How To Deal With Lost Traffic When Launching A New Website
April 21, 2017
A client we work with here at Hanapin Marketing recently launched a new website (design and new domain) and while we followed Your PPC Checklist For A New Website Launch to prepare for “what to do prior to launch,” we were left with the questions. Now what?
What clients and articles seem to miss is the “what next?” You launched your site, you followed the best, but now what? Here we will discuss:
- Does it make sense to bid on high ranking organic branded and non-branded terms
- How long before you should re-evaluate your plan
- Additional resources for post-launch
To Bid, Or Not To Bid
Following post launch we knew that the new domain would need help with ranking for both organic and PPC keywords, however, with no history for the domain, it can be a little tricky. Post-launch, there was an expectation of loss in organic and PPC traffic, however, the drop was significant – nearly 50% year over year. This was unexpected to say the least.
We decided to evaluate the current categories:
- What branded keywords were a part of our campaigns?
- What organic keyword lost the most traffic, and were they a part of our campaigns?
- Where did we see the largest decrease in paid traffic?
While there are differing opinions on whether or not you should bid on your clients’ brand name, when building a history for your client on a new domain, this is almost a no-brainer. Think of all the permutations:
- Brand name
- With the URL (www.brandname.com)
- Broad modified match keyword (+brandname)
Bidding on the brand name and driving online traffic to the new URL helped build traffic history for both PPC and organic, allowing the traffic gap to close quickly.
Non-branded keywords can also play a huge role in how well your website recovers post-launch. While you should not measure (organic) rank, you should measure the traffic and performance of your keywords organically, if you have the capability. Take a look at how well your keywords were performing prior to launch and how are they performing post launch, both organically and on the paid side.
Some ideas of where to start:
- Average position
You should also be prepared to pay more than you would normally for those clicks, meaning increasing your PPC budget for a short time after launch (at least two months) and increasing bids for optimal placement.
* You can see where the PPC budget was paused during the launch window and budget was increased to assist in the loss of rank for PPC keywords and organic traffic. Post launch, clicks increased 81% with the assistance of an increased budget. After two months, organic traffic was returning to “normal” numbers and so the budget was decreased back to “normal” spend.
How Long Should You Wait?
This is an age-old question that unfortunately has no hard and fast rule. If you see that you recovered quickly for both organic and paid traffic, then you may not need to adjust at all. However, if you see a steep decline then you will want to adjust weekly and sometimes daily until you see the results you are working towards. The key is to not panic. You will see a decline post-launch no matter what you do, however, it should be temporary and should not last more than 60 days, but that is not always the case.
While recovering PPC for a website can be challenging, there are plenty of resources to help steer you in the right direction:
- Avoid These Common PPC Shopping Strategy Mistakes
- What to Expect When You Make a Global Change to Your PPC Account
- How to Build a Solid CRO Strategy
Have more questions, I’d love to hear from you on twitter @krisvick!
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