Looking Back: 1 Year After Site Re-launch (part 1)

I was brought up to love traditions. My parents have always been big on celebrating holidays, anniversaries and birthdays. So it’s only natural that I love celebrating annual events too.

Back in July when I saw CopyPress’ 2nd birthday approaching on my calendar, it really made me think about where I was in the company just a year ago and how far our blog has come since the shift in strategy. I then realized that August 7th would be our 1-year anniversary of the blog and site re-launch.

As much as it feels like time flies around here, I can’t believe it has already been a whole year; we truly have built and done a lot. I think this last year has been particularly exhausting simply because everything we’ve built and established for the blog and the company was and is brand new. We had to create an editorial calendar, process documentation, and blog guidelines from nothing. Everything we have and use today for the blog was created in the last year.

As I reminisced about the chaos and successes of the past year, I was curious to see how much progress we had actually made. I decided to compare the various stages of CopyPress’ website and blog to have a full assessment of our journey. For part one of this trip back in time, I’ll review the evolution of our site design and why we’ve made certain revisions. In part 2 of this series, I’ll review the last year in analytics, and go through the strategy we put in place and how we managed to increase our traffic by 420% in just the last year.

COPYPRESS.COM in 2010 (in the very beginning)

copypress.2010.2via waybackmachine

COPYPRESS.COM (main site) in 2011 BEFORE THE RE-LAUNCH

copypress.2012.1COPYPRESS.COM/BLOG (blog) in 2011 BEFORE THE RE-LAUNCH

copypress.blog.2012.2Looking back at old screenshots of your company website is kind of like looking at photos of yourself from middle school: an  embarrassing learning experience.

Only when you are looking back at old photos of yourself and trends can you see when things look ridiculous. In school everyone works tirelessly to fit in and look just like everyone else. As a brand new company, we were trying to find our voice and a style of our own, without straying too far from the masses. We played it safe by borrowing design elements and CTA’s that worked for similar sites in our industry. Looking back, the mistakes we made back then are blatantly obvious now – similar to how I feel about my fashion choices as a 9 year old.

jones.family.1997Oh the 90’s…

COPYPRESS.COM in SEPT. 2012 (SHORTLY AFTER THE RE-LAUNCH)

copypress.2012.version1A fresh and clean design with highlighted CTA’s was the fresh makeover we were craving. As soon as we switched to the new design, we began using Crazy Egg to monitor user behavior and to see how people navigated our site and how they interacted with the new design.

Crazy Egg offered a lot of interesting and helpful insight; from our confetti and heatmap results we noticed that a surprising amount of visitors were clicking on the content life cycle image (yet it wasn’t a button).

We contacted friends in the industry and asked for feedback. We received mixed reviews on the new content life cycle products. It seemed like we were putting in a ton of time developing and improving our new products, yet no one truly understood them. No one knew that content creation as a product meant way more than just copy. No one really understood what our connections and curation services were. Because of the confusion surrounding our products, and the displayed desire to interact with our homepage, we later added an animated short video explaining all parts of the content life cycle. We also added a sticky bar along the top and bottom of the site with a clear call to action to learn more.

COPYPRESS.COM (now, after some tweaks)

copypress.2013

So What’s Next?

As of this moment, we’re building out a list of small tweaks to improve the user experience even more; with site design and conversion optimization it’s an easy to get into the habit of overcomplicating things rather than keeping it simple and intuitive. Providing information to visitors without overwhelming has been a recurring challenge; we’re always seeking new ways to provide the best to our visitors and our customers. And as Dave always says, “Good job, do better”, we are reminded that even with the wins from the last year, it’s important to live by CopyPress’ core values and stay humble.

While compliments and positive comments are wonderful and heart-warming, we really thrive on constructive criticism. We cannot improve our company or our products without hearing feedback from you on what we need to fix. Do you think something on our site needs attention? We would love to hear from you. You can email me personally here, or leave your feedback in the comments below.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series, to learn from our mistakes and pick up some tips for increasing overall traffic and organic search traffic.

About the author

Courtni Berghoefer