It’s a question we get all of the time:
How often should I update my web copy?
The truth is, we love getting this question because it shows that you want to be on top of your shit. Which is especially important when we’re talking about your website.
Think about it: If potential clients and customers come to your website only to find outdated copy, it’s a huge turnoff. Because if you can’t keep up with your website, maybe you can’t keep up with serving them.
It’s harsh, we know. But that’s the reality of the digital world we live in today.
So, how often should you really update your web copy? And when you do, where should you start? Let’s get into it.
Wait, is outdated copy all that bad?
The short answer? It depends…for a few reasons.
First, let’s talk about the difference between outdated and old web copy.
If any of your web copy is outdated – meaning inaccurate – that’s a red flag. Whether it’s a small update to your about page or an entire service you don’t offer anymore (yes, we’ve seen this before), outdated copy is never ideal for audiences. That’s because you never want to lure new customers under false pretenses.
On the other hand, if your web copy includes evergreen content, it usually doesn’t matter how “old” it is. That’s because evergreen content is designed to be fresh and relevant – no matter when it’s written or read.
For example, think of a how-to guide for tying your shoes. Whether the instructions were written 5 years ago, 5 months ago, or 5 minutes ago, the steps for tying your shoes will stay the same. And they’ll always be relevant to anyone at any given time who is looking for a tutorial on shoe-tying.
Hot tip: “Old” content can also be really good for SEO, so long as it’s consistently driving organic traffic to your site. But it’s always good practice to refresh it once in a while, so Google knows you’re staying on top of your shit, and audiences can feel better about having the latest and greatest information.
When should you update your web copy?
To keep your web copy accurate and up-to-date, you should make a habit of reviewing it every three to four months. (Same goes for your social media profiles and bios.) Now, we’re not saying you have to do a complete rewrite of your copy every time. It’s just a matter of checking in and making necessary updates.
Helpful hint: Schedule a recurring task on your calendar, planner, or project management tool to remind you.
Here are some other scenarios that always require an update to your web copy.
Before a launch
As you gear up for a launch – whether it’s a new product, service, course, or something in between – you want to make sure your website copy feels fresh and ready for a surge of visitors. Focus first on your sales or landing pages since that’s where you’ll drive audiences.
Before a rebrand
If you’re gearing up for a rebrand, you should definitely update your copy to reflect that. Make sure you:
- Edit your copy for overall voice and tone
- Update your values or mission and vision statements
- Make visual updates to elements like fonts, colors, images, etc.
Pro tip: Throughout the course of your business, you’ll likely have more brand ‘refreshes’ vs. full-on rebrands. Refreshes are also a good time to make small adjustments to your web copy to ensure it accurately reflects your brand.
It’s no secret the internet (and society in general) moves at lightning speed these days. What’s trending on Instagram today might already be outdated and lame on TikTok (thanks, Gen Z).
As a result, it’s not a bad idea to make sure your copy keeps up with the rest of the world. Think in terms of:
- Cultural references
- Mentions of specific dates or years
- GIFs, memes, TikToks, etc.
How to update your web copy
As far as how to update your web copy, here’s how we suggest you do it:
- Review and update your most-visited pages first. Utilize your Google Analytics to determine which pages are getting the most traction. Review that copy with a fine-tooth comb to make sure everything is as up-to-date and accurate as possible.
- Triple-check your offers. Are you still selling it? Are the product descriptions accurate? We cannot stress the importance of getting this right because you risk losing out on customers and clients as a result of inaccurate offers.
- Include your latest messaging. If you have updated messaging, new marketing campaigns, additional brand imagery, or whatever else, check to make sure that’s included throughout your site. That way, you’ll have more consistency across all of your digital channels.
- Update any ‘dated’ content. If you reference any specific data points or dates throughout your copy, make sure you update those, too. As a general rule of thumb, try to stay away from dated content as much as you can since it becomes outdated almost immediately.
- Get some help from experts. Sometimes, it’s easier (and better) to leave things to the experts – those who know what to look for, which copy to update, and how to make the most of it. If that’s what you need, we got you! Just reach out to Latasha, let her know the 411, and we’ll make your web copy really fucking awesome.