SEO Failures – Stats on Common Issues & How to Avoid Them

Every website is different. Yours may be performing quite well, appearing in search results and getting you some traffic. But think about the difference between appearing in position three and position 10, and about the competitors who are constantly trying to make their sites better, building authority and relevance.

Thanks to Apollo Insights, our own data insights platform, we have tons of data about the many small things that can add up to bigger website problems.

Average website and audit failures – by the numbers

Apollo Insights runs many checks across every page of a website, testing against numerous pass or fail rules. I have only collated a small number of these here, to give you a flavour of the sheer scale of the problem facing most sites when they first come on board with us.Website audit statistics

Other things we check for include lorem ipsum text, signs that a website has been hacked, upper or lower case, duplication, multiple page titles, long or short text, page speed, image resolution and many more.

Now calculate your own website’s list of problems

Looking at three different sizes of website, with the average being 6,484 pages, here’s a guide to the number of things that would need to be fixed.

Audit stats for four common SEO rules

Just with these four audit rules, there can be a lot of work to do on a site. Does it really matter? Well, consider the proportion of problems versus the size of the site. If the search engine is crawling your site and seeing lots of things it doesn’t like, versus a competitor who keeps their site clean and healthy, you might find yourself struggling to compete.

This is without the hundreds of other technical factors that could impede your site, and before we even consider the boost and fill part of our SEO methodology – fix, boost, fill.

How much does SEO cost?

When we show a website owner how many things Apollo Insights is able to find for us, the common question we’re asked is, “How long will it take to fix those things?”

Another question is, “Once that’s all fixed, can we move on to other things?”

The answer to the first question goes to the crux of the question of cost. The answer to the second question is that you can’t assume your SEO fixes are finished once you have ticked everything off. By the time you are finished, there will be loads of other discoveries. It’s like tending a garden or maintaining a house. Weeds keep growing and things keep eroding.

The cost of SEO is, effectively, time. The time it takes you to do something properly and to do it well. A meta description of just a couple of sentences needs to be crafted, and based on keyword research and competitor analysis. Fixing canonical links may involve a lot of technical jiggery pokery at server level, or within the code of the content management system.

How do you make sure you are always being effective at scale? You can’t do it without some kind of automation, and some kind of algorithmic help to keep an eye on every corner of every page. Thanks to Apollo Insights, we can operate effectively at scale.

Note: Header image from Freepik
Steve Masters profile picture
Steve Masters

Steve (RIP) was Services Director for Vertical Leap. He started professional life as a magazine journalist, working on music magazines and women's titles before becoming a web editor in 1997, then joining MSN to work purely in online publishing. Since 1999 he has worked for and consulted to a broad range of businesses about their digital marketing.

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