As the number of breweries in the United States continues to explode it becomes more important than ever to make sure your website is doing a good job of helping customers understand why they want your beer. 2019 promises to make this job even more complex.
Fortunately, the course for the coming year is set. Four key stand-out factors present themselves as the top issues any brewery’s web team will have to tackle as the new year comes ever-closer.
Make sure your site is truly mobile-friendly.
As we’ve worked to help independent breweries whip their websites into shape we’ve found only about 35% of their traffic, on average, comes from desktop/laptop computers at all. Everything else comes from phones, or tablets.
We’ve also seen, on average, a 50% reduction in bounce rates whenever we convert a website which isn’t mobile-friendly into a website which is.
We also find, before they come to us, that a lot of breweries think their website is mobile-friendly, even when it isn’t.
Take a standard brewery website tool, the beer finder, for example. Many breweries are still using an embedded iFrame, which creates a scenario where customers are attempting to pinch, zoom, and move maps about to try to see what they’re looking at. Not exactly user-friendly.
Meanwhile, we have a tool which locates the precise place where the customer is located, then shows them every nearby spot which will sell them the brewery’s beer. This takes the concept of user-friendliness and kicks it up a notch, giving a customer the precise information he or she needs at the precise moment it’s needed – the “micro-moment”.
These, so-called “micro-moments” are growing in volume and becoming increasingly more important as the world shifts to expecting instant information that’s both relevant and local – 24/7. Google states the following in their coverage of these growing mobile point of sale moments:
To win in mobile, you have to commit to being there in the micro-moments that truly matter to your business. Here are a few questions to ask yourself and your team:
- Consider the most searched topics for your brand or category. Grab your mobile device and try those searches. Are you there and do you like what you see?
- Much like share of the store shelf or share of voice on TV, what is the share of consumer intent you’re capturing with your mobile marketing strategy? How big is the gap versus desktop? How big is the gap versus your peer set?
- Are you only there at the bottom of the funnel, when people are in buying mode? Or are you there across the full range of consumer needs, wants, and curiosities? Are you also considering the various contexts of those needs, and are you adjusting your strategy accordingly?
On your mobile device, search for terms like “breweries near me” or Google the name of one of your most popular beers. See where you rank and if what you see reflects positively or negatively on your brand. Are beer rating sites appearing above your brewery’s own website in the results? Make some changes your website to ensure your website shows high in search results for these terms.
Which, leads me to the next point…
Pay attention to search engine result pages.
Search engine results pages (or SERPs for short) are getting more sophisticated every day. It’s also the first place you get to make an impression. The data that determines whether search features will show your brewery at its most flattering; while invisible to most visitors, is locked up primarily in your meta-data, which may need to be tweaked and massaged.
There are several factors to help your brand become more visible in search engine results. For a full breakdown of what factors matter most, take a look at this article from earlier this year – 5 simple ways to dominate local search.
KISS (Keep it Speedy, Sweetheart)!
If it takes your brewery’s website longer than 3 seconds to load on any device, you’ve got a problem. Bounce rates tend to double at the 4-second mark.
Dozens of things can slow down the site’s loading speed, and many of the issues occur on the back-end, where neither you nor your customers can see them. If you can’t figure out why your site’s load speeds are too slow you might need to consult with a professional web developer, one who can attack those behind-the-scenes issues right at the code level.
Take advantage of analytics and marketing scripts.
Both Google and Facebook offer the ability to install a bit of code provided by them and gain access to their free tools to gain a wealth of information on your website’s visitors. Breweries can also use both Google and Facebook’s tracking scripts to take their marketing to the next level.
In 2018, there will be more and more opportunities to track visitors to your website and deliver ultra-refined messaging to them. Adding the Google Adwords script will allow you to advertise on their platform using banner ads to keep your brand in front of previous visitors. And installing Facebook’s tracking “pixel” allows you to refine your marketing on their platform by layering their very robust demographic data set on top of various other signals. Generally speaking, the more refined and targeted your message is to its audience, the lower your cost per impression will be.
Get help where you need it.
If you’re starting to feel a bit overwhelmed, take heart. We specialize in helping breweries with their websites, and we take all these issues into account (and more) when we design and manage them. Check out what we do if you’d like to learn a bit more on that front.
Here’s to another great year marketing beer and watching the industry thrive in 2018! ?
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