An interesting moment prompted me to (finally) redo my WordPress site.

I looked at my business card.

Right there, front and center, is my website URL (www.copymartin.com). Staring at it blankly, I quickly realized something: any person holding one of those cards might go to my website.

So, I put myself in their shoes.

What I saw from the perspective of a prospective client was a woefully underwhelming billboard for my freelance copywriting business.

Not good.

Because if I’m considering a copywriter for website copywriting services, I expect that copywriter to have some damn good website copy of their own.

It was time for a change.

My goals for this website refresh

  • Update all copy to more clearly communicate my writing services, style, and USP(s)
  • Establish simple, prominent site navigation
  • Maintain consistent look and feel across all pages
  • Full SEO “sweep” including keyword research and targeting
  • Configure analytics tools to monitor SEO, website traffic, other KPIs
  • Ensure site is optimized for mobile

You just switch the WordPress theme, right?

Wrong.

A website refresh might not seem like much, but there’s a lot that goes on under the hood.

You can’t just switch your Wordpess theme and call it a day. Because the first thing that happens when you switch your theme is …

Everything breaks.

Since I don’t have a testing environment, I instead installed a website maintenance plugin to let any visitors know of my updates while I sorted out the mess that resulted from switching themes. This gave me time to clean up the layout and design, build out additional pages, and configure widgets and plugins.

Overview of changes

  • Added top navigation with four simple menus (Services, About, Blog, Contact)
  • Rewrote all website copy to be more persuasive
  • Cleaned up copywriting portfolio (write up, links, images, meta data)
  • Established pillar pages under Services menu (Website copywritingBlog writingLanding pages)
  • Consolidated categories and tags (including meta data)
  • Added CTAs to improve click through rate (CTR) and conversions (Contact)

A lotta SEO tinkering

Finally, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) was a major component of my decision to redo my WordPress site.

Why?

Because what’s the point of a business website if no one can find or read it? Fact is, organic website traffic doesn’t happen without a consistent SEO strategy, something my old website did not have.

Here’s a look at what I did:

  • Established keyword strategy – Not telling!
  • Installed Yoast – The (free) Yoast SEO plugin allows me to configure SEO elements for each page on my site, including target wordcount, setting a focus keyword, and SEO title.
  • Configured meta data (all of it) – I scoured my site for opportunities to configure meta data, things like website title, image alt text, on-page descriptions, slugs. I even set the metadata for category pages. My approach? Be simple, sprinkle in target keywords, and keep the end-user experience in mind (no fluff).
  • Cleaned up page slugs – This is the part of the URL specific to a given page. Simplifying slugs and, where appropriate, using target keywords is one of those little details that can provide some major SEO mojo down the road.
  • Went through old blog posts – Each and every one (luckily, there weren’t too many, though that will soon change). I updated everything from structure, linking, and all meta data to align with my new keyword strategy.

Even for a simple site like mine, this was a time-consuming undertaking. Feel free to drop a comment if you have any questions about specific aspects of the update—I’m happy to explain.

Or just to tell me what you think.

Hopefully, this post helps you as you consider you’re own website refresh.

6 Comments

  1. The work you put into CoptyMartin.com shows. I appreciate the clean navigation and simplified approach. Fantastic job!

  2. Great work, Martin! I really enjoy the look and feel of your new page. It’s easy to navigate and clean. It was nice to see some examples of your recent work from your portfolio and I look forward to picking your brain more on this topic sometime in the future, as I have similar plans for myself! Keep up the great work.

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