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Effect of closing website down for a while?

P

PickAcard

New Member
Hi, I’ve literally just joined to ask a couple of questions which are keeping me up all night !!

We have an EKM website which has been running for about 6 years and has done us very well. We got customers through magazine advertising so things like google search results were not something we really bothered about.

But this past 12 months has seen some very noticeable changes in how customers are finding us. Sales from magazine readers seems to be falling but sales from google searches has increased quite a lot, so somewhere, somehow, google has started to give our website a big leg-up in searches.

But I have two big questions which I need to address in the next couple of months .....

1. We are closing down for 5 weeks to go and visit relatives in Oz, and I’m thinking I need to direct our home page to a separate page saying “sorry we are closed bla bla bla, check back again in October “
Q. Is this likely to have a negative effect on our google ranking ?

Also at this time I plan to make a big change to our website. Our current EKM theme isn’t fully reactive (I am told) so I plan to change to one of EKMs reactive themes.
Q. Same as the first question really, is this likely to effect our ranking? I’ve played with their test shop system and all text/images etc seem to copy over ok apart from the main homepage text, so I will need EKM to add a couple of extra elements then I can copy over the text.

I’d be very grateful for any advice on the two issues above.

TIA
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Established Memeber
Hi John,

It's great to see you're finally seeing value in SEO, it has the potential to be your best source of customer so its becoming harder for people to turn a blind eye on online marketing.

Let me try and help :

1. Personally I would advise against any kind of shut down of any kind, If you really need to be away form the business and can not fill the orders taken, and can not take someone on to process the orders , then best case scenario in my opinion is to remove the functionality that allows people to checkout/add to cart. And add some visible notices around the site in prime visible locations saying your closed until x date.

On top of that Im assuming you have a Google business listing , you can setup some holiday or special opening times so your Business listing is also marked as closed.

Doing that will be alot less of a culture shock than redirecting all URL's or going offline, SEO is a long process so if you are now starting to get some results, best not to disrupt it.

2. I assume by "reactive" you mean "responsive" in terms of mobile friendly. If so this should result in little to no down time, maybe a day or so if you require maintenance, short maintenance downtime Is fine and Google understands there are problems and updates sometimes. Being mobile friendly should also give you better chances of Google liking you even more ;)

If you are not already using https ( SSL certificate ),I would highly recommend you also make that change at the same time you make the others.
 
P

PickAcard

New Member
Thanks very much for the advice. It should be quite easy to end the functionality of checkout. My concern would be, will google see a sudden end of transactions and assume our business no longer exists, then stop showing us in search results?

Yes, I did mean responsive :) I just couldn’t think of the word !!

I am already using HTTPS, it’s something that EKM did for all of its customers when it became a ‘thing’.
 
Community

Community

Administrator
Staff member
Established Memeber
Hi John,

No Google search will have no connection to how much revenue you generate or don't generate. You will effectively be putting your store into a "catalogue" mode where products are browsable but not purchasable. Providing you have sufficient notices saying something along the lines of

"We are currently closed for new orders until X date, The store is currently in Catalogue mode for your browsing, If you wish to be notified on X date when we reopen for new orders, please sign up to our newsletter here"

That way you not only keep the user experience pretty painless, you also collect a potential list of customers whom may come back if you email them upon your return.
 
P

PickAcard

New Member
I usually do this for short holidays and usually offer a discount for pre-return orders. There is nothing quite like laying on a sun soaked beach while people send me money

I’ll do the same for our long break, I just wanted to make sure google won’t penalise us.
 
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