Traffic drop by 49.75% after migration from Magento to Shopify?

We hired a team and designed the theme for https://www.princessly.com on Shopify which had been previously on Magento. On Sept. 8th we finished the theme, created all 301 redirects (products, categories to collections, pages, WordPress blog posts to Shopify blog posts), and migrated everything over to Shopify and since then we’ve seen a constant drop in traffic as compared to when the site was on Magento.

As you can see from the screenshots of Google Analytics, there’s a significant sharp drop in traffic immediately after we migrated. We have been trying to find the culprit here but as it looks like an overall drop across ALL traffic acquisition channels, therefore, we don’t have any clue as to why this happens?

There’s not only the drop in traffic but also a drop in transactions & revenues on the same scale. It’s as frustrating as it is weird because half of external traffic sources seem to suddenly cease arriving on my site as if they know my site is different so they suddenly refuse to land on our site??

We still have the old site online if you want to compare: https://www.princessly.net

At first we thought it’s just a coincidence of traffic fluctuations and it would return to normal after a few days or weeks but it seems we are wrong.

Also as a comparison, here’s the stats of May 19, 2019-Nov 19, 2019 in GA for Princessly.com when it’s still on Magento, so we can rule out the season factor. Traffic is actually climbing as we sell through summer to fall.

We are truly desperate at this point with so much invested in marketing and re-design but results cut in half. Any help would be tremendously appreciated! Thank you!

Did you keep consistent URLs over the change?
I see the previous version is .net and the new one is .com
Was the old version .com before the change?
Though I don’t just mean the domain name, did individual URLs to things like products change?

Any major change to a site can cause disruptions in search indexing, but it’s usually temporary (if you did things right) and should recover after a time.
But if important URLs have changed, without making proper redirects for them, this will really disrupt your indexing and it will take time to rebuild.

Yes, URLs are consistent because we created ALL necessary 301 redirects for products, categories, pages, and even blog posts. They are all correctly redirected to Shopify.

I’m not sure but search indexing shouldn’t be an issue here as the traffic immediately dropped the next day after migration…I mean, 24 hours isn’t enough for Google to adjust our rankings and positions to justify a 49% drop in traffic, right? The traffic literally dropped immediately after migration.

It’s been over 2 months now and the adjustment still hasn’t kicked back? We have all 301 redirects all over the site from the very beginning…this is really really weird as it is frustrating…

The URLs and redirects was the obvious place to look, but if all redirects are set up properly, it should not be a problem.
Are there any further insights in “Search Console”?
It should indicate any major change in ranking, impressions, CTR or indexing, and possibly show any crawl errors.

No, no major changes in ranking, impressions, or CTR or errors in Google Search Console. If you look closely in the Google Analytics screenshots, you will find that ALL traffic sources including social, direct, search, referral, etc. all dropped by about 50%, so I don’t think this is specifically related to Google search rankings. It’s an overall drop.

That’s not a bad thing, but it does not help explain the drop.

I see that, so I’m guessing it must be some technical issue with the site, if it does not relate to indexing or ranking. Are you absolutely sure all links have been catered for with redirects? If your social or search index has broken links, that may explain it. Otherwise it is a mystery. Perhaps the access logs could give some clues, any increase in error pages like 404 or 500, ect…?

Yes, I’m sure. We have also in place an app in Shopify backend the monitor 404 not found errors. There are some ever since the migration but are very minor pages that receive perhaps 5% of all traffic in total.

Yes, there are some broken links as we have a 404 not found error monitor app in the Shopify backend, however they are VERY VERY minor pages as from past Google Analytics they account for perhaps 5% of overall traffic if at all.

But even then, we have the GA tracking code on 404 NOT FOUND pages. Ain’t the 404 error visitors be accounted into the traffic stats with higher bounce rate + shorter duration?

Traffic shouldn’t just vanish like that because we have tracking even on 404 NOT FOUND pages…

Any help, please? Any insight into this weird traffic drop?

What about speed ? I know it is hard to compare as your old site is gone but you might have a try at https://www.webpagetest.org/ or https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ to see how fast your website is loading.

I have just tested the PHP http_response_code(…); and the value is 403?

Check your site access logs which should be returning 200 responses.

https://supiet2.tk/test?

Edit:

Back on the desktop:

I would be tempted to clear the CloudFlare cache and even to disable for at least a day and monitor the results.

Results:

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Thanks for the tip! The speed is not very good but then the traffic should be there recorded in Google Analytics even the speed is slow.

Thank you very much for the test and it seems to sound an alarm.

Is this 403 forbidden by CloudFlare or by Shopify? We set up CloudFlare in May 2020, which was way before the migration so I believe the traffic drop on Sep 9th wasn’t possibly caused by CloudFlare?

It seems to be forbidden by Shopify?

I do not know what is causing the 403 http response.

I have just tested robots.txt and got the same response?

I’m guessing the .htaccess could be the problem.

You might need contacting CloudFlare, Shopify appears as a recommended platform in CloudFlare