We were approached by an international e-commerce store which recently did a migration to a newer e-commerce platform, and, just a couple of months later, migrated more than 20 store views from .eu to .com domain.
3 weeks after the migration was done, Google was still indexing around 30k URLs ending in .eu.
Due to a lack of SEO migration strategy, the website faced a decrease in organic traffic for the first month after migration by 42% compared to the previous year.
Technical SEO Audit Tasks
Although on-page optimization is extremely important, in this case, we focused on a proper technical setup. We knew that overall the content was fully migrated from the old website so the reason for the decrease in rankings most likely must have been related to a poor technical SEO setup.
We performed an in-depth technical audit, focusing on issues related to international SEO. While running the audit, we reviewed and analyzed more than 120 elements which are related to technical SEO.
Overall we identified 22 issues to be fixed and 9 possible improvements.
Main issues discovered
- Over-indexation. Canonical tags were missing, faceted navigation was set to index, follow, and robots.txt wasn’t adjusted — all of it resulted in over-indexation. That lead to SEO value decrease for each unique link.
- Forcing GEO IP redirect was harmful to both Search Engine bots and people. Also, several storeviews were in English. Combine this with missing hreflangs and as a result the Search Engine bots see a lot of duplicated content and can’t identify which store view should be shown for which country.
- Various internal errors — 404, 301 redirects, server errors. All led to poor user experience which also affected rankings.
Improvements included completely reworking the approach to international SEO — replacing forced IP redirects with a much friendlier and flexible approach for both users and search engine bots and implementation of hreflangs. Proper international SEO setup ensured that Google now displays the localized versions of the website in the specific countries and regions. Which increased CTR of search results.
We also implemented canonical tags, proper XML sitemaps and robots.txt, meta robots tags. All the best SEO practices applicable for basically any website. We also developed and implemented, with the help of developers, a structured approach to indexation of faceted navigation to avoid indexing low-quality content, which is a common issue for e-commerce stores.
Results after SEO improvements
76.95% increase in revenue from organic traffic compared to the last year. The increase was achieved in 4 months.
Can’t reach for the stars if you have nothing to stand on! Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s do an audit and tackle the most important improvement opportunities for your site to lay valuable groundwork for a SEO-perfect store!
Learn more at cro.scandiweb.com.