Websites - like brands - should evolve. What worked five years ago won’t still be relevant. Heck, what worked one year ago isn’t necessarily relevant. Your business, your industry, and current trends will change, and it’s important to reflect that change in your brand’s online presence. There’s no better place to start than with your website, one of your most important marketing tools.
Approaching a website refresh involves more than updating your logo, color scheme, and layouts. It also involves taking a look at what your website says. Whether you’re a small business or a company with 500+ employees, the copy you put on your website when you first launched will require a refresh overtime.
Yes, this includes updating logistical copy and details (think - hours of operation, price of products, and contact information), but what about the BIG PICTURE stuff.
The tagline you’ve been using on the homepage for three years. The description of your services that have since changed (even slightly). The bio on the “about us” page no longer tells the full story.
These are all examples of why copy is an integral part of any website refresh.
Before you click “copy & paste” and move everything into a freshly designed site, pause and consider the following:
1. re-check your audience
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your website is if it isn’t connecting with the people who matter most - your customers. Especially when first starting out in a business venture, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “I want this to appeal to everyone.” The truth is that you can’t appeal to everyone, and focusing your energy on doing that takes away from the opportunity to reach a smaller, more targeted group at a higher success rate.
Before rewriting any copy, conduct a temperature check with who you think your audience is and compare that to the analytics of your site. Do they align? What gaps are there? How can you start to bridge those gaps with messaging?
2. revisit your core messaging
A website refresh is the perfect time to take a look at your core messaging pieces - mission, vision, values. We call them North Star pieces because these act as the guiding light for everything in your business from strategy and service to product development and marketing.
Are these still accurate reflections of who you are and what you do? If the answer is yes, use them as a lens to go through each page of your site to find opportunities to revitalize and reimagine the copy.
But if your current North Star pieces do not accurately reflect who you are and what you do as a business, take the opportunity to dive in and freshen them up. If you find yourself in that place, here are a few questions to get you warmed up and thinking:
If you had to 'sum up' what your business does in just five words, what are those five?
Take a step further - what about three words?
What is non-negotiable when it comes to people, character, and business?
Where do you see the business in 3, 5, or 10 years from today?
3. shake the cobwebs off your portfolio
Whether it’s filled with case studies or testimonials, a well-developed portfolio makes an impact. It shows a potential customer exactly what you can do versus you telling them. It’s using the experience of a past client to showcase what you can do for a future one.
Now, think about when you’re searching online. You find a company that you’re considering buying a product from; however, the most recent testimonials on the website are from three years ago. You might think, “has no one said anything good about these people since then? There must be a reason.” And off you go to another site.
There are projects you’ve done in the last six to twelve months that deserve a spotlight on your website’s portfolio to highlight what your company is capable of.
Don’t feel like you have to wait for a website overhaul to go in and look at your current copy. Choose one of these to focus on today. Remember - small, incremental changes can make a big impact.