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Rampant loss of traffic since re-launch on CMS

On an industry leading site that's 7 years old.

3:17 pm on Aug 29, 2012 (gmt 0)

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joined:Aug 29, 2012
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Greetings. Was referred here by someone that spoke quite highly of the community and admit I'm impressed with the activity I've seen in the 5 minutes I've been here. Look forward to delving into some long put-off research topics, but first...

From 2005 until February of this year my site ran strictly HTML (with tables until 2011 :yikes:) and enjoyed steady growth almost every month for at least the last 3 years. I, myself, relaunched the site four times in those years, continually upgrading the design but not the technology. Each relaunch was greeted with a surge in traffic and by January 2012 we were beginning to crest 50,000 monthly visits with regularity.

As the site grew it was clear I needed CMS functionality on the back end and a search/filter feature on the front end. It is a complex & custom content rich site. This year, for the first time ever, I paid money for the siteís development (a good deal of money) on the expressionengine platform while I built the majority of the CSS. I am absolutely in love with the way the end product looks, feels, and works, butÖ

We are now down to 24,000 visits a month, dropping about 7%-10% each monthÖ? We have done a lot of troubleshooting for IE, as my customer base is not technologically inclined and likely using outdated IE browsers (and apparently there was a lot of browser crashing at first launch), but this does not seem to recover any traffic.

We have installed searchmap add-ons, got google webtools going, everything we can think of, yet 6 months later I am still losing traffic. I feel like my original dev team has run out of ideas.

A 2011 - 2012 graph of our analytics shows a steady incline up until the day of EE launch and then a steady decline ever since. I have not changed our marketing, we still hold our first page google spots (usually in top 3 returns) I have not altered a thing other than relaunch in EEÖ and itís killing my site. I have watched 3 years of traffic building just disappear.

I donít know if I should be looking for an analytics specialist, an seo specialist, or someone to go through a myriad of EE/jquery/php code looking for red flags, and I canít afford to go hiring one of each. Honestly, we put all our pennies into this site relaunch. I donít mind paying for help on this, but Iíve got to be smart about obtaining it.

Does this ring a similar bell in anyoneís mind? Thatís kind of what Iím hoping beyond hope for. Next hope is some advise on what type of help will make the best use of my money, and where to go about procuring it ... or perhaps someone out there simply enjoys a puzzle?

Am really at a loss and keen to hear any suggestions. Really really keen with a strong tinge of desperation. Many thanks in advance for your time.
7:12 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Hi dags,
first of all, welcome to webmaster world.

When you introduced the CMS, did it change the structure of the site? Did it change the urls of your old content? When you change urls and don't redirect the old to the new ones you will lose direct traffic via links as well as presence in the search engines.

Please provide some more detail of what was changed.
11:43 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 10, 2004
votes: 126

welcome to WebmasterWorld, dags!

i would definitely be interested first in what new urls were introduced and how you handled requests for the legacy urls.

how many urls are in the index vs how many would you expect to see there?