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SEO 8 min read April 2, 2019

The Most Common SEO Errors That Damage Your Site [Infographic]

Last updated: April, 2019
The Most Common SEO Errors That Damage Your Site [Infographic]

Stacy Mine
Editor at Serpstat
If you're an SEO specialist, I'm sure you come across the SEO errors articles at least once a month. Nothing new, right? What if I say that this post is unusual? Not to rewrite the lists of the most common SEO mistakes, I want to show you the results of our study.
Which SEO errors are the most common? Every year, the Serpstat editorial team analyzes the results of site audits our users have performed to shed light on this issue. In this article, you can find the results of the study showing the most common SEO errors in 2018.

Serpstat research: the typical SEO mistakes

Results of the study

During the year, our users carried out 204К audits using the Serpstat audit tool and checked 223M pages. We analyzed this data and presented the most common SEO errors found on the sites reviewed.
As you can see on the diagram, most sites had meta tags, markups, and links-related issues. The most common are headlines, HTTPS certificate, and redirect-related weaknesses. The lowest share was found in the problems with hreflang, multimedia, content, indexing, HTTP status codes, AMP and loading time.

If you face some troubles, check out what to do if Your Website Suddenly Lose Rankings And How To Fix It.

Country-specific features

I've analyzed country-specific domains to better understand the results. For example, research shows that more than 70% of website errors related to .com domains are links, loading time, and indexing. These errors are also the most common on .uk and .ca websites.

If you need information about other domains, take a look at the first diagram, which presents the general statistics.

The most common mistakes and weaknesses and how to handle them

Meta tags

Although meta tags are not visible to users, they play an important role in telling the search engine what the page is about. In addition, these elements participate in snippet creation.

Meta tags errors affect the ranking of your website and spoil the look of the website in search results, which leads to the deterioration of user signals. As the study shows, you should first check the title length and the presence of Description:

Links, markups, and headings

The search engines rate link profiles very carefully, so quality and number of external links significantly affect the position of your website.

Nevertheless, you shouldn't forget about internal link factors: nofollow attributes and URL optimization. The chart also shows bugs and weaknesses associated with markups and headings. Markups and headings include attributes that serve to mark and structure the data. They help the search engines and networks display your website properly.

The most common links, markup, and heading errors include nofollow external link attributes, missing Twitter card markup, and H1, which doubles the title tag:

HTTPS Certificate

HTTPS certificate ensures a secure connection to the website and the browser. This aspect is also one of the essential ranking factors. Websites that use personal information require special attention to the HTTPS certificate. The most common problem associated with the HTTPS certificate is the referral of HTTPS to HTTP websites:

Redirects, hreflang attribute, and multimedia

Redirects direct users from the requested URL to another. Examine our statistics to see what problems you should avoid with redirects.
If your website has a multilingual interface and you offer the same content in multiple languages, it is necessary to apply the hreflang attribute. So the search engine can understand which version users prefer.

Multimedia elements are also very important for optimization. Although they don't directly affect the ranking, they can cause bad user signals and indexing errors. In addition, pictures also affect the loading time of the website. If your website has a multilingual interface and you offer the same content in multiple languages, it is important to apply the hreflang attribute. So the search engine can understand which version is preferred for users.

The diagram shows which redirects, hreflang attributes and multimedia errors are common.

Indexing

During indexing, the search engine gets the idea of what information the site contains. If the site is closed for indexing, users simply can't find it. Some of the issues below are weak spots that often cause errors.

Canonical tags that reference a different page, non-indexed pages (noindex), and iframe tags are the site's weak spots that often cause errors.

HTTP status codes, AMP and content

HTTP status codes are the answers that the server delivers on user request. Error codes are serious problems that negatively affect the ranking of the website.

AMP are accelerated mobile pages optimized for mobile devices. It is recommended to use AMP technologies to improve the loading time. Inferior, generated content is one of the most common reasons for the deterioration of ranking positions. Consider these aspects in the optimization to avoid the most common mistakes.

The most common issues with these groups include 404 error codes, missing AMP, and usage of generated content.

Loading time

If your website loads like forever, it will degrade usability and waste the crawling budget. As results of our study show, the most common problems regarding the page load time are associated with the use of browser cache, image, JavaScript and CSS optimization:

How do you find and correct SEO errors with the help of Serpstat?

The easiest way to find all the above errors is to start a project at the Serpstat Audit tool and check the site (or a single page) for weaknesses. The module checks 20 pages per second and finds more than 50 errors that potentially harm your site. How do you create an audit project at Serpstat?

In the report, you'll find errors that are sorted by importance and by category. The list of pages on which a corresponding problem was found also facilitates the everyday routine of every SEO. In addition, Serpstat offers recommendations that help you resolve a specific problem. Some of them are not errors in the true sense ("Information"), they are only shown for you to be aware of such problems.

Summary

Although the errors that cause your website ranking loss are very diverse, you have a chance to find them all at once. Bear in mind these points, which are the most common website weaknesses:

  • meta tags
  • markups
  • links
  • headings
  • HTTPS certificate
  • redirects
  • hreflang attribute
  • multimedia
  • indexing
  • HTTP status сodes
  • AMP
  • loading time
  • content.
We hope that our infographic will help you with solving your site's problems. Examine the results of our SEO research and fill your website's gaps with respect to search engine optimization! :)

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