Archive for the 'Design tips' Category

Search Engine Optimization for Wine Writers and Wineries

In building Able Grape I’ve looked at some 20,000 of the more than 50,000 sites we index. From the point of view of “search friendliness” I’ve seen all kinds of designs, good and bad, and every flavor of mistake imaginable. I really, really want people to be able to find great wine information on the Internet, so I love to get out and talk to the people creating great wine information, i.e. wineries, wine writers and bloggers, to help them understand how to make sure it can be found.

Last week I was honored to give just such a talk at the 2011 Wine Writers Symposium in Napa, backed by two outstanding and experienced bloggers, Joe Roberts of 1 Wine Dude and Alder Yarrow of Vinography. Thanks to all of you who attended, especially given that the talk was simultaneous with a horizontal tasting of 2001 Napa Cabernets! As promised, here are the slides. Hopefully these will make sense by themselves, but if you’ve got questions or thoughts, please fire away!

Optimizing your Blog or Winery Website: WBC 2009 Presentation

Thanks to the many of you who attended my talk on search engine optimization at the 2009 Wine Bloggers’ Conference, in Sonoma. As promised, here are the slides from that talk.

For those of you who weren’t there, I presented my view of search engine optimization (SEO), which I prefer to call “Search-Friendliness.” I talk about how users find information on the internet, what the “long tail” means, and why you must understand it in order to connect with your potential audience, backing up my points with statistics from Able Grape users. I give a crash course on how search engines work, and what implications this has for how you design and build your site. Finally, I talk a bit about analytics.

I haven’t added audio yet, and there were a lot of points that I made or amplified verbally, so hopefully the slides make sense by themselves, but I wanted to post them earlier rather than later.

Four Fallacies of Wine Website design

In building Able Grape I’ve run tens of thousands of wine-related searches, and looked at some 15,000 of the 38,000 sites in our database. Though there are many mistakes that wine producers, wine organizations, and wine publications make while designing sites, there seem to be just a handful of fallacious beliefs behind the vast majority of problems. This post is my first cut at a list of them.

First, to highlight the importance of good website design, let’s start with a little story. It may be fictitious, but to those of us who frequently search for wine information, it rings all too familiar.

Imagine you’re a retailer. Or a sommelier. Or just a wine lover. One day you’re looking for information to put in your customer newsletter, or your winelist, or perhaps you’re just curious. You love the latest vintage of Producer X’s Muckleberry Vineyard blend. But what were the percentages of Saperavi and Nero d’Avola again? Continue reading ‘Four Fallacies of Wine Website design’


Able Grape, a wine information search engine

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