How an Automotive Adventure Accessories OEM Retained it’s Traffic & Revenue While Upgrading From Magento 1 CE to Magento 2.24 Enterprise

SEO Retention: Magento 2 Upgrade

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Our Client manufactures and sells the world’s smartest gear for vehicle-based adventures. Their roof racks, water tanks, tents, awnings, drawer systems, and camping accessories are enjoyed, used and abused around the world by casual campers, the U.N., overlanders, NGOs, outdoor enthusiasts, and extreme athletes.

Their goal has always been to keep their site up to date with the latest technology while continually achieving a consistent growth in online sales.

The earlier Magento 1 website was incrementally developed feature by feature over several years, that’s what made it a little complex.

For such a Magento deployment:
1.Having a presence in 8 locations(US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, South Africa, Eastern Europe and Rest of the World),
2. Built-in 3 different languages(French, German and English) and
3. Experiencing a huge number of visitors(monthly traffic of 2,50,000), an upgrade from Magento 1 to Magento 2.24 Enterprise Edition seemed to be a daunting task. Given the fact that Outdoor gear industry is a mature e-commerce sector where distributors compete to grab the top positions in search results, going for an upgrade meant loss in SEO rankings and drop in traffic. Here we explore how we set out to upgrade our client’s site while retaining their SEO

CHALLENGE

A better customer experience can indeed be a deciding factor while making purchase .

That’s why an upgrade is necessary since it not only keeps your site up to date with the latest technology, but also provides you with the exposure to a lot many features/enhancements that can increase customer engagement .

However, equally true is the fact that it takes years to build a good ranking, authority and gain better online presence.

If correct measures are not taken while going for an upgrade, a site may even be completely wiped off by Google.

Our team was posed with a challenge to make a get our client’s site moved to a new version of Magento while keeping their ranking on SEO metrics intact.

Here are the goals that we had in front of us:

  • Upgrade to Magento 2.24 Enterprise version
  • Retain domain authority and ranking
  • Maintain Traffic and hence sales
  • To preserve the backlinks and Referring domains
  • Keeping the count of organic keywords being ranked for before and after upgrade consistent

APPROACH

In order to retain SEO while transitioning from Magento 1 to Magento 2.24, we carried out activities in three phases (pre, during and post-upgrade).
We started off by benchmarking the pre-launch SEO metric to ensure we don’t lose the track and maintain a consistent ranking, traffic, and authority throughout.

 Benchmarking Metrics 
1Domain Authority (MOZ)
50
2Page Authority (MOZ)44
3Pages Indexed in Google24,200
4Pages Indexed in Yahoo
3100
5Rank
426916
6Backlinks
54800
7Referring Domains1110
8Organic Keywords27.4K
9Organic Traffic
24.1K

1.Pre-launch activities:

Sno.SEO ActivityDescription
1Benchmark current metricsFor comparison post-launch - Rankings, Homepage PageRank, Domain Authority, Number of pages indexed in Google with a site:domain.com search.
2Remove dev/staging site crawler accessNoindex, nofollow and disallow in robots.txt file
3Determine the redesign variablesWhat’s going to change? - URL, Content, Architecture etc.
4Create a 301 redirect strategyMap old URLs to new URLs, organized by site architecture. If a page is being eliminated, find the most relevant page for a 301 redirect
5Plan your analytics software setupDetermine whether a new user account (for GA) is necessary or if you can continue using the current one and maintain historical data.
6Prepare a list of backlinksPrepare a list of existing backlinks and referring domains so that we can monitor lost or broken backlinks after launch..

2. During launch activities:

SnoSEO ActivityDescription
1Launch architecture audit
  • Are pages properly 301 redirecting from 301 redirect strategy?

  • Are titles, meta descriptions and H1s correct and unique?

  • Were Google and Bing Webmaster Tools installed properly?

  • Was Google Analytics (or another analytics software) installed properly?
  • Were passwords/noindex, nofollow and robots.txt disallow directives removed?

  • What is the total number of links on the home page? More than 100? Cut down.

  • Are the new drop-downs crawlable? How about the rest of the content on the site?

  • (While there are many tools to check crawlability, you can use the Fetch and

  • Render feature in Google Search Console.)

  • 2Annotate the site launch in analytics softwareThis will be a helpful note in the future as a benchmark for increases/decreases in traffic and conversions.
    3Set Analytic Goals Set Analytic goals and check all tracking codes are placed correctly or not.
    4A link between GA, GSC and Google Adwords
    Check id Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Google Adwords are correctly installed and linked with each other on the new website.

    3.Post-launch activities:

    SnoSEO ActivityDescription
    1Number of pages indexed (Google Webmaster)
    The number of pages indexed will likely drop off post-launch.
    Once 301s are picked up, this number should climb back up.
    Be sure to check that there aren’t duplicate pages being indexed either.
    2Home Page PageRank, Home Page Page Authority & Domain AuthorityHP PageRank, HP Page Authority and Domain Authority should remain constant throughout.
    3Check Keyword ranking against benchmarksCheck if there is a drop in ranking of relevant high volume keywords, we’ll give it a backlink push to get it ranking back.
    4Build a Referral Program (New Backlinks)Referral Programs are known to generate incoming links from
    bloggers and high-quality websites to increase and maintain overall domain authority and rankings of the website.
    5Recover Lost backlinks
    Monitor lost backlinks and try to recover lost/broken backlinks.
    6Content ManagementFix duplicate content and add new contents on regular intervals to drive more traffic.

    RESULTS

    Normally, if there is an upgrade from one version to another, if not properly done, the site may lose entire SEO juice and end up with a negligible presence in Google search results. However, due to our unique and well-defined approach, the results were indeed incredible. Our client was not just able to retain its traffic but also ranking on organic keywords, domain authority, backlinks, Referring domains etc which is a must to have a great online presence

    • Successful traffic retention
      The site gained momentum within one month of its upgrade and thus was able to drive a consistent traffic to the site
    • Ranking on different SEO parameters
      Due to our consistent effort, we were able to preserve the ranking of our client on several
      important SEO metrics
      SNo.Parameter31 Oct21 NovStatus
      1Domain Authority (MOZ)
      5050Consistent
      2Page Authority (MOZ)4444Consistent
      3Backlinks54800557001.6% increase
      4Referring Domains111011806.3% increase
      5Organic Keywords27.4K27KConsistent
      6Organic Traffic24.1K23.2KConsistent

    “Quite often the reason behind an upgrade is to give customers a better experience and thus improve conversion rates. If correct steps are not taken to ensure a smooth transition from an old to a new site, an upgrade can even prove to be an invitation to a disaster. Since this can destroy your SEO ranking that took years to build. Hence it is highly recommended to go for SEO retention prior to any migration or upgrade. This way you would be able to preserve your ranking in search results and thus drive more business.”

    *Planning to go for an upgrade or migrating to a new platform? We’ll be happy to give you a free consultation on how to go about it while retaining your SEO. For more information, please contact vibhav.gaur@ebizontek.com

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