How to Recover Your Website Traffic after a Website Redesign

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The whole point behind a website redesign is to attract more visitors; not lose all organic traffic. Most homeowners start to panic when they see a “zero” on the counter and they start questioning the decision to go ahead with the redesign.

Recover Your Website Traffic

In reality, there is really no need to worry because it is perfectly normal and foreseeable that a website losses traffic after a major redesign. Just think how much Facebook’s homepage changed since 2004 but the social platform only got more users. Your website should be fine in the long run but if you’re considering immediate measures to recover our website traffic, then we suggest the following steps be taken.

Understand why traffic grinds to a halt

Before you are ready to recover your website traffic, you should be able to grasp why traffic plummeted in the first place. The transition from the old to an updated and more modern design involves the migration of both contents and the architecture of the entire website.

In addition, the new design needs to be audited to comply with your SEO standards. Once the latter get messed up on behalf of a web designer without any SEO knowledge, the new website is likely to lose search traffic. In order to prevent or limit this loss, you should assist the designer regarding issues such as content, website architecture, and technical SEO.

Gathering info and data through reviewing the site’s analytics

Once you experienced a significant drop in traffic, it’s time to do some detective work. The pre-launch and post-launch data should include info such as the date of the launch, the present website address, Google Analytics, and the Google Search Console, any previous URL the website used, and an extensive list of keywords Rankings before the relaunch.

After you have gathered all the necessary data, it is time to compare the traffic before and after the exact date you launched your redesigned site. Hopefully, you’ll be able to determine whether the decrease was steady or sudden, indicating that the redesign is to blame.

Go through content and site architecture

Once you can confirm without a doubt that the drop in organic traffic was caused by the launch of a new website, you can take action to amend the situation. The post-launch audit, mandatory for every website redesign, should focus on the site’s content and architecture as the two most important factors in recovering your traffic.

Give Google AdWords a shot

However, before you are ready to review in detail your site’s architecture, you might want to give Google AdWords a chance to increase your organic traffic. Under normal circumstances, proper AdWords management is important for maintaining existing traffic and hopefully increasing it.

However, while you research and overhaul content and site architecture. AdWords are the ideal tool that helps you recover your website traffic in the short run. Since you are likely to be using it in the long run once the new design gains in popularity, why not implement bid on AdWords from day one.

Reviewing your site’s architecture

One of the biggest reasons why your traffic drops is because of messed up URLs, to put in layman’s terms. Changing the site’s URL structure is more than often necessary, although website owners do it unwillingly because they are aware that plummeting search results are the immediate result of it.

Once the URL to the website’s homepage and other linking pages change, all the old pages need to be redirected to new ones. If would be ideal if you didn’t change the website’s URLs but sometimes these changes are desirable because they have to do with improved SEO or simply aesthetics. The last thing you want is to end up on the list of the worst (and the funniest) domain names.

Plan the new sitemap before the redesign

Now, in order to avoid a bunch of unnecessary URL redirects, you should already have a sitemap when the redesigned website goes online. Star building a new sitemap by seceding what you will keep from the existing sitemap and giving designers clear instructions which section of the sitemap have to go. There are many free tools online that can help you map out the website’s existing pages.

The general tip during the remapping of the website is not to focus on size because even large websites are easily crawled by Google if they are organized well enough. The focus should be on organizing all the menus and submenus, regardless of how many of them you might have, in a logical and easily navigable manner.

The final, test phase

After you’re done audit your links and building upon your on-page SEO, it’s time to test the new design and see how it fares in terms of traffic. The quality control phase is actually a fairly comprehensive test that includes numerous factors that will tell you whether the relaunch was a success.

First of all, the site needs to come with a proofreading copy following by a quick check of all the hyperlinks. Finally, you have to verify image displays and video embeds, as well as any payment form submissions the website might feature.

A website redesign might be painful for most people but it is a necessary and welcoming change. Yes, the second the redesigned launches, the traffic will go down but you can easily recover it.

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Patrick Adams

Article by Patrick

Patrick Adams is a freelance writer and rock-blues fan. Besides writing about digital marketing, he works as a consultant for GWM SEO Melbourne. His other interests include playing chess, watching basketball, and playing his guitar.

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