Traffic Drop After Theme/Template Changes

Traffic Drop After Theme/Template Changes

If you found this post from a search engine, I guess that you experience traffic drop after changed the theme or template. When you have finished reading this article I hope you know how to fix.

If you are browsing the Internet you will find that some say that change the theme of your website will not make traffic drop and others will say it will drop. They are all correct if the theme is better from previous and doesn’t make big changes on the structure it will make your website traffic increase. But if the changes are a lot you will surely experience a drop in traffic and it usually temporary 1-2 months.

traffic drop

This is what I believed.

Google and other search engines are bots that crawl your web pages. It doesn’t care whether you change your theme or not. What they care is whether the web page structure satisfies their parameter or not. If they found major changes in your web pages structure it will think that this is something new and they will need to lower the ranking in the search result until they find that the web structure is good.

If it is good, the search engine will put back the search ranking the position as before or even better. But if worst then it will keep the ranking in search result low.

To minimize traffic drop before and after changing the theme 

We cannot avoid structure changes when we change the theme but we can minimize the effect so that the traffic will not drop.

Before theme changes

Take note of your page meta tags. The meta tag is what the search engine sees on your web pages besides the content. To check this I am using Smallseotools tag analyzer. Do this for homepage, post, and page, make a screenshot each of them like below.

homepage meta tags
Home Page Meta Tags
post meta tags
Post Meta Tags
page meta tags
Page Meta Tags

After theme changes 

Check again with the same tools from Smallseotools make sure the values are the same with the previous theme, if not, make the necessary setting on the plugin or on the new theme to make sure they have the same values.

What happens if you don’t have the note of previous settings?

Try to send the sitemap again in the Google Search Console so that Google bot will re-crawl your website.

Traffic Down After Removing Categories

Other case is with a different website, the website’s niche is comic for children. We have quite good progress since July 2018 (when I first joined the company).

On February ( actually started in mid-Jan) the traffic dropped compared to other months. Usually every month the traffic keeps increasing.
As I always monitor the traffic every day and make a weekly report I knew that something wrong with the website but I don’t know exactly what.
I realized this problem after 2 weeks, during the first week I thought it was normal as there are some days that traffic down. In the 2nd week the traffic not recover and keep going down.

I know that there was something wrong but I don’t know the problem. My first guess was, my link building strategy was wrong.
My link building strategy was mixed. Guest posting, forum posting, commenting, and always make documentation for each link I got. After I re-check one by one I found no problem.

My 2nd guess is website design. After I re-check again and compare with the time when the traffic was healthy I found that somehow I remove the Categories widget from the sidebar.

I re-apply the widget but this time I put in the footer area and it appears on all pages. Previously I put on the sidebar but that didn’t show categories widget on the homepage.
As I think that homepage received quite a lot backlink I need to show the categories widget here.

traffic stats

After reinstall categories on the footer widget, the website regains its traffic and keep stronger until this post updated 2 May 2019.

traffic recovered

If any other problem with traffic I will update this post again, for now is enough

OK, that’s my post for today hope you enjoy it.

Is Website Traffic Very Low? See How I Fix This

Is Website Traffic Very Low? See How I Fix This

If you keep on eyes to your website everyday and you have or manage several website at the same time, then you will know if there is something wrong with them.

Yes, I am talking about visitor traffic. Without traffic, a website is nothing even if the website is beautiful. This is what happened to one of my websites.

Website Stats

409 published posts
The website has 409 published posts
indexed pages by Google
traffic in the last 28 days

As the picture above the website has 409 published posts and there are 305 indexed pages on Google, but the visitor for the last 28 days was only 3.3K, this is far too low.

This is my personal opinion backed by data but still I probably wrong, keep in mind that the result for every website is different depending on many factors mainly niche and keyword selection.

My other website with different niche which has about 483 posts and 622 indexed pages had 49K visitor in the last 28 days. Although different niche the different with my first website is 14 times.

The Problem I can identify

By able to indentify the problem we can try to fix it, and if it succeed the website traffic can increase.

Session by devices

When I check on Google Analytics on the sessions by device I found that traffic from Desktop computer is 86.4%, from mobile devices 12.7% and 0.9% came from tablet.

This is totally wrong the percentage should be much bigger comes from mobile devices, not from Desktop computers.

session by device

Mobile Usability from Google Search Console

Using Google Search Console I found that the mobile usability number is only 93, compared to the indexed pages is 305. The number should be the same.

When I compare to my “normal” website that has 622 indexed pages, the mobile usability figure is 460 or 26% lower. So the mobile usability number should about 225 for 305 indexed pages.

mobile usability

First thing I did was to repaired the errors that comes from 2 different pages. The content wider than screen error, and I fixed it. I also see the other Text too small to read and Clickable elements too close together errors but couldn’t really found it. I hope when I fixed the content wider than screen error, those 2 errors above will disappear. I should wait for Google to acknowledge my repair and let’s see the result.

content wiser than screen

I managed to speed up the website from from C(70%) and D(60%) to B(81%) and D(64%) and I am happy with this.

Post Title and Meta Description Super Important Is A Fact!

Post Title and Meta Description Super Important Is A Fact!

12 days ago I did an experiment with customer’s website posts. The experiment is to change post title and to add a meta description. Now I found the result is very good!

Let’s elaborate the case below:

Post Title and Meta Description Super Important

I do not guarantee that following my article here will increase your traffic/keywords position on the search engine. But at least this is what I believed based on my test and experience. This post is for my reminder only.

Post Title:
Changed post title to make it more attractive to visitors by making it a questions sentence to adding numbers. The goal is to make visitors click on our posts.

Meta Description:
I add meta descriptions manually to the post. The goal is to make it more relevant to the content. The meta description I wrote is a summary of the post article itself.

Changes made 9 Oct 2019

From 25 posts I made changes to 13 posts. The unchanged posts are because I need to revise the post first before I changed the title and meta description.

Search Result on 20 Oct 2019

Position and traffic more stable than before changes.
Google Search result:
Post title changed
The meta description is not changed. Google/search engine has the right to show what to display on their search result.

Now maybe you think that you have to make changes to your thousand posts, manually, what should I do? My suggestion is to make changes to your most important post first. Do it gradually until all posts changed.

How About To Add Meta Description Automatically Using Plugin?

It’s better than not, but if you manually create the meta description, you can create what the meta description will be. When using plugin it usually took from the first paragraph.

Don’t Change your post title if you think they already good.

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