While doing research for a client recently we were looking at a range of wine tour companies across New Zealand. To get the best idea of which regions had the most searches I started to do some keyword research, and was somewhat surprised to find that of all the regions in New Zealand, Waiheke is by far the most popular when it comes to searches online, taking out 3 of the 8 top regions by keyword search volume.
Not that surprising I guess when you think that Auckland is New Zealand’s main city, with a huge number of tourists, and Waiheke is well known for it’s boutique wine, but I assumed “auckland wine tours” would be right up there.
In this review, we will look at which businesses are ranking at the top of Google for the main terms, do a breakdown of what they are doing right, and look at what competitors can do to win a place in Google’s top 3 results. Don’t be fooled by the red high competition bars – a manual breakdown is a lot more effective.
We get blasted with SEO mails so much that a lot of business owners don’t realise there is a science to Google ranking, and it’s just a matter of taking the time to do the right things. Never forget that along with a website optimised for conversions, a strong Google presence is a huge asset to your business.
Top ranking “Waiheke Wine Tours” companies
While these rankings will change by area, or by which country someone is searching from, we will focus this review on general searches within New Zealand which gives a solid foundation to analyse.
Local rankings refers to results which appear in the map section of Google. This gets great real estate in desktop, tablet and mobile searches. It also has buttons to call directly, visit the website etc. A good local ranking is a great lead-generating asset.
Organic rankings refer to standard Google results – another great lead generating asset for your business.
You can see the top local results and the organic result here:
“Waiheke Wine Tours” rankings
|Ranking||Local Result||Organic Result|
|1st||Waiheke Island Wine Tours||Waiheke Island Wine Tours|
With the top 2 results really standing out in Local & Organic, we’ll only look at these companies, so the sites we’ll be looking at are Waiheke Island Wine Tours and Ananda Tours. Tripadvisor is in a league of it’s own and while It’s possible to rank above authority sites (as shown by the top organic result here) comparing local business sites is what matters here.
The things that really matter when it comes to Google ranking are website age, URL, meta-data, initial impression/bounce rate, site structure and technical setup, content, backlinks from other sites, citations, and social signals.
Website Age & URL
As a website ages it gains trust. The older the better, but a new website can still win out in Google provided work is put into the site build and ongoing digital marketing efforts. As for domain name, keywords in a domain name are huge for getting ranked in Google, and business names that exactly match keyword terms are gold.
Waiheke Island Wine Tours: Registered 2010. https://www.waihekeislandwinetours.co.nz/
Ananda Tours: Registered 2003. http://www.ananda.co.nz/
This highlights the power of an exact-match business name. Registered 7 years after Ananda, Waiheke Island Wine Tours are coming first in organic and local. Ananda own the website “waihekewinetours.co.nz” which is also on Page one, and they are selling their tours through this site as well.
This is what is (generally) displayed in a Google search. The top meta-title has a huge influence on Google ranking, and the meta-description has a big influence on click-through rate (whether people click or not) which also affects ranking over time.
Waiheke Island Wine Tours includes main keywords as part of its business name, so it’s easy to include keywords in the title. The description is well-written and entices you to click the link.
Ananda Tours’ meta begins well, but towards the end tries to stuff in all the things offered. It could be rewritten to create more appeal and encourage people to click through to see what is on offer. Additionally, the title could be rewritten to include the keywords and include “island”. Something like, “Premium Waiheke Island Wine Tours | Ananda Tours”. They could then rewrite the meta-description to include “waiheke wine tours” as well as highlight the “wine and food experience”.
Initial Impressions / Website Conversion Setup
How a website looks is essential – if people don’t like what they see they will bounce, meaning leave the site quickly. A high percentage of bounces will push a website down in Google over time.
Waiheke Island Wine Tours have a fairly outdated site. While responsive with a slideshow there is not a lot of large imagery – a shame when I am sure there are incredible opportunities for capturing beautiful images. The menu, while responsive, is quite dated looking. While they have reviews, there are none featured on the homepage. They do have endorsements on the page, and a Facebook plugin showing how may likes they have and giving an option to like the page, so there is some social proof. Inner pages are very light on imagery, there are no reviews on each page, and not a lot of detailed information. It’s hard to know what specific tours are offered, or get any idea of price. While it is no doubt doing it’s job, the site could do with a refresh, and a modern redesign should improve conversion.
Ananda Tours’ website is more modern, opening with a simple header and a full page image. The main Call To Action is quite weak – an arrow taking you down the page that scrolls too far – but from there it highlights endorsements, and lays out the tours and prices quite clearly. There is no information about the company, links to the blog etc – they are clearly funnelling visitors into the tours themselves. As with the above site there are no reviews featured on the homepage. There is a footer link to Facebook, but nothing else from a social network on the homepage. I would definitely add testimonials/reviews to this site, possibly a video intro, and a Gallery feed – this could be integrated with social by using Instagram and pulling images into the homepage. The site also has a Chinese version.
Site Structure & Technical
Part of Google’s algorithm takes into account how well a site is built, as well as how much content there is
|What||Waiheke Island Wine Tours||Ananda Tours|
|Mobile Friendly Test||Pass||Pass|
|Technical SEO Score||68%||59%|
|# of Pages||Average||Average-High|
Ananda Tours is collecting client data directly through the site and the lack of HTTPS there needs to be addressed – it won’t be long until visitors receive warnings about the lack of security.
It is clear from this that both sites could do with work to improve their loading time including adding compression and caching.
Both sites pass the mobile-friendly test, though Waiheke Island Wine Tours has a very outdated menu setup.
The technical SEO review of both sites highlights a number of issues that can be addressed to improve site health.
As for content, both sites have a number of pages dedicated to tours and blogs. The blogs are not recently updated – I would remove the dates from Waiheke Island Wine Tours blog as the posts are very old.
Backlinks are huge for influencing the position a website takes in Google search. Typically there will be a number for “referring pages” and a number for “referring domains”. Waiheke Island Wine Tours does not have a large number of backlinks at all. This shows the power of the exact match business name. Ananda Tours have a lot more backlinks.
|Company||Referring Pages||Referring Domains|
|Waiheke Island Wine Tours||45||34|
While it’s difficult to be sure exactly how much long-term influence social media has on Google ranking, it is known that sites that have more social mentions receive a boost in ranking for a period of time. So social followers and mentions will help. Having a number of social profiles also adds to a sites credibility which also has a positive influence on Google ranking.
Waiheke Island Wine Tours has 1,017 likes on Facebook, 48 reviews with an average of 4.8 stars, and is fairly active.
Ananda Tours has 652 likes on Facebook, 15 reviews with an average of 5 stars, and is also fairly active.
Google My Business Profile
A well optimised Google My Business profile is a large factor in Local SEO, as it is this profile that is displayed on the maps.
Waiheke Island Wine Tours has 9 reviews with a 4.3 star average, a local number, and 10 images by the owner.
Ananda Tours has 10 reviews with a 5 star average, a local number, and 5 images by the owner.
Both of these companies could work to add more photos, get more reviews, and secure their placement in the local search display.
Recommendations to maintain/increase visibility in Google for “Waiheke wine tours”
The top two: While it is obvious these 2 companies have made/are making real efforts when it comes to marketing themselves online, there are several places that both sites need work. I would recommend both of these companies to continue investing in developing their web presence and building good links to their websites, as well as increasing their integration of imagery, social media and testimonials/reviews on all pages.
Currently operating businesses: By using the information gathered in this review as a guide, companies that are currently active but not as prominent online should be able to work out areas they can improve on and see an increase rankings if things are done correctly. Partnering with a business like us could definitely help them increase their visibility in search as well as improve the conversion rate of their website. Companies I see as having good potential are Fullers, Enjoi, Waivino, Waiheke Executive Transport, Waiheke Custom Wine Tours and Sunshine Tours and Robbie’s Fun Bus. These companies, provided they have a local office, have a good chance of getting a place in the maps. They also all have potential to get into the top of the organic search display.
New businesses interested in this market: There is plenty of interest as shown in the keyword search volume. A well-built site, good content, and an ongoing investment in SEO, advertising and marketing will allow new players to enter the market and work towards becoming serious contenders. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of competition for Google Adwords placings, meaning new businesses could take advantage of a good paid search campaign while working to earn a high ranking.
I hope this article has helped you understand the state of the “Waiheke wine tours” industry from an online marketing perspective. Get in touch if you’d like to improve your current ranking, or enter the market the right way.