The word “fresh” is usually used in marketing to describe delicious farm-to-table food, a skincare routine, or some mouthy youngster with an opinion. But why are we using the word “fresh” to describe your copy?
Let’s play a little word association for a second.
- Synonyms for fresh: new, just produced, additional, energetic, healthy. (Other synonyms that sound like innuendo: hot, natural, raw, vigorous. We’ll stop ourselves there.)
- Antonyms for fresh: normal, old-fashioned, standard, exhausted, lifeless, tired.
How about those antonyms, eh? Yikes.
Those synonyms and antonyms say it all. Fresh copy is exciting and original. It can energize and restore your website or your social media pages or your blog. It can keep your brand healthy and full of life.
If you’re not committed to freshening up your copy on a regular basis, you’re not letting your website or its content be the best it can be. But, good news! You can start right now.
How often should you freshen up your copy?
If you want to commit to keeping your web copy fresh, you have to make it a habit. Review your website every 3 to 4 months. Set a recurring task in your planner or calendar so that you don’t even have to think about penciling it in.
There are a few exceptions to this rule:
When it comes to creating new content service pages, product pages, opt-ins, etc. that’s more flexible. Our suggestion? Find a cadence that works for you: create opt-ins and new pages as the needs arise, and always audit past pages or blogs to check for linking opportunities.
If you are cutting a service, discontinuing or launching a product, or changing the direction of your site, an audit is Priority Numero Uno in our book. Do not sleep on an update, or any visitors to your site may be booking services or products that you’re no longer able (or willing) to fulfill.
You’d be surprised how many times we do a web copy audit and ask about certain services or products only to hear, “Oh I don’t offer that anymore.” Don’t be like that.
If you’re already overwhelmed by the idea of updating your website every 3-4 months, let’s talk about what that actually looks like so you don’t panic.
Where should you start when refreshing your site?
Good question, because it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you have a lot of pages on your website. The important thing is to view your website as if you’re a potential client or customer.
Which pages do they hit up most often? Use your Google Analytics to actually figure this out. Don’t just assume they start on your home page.
Make a list of the top 3 visited pages and start with those. If you’re reviewing them (using the steps we’re about to share) and you get on a roll, keep going! At least make sure that you’re rotating through all of the obvious pages of your site during these reviews.
What do we mean by “obvious” pages? The ones on your main navigation or your footer, where people can clearly see and click the links.
How do you keep it fresh?
Now that sounds like more innuendo, but we promise it’s not and we’re moving on.
ANYWAY, you should view your website as a potential client or customer, remember? So here’s the first step to reviewing your copy for “max freshness”:
Pretend that you know nothing about your brand and look at your site.
- Will someone new immediately understand what you do?
- Are your services or products obvious to a casual reader?
- Is your brand really shining on these pages, or does it feel a little lackluster?
- Have you adapted new messaging that isn’t reflected in this copy?
Check your visitors’ journey.
Your brand should be clear from the first view of your website, but you also need to tell visitors what to do next. To make sure they’re diving deeper into your site rather than just bouncing out, ask yourself:
- What next step do you want them to take from the page you’re currently reviewing?
- If they’re on your blog, are there links to navigate to product pages?
- Is it easy to find you on social media or contact you if they want to hire you?
Triple check your offers.
When someone comes to your site, they expect that what is ON the site is actually what you provide. So do us all a favor and:
- Review all your product or service pages.
- Do you provide these offers still? Have they changed in any way? If so, make updates.
- Review your navigation.
- If you’ve retired a product or service, make sure it’s not on your main navigation.
- Better yet, make sure the page itself is redirected to a service/product you DO offer.
- Review your opt-ins/resources/blogs.
- Do these list-building content pieces drive to your most up-to-date offers?
- Do you have blogs that mention old services/products?
- Do you have an opt-in that has a call to action that no longer applies?
We can get real in the weeds here, but you need to make sure — every 3 to 4 months — that what people see on your site they can buy from your site.
Your brand is constantly evolving and growing, so the direction you take people might change. You might have a service you no longer offer or a best-selling product you know people love. Make sure that your current copy is pushing to the things you WANT to get attention.
What if I don’t have time for a website refresh?
Hey, we can’t make you do anything. But trust us: carving out space in your schedule for regular updates will save you from taking on a giant, stressful rebranding project down the road. With regular website check-ins, you shouldn’t have to do a big site overhaul unless you’re moving your brand or business in a different direction, anyway.
Your regular updates don’t have to be long! Take 15 minutes, an hour, a couple of hours, however long you need to review your site with a critical eye and make changes that feel right to you. No changes needed? Great! You don’t have to do it again for another few months.
Commit to freshness (or hire us to do it)
If you’ve procrastinated on freshening up your website, it’s okay, we won’t judge. We may be hardcore about sticking to our deadlines at Uncanny Content, but we’re not perfect. Everyone has procrastinated or avoided something on their to-do list.
For Jess, that was going to the gym regularly (which did not work out so well when all the gyms closed during quarantine). For Latasha, it’s scheduling appointments of any sort (the customer service is seriously lacking in healthcare industries).
A website review is not the sexiest or most fun part of running your biz. But it’s necessary for connecting with your audience and reeling in new clients. You need a consistently fresh website to communicate what you do, how you do it, and why people should pay you money to do it. You want people to know your site is…
Make it a habit to review your website every few months, and eventually, you’ll stop dreading it and just stick with it. If you need a website overhaul to start on a clean slate, or you need advice from we content and copy experts, check out the Ultimate Content Audit.