Traffic drop 75% after redesign and still going down

19 replies
  • SEO
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Recently i was having around 40K google impression/day and only 300/day clicks so i redesigned it and launched it. here's what happened after i deployed the new design

Parameter - Before/After
Google Impression - 40K/10K
Clicks - 300/200
Google Analytics Session - 4K/ 0.8K

I did not change the url structure.
Basically the layout and anchor links.

If anyone could give this n00b any clue, i'm really worried. Thanks for reading.


UPDATE:
I just realized that i backlinked it from another website of mine from it's footer resulting around 400 backlinks. this website was deployed around 21st Nov. It's related to video games. is there any way this could kill my SEO? though
there was no significant traffic drop after 21st nov (launch of the video game website) till i changed by website design (around 10th Dec).

UPDATE:
Turns out my page takes around 10 sec to process for the first time. so if it's cached it's 10 second of page loading. this probably killed it.
#75% #drop #google #redesign #taffic #traffic drop #website
  • Profile picture of the author ilee
    Change the anchor links back and hope for the best. People don't understand the importance of internal anchor links. Imagine if you were ranking for a keyword with tons of backlinks from other websites, do you think you'll lose rankings if you changed all the backlink anchor links to something else? Answer is yes. And it's exactly the same with internal links.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEMResource
    Did you change your URLs? If you didn't set up 301 redirects, this is a big issue with your traffic dropping.

    Your old URLs are still indexed and need to point to the new ones if you changed them. The redirects will send some SEO juice over to the new pages, but you still have to make sure you have optimization added to the new pages after the redesign.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Pherra
    Setting up the 301 redirects is huge, but also, have you checked site speed?

    Many times with a redesign you can damage your site speed.
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    • Profile picture of the author ilee
      Originally Posted by SEMResource View Post

      Did you change your URLs? If you didn't set up 301 redirects, this is a big issue with your traffic dropping.

      Your old URLs are still indexed and need to point to the new ones if you changed them. The redirects will send some SEO juice over to the new pages, but you still have to make sure you have optimization added to the new pages after the redesign.
      Originally Posted by Andrew Pherra View Post

      Setting up the 301 redirects is huge, but also, have you checked site speed?

      Many times with a redesign you can damage your site speed.
      Do you guys not read threads before typing? He said he didn't change the url structure, what's he going to redirect? The same page to itself?
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  • Profile picture of the author a2hosting
    I know you mentioned you pretty much just changed the layout. Did that include changing the content, or did that pretty much remain the same?
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    • Profile picture of the author ultracor3d
      Originally Posted by a2hosting View Post

      I know you mentioned you pretty much just changed the layout. Did that include changing the content, or did that pretty much remain the same?
      well i changed some headers, but the main text content of the content pages are exactly the same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Markets
    Have you tried testing out the old design again? If you see it go back up, you know 100% it has to do with the new website you have made.
    It's worth a try, hopefully you fix this issue quickly, good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author ultracor3d
      Originally Posted by Markets View Post

      Have you tried testing out the old design again? If you see it go back up, you know 100% it has to do with the new website you have made.
      It's worth a try, hopefully you fix this issue quickly, good luck!
      well i read somewhere switching back the old design because of traffic drop can create more problems that it'll solve so i didn't change it yet even though i've thought about it couple of times.
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  • Profile picture of the author SEO Power
    Originally Posted by ultracor3d View Post

    Recently i was having around 40K google impression/day and only 300/day clicks so i redesigned it and launched it. here's what happened after i deployed the new design

    Parameter - Before/After
    Google Impression - 40K/10K
    Clicks - 300/200
    Google Analytics Session - 4K/ 0.8K

    I did not change the url structure.
    Basically the layout and anchor links.

    If anyone could give this n00b any clue, i'm really worried. Thanks for reading.
    I guess you don't track your rankings. If only you did, a quick glance at your ranking report would have solved the mystery behind the drop. You lost positions for some of your keywords - it's obvious. So, what you have to so now is determine the root cause of the problem and how to resolve it.
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    • Profile picture of the author ultracor3d
      Originally Posted by SEO Power View Post

      I guess you don't track your rankings. If only you did, a quick glance at your ranking report would have solved the mystery behind the drop. You lost positions for some of your keywords - it's obvious. So, what you have to so now is determine the root cause of the problem and how to resolve it.
      well weirdly i've gained ranks on some keywords but lost impressions. i don't really know what that means.

      secondly, in the old design the keywords i was ranking for wasn't really there in headers or so or the site didn't have much seo either. and i've checked it has only 230 around backlinks
      and most of them are just domain testing links and all. that's why i tried to optimize it, but i had no idea this could happen.
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  • Profile picture of the author whenyouSEO
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    • Profile picture of the author ultracor3d
      Originally Posted by whenyouSEO View Post

      When you change design, its important to ensure nothing seo related is affected. Have you change url structures, navigation anchors and all?
      i did change some headers, and anchor texts. but that's supposed to help the website because the keywords it was ranking for wasn't really there in headers and anchor texts.
      url structure is same.
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  • Profile picture of the author Divo
    Hello ultracor3d,

    Your issue more than likely is because your improved site was indexed fully and is not meeting quality guidelines.
    SEO is relatively simple now - just do what Google expects.
    Are you proving your authenticity on every page with contact, phone, location, and legal pages?
    I would suggest you run your site through ScreamingFrog - that will tell you EXACTLY where your issues lie so that you can correct them.
    Good Luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author FranksToys
    My guess would be that you did change the URL structure. If not then you need to look at how your site was previously linked, and how you are internally linking at this point. More often than not massive redesigns change the URL structure and the interlinking of a site.

    In the redesign did you remove pages? Did you "block" content? Are you tracking your rankings now vs before? If so what pages lost the most ranking?
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      A lot of dumb@$$ replies here, that's for sure. Typical.

      Why on earth did you "redesign" it? Just for the heck of it?

      Shoot, I'm wondering why you didn't get a new domain too.

      Burn the whole house down.

      People think content matters. It doesn't. Google does not know
      good content from a hole in the ground.

      But they do use other signals. Mess with those other signals, and
      you are screwing with success.

      Everything from moving an image from top to bottom, left to right,
      bolding this word, not bolding that word, changing title, h1,
      menu links, and everything in between. Google does not scan
      the whole page for clues. If you move anything that was in a sweet
      spot to a dead spot, you are screwed. Even changing the first sentence,
      highest on a page could send your site packing.

      So, get the site back to where it was and hope for the best.

      Now I'm not one who believes things like this go south overnight.
      This drop should have occurred over about 5-10 days.

      If it happened in the blink of an eye, then it's most likely something
      not related to the site itself. Could have been any number of things.
      Like google updates, server outage, bad routing, people no longer
      searching for x,y,z, links going away, etc.

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author ultracor3d
        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        A lot of dumb@$$ replies here, that's for sure. Typical.

        Why on earth did you "redesign" it? Just for the heck of it?

        Shoot, I'm wondering why you didn't get a new domain too.

        Burn the whole house down.

        People think content matters. It doesn't. Google does not know
        good content from a hole in the ground.

        But they do use other signals. Mess with those other signals, and
        you are screwing with success.

        Everything from moving an image from top to bottom, left to right,
        bolding this word, not bolding that word, changing title, h1,
        menu links, and everything in between. Google does not scan
        the whole page for clues. If you move anything that was in a sweet
        spot to a dead spot, you are screwed. Even changing the first sentence,
        highest on a page could send your site packing.

        So, get the site back to where it was and hope for the best.

        Now I'm not one who believes things like this go south overnight.
        This drop should have occurred over about 5-10 days.

        If it happened in the blink of an eye, then it's most likely something
        not related to the site itself. Could have been any number of things.
        Like google updates, server outage, bad routing, people no longer
        searching for x,y,z, links going away, etc.

        Paul
        well i was having 40K impressions but only 250 clicks so wanted a better CTR and my conversion was also around only 3% so i thought a better landing page will increase it. these are the main reasons i redesigned it. but i didn't know this could happen.
        and yeah it did occurred over 4 days, 4200 > 2200 >1200>850(currently stable here)

        do you really think switching to previous design will make it any better or i should just wait two weeks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roopatg
    If you have faced this problem,soon after the redesigned, wait for sometime. This might be because of Google dance. Is there any page loading speed is very slow because of new design?
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    • Profile picture of the author ultracor3d
      Originally Posted by Roopatg View Post

      If you have faced this problem,soon after the redesigned, wait for sometime. This might be because of Google dance. Is there any page loading speed is very slow because of new design?
      no. i've improved the loading time to <500ms from >1 second. n yeah deployed the design and bam 4200> 2200 fall.
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  • Profile picture of the author standardkevin
    This might be worth a read. It's an ultimate SEO checklist for website redesign. This specific article is for pre-launch items to check. I recommend crossing referencing the items in this article with what you did.
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  • Profile picture of the author PBScott
    I don't have enough information to know what the problem is, mostly how old the website is, and how long since the change. If the website was 3 years or so old, then it should be fairly steady in the rankings, and if the change was say 2-3 months ago, then you could gauge whether or not it was a positive one. Otherwise, in my opinion, you need to take more time to access what is going on.

    Have you looked at analytics to see if the bounce rate has gone up ? Or if visitors page views or time on the sight have gone down? If so then you might want to think about the user experiences. Google does monitor the time from clicking on a Google result to returning to Google, and it would likely effect your authority, and therefore the amount of visitors they will send.

    Doing a redesign that makes a lot of changes can sometimes cause Google to think that someone may have bought the domain, and it will treat it as a newer domain once again until it earns authority. Also there might be some SEO changes where the Title and header keywords have changed in importance on the page. Or of course your link structure.

    I redesigned my website for speed about four years ago, and it defiantly impacted my search traffic, from say about 600 people a day down to 60, and it stayed that way, however my image visitors went up considerable, and my conversion ratio, so I never bothered to change it back.
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