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Google analytics - drop in traffic

Bit of a general question here. We are in the process of converting a number of our clients from older web sites to new ones.

The problem we are getting, and sorry for being so general here, is we are getting a sharp decline in traffic as reported on Google Analytics. It's not a gradual decline, it seems to hit almost as soon as the new site goes live.

I've just got a few questions to see if there is something we are doing wrong:

a) We are using the same analytics accounts going from old to new site. Is this a bad idea? b) The actual analytics code is integrated into the pages using a server-side include. IS this a bad idea? c) We structure our sites differently to our old site. IE. The old sites would pretty must have all the web pages in the root directory, and hyperlinks would be linked to the page files: EG.

     <a href="somepage.aspx">Link</a>

Our new sites now have a directory structure that pretty much reflects the navigation structure, and hyper links link to the pages directory instead of the actual page: EG.

    <a href="/new-items/shoes/">New shoes</a>

Is this a bad idea.

I'm really searching for a needle in a haystack here. Would appriciate any help or advice as to why we are getting such a sharp and sudden drop in traffic.

  • 2
    Is your old urls redirecting to new ones? Might be that users hit 404 when they follow google links of old urls.
    – egis
    Nov 24 '11 at 9:41
  • I cant really comment on the structure of the directory or anything, but one thing you might want to check is have your search engine rankings dropped at all?
    – Purplegoldfish
    Nov 24 '11 at 9:44
  • Hi chaps. Thanks for the feedback. To answer your questions. No there are no redirects from the old URLs, but we do submit a new Google sitemap as soon as going line. Plus the traffic never seems to recover over a period of time, which is what I would expect to see if people were getting 404s. Also, I don't think our ranking drops at all, no. Thanks.
    – user1001421
    Nov 24 '11 at 9:46
  • You can check it by measuring it with 2 analytics services. Piwik is a good one and it's free. 404's and losses in Google ranking may be the reason. Make sure all old URL's are redirected with a 301 http response.
    – Osvaldo
    Nov 24 '11 at 21:21

If you're not doing a 301 permanent redirect from old pages to new pages then your new pages will not show in the SERPS in place of the old pages. Instead Google will replace with any page of their choice. They are following your instructions as 404 says page no longer exists.

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