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One of my client's website is a B2B technology company website.

I was working on website revamp. Following things were done during the website revamp.

  1. The website URL structure, permalink structure is changed.
  2. The website hosting provider is changed.
  3. The website's CMS is also changed.
  4. The website's SSL provider is changed. (previous website was also https and new website is also https)
  5. We carefully prepared a complete list of HTTP 301 redirects from the old permalink structure to the new permalink structure. There are over 800 URLs in this HTTP 301 redirect.
  6. No changes have been made in Google Search Console.
  7. Google Analytics script is also the same.
  8. We tested each and everything and technically it was all good to go, without any bugs.

Once the new website is launched, the traffic was also almost the same, with a slight drop (as expected). However, then after we saw a constant drop in direct traffic month after month.

The new website was launched on 26th March, 2022 (the red circle in the screenshot). I also talked to the agency and asked them to update the code in third week of May (the yellow circle in the screenshot)

But later on, direct traffic drastically dropped - upto 60%enter image description here.

All other traffic remains the same. enter image description here

Hypotheis:

  1. While the new website developement, the agency added this PartyTown JS script for resource prioritization. But later on it is taken out.
  2. The GDPR cookie. We see that traffic is NOT dropped from non-EU countries. So GDPR cookie is also functioning well.
  3. The 800+ HTTP 301 redirects. I tested, but these redirects are working well. There isn't any potential harm for this direct traffic loss.

Neither of these hypothesis worked.

Need help to understand this 60% loss in direct traffic and how can I fix that.

There is definitely something wrong in the coding side so that Google Analytics is not able to attribute this traffic and it is not counted.

All other traffic channels are showing almost constant traffic.

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  • What does the Google Search Console say? Any increase in 404 and 5xx pages?
    – pixeline
    Aug 1 at 9:15
  • If it is only traffic from Europe that is affected, why do you say the GDPR cookie is functioning well? It seems likely that consent for tracking is most broken. Aug 1 at 10:02
  • Was the site run through Lighthouse?
    – Lisa
    Aug 3 at 7:06
  • Hi... the traffic from Europe is almost okay. I expected some drop due to GDPR and that's considerate. I checked Lighthouse and also checked search conosle. There aren't any 404 pages. Organic Traffic is almost same. We dropped a little in organic traffic; but that's due to rank changes. Aug 3 at 12:15
  • I am checking the scripts that triggers dns-prefetch from Facebook, Google, LinkedIn etc. Our one of the traffic was from China as well; and since these services are not available, there are high chances that website is not loading correctly and that's why we get drop in direct traffic. Aug 3 at 12:18

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