If it ain’t broke, still fix it

If it ain’t broke, still fix it

As you can see I’ve just relaunched my website. It’s not a major departure from what was there before but I believe it’s tighter, cleaner and more attractive.

I’ve given it a mini makeover rather than a full-blown face-lift.

In reality there was nothing ‘wrong’ with my old site. It attracted and converted clients very well.

So why the redesign?

And is reworking your site four times in as many years overkill?

I think not.

And here’s why:

My business has changed

When I set up my site I wasn’t sure exactly what I was doing! (I was pregnant and my hormones were crazy.)

Should I keep offering production and project management services or focus on copywriting? Should I work only with small businesses or stick to large corporates?

Then there was the issue of whether or not my creative writing sat comfortably with my copywriting.

Now I’m a lot clearer on what my business is, and how I want to move it forward. As my business changes and grows, so my site needs to evolve to reflect that.

Website technology has evolved

I started with a simple wordpress.com template coded by a bloke in my office. (Thanks, Stefan!) Then I migrated to wordpress.org, and rebuilt my site with my own worn little hands.

I began with a free theme then upgraded to a paid theme.

As my coding skills improved I tinkered with my theme (and broke it many times). After a while it started to look a learn-copywriting-courseslittle lumpy around the edges.

Finally I decided to pay a design company (the totally awesome Volt Creative) to create a customised theme that met my own exact requirements.
WordPress can do so much more than it could four years ago; it seems a shame not to take advantage of the additional functionality.

My audience is different

I split my business site from my creative site about a year ago, so now my site is focused purely on clients.
Most of my clients come to my site with a problem to solve.
They don’t want the big sell – they want simple effective solutions. No one is willing to wade through monster-sized chunks of copy. It needs to be short and snappy!

I’m less focused on SEO

I’ve made it to the top of the rankings for my chosen keywords and nabbing clients is not a problem.

Kate Toon website

I now no longer care if my home page is the highest ranked page on my site. I no longer have to stress about squeezing the word copywriting into every page 72 times.
My home page has a branding and engagement job to do rather than just being there to please the SEO Gods.

I’m more confident

When I first started out copywriting full time, I wanted to be like everyone else. I looked at my competitors and tried to emulate their websites as much as possible.
Now I want to stand out. I’ve developed a distinct brand and tone of voice that, while not everyone’s cup of tea, is very much ME.

I wanted my site to reflect my slightly irreverent approach to business, so that it attracts the kind of clients I’d like to work with.

It’s good to keep things fresh

While reworking your website might feel like a big pain in the bum, it’s also challenging and invigorating. It was interesting to don my Information Architecture hat and look at my site through fresh eyes. In actual fact all I’ve changed is three site templates. (I still need to go through and review content pages and fill in several gaps.) But even this small evolution has reinvigorated me and upped my oomph.

So now my site is looking perkier, fresher and altogether more youthful and gorgeous. If only I could say the same for me.

What do you think?

So what do you think of my new look? Is there anything you’d change? Are you thinking about a new site design and, if so, what is your biggest challenge?

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confessions of a misfit entrepreneur with Kate Toon

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