Hello!!

I’m here today to give Nashoba Valley Winery some invaluable tips on improving their online presence and capturing tons of hidden value out there on the net.

Nashoba Valley Winery is a fruit winery, restaurant and they host wine tastings, weddings, apple picking, fall events in a beautiful New England setting.  On the top 5 favorite restaurants for my wife and I (doesn’t hurt its 20 minutes from home either).

I just want to point out a few long term investments and short term easy actions they could do to get more value from their presence online.

The key here, is that this is already an awesome business, their customers love them, the food and wine and experience as already top notch – they just need a little push in the right direction for online stuff. But there is huge potential for them to maximize!

1. Migrate to WordPress

First, here’s the site:

It looks like they’re on some sort of pre-1998 template setup for a platform. Some kind of ASP site. They would spend a little up front to switch to WordPress, but I can’t imagine what they’re on now being anything but a headache. Some of the several benefits to WordPress:

  • scalable – you can easily grow the site, add new pages with little effort
  • content managment – you can easily create, edit content all on your own
  • seo friendly – as long as you don’t mess it up with weird plugins you’re 80% there for proper technical SEO setup
  • design – even if you stick with a free design template, it’ll look better than what you’ve got!
  • community potential – you can very easily have a blog with comments, guest bloggers and other ways to get interaction because WordPress makes this technically possibly and within reach.

 

2. Create Pages That Answer People’s Questions When They Search

For example, the following screenshot shows that when people search for their wine tasting information, you just get the homepage and site-links:

Or look at this example:

So what should they do? They should use Google suggest data to see what people commonly search for, and be sure they are providing that information on their site:

I know I use Ubersuggest a lot in examples, but you can see why. This is INVALUABLE information for a business to have!!

So Nashoba Valley: create those pages and resources to help your customers find what they need more easily.  Your website is like the 24/7 answering service, ready to answer people’s questions – you should anticipate them as best a possible and provide answers, so your website can work for you, round the clock.

3. Monitor People Who Blog About You and Act!!!

Check out what I found here. This is a Google Blog search… look how many results there are!

Let’s dive deeper and look at a few of these posts and who wrote them… example #1

Wow! This active food blogger, wrote about Nashoba (a good review) and didn’t leave a link!!  Not only that, Nashoba (it doesn’t seem) has not contacted this blogger, thanked them, re-shared the article. They have a good engaged Twitter following!  Not only should they reach out with a “thank-you” – here is all your shareworthy social media content here!!!  You don’t NEED to create content to tweet about all the time, just share what people have written about you!!

Here’s ANOTHER:

This blogger says “its one of my favorite places to visit each fall”.  NO comment or thank-you from Nashoba.  Do something with this!!!!  She’s also got a great twitter following!

Nashoba Valley Winery should create a Google Alert for a blog search of their name to begin monitoring for new blog articles. And then take action!!  Suggested actions are:

  • Re-share the blog post on your channels (twitter, Facebook, etc) and be sure to mention them so they see you shared their content
  • Reply to the person and thank them (on the post directly, through twitter, etc)
  • Follow them on Twitter, Facebook etc and interact
  • Send them a small thank you in the mail, like a gift certificate, card, bottle of wine even!
  • Or better, keep a short list of the best bloggers. When they come next to your restaurant, surprise them with a gift or complimentary meal!!
  • Do you think they might blog about you again? Tell their friends?

4. Create A Google Alert for Discussion Searches

This is similar to above, but check this out:

Someone here was looking for Cranberry Wine in the greater Boston area. Someone even responded on behalf of Nashoba, but how killer would that be for Nashoba to respond directly?

If you want to get advanced, you could use the new tool I talked about in my last post, and hook up some killer ways to stay on top of the discussion online.

Do it Nashoba!

4. Clean Up Facebook

Alright… there’s a bit of a housekeeping issue with Facebook. You may or may not be aware, but it could be a real pain point for folks online. Have a look at what see you when typing “Nashoba Valley”…

nothing… (actually I see something at the very bottom, but STILL…)

What if we include the word “winery”? Its the full business name now, right?

Just a lonely abandoned Business Page.  Ok let’s try “see more results…” (Yes, I ‘liked’ SEER interactive on Facebook…)

YIKES!!!

EIGHT OPTIONS of Facebook pages!!!!  And what the heck is that listing towards the bottom????!

Unfortunately many people still try to visit your abandoned business page:

Your actual “active” Facebook page is a personal page account.   I’m sure you know this and its perhaps a long term issue that’s been nagging, but it would be ideal to set a plan to migrate over to a business page and clean up those extra listings.

Also, I’m not sure when I started talking about Nashoba in the second person, maybe just when I get excited…

 

5. Respond To Reviews

Showing people that you’re out there online and listening can have a phenominal impact. Take a look at this example of a not so great review:

  • Respond to all negative reviews in a productive manner – this has shown to often turn dissatisfied customers into loving customers!
  • Respond to positive reviews as well, show people that you are listening and appreciate that they talk about you online.  This also shows people checking out your business for the first time that you care about your customers.
  • You can also monitor malicious or spam reviews and report them

6. Optimize YouTube Channel and Videos

Just firing off a bunch of quick things here…. so its great you are taking advantage of video and YouTube. I see some improvements you could make that would take this from good to GRREEEATT!

  • If the title and text was optimized, you could actually RANK for searches in Google with this video.
  • Include a link in the description to your wine tasting page
  • Respond to people who comment on your videos
  • Maximize your profile page by optimizing it and filling it with information

7. Show Off Those Awards!!

Lastly, one little website tip…. you’ve apparently got TONS of really nice wards in your name… they are listed on your site here like this:

  • Link out to the resource
  • Display each award as a photo or graphic  - huge credibility boost!

Final Thought: Its About People

<back to third person/>I do realize Nashoba Valley is doing some great things as a business. I know this first hand, I’m a happy returning customer! And I know its hard to keep up with everything online especially when trying to running a business all at the same time. Yet with some automation tricks, prioritization and a little re-direction they could really maximize large untapped potential. These ideas may be “SEO centered” but they’re really about PEOPLE. Its about connecting with people online, saying thanks, giving back, showing they care and are listening. I’m not saying Nashoba Winery doesn’t care, these things will just give the right perception – that they DO care, and people will see that online and turn into more happy customers.

If you’re even in the Massachusetts Area, I really do recommend checking out Nashoba Valley Winery… :-)

 

 

About Dan Shure

I'm Dan (Google Plus Profile). I've been helping businesses improve their websites since 2007. Improving your bottom line is my number one goal. My obsessive nature and love for SEO as a true craft doesn't hurt either.

17 Comments

  • January 5, 2012 Reply

    Ken Jansen

    Hi Dan,

    Great, concise, and easy to follow article. Nice job.

    • January 5, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks Ken :)

  • January 5, 2012 Reply

    Joel

    And THIS is why you will be the SEO darling of 2012, my man!

    • January 5, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Haha, thanks Joel… if that “happens” (whatever would define that) just a nice bonus to have a voice in the community. Hopefully I can always push the envelope of my own skills as well as in the industry, wherever things take us, and help some businesses along the way who deserve it.

  • January 5, 2012 Reply

    livingseolife

    Great case study, Thanks dan

    • January 5, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      You bet man, thanks for the tweet too :)

  • January 6, 2012 Reply

    Zoe Geddes-Soltess

    I really enjoyed this, Dan! A lot of great takeaways for wineries and brands in general on effective seo and smo. Your point about listening to social media conversations especially resonated with me – you identified some great engagement opportunities for Nashoba Valley. Hopefully, they take notice! :)

    Cheers!

    Zoe Geddes-Soltess
    Community Engagement, Radian6
    @zodot

    • January 6, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Hi Zoe, thanks for the comment! Yes, I hope they take notice and try some of these things. I’m not necessarily looking for them as a client, but we love their restaurant and winery so much, I would like to see them be able to improve business! Social listening is a big one, especially for a company that gets talked about a lot.

      -Dan

  • January 6, 2012 Reply

    Drew

    This is a great breakdown. Kind of an easy one, but still a good overview of stuff. I end up doing this kind of thing for people more and more. People now currently being friends, past co-workers, etc. Now if I could just convince them to spend money to actually FIX a lot of these things… then we’d be getting somewhere…

    • January 6, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, its all about the execution to get the results!

  • January 7, 2012 Reply

    Bombo

    (snap I really should create a profile on gravatar)

    Awesome summary of basics, get bookmarked !

  • January 10, 2012 Reply

    zak

    Really awesome article!

    I’ve sent it on to our marketing team to read, digest and act upon. However, on reading it again I’ve called a meeting for when they come in to the office and I want to go through the article and ensure they digest it and more importantly act upon it.

    Great work :-)

    Zak

    • January 11, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks Zak, I’m complimented and excited to hear you’re taking ACTION! Just know that these ideas are very custom for this particular business, which I’m sure you’ll know to do what’s best for your particular situation. I highly recommend SEOmoz as a fantastic resource for all around SEO and search marketing information.

      -Dan

  • January 11, 2012 Reply

    Anthony D. Nelson

    Dan- Another great ‘If I did SEO for’ style post. It’s amazing how much benefit a website like Nashoba Valley Winery could get from implementing the changes you’ve quickly listed in this post.

    Imagine if you spent the time to dig deeper and found old 404 pages with links pointing at them, set-up 301s, etc. So much potential for a major improvement with how they are performing in the SERPs.

    These site could definitely use a migration to WordPress, which could help them asses the content currently on their site and allow them to easily remove broken internal links (HP-Weddings) or update them to new locations.

    Optimizing title tags alone would be a major improvement.

    Sometimes, a post like this is perfect for a motivating a company to take the first steps towards improvement. A few quick fixes will really get them excited about the possibilities. Getting into the slightly more technical stuff (404s, 301s, canonical tags) will likely just scare them off.

    I volunteer myself to help you fix the site if there is free cases of wine involved.

    • January 11, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Yes, lots of “low hanging fruit” here – sorry for the bad joke. But yes, I see this all the time. So many easy improvements that can be made! Yes, I’m sure a look at their Google Webmaster Tools and we’d be drooling over the errors to fix. Goes back to my post “It’s NOT about the SEO” and how fixing that stuff can bring more people to their business, make them more money, and give them more opportunity to have a better life! Amazing.

      Title tags for me is like the wrinkled collar on someone’s shirt. JUST. HAVE. TO. FIX. IT!

      That’s right man, find them some easy, quality wins up front and it can really be motivating for them to keep going. Appreciate the comments man, it got me talking!

  • March 27, 2012 Reply

    Jordan Godbey

    Wow Dan awesome analysis. You’ve really got my wheels spinning now on some content ideas :) an email might follow

    • March 28, 2012 Reply

      Dan Shure

      Thanks! Glad to hear its gotten some ideas going. I find the best way to come up with ideas is to just dive right into a project. They’re all so unique, you’re bound to come up with something you’ve never thought of before :-)

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