Ever wondered why a customer who lived round the corner bought wine off an online competitor rather than yourself?
If so here is a simple way to find out, just go to google.com and search for relevant phrases like wine shop 90210, pinot noir, brand X … and see who dominates the search engine results page.
I did this for a wine shopper located in zip code 90210 in the States (i.e. Beverly Hills).
Firstly I set my search query to zip code 90120 (ask me below if you want know how). Then I searched for the keyword wine.
All the major online retailers are advertising in Google Adwords (“sponsored links” on top and right hand side). The “organic” links (left hand side) have similar results though confusingly with some computer software also called Wine. The keyword wine is obviously popular with all the ad spots taken. Note I reload the page near the middle of the video and come up with some different search engine results which I discuss below.
Please note you’ll probably want go to youtube and watch it in a larger size at HD 720p resolution.
What stands out to me is the physical addresses under the ads – especially K&L Wines. If consumers wanted more trusted, and cheap/quick delivery I’d say they would check out the local stores first.
Also note that the major wine retailers take up spots on Adwords and the organic search results. This may seem inefficient but what they are doing is,
- excluding other competitors (like you!)
- gaining greater presence on the page results, which arguably leads to more credibility -and more clicks.
There are always ten official “organic” results for a keyword. When I “refresh” or reload the page half way through the video only four of these organic results are visible on my laptop screen! They are: Wine HQ (the software), wine.com (the only store), and two wikipedia entries.
Below these listings are shopping results. Surrounding both are Adwords with between 8 and 10 wine ads (changes each time I reload the page).
In short if you want to be on the first page of google search engine results (and you do) for the keyword “wine” (which you may not) then you’ll need to use Adwords even if the wine consumer is searching the internet just round the corner.
Talking about round the corner… I then searched for wine store 90210.
(Please note you’ll probably want to go to youtube and watch it in a larger size at HD 720p resolution.)
Google Maps or “Local Business results” dominated the top part of the page. When you clicked on these links you get all the locations of local businesses near 90210 (including others in nearby zip codes). It also showed citysearch.com (or yelp.com) results further down the page.
So the first the thing you should do is make sure you have taken care of your Google Places account as well as other local services such as yelp.com, citysearch, and foursquare.com.
Next I put in the search Kosta Browne Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. I get the winery itself, a wine store (that I’ll come back to) and various shopping comparison sites. I hate to say this but given that Kosta Browne is Californian the consumer is likely to buy direct from the winery – but that’s not your only issue.
(Please note you’ll probably want go go to youtube and watch it in HD 720p.)
The Shopping Results are based off something called Google Base. This is a feed (a special link) you give Google. Google then adds it to this shopping results list – sort of like it’s own big webstore but linking to the retailer’s shop. Other shopping feed sites include snooth.com and cellartracker.com. Note some of these require a commission to be paid.
So the next thing you could do is see if you can send these companies a feed (or sometimes an excel file). You’ll probably need to ask your website company for help with this. Note that you need to regularly ensure your products are in stock if you advertise through these methods or your account may be paused or even deleted.
Note that local searches continue to do well, in fact in all the searches I’ve done today K&L Wines has been well featured. They are doing an excellent job with Google Adwords, Local Search, and Shopping so I’ll dig into this company’s internet marketing a little more in a future post.
Lastly a “what the…!”. I stumbled across this while compiling these videos – “topless woman robs wine shop“! And no she ain’t pretty.
What else do you see for wine searches in your local search?
EDIT: Google will automatically include Google Maps results if it thinks that local business results are relevant, or you have included an indicator (like a town) that suggests you want local results. If you haven’t used an indicator it will use something call “your IP address” which tells it which “internet server” is closest to you. Jargon I know but the key thing to remember is sometimes it will be a nonsensical result! This is because Google will be given an IP address from outside your local area – especially if you use AOL. AOL routes all its traffic from around the States through Virginia, so your local results will most likely be Virginian even if you live in California…