Have you ever tried to find something in particular on a farm nearby? The process usually goes like this:
- Do an online search for “sweet corn near me”
- Get some results for local businesses that sell corn salsa, websites that have corn recipes, a guy a couple miles away who invented some sort of paste to take corns off your feet
- Scroll far further down the search results than you would ever even consider on any other type of search (… maybe even to page 2 – shudder)
- Ultimately find a “summer fun guide” that a local news source put together
- Start skimming to find some farms that seem like they might be remotely near your home
- Try clicking on the links included to go to the farm websites only to discover that most of them are broken links because the farms mentioned forgot to renew their domain names
- Half-heartedly sort through the rest of the options
- Visit some farms’ websites only to discover that they don’t have updated hours of operations, the current crops that they’re selling, or a proper address that will actually enable you to find their farm stand
- Give up looking on your own and post on Facebook asking for recommendations
- Realize that the recommendations you got were for farms that are too far away or farms that “have the best apples ever”
- Ultimately decide to just get in your car and drive towards the closest corn fields you remember seeing and figure that you’ll wing it from there
This is bad for everyone! It’s frustrating to anyone who would prefer to buy locally instead of from big chain grocery stores, it hurts local farmers who are trying to sell their crops, and it robs kids of the formative learning experiences that they can get when they visit where their food is grown and meet the people that do the growing.
To break this crazy cycle, we need more farms that have the kind of online presence that will get people to visit!
- Farm hours and u-pick hours (if they differ)
- Farm stand address and directions for visitors coming from each direction
- U-pick requirements (bring your own container, cash only, etc.)
- A regularly updated list of crops that are available for purchase
- Amenities available (bathrooms, picnic tables, trails, etc.)
- Instructions for first-time visitors (ex. “At the end of the dirt road there are parking spots. You’ll see a covered pavilion to your left with u-pick instructions and a list of current varieties that are available. Behind the farm house is our fruit and veggie stand stocked full of freshly picked produce. We look forward to seeing you soon!”
- A list or calendar of upcoming special events with details
- Pictures of the farm, crops, visitors enjoying their time, the owners, animals that live on the farm, or anything else that will get people excited about visiting
Need help getting your farm website in order? Contact us today – we’d love to help!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Business Blogging and Web Copywriting. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and son and enjoys cooking, watching sports, and spending time together as a family. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about current marketing trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!