Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly websites are no longer optional, and if you don’t have one you can bet you’re irritating your customers. Mobile now accounts for upward of 70% of all web traffic, and many of your customers don’t even own a PC. Even customers who have PCs might tend to use their smartphones to search for places where they can find beer; as people tend to make these searches when they’re out and about, looking for some place to eat or have a drink.
Mobile-friendliness impacts overall visibility, too. Google now favors mobile-friendly websites in search results (a shift called mobile-first indexing). And there’s not a lot of margin for error here: smart phones tend to show just three search results at a time.
And sure, any smart phone can load up a traditional website. But they are difficult to navigate on tiny screens, tend to load very slowly, and don’t offer users an optimized experience. A lot of your customers won’t bother. They’ll hit the “back” button, and they’ll find another option.
Use this tool from Google to see if your website is mobile friendly.
Solution: Get help developing a website that uses responsive design which will look great and load quickly on any device.
Your event calendar is empty.
Breweries aren’t just about beer. They’re about fun. Smart breweries are aware of the social element supporting their brews, and understand the way associating their brewery with fun, fond memories can build brand loyalty.
Having events scheduled is only half of the equation, however. If you don’t publish your events on your website, those who are looking for something to do or a reason to visit your taproom are going to think twice or go someplace else.
Besides, filling up your event calendar provides customers with a reason to come back to your website, where they are exposed to your brand again and again. Event calendars also give customers a good reason to sign up for your mailing list—finding out about the cool new stuff that’s going on!
Solution: Make the most of your events by keeping your online event calendar updated. Add events to external websites such as Facebook to gain even more exposure.
Your tap list is outdated.
Your tap list is one of the most vital pieces of information on your entire website. After all, it’s the place customers are going to go to get an in-depth look at your brewery’s line-up. And when asked, customers tend to say “tap lists” are the number one thing they visit a brewery’s website to look at. You must stay on top of it.
Picture this. Your customer has just taken the time to pour over your tap list. They’ve found something they’re really excited about trying. They get to your brewery, and you’re no longer offering it. What kind of taste will that experience leave in that customer’s mouth?
Or, picture this—the adventurous beer enthusiast who pulls up your tap list to see what’s new. Finding the same list he looked at four months ago, he shrugs…and finds somewhere else to drink.
Remember, you lose business any time there is a mismatch between what customers expect and what they experience.
Solution: Update your website’s tap list, daily at a minimum. The very best solution is to keep your website and tap list in sync, in real-time, so that visitors don't have to guess what's on tap.
You haven’t added a release calendar.
“The release calendar is missing” is one of the top complaints beer enthusiasts have about brewery websites. Help your customers get excited about what’s coming so they have a reason to visit your brewery in the future!
Your release calendar serves two functions. First, it tells customers all about the new brews on the horizon. Second, if you’ve seasonal offerings, you’ll help customers figure out when they can stock up on their favorites. And many customers do get attached to seasonal beers; they can get very frustrated indeed if they can’t figure out when they’ll be available again.
Solution: Add an annual release calendar to your website, and keep it up-to-date.
You haven’t shown where people can buy your beer!
You don’t want to rely solely on the customers who will visit your brewery in person. Plenty of customers will only purchase your beer from retailers, or from other restaurants nearby, especially if they don’t live anywhere near your location. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to figure out how they can enjoy everything you’ve got to offer.
It’s especially useful if you geo-locate customers so they can easily search for distribution nearby without needing to know the address or zip code they are currently in.
Remember, even the most dedicated fan is only going to hunt for your beer so long. If they get frustrated, they’ll go drink someone else’s beer.
Solution: Keep your website's "beer finder" in sync with your current distribution locations. Make sure the information is easy to navigate on mobile devices, as most visitors will be on a mobile device searching for your beer.
Is your website helping or hurting your brand?
Your website should be one of your most valuable marketing assets, not a huge burden that’s dragging your brand down. If you don’t have time to stay on top of your website, we totally understand. In fact, we've created a set of services to help breweries, just like yours.