Many businesses realize that their site(s) need to be changed – sometimes for a more current look or to improve the user experience or some other reason. What holds them back is the real fear that they could lose the search engine rankings they’ve fought so hard to get. After years of consistent SEO, the possibility of losing their position, and by extension the profits that go with it, is a worry they must deal with seriously.
So what do you do? The number one thing to do is this: proceed slowly, carefully considering how to hang onto your optimization at every step of the way. With the new pages, you must plan out how you will keep the keyphrases, the page titles, the headings and subheadings, the linking, the copy and every other search engine optimization ingredient you’ve contributed in the new design.
They must maintain their same prominence and general positioning within the pages. And those pages MUST retain the same addresses. Even a slight change, for example, changing page2.html to page2.htm can have repercussions in Google. They see the .htm variation as an entirely new page, NOT as the same page as the .html one. And that means all you built up in SEO ‘credit’ is lost. You’ve started all over, at least for that page, and didn’t even realize it.
There’s much more to consider when redesigning a site that needs to retain rankings through the process. However, using that ‘Plan Ahead and Plan Carefully’ guideline will put you in an excellent position for the change. Remember, if your internet marketing needs updating, do it. Just do it the smart way. Plan.
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