QUESTION:

I have a new business name, and a shiny new website to go along with that. But, my old website is performing just fine on the search engines, and even brought in a new client the other day. My old website is also particularily well-suited for bringing in local business.
Do I have to take the old site down? Should I apply the new design to it? What do I do?
ANSWER:
There’s no reason that a small business can’t have two websites – aside from the work involved in creating two separate sites. If you’re promoting two different products or services, it may even make more sense to have two separate sites.
In this example, you’re promoting your services nationally in your new site, but locally in your old site. I think if the old site was cleaned up a bit to make it clear that it’s really targeting local prospects, add some information about the local “scene” to it, and make sure that the distinction between the two sites is really clear.
You should add some links back and forth between the two sites to reinforce that they “go together”. If you just add a few, it shouldn’t hurt your ranking in any way.
And, updating the old site with the new business name and design would make sense, just for clarity. You don’t want to answer the phone with the new business name, while someone’s looking at the old site, and confuse them. I’d also recommend that the site be redesigned to match the new logo/look, but not to match the new site exactly. The local site might look a bit simpler than the national site, for example. That way, it will be clear that they are two separate sites, and if a browser comes across them both they won’t get that slimy feel of visiting two sites for the same thing.