Have you ever wondered why your website traffic suddenly drops after a major redesign? You’re not alone.
Many ecommerce store owners and online businesses go through similar experiences when they try to revamp their website design capabilities.
One of the key issues here is that a faultless new design won’t necessarily mean more conversions or higher visitor engagement; sometimes, it can in fact cause the opposite effect.
In this article, we’ll explore five of the biggest reasons behind website traffic reduction following an upgrade, as well as some practical suggestions for avoiding disaster and ensuring successful launch instead.
So let’s get started!
Improper redirects are one of the most common mistakes that pull down traffic.
While migrating or changing the structure of your website, you’ll have to handle a dozen of redirects.
When flawed, visitors wouldn’t be able to find the right pages, as well as the old pages wouldn’t be discovered by Google, which may cause less search traffic and website de-ranking
Pointers to keep in mind to avoid redirect mistakes:
- Refrain from redirecting everything to your homepage.
- Have every new redirect tested.
- Avoid creating redirect chains. Instead, create a single redirect.
- Always remember that case sensitivity matters when writing redirect rules.
- Use a 302 redirect if the page will be back soon, or use a 301 redirect.
- Keep track of all your redirects.
2. Change in Site Architecture
Google demotes sites with complex architecture, too much page movement, and confusing navigation.
Thus, see to it that your new website design is simple and easy to navigate. It may be hard for Google to crawl your site if it takes more than three clicks to navigate from one content to other.
Suggested best practices:
- Shorten the navigation
- Make it easy to find content
- Give clear page titles and navigation links
- Check the authority of broken pages
- If broken pages have high authority consider creating pages with similar content.
3. Removed Pages:
When redesigning a website, removing certain pages is sure to happen for many reasons.
But cutting down many of them can cause a stiff drop in traffic.
As Google depends on the co-occurrence of keywords and their density in pages, removing pages may affect your traffic even though they are not contributing to the revenue.
To fix this,
- Restore the removed pages to boost co-occurrence and the value of co-citation.
- Or retain the pages though they are not performing well, and use them for cross-selling.
4. Content Rewriting/Removal:
Website redesigning leads to a partial or complete rewriting of existing content.
In these cases, if you remove all the content or completely rewrite, there are chances that you’d remove the existing highly-ranking keywords, which may result in a traffic drop.
To avoid this from happening,
- Try incorporating existing content and ranking keywords into your newly drafted content.
- Use tools and map out the ranking keywords before redesigning your page.
- Monitor and compare the keywords ranking before and after the website redesign.
5. Missing Google Analytics Code:
Many businesses overlook or fail to install Google analytics after the redesign.
This simple error of forgetting to add Google Analytics to your website can show as total traffic loss.
So, install your analytics code properly and ensure the account is set up right before taking your site live.
Traffic loss, in a nutshell,
Redesigning and migrating your site can bring many benefits to your business, such as improving the user experience or getting better leads. But it needs to be done with caution to protect your existing traffic.
Losing traffic after redesign or migration strikes panic within businesses.
But you need to understand that decline in traffic after redesign or migration is common. Google needs some time to accept the changes in the site.
The average time taken to rank depends on the number of changes or alterations done to the website.
However, ensure you check all the points mentioned above and follow the best practices to save your site from losing traffic.
If you’re looking for more detailed insights or 1:1 expert assistance in protecting your traffic while redesigning or migrating, feel free to reach out to our experts today.