I received a call recently from someone who, after a website redesign for his e-commerce business, was experiencing a 70% drop in website visitors and a 25% drop in sales. This resulted in his business operating at a loss over the last 2 months and needless to say he was feeling a little distraught. This is what happens when a seemingly simple website redesign goes horribly wrong.
The reason for plummeting website visitors is a result of poor knowledge and technical implementation by the website developer. When a website is redesigned and moved from one platform to another e.g. from WordPress to Shopify or Magento, this will result in quite a lot of changes to the website page structure. The biggest impact is related to changes in page URLs and if your website migration is not managed correctly resulting in page URLs changing, any pages which were indexed in Google would result in a ‘404 not found’. After a few attempts at indexing that page and receiving the same error, Google will de-index your page. Now image that happens with ALL of your website pages.
Your website pages with new URL addresses will of course be picked up again and indexed, however they’ve lost all of the credibility that they’ve built up over time and your website has to start all over again as if it were practically brand new. This is REALLY bad news in terms of SEO and explains why your traffic can plummet to virtually nothing in a very short space of time.
It’s not just page URLs that can be to blame for a drop in search engine placement. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration when migrating from one platform to another, having your website redesigned, or moved to a different hosting company.
Website Redesign Lessons Learned
Sadly this isn’t the first case like this that we’ve heard of. It’s worth learning a valuable lesson here and understand that hiring an experienced website developer will generally cost more but it means that you’re not compromising on quality of service. The service offered by a good, experienced website developer will include advice and expertise related to many aspects of your online business including SEO.
Do you have a website migration / redesign question you’d like advice about? Please contact us