Our SEO Specialist Daniel was approached by an Advertising Agency that wanted to do their own website build. After the new website went live, their client’s website started ranking less for their top keywords, and the traffic to their website dropped. Distil Digital was on-boarded to fix whatever was wrong, and they gave me a list of keywords that their client’s website used to rank for.
Technical Website Audit. Daniel started with a technical website audit to give them a strategy on what can be improved and implemented in the future. However, that was not the main solution, Daniel had to ask them if they saved any of the old copy, site layout, and backlinks. Unfortunately, they didn’t.
So the investigation started, and Daniel suggested some extra pages to get those specific keywords back on the website, Daniel used Wayback Machine to retrieve copy, and Search Console for 404 errors.
When the advertising agency came to me with the problem that the new website isn’t ranking for the top keywords, Daniel asked them for the old copy/content of the old website, backlinks and the old website layout. They hadn’t saved anything!
Daniel immediately went to Wayback Machine to get the old content and the layout of the old website. From experience, I know that many ad agencies that attempt to do their own websites forget to 301 redirect any of the old URL’s, so Daniel went into Search Console and downloaded the list of 404 url’s.
The new website had way fewer pages than the old website, which resulted in some of their keywords not appearing on the new website.
After looking at the 404 URL’s, Daniel started writing down the pages from the old website which contained the keywords that they were no longer ranking for. Daniel then looked for the content that would have matched that URL (you will also see it on Wayback Machine).
The reason they made fewer pages was to have a new clean layout/design, which is perfectly fine. Instead of having a page for each service, they added all the services onto one page with less content. Daniel suggested that they add BOOKING or READ MORE to each service linking to a page with the old content, or optimized content containing all the old keywords.
So we added BOOKING and added the content to the Booking pages.
All 404 URLs were redirected which resulted in all the backlinks pointing to the website again.
Daniel then went and looked for unlinked mentions and listed the page URL’s in a sheet, and gave that to the client to target (outreach).
Website Migrations are tricky, sometimes it’s easy to migrate the website, but unfortunately too many forget to keep content/keywords in mind. I would suggest to always have everything backed up:
- Site Structure
- Images -This is becoming more important, if you don’t use any of the old images on the new site, then add them to Pinterest and link them back to new relevant pages. I did a test where I linked Pinterest to new pages, while some new pages had no Pinterest linking to them. The ones who had Pinterest linking to them were crawled faster and indexed faster.
Having images on Pinterest can create a good Search Engine Experience by Branding your search results. They’ll show up in a Carousel.
All images above are from Pinterest.