Full website copywriting vs copy refresh: What do you need?

Written by Meghan Downs

There’s something not quite right about your website copy, and you’re looking to change that. You know it could be working harder for your business. But how do you decide whether you need to start from scratch or improve what you already have? 

It’s a tricky decision, as it depends on your current business situation and your reasons for wanting to refresh your messaging. That’s why I’ve created this guide to give you some pointers so you can decide which option is best for you, plus how to go about making those changes with a copywriter. 


Why your website copy is vital for selling yourself 

Here’s a reminder of what it could be doing for your business. 

Your website copy should: 

  • Showcase your USP and personality 
  • Reflect your current business offers and services 
  • Capture your ideal customers’ attention so they ‘get’ why to choose you
  • Explain how your business works, including the process of working together 
  • Set expectations of how you can help customers, showing the transformation 
  • Put the wrong-fit people off, so you avoid wasting time on dud sales calls 
  • Include popular search terms so customers can find you through Google 

And more importantly, it shouldn’t make you cringe when someone says “Oh, I’ve been on your website…” when they talk to you. 

Imagine what a difference all of this would make to your business and sales! 


Should you start from scratch or remodel what you have?

Choosing between full copywriting and a copy refresh is like deciding whether to fully remodel your kitchen or just update the appliances and repaint the walls… 

If the layout works and you like the cabinets, a refresh might be all you need. But if the space isn’t functional, or you’ve outgrown the space completely, a full remodel will better serve your needs long-term.

So think of your website as something that should be fully functional, representing both your practical needs and style choices. If it doesn’t do that, you need to decide how deep the problems lie. 

But first, let’s go through what the key differences are between full website copywriting vs website copy refresh services. 


Why would you need full website copywriting services? 

When you work with a copywriter like myself to carry out a full overhaul of your messaging, you’re usually starting from scratch and going back to basics. That often means you’re reevaluating your USP, your offers, and your customers, which means your website needs to change both its layout and message. 

When I work with clients for my full website copywriting service, it’s usually because the business owner has shifted their focus and the website no longer reflects where their business is today or what their goals are. 

That could be due to: 

  • A company rebrand 
  • Launching something new 
  • Changing products or services 
  • Leaning into a more specific niche 
  • Finally understanding what your USP is 
  • Changing market place and customer needs 
  • Poor-fit customer enquiries and conversions 


Examples of when you need full website copywriting

Let’s say you start a marketing consultancy business, and to begin with, you offer a mix of both done-for-you and consultation services. Then after a few years, you realise your true expertise lies in delivering training to in-house teams, as that’s where you can add the most value. 

Your previous copy and positioning no longer work. Plus, you’re likely to have learned a lot about what your customers actually want during those years and the impact you have on them. 

In this case, a full website copywriting service is ideal. For my signature 5-step C.R.A.F.T. process, I carry out as standard practice 3 x interviews with your previous customers. This gets down to the nitty-gritty of why they loved working with you, the transformation you helped them achieve, and why they needed you in the first place. 

This helps me rewrite your website copy from the ground up, taking away assumptions most newer business owners have about their customers. 

Another example would be you’re working with someone to review your visual branding and website presence, as you designed a logo yourself on Canva a few years ago and now want to attract a higher calibre of clients. This is a great time to rewrite your website copy to be consistent with your new branding and website structure rather than rehashing what you already have (that probably wasn’t working too well anyway if you’ve decided to rebrand). 


How does the website copywriting process work? 

When overhauling your message, it’s beneficial to hire a professional website copywriter. Depending on the copywriter you choose and the size/complexity of your project, your website copy could take anywhere from 2-12 weeks. My average turnaround time is between 6-8 weeks from confirmation. 

That’s because to go back to the beginning, working out what your brand stands for, who your customers are, and how best to position yourself takes time. 

Going through the website copywriting process is also great to reevaluate not only what your business does, but what you’re striving to achieve. You can be more aspirational in your messaging and reach for the big, juicy goals. 

My process looks like this: 


  • Chats – with both your customers and you, the business owner, to get to know your brand
  • Research – looking into the market and industry to see what customers want and value 
  • Articulate – putting into words what you do, your personality, and how you help people 
  • Feedback – discussing the draft copy with you 
  • Tweaks – getting it all spot on and ready to go


Each stage takes time, and it’s worth doing it right. 


How much does full website copywriting cost? 

Again, it will depend on your specific situation, but for my website copywriting package prices start at £1995 for the full process. 

Although you may think it’s only a bit of writing, there are many hidden things included in website copywriting costs, such as your copywriter’s thinking time and professional development. 

The ProCopywriter’s Survey 2024 states the average UK copywriter’s day rate is now £440. Although most copywriters charge by the project for website copy, it’s a good indication of the current industry standards. 

Is your copy attracting the right people?

Answer 10 easy questions to find out – it takes less than 2 minutes.

Why would you need a website copy refresh? 

Unlike a full website copy overhaul, you might need a website copy refresh when a minor area of your business has changed. Or, your current copy is working fairly well but you want to make it even better to ramp up your sales and marketing efforts. 

That could be due to: 

  • Minor branding updates or shifts
  • The existing copy is generally effective but needs fine-tuning
  • Adding or removing offers that are still in line with your current ones 
  • It gets the message across but doesn’t show your brand personality fully
  • You haven’t updated your website in a few years, even if your core business remains the same 

This would include targeted updates and improvements to existing copy, such as tweaking headlines, updating CTAs, and refining key messages.

Another variation would be a website copy audit, where you get suggestions from a copywriter and apply them yourself.


Examples of when you need a website copy refresh

Going back to the marketing consultancy business… let’s say instead of deciding to fully pivot their business to offer training, they decide to hone in on the done-for-you side of things, as they’ve become brilliant at the execution and taking things off their customers’ plates. 

Instead of needing a full website copywriting service, a refresh could be more suitable. Their target customers are the same, their core service remains the same, and they’ve found their current enquiry and sales process is fairly effective already.

But what you get with a website copy refresh is an opportunity to tweak and refine what you already have. 

Perhaps you want to be bolder with your statements after delivering awesome results. Or maybe you weren’t aware of SEO principles when you first wrote your website, so want support showing up for key search terms. If that’s the case, you could need a light edit across your whole website. 

These are all great reasons to want a website copy refresh. But the main thing to consider is their current website is already doing a decent job, and their business isn’t going through any drastic changes. 


How does the copy refresh process work? 

All copywriters have slightly different ways of working, so if you’re looking at a broad range of people to help you, you’ll find anything from a website copy audit to a rewrite service. Do your research in terms of what’s included for each service, as a ‘copy refresh’ means different things to different copywriters. 

When it comes to how I help business owners to refresh their copy, I offer two options: 

  1. I work with clients to refresh their copy in a 2-hour done-with-you ‘Copy Polish’ service. During this session, we focus on brushing up key messages on one main page of web copy and tweaking what they already have to sound more like them. 
  2. I also offer a ‘Copy VIP Day*’ service, where I can write one new page of copy for your website that’s in-line with your current copy. This is great if you’re adding a new service for the same audience as you currently serve, such as a course or membership, and you want to launch something with ready-made copy.


*launching soon – get on the waitlist for more info. 


Although I still need to understand your business, customers, and goals, the process is much less intensive than a full website copywriting service. 


How much does a copy refresh cost? 

Depending on the level of support you need, you could pay from £200-£1500 as a rough guide. If you have a complicated website with multiple pages, your project may fall out of this range, so it’s important to get a personalised quote or look at specific package options.

For my ‘Copy Polish’ session, it’s £325. With that, you get a pre-call questionnaire, a 2-hour live call, and 14 days of email follow-up support. I also do research and prep before the call so we can get loads done on the day. 

For my VIP Day service, it’s £750. With that, you get a pre-call questionnaire, a full day of my time to refresh your copy, and 14 days of email follow-up support. I also do research and prep before the call so we can get loads done on the day. 


Need a website copy refresh or a complete rewrite? Graphic image with a picture of Meghan in the background.

Key differences between full copywriting and a copy refresh

So to recap: 

  • Full copywriting involves starting from scratch, while a refresh builds on your existing copy
  • Full copywriting is more time-consuming and costly compared to a refresh
  • Full copywriting takes much longer whereas a refresh can be a quick win 
  • Full copywriting can significantly change your brand’s voice and messaging, whereas a refresh optimises and enhances what’s already there

For both options, it’s useful to work with an external partner to get an outside perspective of your business, as you get a more objective view of what’s working – and what’s not. 


Which option is best for your business? 

Remember that list of things your website copy should be doing? The best way to see which option you need is to score yourself against each area. 

Luckily for you, I’ve created a website copy quiz. You simply answer 10 questions and in under 2 minutes, you’ll know where your strengths and weaknesses lie. 

If the majority of the points are doing ok, then you probably just need a refresh. But if you get a lower score, it might be time for a full overhaul. 

Another consideration is your budget. You might need a full overhaul, but you know that’s not within your reach right now. If that’s the case, a refresh could give you some quick wins to improve what you already have. 



Work with a copywriter who can make your copy as awesome as you are

Hiring a copywriter who can be objective about your business and give you a fresh perspective is highly beneficial. 

My speciality is helping business owners shout about how awesome they are, so your ideal clients say ‘Hell yeah!’ when they find you. 

If you want to update your website copy – whether that’s a full writing service or a refresh – I’d love to hear from you. Say hello and let me know what you’re after

Remember, a quick and easy way to review your website copy is to take the copy quiz to find out your score.

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