When it comes to running websites, a lot of us are afraid of making big changes that may impact how we are ranked in Google. Sometimes a shift in strategy, or a change in the website, can result in a drop in where you are ranked, and this can result in a loss of business. And so we leave things unchanged and hope for the best, or we hire experts who are more knowledgeable than ourselves.
But when should we get our hands dirty? When is it a good idea to simply throw caution to the wind, try some things out on our sites, and see what happens? Unfortunately there is no clear answer to this, but I would say that it is important to do this at least some of the time. Trying out new things – and making mistakes – is a great way to learn. You can learn firsthand what Google likes, and what it doesn’t.
That being said, you don’t want to risk your entire website just to see if something will benefit you a little bit. This is why a lot of webmasters have separate sites that they use entirely for testing. If you can, set up your own test site, and perform any changes on that one first before making them on your real site. That way, you can track what happens, and decide if it is worth implementing.
If you can’t set up a test site, then I would recommend being a little more cautious when making big changes to your websites. If you are inexperienced with web design, web development, or SEO, you could end up making a change that does something like break your website. If you think the change you are going to make is quite large, I suggest consulting an expert first just to be sure you are doing it right. If it is a small change however, I say go ahead with it and see what happens. Just remember how you did it, and know how to revert it if need be.
Getting your hands dirty isn’t always a good idea, but there is a time and place for it. Doing so will allow you to learn about SEO and web development, and may provide you with some benefits to your website. Just be careful and pick and choose your spots to minimize any potential damage.