I’m in the process of revamping my website … for the 4TH TIME!

That’s right.

I’ve been running my copywriting business for 8 years and this will be the 4th time I’ve done a total website revamp.

The last time I revamped my website was in 2018 – five years ago!

Since then, my business has changed significantly, but my website?

Not so much.

Why I waited 5 years to update my website

The short answer? Lack of time and money.

Properly revamping a website is not cheap.

My revamp – including design/dev and photography – is going to cost me nearly $13k (and that doesn’t include MY TIME, as I’m doing my own IA and copy).

But here’s the thing:

I work on websites all day long for my clients – and I know how valuable they can be when they’re up-to-date and optimized for conversion.

And while my website is “fine,” it doesn’t reflect my CURRENT business (speciality, USPs/differentiators, clients I serve, process, etc) – which means I’m leaving money on the table.

So I’ve committed to the revamp and expect my new website to go live in early 2024.

Now that I’m going through the website revamp process *yet again* – it got me thinking:

How do you know when it’s time to revamp your website? Are there signs or clues you should look out for? 

The answer is YES!

Below are the 8 most common signs that it’s time for your website to get a revamp, whether you’re a small business or larger company.

Let’s dive in!

Sign #1: Your business/product/service has changed or shifted

Think back to when you were a teenager. Now think about where you are today. Pretty different, right? You might even think: “I’m a completely different person.”

Well, businesses work the same way.

Just like people, businesses change – often quite dramatically – between years 1-5, years 5-10, years 10-15, and so on.

It could be something superficial – like the name and look of your business – or something fundamental – like the product you’re selling, the problem you solve, or how you position yourself in the market.

When these changes inevitably happen, it’s important to update your website to ensure you’re properly communicating those changes to your current and future customers.

It doesn’t always have to be a total overhaul, but making sure your website is clearly communicating what you’re selling TODAY (not five years ago) is key to attracting the right customers while avoiding the wrong ones.

Sign #2: Your target audience has changed or shifted

When I first started my copywriting business in 2015, I thought I wanted to be a product copywriter (meaning a copywriter who writes in-app copy) for software companies.

Nearly ten years later, I specialize in website copy and never even touch product copy (thank the universe, cuz that job is more boring than church).

I also work with small businesses who sell services or e-comm products – and avoid working with software companies because they’re generally not a good fit for me.

In this example, both my product and target audience changed significantly – and that information should be clearly communicated on my website (right now it’s not, which is why I’m revamping it!).

If your target audience has changed, it could be as easy as updating existing copy on your site or it may require a bigger overhaul to make sure that key information is being communicated clearly and in the right places.

Sign #3: Your website is missing key information – like your unique selling points & differentiators

The most common mistake I see businesses make when it comes to their websites is omitting or hiding key selling points.

This is a problem, as leads are coming to your site to quickly see if you are the right solution for their needs.

And if they can’t figure out what makes you special, unique, or ideal for them, they’ll leave and go with one of your competitors.

Even if your USPs and differentiators are on your site, they might not be in the right places (i.e. in areas where decisions are being made, or where visitors expect them to be).

This is why it can be so helpful to work with a copywriter who can not only help you uncover your USPs/differentiators using data, but also communicate them in clear and effective ways.

If you don’t know why your customers choose you, I suggest conducting some customer research before revamping your site.

Sign #4: Your website looks/feels clunky, is outdated, or difficult to use

As mentioned above, businesses change – often quite significantly – year to year.

But you know what changes at an even faster rate? Technology.

When technology changes, so does functionality, user experience, and design – and that can have a huge impact on any website, whether it was revamped five years ago or last year.

This means that “cool” animation you added to your website however long ago is probably now dated and annoying to visitors (especially on mobile).

Same goes for your custom cursor, automated sliders, cluttered infographics, auto-play videos, or other elements that make your site feel dated, clunky, and difficult to use.

While you can’t control how technology changes, you can control the elements you choose for your site, especially if you’re a smaller business that doesn’t have the budget to constantly revamp your site year after year.

To do this, I recommend working with someone who’s been helping businesses revamp websites for a long time – as they are familiar with the “timeless” (vs “trendy”) elements – and can help you create a website structure that’s built to last.

For reference, some of my clients – like Alberta Business Grants and Lickability – have used the websites I helped them create for 6+ years! (That’s a long time in the Website World 😜)

Sign #5: Site visitors can’t find (or do) something on your site

Are visitors reaching out saying things like, “I couldn’t figure out how to ____” or “I couldn’t find ___ on your site”?

If yes, there’s likely a problem with your information architecture and/or user experience.

When information isn’t in places where visitors expect it to be, they get frustrated and often leave (usually in the direction of your competitors) or they reach out and ask for it (which wastes time and interrupts the sales process).

To avoid this issue, you must understand your visitors – what they want, how they think, and how they behave in a web environment – so you can create a website structure that’s intuitive and enjoyable to use.

The problem is, most businesses don’t know how to do this – and they don’t have the resources to hire a UX specialist to do it for them.

Thankfully, there are hybrid copywriters (myself included!) who bring research and UX expertise to every project, ensuring you end up with a website that supports both your goals AND the goals of your visitors.

Sign #6: You feel ashamed or embarrassed when sending people to your site 

It’s like when someone stops by your house and everything is a mess.

You say things like: “Sorry about the mess, it’s been a crazy week…” or “Come in, just don’t look around…”

It’s the same thing when you have a website that’s a mess for whatever reason. You feel embarrassed to “let people in” and make up excuses as to why it looks like that.

But here’s the thing:

Your friends will still love you even if your house is a mess. Your leads won’t.

They’ll see your messy, unprofessional-looking website and think “Hmm… do I really want to buy from/work with someone who presents themselves like this?”

It’s a turn off – or at the very least, a potential source of doubt. And doubt can cost you money.

Just like a messy house, the longer you wait to update your site, the more work/mess you have to clean up, which is why it’s best to keep your website “clean” by updating it regularly (this varies depending on the type of business you have).

Sign #7: Your website doesn’t measure up to your competitors 

Are you lurking on your competitors’ websites gazing longingly at their content – and wishing it was yours?

We’ve all been there.

Sometimes it’s just a passing glance, but other times it becomes an obsession that keeps you up at night – worrying about how you compare or if you’re slipping into the abyss of obsoletism.

While that sounds a bit dramatic, it doesn’t change the real feelings you have about how your website is being perceived by your peers and/or potential customers.

And it probably means you’re due for an upgrade.

Sign #8: Your website isn’t helping you bring in new customers or sales

There’s no other way to say it:

If your website isn’t driving traffic, bringing you qualified leads, or generating sales, that’s a HUGE problem.

A business website is nothing more than a sales/marketing tool, so if it’s not helping you in either department (or isn’t doing a good job of it), it’s time to think about a website revamp.

Does YOUR website need a revamp?

After helping 100+ clients revamp their websites, I can honestly tell you there’s nothing more exciting than seeing a website go from “meh” to “HOLY SH*T THAT’S AWESOME!”

But getting that “WOW factor” result doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

It takes a team (usually a copywriter, designer & developer) to do it right.

And when you hire a team to help you do it (vs doing it on your own), the process goes a lot faster, will be done with more professional polish, and will almost certainly yield better results.

If you’re interested in revamping your site or you’re looking for website copywriting services, reach out to me directly and we’ll chat: annie1maguire@gmail.com

Want to see my website revamps in action?

Check out the case studies below which feature clients I’ve worked with and the websites we’ve revamped together:

Case Study #1 – Few&Far

Few&Far is a UK-based recruitment agency that helps startups & scale-ups place talent across product, design, engineering & data.

Case Study #2 – Challenge Success

Challenge Success is a non-profit organization that helps improve well-being, engagement, and belonging for all students.

Case Study #3 – Alberta Business Grants

Alberta Business Grants helps hundreds of businesses find grants, prepare a stellar application, and win thousands of dollars — the first time they apply.

Want to see even more case studies? Check out my portfolio here or reach out directly for more samples: annie1maguire@gmail.com

Want to learn more about the website revamp process?

Over the next few months I’m going to share more about my journey as I go through the process myself.

In the meantime, check out the articles below which will give you a few tips, as well as a peek into the website revamp process I use for my clients (small businesses and medium-sized businesses who typically sell services or physical products):

How to Optimize Your Website Copy

How to Conduct a Website Competitive Analysis

How to Make Every Page on Your Website More Effective

How Websites Differ by Industry

Effective vs Ineffective Websites: What’s the Difference?

A 9-Factor Framework for Increasing Website Conversion

As always, thank you for reading! ❤️If you enjoyed this article, please share with a friend.


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