor
2. Event Coordinator
3. Online Shopper
5. Wine Club Member
As your winery hunkers down to figure out what content they want on their website they need to consider their buyer personas. Not all wineries have a strong trade wholesale distribution presence, nor do all wineries rent out their location as a venue. So establish exactly who will be visiting your site and think of them as you design your site navigation.
The next step is to list all the page titles that you want to include on your new website. Don't yet think about in what order. Just brainstorm on a whiteboard with your staff all the content you need in your winery website redesign.
Once that is completed you want to think of titles for the top navigation of your website. Now this is where you consider the buyer personas. Make sure there is a tab for each type of buyer's persona. You want to avoid making them think. When they get to your site, they should know what link to click on next and not have to guess.
Below we have made it a little easier on you. This is an example of a top navigation menu that speaks to all personas. Keep in mind that the parenthesis text is not to be included on your menu.
- "Wine Club" (Wine Club Members or Soon to Be Members)
- "Shop" or "Purchase" (Online purchasers and Wine Club Members)
- "News & Events" (Event Coordinators, Trade, Wine Club Members)
- "About Us" or "Our Story" (All Buyer Personas)
- "Visit" (Tasting Room Visitor)
- "Trade" (Distributor)
Make sure that the top navigation titles have drop down menus for the subpages. You never want to have your user to click on a top navigation link to find out what is in it's subpages. Make sure they can click directly on the drop down options for the subpages. "No drop down menu" means your users have to think. Remember, don't make them think!
Also, never never have to navigation bars. News media sites can have double navigation bars, but winery websites are much more simplistic and should never have to have two menus. Having 2 or 3 navigation menus are just too confusing for users and will increase the likelihood they will "bounce" off your website.
Be Literal in Your Titles
Stay away from navigation titles like "aquire," "community," "celebrate," etc. It is clever but it is not helpful for the user. Stay very literal - remember, "Don't Make me Think."
Creating Your Sitemap
We make it easy for our clients to figure out how many pages they need and where they should go on their winery website redesign. We provide a simple checklist at the start of our web design process for wineries - so you don't have to think.
Feel free to contact us if you want to explore options for your next winery website redesign.