Things don't add up with this website

Hi everyone,

Thanks for having me in your forum and I hope to gain much insight in to the topic of SEO.

I have been asked to optimise a client’s new website. It was launched on 21/03/14 under an existing domain used for their previous site. Upon examining not only the site but also the Google Analytics reports I found a number of strange anomalies which I pointed out to the client who subsequently instructed me to investigate.

These are the main issues:

  • Since the launch of the new site and without any work to it from myself or anyone else I’m aware of it has absolutely been dominant in Google for almost all of the major keyphrases relevant to their industry. (In fact some searches using fairly generic phrases for the industry like “floor standing temperature chambers” or “floor standing test chambers” produce results with 7 or more of their pages listed on page one of Google’s SERPs.)
  • Also since launch the traffic according to Google Analytics has dropped by over 95% from an average of about 4000 visits to under 200 for any 30 day segment after launch.
  • The amount of new visitors has dropped from a pre-launch amount of around 3000 (75%) to less than 10 (5%).
  • Acquisition from organic search has dropped from 2600 (68%) to 110 (56%). As there are less than 10 new visitors I am assuming 100+ visitors were revisiting the site via a search engine.
  • I have found no natural (or any other) external links leading to the site.

This simply doesn’t add up to me. Basically if there is nothing wrong here I am not needed.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

Welcome to the forums

You mention a big difference between Google analytics pre and post launch, do your server logs tell the same story?

in short: no

I don’t have access to them.

I was thinking along the line of GA not tracking correctly, in that case I suggest adding another 3rd party stats service such as Statcounter so you can use that as a comparison, either that or install a self hosted stats script.

Just a few thoughts that spring to mind:

1a. Did the URL structure remain the same? If not:
1b. Were the old URLs 301 redirected to the new URLs?
2. Is there proper sitemap for the website?
3. Is there something in the new website preventing google from crawling it? Too much JS so google can’t make sense of it? Headers or robots.txt telling google not to index it?
4. Is the new site significantly slower than the old website?

If I’m reading sytemaker’s OP correctly, there is no problem at all with getting the site indexed, or with it appearing in the SERPs:

The problem seems to be that despite the good performance in the SERPs, traffic has plummeted.

Well it is possible when your website content of the new website is completely different from previous version of your website. If your website content is not relevant then it increases the Website Bounce rate and website loses their visitor.

Also please review your website load time. Majority of website lose their visitor due to high loading time.

Make sure the website optimized properly like 301 redirection, no duplicate pages and no keyword stuffing in the content.