What are the biggest mistakes search engine optimization professionals make and how often do they appear on their websites?
SEMRush wanted to know, so it conducted a survey to answer the questions by collecting anonymous data on 100,000 websites and 450 million pages. It used its proprietary tools to determine the most common on-site technical and SEO mistakes and issues.
The data was divided into three groups: Crawlability, Technical SEO, and On-Page SEO. Every issue was assigned a severity level from one to five, with five the highest. The severity level reflects the effect of certain mistakes on rankings and their impact on the site's overall performance and ease or use.
Technical SEO deals with page speed. Since Google has been pushing companies to increase the speed of their webpages, it's interesting to find that 23% of the pages analyzed are still too slow.
When it comes to mobile, there are still many websites that do not have a mobile version or are in tune with Google Accelerates Mobile Pages.
In the category of Crawlability, nearly 17% of the domains were configured incorrectly with about 5.5% chains and loops, and 33.29% broken links. Overall 80% of websites have more than four errors, and 10% have about five errors.
Breaking down the critical errors, 29% have temporary redirects; 30% have internal links with nofollow attributes; 36% have external links with a nofollow attribute; and 0.33% have too many on-page links.
The study also found sitemap errors such as: 13% of sites have format errors in sitemap.xml files; nearly 11% have the wrong pages in the sitemap; and in 19% of the cases the sitemap cannot be found.
In the category of On-Page Optimization, the analysis found that nearly 66% of the sites had duplicate content; nearly 94% has a low text-to-HTML radio; and 73% had a low word count on the page.
Another common problem the analysis found involves missing title tags, title tags too long, duplicate title tags and not enough test in the title tag. About 63% are missing meta descriptions and 54% have duplicate meta descriptions.