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SEO 6 min read June 20, 2017

Infographic: The Most Common SEO Errors


Eugene Lata
VP of Marketing at Serpstat
The site audit is a crucial step of every optimization process during which you find the errors that prevent your website from ranking higher. Serpstat's users understand how important the site audit is and check their websites regularly.

Since the beginning of this year, more than 30 000 sites were analyzed via Serpstat's Site Audit module. We decided to carry out a little research to find what SEO errors are the most common. Find the results of our research in the infographic below. Enjoy!
Now I'm going to give a brief overview of all the errors mentioned above. Why are they considered as errors and how they affect your SEO? Let's see.

Meta tags

According to our research, errors with the meta tags are the most common (81,27%):

  • 22,23% – Title too long, more than 65 characters. Search engines may cut it off adding an ellipsis, and this could end up not displaying some crucial keywords.
  • 14,52% – duplicate Title. Always have unique title tags for every page on your website. Otherwise, you are making it harder for search engines to figure out which page is relevant for the desired keyword.
  • 12,9% – Description too long, more than 140 characters. If your description is too long, Google will truncate it adding an ellipsis. Although Google doesn't consider meta tag description as a ranking factor since 2009, an effectively written meta description can entice people to click through to your site, while ctr will definitely influence your rankings.
  • 12,56% – missing Description. Google will show the part of the text from your page, where the searched keywords are used. It looks quite unattractive:
It will reduce your ctr, which may cause rankings drop.

  • 10,72% – duplicate Description. Description tag must be unique for every single page of your site, just like Title tag. The duplicate description tags create problems and devalue your content in Google.
  • 6,12% – Description too short, less than 70 characters. Don't waste your chance to tell more about your good or service. Write meaningful and catchy descriptions, which will attract potential clients to your website.
  • 1,27% – Title too short. Don't write Titles that are shorter than 10 characters. Title must be relevant to the content described on the page and include the main keywords.
  • 0,96% – missing Title. It's a crucial error as the title tag is one of the main ranking factors. It gives the main info as to the page's content both to search engines and users. If title is missing, your pages will most likely tend to have low rankings, if any at all.

Indexing

9,05% falls of indexation issues:

  • 6,55% – iframe tag. This tag is outdated. The info it consists isn't indexed by search engines. Moreover, it negatively affects the page's loading speed, which is one of the crucial ranking factors. Note, that Serpstat ignores iframe from YouTube, Google Analytics, and Google Maps.
  • 2,03% – not enough text content. Search engines check how relevant the content is. Empty or almost empty pages have quite low chances to get higher positions and more importantly even the existence of such pages can negatively affect the whole website's rankings.
  • 0,48% – flash elements found. The flash elements are outdated thus most of the browsers don't support flash. Thus if there are flash elements on your website, your users won't see them.

Headings

8,08% of errors are in headings:

  • 8,08% – missing H1. Тhe H1 tag – highly affects SEO rankings. It gives additional info as to the relevance of the page's content. And as Google is far more likely not to show the page which is not 100% accurate, such pages won't get high rankings.

HTTP status code

1,58% falls on server status code errors:

  • 1,5% – 4xx HTTP status code. It means that there are links that lead to the URLs that return 4xx status code. If your site has lots of non-existent pages, it will negatively affect your crawl budget. As SE will waste it by indexing non-existent pages, instead of checking the necessary ones.

  • 0,08% – 5xx HTTP status code. It means that the user made the valid request, but the server failed to complete the request. And a poorly maintained website is not something Google is going to rank highly.

  • 0,02% – the last, but not the least issue is a bunch of outbound links (more than 500). Each link detracts from the amount of PageRank that flows through the links. Such links may be considered as spammy, and this may lead to Google's penalties.
What are the most common errors you face? Share them in comments.


Feel free to share this infographic with your friends by posting it on your social media, website or blog.

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