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    Search traffic has dropped 50% in 2 years since switching to Managed Wordpress, why?

    I switched from Godaddy's shared hosting to Managed Wordpress hosting on 2-21-2015. On 2-27-2015, my search traffic was down, and has consistently fallen ever since.  Up until the point when I switched, search traffic had consistently increased for the life of my site.  But as soon as I switched from shared to managed, it immediately started falling.

     

    For reference, here was my organic search traffic for the February of each year:

     

    February 2013 - 12,359

    February 2014 - 22,190

    February 2015 - 41,028

    February 2016 - 30,821

    February 2017 - 21,798

     

    Obviously, there was some change associated with the switch from shared to Managed that impacted my organic search. My search traffic has effectively been cut in half since the switch.

     

    So what are some things I could troubleshoot and look for that could be causing the problem?  Is there anything that could impact search which hosting is changed that I should be aware of and can check?

     

    BTW, I posted this same message late last night and for some reason it apparently was deleted. I just want help with my problem, that's why I'm posting here instead of on Twitter and Facebook.

    6 REPLIES 6
    Super User II

    I'm not an SEO; nor do I play one on T.V. but what I do know is that just comparing year over year declines and pegging it on hosting alone without really analyzing your site, any site changes made (or not made that should have been) and any potential algo changes isn't something I would be comfortable assuming.

     

    Hosting is just one part of how rankings are determined.  Run a site speed test here:

     

    https://gtmetrix.com/

     

    The above may give you more to go on.  HTH! 😉

     

     

    Judith
    "I never lose. Either I win or I learn." ~ Me


    @Muse wrote:

    I'm not an SEO; nor do I play one on T.V. but what I do know is that just comparing year over year declines and pegging it on hosting alone without really analyzing your site, any site changes made (or not made that should have been) and any potential algo changes isn't something I would be comfortable assuming.

     

    Hosting is just one part of how rankings are determined.  Run a site speed test here:

     

    https://gtmetrix.com/

     

    The above may give you more to go on.  HTH! 😉

     

     


    I just used year to year for the purposes of this post to illustrate the decline.  My search traffic had steadily risen for 6 straight years and then suddenly began to steadily fall for the first time less than a week after the hosting switch.  And continues to fall to this day.

     

    Site loading speed did improve by going from shared hosting to dedicated, but that would make sense. 

    Okay.... but SEO is not static. So if it is not site speed -- it likely isn't the hosting. 

     

    The thing is if you aren't uber dilligent and aggressive by creating great content, getting social shares, optimized for mobile, SSL'd --  yada, yada, yada --- rankings will suffer.  They just aren't a set and forget.  If rankings are dropping it could very well be your competitors are out-performaing you on social/mobile/pricing/offerings, etc.

     

    I see this pattern all the time with clients.  They "think" they are doing everything right -- which turns out to be what they are only willing to do or just not enough to compete.

     

    I'm not saying that is the case with you other than I wouldn't assume hosting alone.  Did you run the test and get 90-100% for desktop and mobile? 

     

    If you want to provide a URL I can take a peak...  😉

    Judith
    "I never lose. Either I win or I learn." ~ Me

    I wanted to add this because it might be relevant.  At some point, I remember having a conversation with Godaddy support about some issues with my site (this might have been in Feb of 2015 when the hosting was switched).  As part of that, I asked about having my site redirect to the non-www version of the site.  I did this because I had read on some blog that a non-www version of the site was better for SEO.  

     

    But I just googled about it and a site, I think WPBeginner said that there was no SEO difference between www and non-www version but that you should NOT set up a permanent redirect from the www version to the non-www version on an EXISTING site.  Which is exactly what I did, again I think it might have been in Feb of 2015.

     

    The site was launched in May of 2009, and search traffic started falling in Feb of 2015 when the hosting was changed.  In fact the search traffic started falling on 2-27-2015.

     

    I checked my old emails from that time period and sure enough, I found some from 2-26-2015 where a Godaddy support person had sent me links on how to redirect a www to non-www.  And when you go to my site now, www.mackcollier.com, it permanently redirects to mackcollier.com.

     

    So I have two questions:

     

    1 - Does that mean the redirecting of the www version of the site to non-www is the culprit for the loss in traffic, and if so...

     

    2 - How do I undo the site permanently redirecting to the non-www version?

     

     

    EDIT: I found my htaccess file for the site and there appears to be no code in it for a 301 redirect.  I did find a setting in godaddy to set up a 301 redirect to the www version of the site, but would that have everyone stay on the www version of the site, or would it start with the www version, then redirect to the non-www version, then redirect BACK to the www version?  Two redirects would add loading time I would think, in addition to any other problems it might cause.  What do you think?

    @MackCollier17,

    Here is @Muse's response. She was having trouble posting and I'm helping out:

    Hey @MackCollier17.

    I didn't get any email notices of your reply...WordPress is set in Settings/General is what you'd redirect to. Right now your site pulls either way. You also want to set your preferred version to non-www in Google Webmasters console so Google knows that default too. 

     

    GTMetrix gave you an A on speed! So we don't have an obvious "speed problem" but there is some work to be done--as is always the case with every site. You're on a great platform (Genesis) so you are good there too. 

     

    I work closely with several public speakers/trainers and that is a very, very competitive market--then add that you're a social media focused expert -- add X100 competition! I would look at your website and what you can do to improve there. 

     

    Here is what I would do to start...

     

    1. Look at my exit pages and work on those with calls to action and links to relevant internal pages.

     

    2. Add a contact form to your site that inquirers can complete. A mailto link to your gmail account just isn't as professional. (The contact form on your "book Mack" page is showing the shortcode and is not rendering.)

     

    3. Add links to all your social profiles above the fold (top sidebar) and in the footer too.

     

    4. Rewrite your About page. Go first person and talk about what you do and why you do it with passion. Add some personal details so you appear more approachable. 3rd person bios just are stiff and don't do you any favors.

     

    5. Change the bottom of page copyright notice to your info in lieu of theme/framework and remove the wordpress and login links.

     

    These are just a few things that can give you a more professional and polished presentation!

     

     

     

     

    RachelM - GoDaddy | Community Manager | 24/7 support available at x.co/247support | Remember to choose a solution and give kudos.

    Thank you Rachel and Muse, I forgot about changing it in the settings in the WP dashboard, I changed it to the www. version of the site, that should help as well, appreciate the help from you both!