A Four Point Plan To Recover Organic Search Traffic After a Site Migration

A prospective client recently migrated an e-commerce site from an old proprietary cart to BigCommerce. Traffic and revenue subsequently plunged, which of course is just about the worst thing that could happen when you are migrating to a platform you think will be better for business.

Here is how he puts it: “Being a small business with a now 60% downturn in sales…yikes… do you think we could recover that SEO with what you do and how long does it typically take to start seeing real results?”

The short, and hopefully relieving, answer is yes. There is nothing about his site that is not recoverable – no Panda issues or Google Manual Actions, good incoming link profile, and a fairly diverse amount of content across both products and blog posts.

Here’s the basic four point plan for recovering traffic and revenue for this client:

1) First-pass SEO. The site migration from one platform to another did not include the transfer of the basic SEO elements, including meta title and meta description. Using some new keyword research and intuition to quickly do a good first pass will freshen up the site, get it crawled more actively, and result in an uptick in long-tail traffic to the site within about four to six weeks.

2) Social Sharing. Sharing of individual products and posts needs to be enabled through a widget such as ShareThis. A page with 5 or 10 or 50 Likes and Tweets, which Google sees as indicators, will perform much better than a similar page with no corresponding social activity. This can be reinforced by re-sharing old content through Facebook and Twitter accounts, perhaps with a new twist on the intro language or adding new photos to the page.

3) Site Architecture. How content is organized on a page and how pages are organized on a site both matter. At the page level, we will make sure that content is organized properly, such as proper use and structure of H1, H2 and H3 tags. At the site level, we look at site navigation, how content is organized into categories, if there are 301 redirects in place, if 404’s from the old site are being handled properly and much more. Some of this is manually done, while additional clues can be discovered through Google Webmaster Tools and crawling tools such as Strucr.com.

4) Content Strategy. Once we have the site back on good footing and the client sees progress, we have some momentum – how do we keep that going? Through the deployment of an effective content development strategy. Given this client’s industry, we can develop content that is helpful to users, is fun to read and share, engages the senses and the salivary glands and gives context to the overall theme of the client’s business. This can include blog posts, videos, infographics and more.

The goal of the four point plan is to rapidly make iterative changes so that the client can tangibly see progress. This results in enthusiasm and momentum, on which we can build a long-term content strategy that creates a strong foundation for organic search and users alike. Ultimately, we want a vibrant, engaging site that brings in revenue, provides a great user experience and exceeds everyone’s expectations.

Here is a recent testimonial:

“After a site redesign and launch, we experienced a dramatic downturn in both quantity and quality of Search Engine visits.

We’d been working with another SEO firm, were told that we would see results within 90-180 days and watched that time line come and go with little to no impact on our Search Engine traffic.

We hired Tyler to reverse our downward spiral. He’s done it. He immediately went to work on nuts and bolts and we saw a rise in traffic after approximately 30-45 days.

We’re now working on proactive, long term strategies to build relevant traffic. We’re pleased with the initial outcomes, which could be seen very quickly and believe we’re on the right track for a long term build that will not just get us back to where we were, but far surpass it.

Just as important for us, Tyler communicates in a down to earth way, demystifying things, so you can be a partner in the process, understand what’s going on and gain confidence from that, a rare breath of fresh air compared to other SEO service providers we’ve worked with.”

– Brian C., Ventura, CA

(Abandoned ship image credit: wwarby / flickr CC 2.0)

Leave a Comment