Copywriting for a local business is the modern-day phone bashing, door knocking, leaflet flying sales pitch of the 20th century. But this time, it’s targeted at the people who are interested in your services or products.
What does that mean?
It means that gone are the days when you would send out a leaflet runner to deliver 2000 leaflets to 100 houses in your area (how did you know your leaflet runner would deliver all of them?).
And how many of those 2000 would end up in the bin or used as a fly swat?
Yeah…. That’s what I thought.
Website copywriting should be your best salesperson. In fact, 18% of local mobile searches result in a sale within one day.
Although unlike face to face sales, or telesales, where relationship building is a priority, a website often gives you one chance to capture the customers attention and keep it.
Unfortunately, most small business owners are experts at what they do, and copywriting isn’t what they do. That being said, I’ve compiled a list of copywriting tips for local businesses just like you.
Understand Your Customer
Understanding your customer is pretty much the first component of any sales pitch. In a typical sales pitch, you might start off by trying to develop the needs of the customer through various sales techniques. But trying to highlight areas in which your product could benefit the customer on your website can be a challenge. The first step is to understand the customer.
Being a business owner, and through experience, you will likely know what pains and troubles your customers have. Therefore, aim to write about their pains and how your product can solve their problems.
Additionally, ensuring you are performing proper keyword research is essential to understanding what your customers are looking for. I’ve previously written an article all about keyword research right here.
Talk to the Reader
The key point here is to use the word ‘you’ when referring to your potential customers. When referring to yourself, try not to use your company name. Rather, write ‘our’ or ‘we’.
People want to feel like they are being spoken to individually and using these ‘personal’ types of words allows you to do that.
Write conversationally. Many websites tend to write in very black and white. ‘This is who we are, and this is what we do’. Focus on writing in a way that engages people and talks about them, rather than yourself.
Remember, people buy from people so talk like a human and not like C-3PO (for all my Star Wars fans).
Use Headlines That Emphasise the Point
When you visit a website, you will instantly know whether something is worth reading just from the headline.
Headlines shouldn’t be a time for writing extremely creatively. They should be succinct and deliver the message that people are looking for.
For example, if someone clicks onto your ‘emergency plumber in reading’ page from Google, the headline should confirm that the person, by using a similar title to the headline, has landed on the correct page.
Often, when people read websites, they like to scan, especially when they see large chunks of text. Therefore, using eye catching sub-headings will help you interest the reader into actually reading the copy.
Focus on the benefits of your service or products within the sub headings, rather than on information or features.
You might make a BIG promise like a guarantee or why the solution is possible.
Always Check Your Grammar
Something that is often overlooked, but very critical, is grammar. Ensure you are proofreading your copy before showing it to the world.
If you’re anything like me, whenever I see a gramatical error or spelling mistake I instantly pick up on it.
Good job if you picked it up!
In 2013, Disruptive Communications conducted a study to determine what customers hated about a brand’s social media platform.
Over 42% of people said spelling and grammar were the biggest turn off about a brand.
I find having someone else read my copy highlights errors or mistakes that I’ve missed.
Keep it Consistent
Whether you’re a local business or a global company, a website is an extension of your brand. Keep your branding consistent.
Write in a way that matches how you want your brand to be perceived. Are you trying to be extremely professional? Do you want to show a sense of humour? Do you want to display quality?
If you have ever read any of Richard Branson’s books, you would have come across his witty humour. The banner below actually resembles something that I could imagine Richard Branson writing himself (I’m sure he didn’t).
Use Case Studies
Where possible, write about work that you have carried out previously. Use figures to explain your work.
People like to know exactly what they’re likely to get from you. Instead of a generic benefit like ‘We can help you with your plumbing’, try something like ‘We can help you save £320 a year with a brand new boiler system’.
Figures and numbers are tangible and help to provide context to the benefits of using your product or service.
Copywriting is a skill that can take years to learn. Copywriting isn’t just about your writing skills, it’s about understanding your market and writing for a specific type of customer.
These guidelines will help you on your way to becoming a better copywriter and writing great copy for your website.
Here’s an additional piece written by HubSpot detailing various examples of great copywriting.