Updated: Feb 11
Eight out of ten people use search engines to find a new pub.
From my experience of searching for a new watering hole online, I can tell you that some web copy looks as abandoned as a toilet inspection checklist pinned on the outside of the Lamb and Flag’s cubicle door.
But these are the first impressions you give online visitors so - like a Friday night tipple - your web copy needs to be crisp and fizzing with life.
It needs to tickle the taste buds and get punters coming back for more. Taking that extra care with your pub’s online appearance can really help get those beer lines flowing.
So, if you want your clientele to outgrow your number of bar stalls, here’s a selection of our finest top-shelf tips…
Use The Right Tone
Your copy is the virtual front of house for your business, offering a cosy retreat from the bustle of the internet. Make your online customers feel as if they’re already in your pub, ordering a large glass of the house red.
A simple way to achieve this is by weaving pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘your’ into your copy. It creates a personal touch, building a direct conversational link between you and online customers.
It’s also worth mentioning that an authentic, colloquial voice will also get glasses clinking. Recycling the positive words and phrases from your customer reviews is a great starting point for generating copy that works.
Keep It Simple
Although a modern-day kooky cocktail can be delicious, it doesn’t scream simplicity like a pint of amber nectar. This applies to copy too – just keep things simple.
Avoid using vocabulary that nobody understands, avoid waffling and avoid sharing unnecessary information punters don’t need to know (like who supplies your bar snacks).
In fact, if Carlsberg did pub web copy, it would probably look quite minimal. Why? Because simple works. I’ve used this strategy recently for a popular pub in Brighton, giving their homepage copy a Coastal Copywriting makeover. Check it out.
Time At The Bar
Notable publicans will know that the tiniest details can make a huge impact on impressions so - before you call last orders on your copy - choose a font that best reflects the impression you’re trying to create. Believe it or not, different fonts carry different meaning such as trust, stability, creativity, elegance and so on.
Using Comic Sans, for example, could come across as flat as a pint poured into a warm glass - and we all know how disappointing that can be!
Instead, select a font that tells customers what your pub is all about. Here are some font ideas to get you started…
Don’t Keep Customers Waiting!
Waiting for a webpage to load shares the same frustrations as waiting at the bar to get served.
In fact, a recent study conducted by US telco T-Mobile and digital performance measurement firm Dynatrace, found that just half a second difference in page load time can have a huge impact on your online traffic ratings.
Videos, music, flash - they all add to your website loading time. Some perfectly poured copy and some well-chosen high-quality images will do just the job.
Understand What Online Customers Are Trying To Find
Before you write your copy, it’s worth spending some time researching what your customers might type in a search engine when they’re trying to find you. It could be “pub in Brighton”, “dog-friendly pub near the pier” or “pub with garden in Hove”.
Finding this information can be easy enough, especially with free online tools such as Uber Suggest - pulling together a list of keywords for you in seconds.
However, there is a little more to it than finding a list of keywords. You need to consider their search volume, how competitive they are in your area, and whether the words you’re targeting have too much competition.
If you haven’t got the time to research what keywords will work for you, your best bet is to approach an SEO copywriter.
The process of creating your web copy doesn’t have to be as complicated as the Monday night quiz. Following these tips will help you produce clear and compelling copy that’ll leave your business in safe hands online.