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Install Wordpress On Root Killed Our Forum Traffic


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6 replies to this topic

#1 OrahChris

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 02:25 AM

Good Evening Folks, 

 

I'm hoping we can hire/ look for some experts in SEO. I created an online forum roughly 4 years ago that steadily grew to receive a humble 5k hits per month. At the time nothing was on our root domain and the forum was installed in a sub folder. /forum/ 

 

We had an online store that was hosted on another domain that had very little ranking. So, in an effort to drive more traffic to our online store we opened up the root domain, installed wordpress and woocommerce and migrated our store. All was well until after a month we noticed a massive drop in traffic to our online forum. 50%. I figure things would steady out in a few months but alas it has not. We've gone from 4.8-5k unique hits per month to 2k hit per month at best. Ouch. It's really hurt us. Because the forum was on it's own sub folder I didn't think using the root for something would cause any issues. I wished we'd simply put it on a subdomain instead. 

 

At any rate I'm hoping I can find an expert that can come in, look at our data and our configuration and figure out what on earth went wrong. I've managed this site for over 4 years but SEO is not my strong point. 



#2 chrishirst

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 08:50 AM

Probably it is because a root .htaccess file affect the whole of the folders in the document root the WordPress .htaccess rules interfere with the requests to /forum URLs.

 

 

 

I wished we'd simply put it on a subdomain instead. 

 

If it is the root .htaccess that is causing the problem, as using a sub domain on most servers control panels would create the sub-domain in the parent site document root, so the .htaccess would also affect the forum URLs in the same way.

 

What happens if you clear your browser cache and visit a forum URL from a search result?

 

Where did this traffic loss originally come from. Saying "lost traffic" means nothing at all without a qualifier of "lost from where"?



#3 OrahChris

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:46 AM

Morning, thanks for the fast reply. It's common sense but I never actually thought to go and look. (I get so focused on simply looking at the day) from what i can tell it looks like our referral traffic is what took the biggest dive. Would it help to post my analytics data here? 



#4 OrahChris

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 09:58 AM

ok so taking a quick look it would appear most of our traffic came from "Organic Search." Example the month of sep 2014 shows 87k of our hits came from "Organic Search" when click to find out more most of it falls under "Not provided" in Google Analytics which doesn't help much. 

 

We installed Wordpress on the root domain (which prior had nothing in it) in Oct 2014. You can literally see the bar graph start to drop after. Comparing sep 2014 to  dec 2014 shows a 20% drop almost across the board (and it continues to get worse as you move forward) From what I can tell most of it appears to be from Organic Search. 



#5 chrishirst

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 04:34 PM

Would it help to post my analytics data here?

 

Only if you can supply the error logs for the same period.
 



#6 OrahChris

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 07:47 PM

Only if you can supply the error logs for the same period.
 

 

Sure not a problem. Could you let me know which in particular you're looking for? 



#7 chrishirst

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 11:41 AM

Just to see if there is any correlations between the two.

 

 

A rise in errors occurring over the same time period  points to a technical problem rather than an analytical problem in the monitored metrics, or  a genuine traffic loss.

 

Do you have server access logs as well? Assuming that by "Analytics"  you are referring to  Google Analytics rather than Analog or Webalizer. Server logs inherently provide more accuracy than the inserted javascript which may be blocked by browsers in these days of paranoid secrecy that has been indoctrinated in to even the casual Internet user.






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