Winery SEO: Google's New Local Winery "Carousel'"
By Courtney Holmes
There have been some profound changes at Google lately that directly effect your tasting room traffic. Local search results are becoming more relevant and in my opinion more 'fair." With the new change businesses that are most valued to the community will get the most attention in Google search results - not the ones who will spend the most money on a search optimization company or ad campaign. Let me break it down for you here:
Before, when someone would have searched in Google for "Napa Winery" they would have got search results like the one below.
This is what it looks like today:
You can see that the review scores are featured very prominately on the top carousel. Domaine Carneros' has a score of 24 out of 30. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars has a score of 17 out of 30 which is sure to hurt their business until they get that score up.
This isn't just happening for Napa, from our research it looks like all wine regions are seeing the carousel in their search results. As I have mention in our previous blog posts, online reviews are the great leveler. Now a business reaches success because they have a great service and/or product. They can gain awareness from a large audience because of their positive reviews, not by spending big bucks on advertising.
Not sure how to get more reviews? We can help you with that.
Searchers Click More on the Carousel than Organic Results
The research has already been conducted and it shows:
- 40 out of 83 or 48% of the total clicks were on carousel results.
- 12 out of 83 or 14.5% of the total click were on the map.
For the qualitative part of the review, the participants said that the amount of reviews played a part on why they clicked on listing. The research study was not on winery listings, but on restaurants; with this in mind the participants said they clicked on the listings because of the photos in the carousel. Those photos featured nice photography of the restaurants entrees. This is not to say that your winery should include photos of your wine by the glass. But to say that photos, no doubt, play a part on whether the searcher clinks on your listing.
Click here to check on the Google Carousel Study.
Less Traffic To Winery Website
A study hasn't been conducted on this, but I think we might see less traffic to winery websites because instead of clicking on the listing for Domaine Caneros and being directed to their website, the user gets results from a new search with the keywords "Domaine Caneros." So everything that appears on the new search results is about Domaine Caneros - so it could be a listing to their Yelp page, Youtube page, Trip Advisor - really any website that lists your business. Mostly review sites. So this means reviews are even more important!
But this second listing of search results could redirect them to a listing site instead of your website. So I think there might be a slight decline in web traffic.
Reviews Score Requires Less Reviewers
The new feature hasn't rolled out yet for wineries - but it is coming. It use to be that Google would not give a score for the business until the business had collected 10 or more reviews. Which I thought was really fair, because I always felt that Yelp misrepresented businesses when they gave a 3 star review to a business who only had collected 2 reviews. It doesn't seem like 2 reviews can really accurately represent the overall impression of the business.
But I just found out yesterday the Google is going to start scoring business that have 5 reviews or more. Which could be a good thing for wineries, or very bad for the ones that have not been incentivizing their customers to review them. If you want to learn out how to incentivize positive online reviews - check this out.