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#399 - Most Common Technical SEO Mistakes: How Severe Are They Really?
Best SEO Podcast | EWR Digital

Video Transcript

Join Chris and Matt for an awesome discussion on “Most Common Technical SEO Mistakes: How Severe Are They?” by Anna Lebedeva at Search Engine Journal. TRANSCRIPT:

Chris: Hi and welcome to the SEO Podcast: Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing. My name is Chris Burres, owner of eWebResults.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram, your friendly SEO Specialist.

Chris: Welcome back to another fun-filled edition of our podcast. This is podcast number–

Chris & Matt: 399!

Chris: That means next one is 400.

Matt: Whoo! Oh, we’re gonna have to celebrate.

Chris: We’re gonna have to celebrate and do something.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: We’ll have to figure out something to do.

Matt: I don’t know, a barbecue?

Chris: We could do a barbecue.

Matt: Well it’s cold.

Chris: It’s cold, yes. So if you’re tuning in from some place outside of Houston, something absolutely amazing happened in Houston. It was weather related, it’s kind of the opposite of Harvey. Harvey was miserable, and horrible, and involved precipitation. Today it also involved precipitation, it was snow.

Matt: Snowing.

Chris: It snowed! Here in Houston.

Matt: I saw some little baby snowmen out there of people building them. You know, we had about enough snow to build a little baby snowman. So that was fun.

Chris: Just enough to build a baby snowman. And I’m trying to get my notes up here. So sorry, I should’ve had these notes up earlier.

Matt: I got it, I’m ready.

Chris: You are ready. As always, we have a tip from our previous podcast and that tip is:

Matt: “Use thank-you pages for tracking and additional CTAs.”

Chris: So you wanna use your thank-you pages when people actually take action on your website. You can actually use that to track goals in Google Analytics. You also wanna have additional CTAs. Maybe it’s a good opportunity to invite them to like your Facebook page or to shiko you. All of those things are really valuable.

Matt: Or to do an upsell.

Chris: Or to do an upsell.

Matt: It’s called a bump.

Chris: A bump. Subscribe. Follow. Like.

Chris & Matt: Boom!

Chris: Alright, so now let’s get to the content for the day. Please remember we are filming live here in Houston, Texas, and it just snowed today. That’s really all we got.

Matt: It just snowed today.

Chris: If you like our podcast and you’ve listened to this podcast before– hopefully you do like our podcast. Although Matt in kind of the opening, mentioned that we’ve had some reviews that are not favorable. They’re the typical reviews, they talk about– you know?

Matt: Chris you need to be more serious.

Chris: I need to be more serious.

Matt: Yes.

Chris: So I have my pocket flare. I feel like there’s not much more seriousness.

Matt: Yeah, I can’t do much better.

Chris: Yeah. No, you cannot be–

Matt: Yeah, I’m at the level that I need to be.

Chris: Yup.

Matt: I’m hitting the ceiling, the glass ceiling.

Chris: Yeah, it’s not going any harder. Actually I really appreciate Matt participating, ‘cause we’ve legitimately had discussions about what direction we’re gonna go, do we need to take it more professional? And we wanna make it fun and we give great information. So if you don’t like the potatoes of the podcast, just fast-forward through them. We’re cool with that. It’s no big deal.

If you liked this podcast, you’re probably interested in SEO tips. We do have an SEO tip– a collection of SEO tips. There’s five– it’s an article that you can get, it’s a whitepaper, “5 online marketing mistakes that can tank your business,” and how to avoid them. You can get that at

Matt: And we are gonna have predictions for 2018.

Chris: Okay yes.

Matt: Coming out soon.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: Week or two.

Chris: We have some exciting– we got like some exciting interviews that are gonna come along. So that’s pretty cool. A little teaser about this article. So it’s Anna Lebedeva. I think that’s right, Lebedeva. I like it, Anna Lebedeva.

Matt: I like her. I like it I like it. Say it five times.

Chris: She wrote this article, it’s called, “The most common common technical SEO mistakes and how severe are they?” So it’s a great article. They went into a lot of information, we’ll get into that. If you could, if you’re in a position to right now, you have an electronic device, go ahead and tweet, and even connect on Facebook. What you should tweet is, #SEOPodcast, mention number 399. Tag us in it @BestSEOPodcast, @eWebResults, and tag Anna Lebedeva @DigitalAnya. So that’s D-I-G-I-T-A-L-A-N-Y-A, yeah.

Matt: So I heard a joke.

Chris: Okay.

Matt: Josh was telling me a joke.

Chris: Is this an SEO joke?

Matt: It’s an SEO joke.

Chris: Okay, it’s an SEO joke, alright. I will allow it.

Matt: Yeah. I mean, you probably heard this before, but I hadn’t heard it in a while and it’s was pretty funny. And I definitely want to give him credit.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: The wife’s calling, it’s late.

Chris: Yeah, where are you?

Matt: Where are you?

Chris: I’m on the podcast, you can see me live!

Matt: Where is the best place to hide a dead body?

Chris: Yes, that is an old one. And it is a good one. Anywhere other than the first page of Google?

Matt: Yes.

Chris: It’s a great place to– the joke is the second page of Google, right? Yeah, ‘cause nobody goes there. Alright, so you’ve done that. If you’ve never listened to this podcast before, this is your first time. Howdy and welcome to the podcast, we appreciate you. If you’ve listened to this podcast before, you know that we run kind of a contest every week. And that contest is: if we get 10 shikos…

Matt: A share, a like, and a follow.

Chris: Yeah. A shiko is a share, a like, or a follow – on our digital platforms. And we get a review, then we’ll actually just wait till the end of the podcast to tell you kind of how to connect with us.

Matt: But we didn’t get it.

Chris: That did not happen this time.

Matt: We didn’t get it, so you gotta listen.

Chris: I got the tear tattoo that happens every time we don’t get a review. It’s pretty sad and painful for me. It’s right there under my right eye. It’s a little scary when I go home and then kids are like, “Ah daddy, you didn’t get a review. It’s so sad.” “There’s a lot of noise.”

Matt: Oh we got feedback. Oh yeah.

Chris: Oh we got some feedback. We’re trying to figure out what that is. So, what we will do is tell you how you can shiko us, right? Again, a shiko is a share, like, and a follow. And there’s a couple places where you can shiko us, and I have them here. You can shiko us at

Matt: Guess?

Chris: No, that’s the jeans, the brand, right?

Matt: Ah, okay.


Matt: eWebResults


Matt: eWebResults


Matt: eWebResults


Matt: eWebResults

Chris: And we have in interesting one for YouTube, it’s actually

Matt: YouTube

Chris: YouTube. Will take you to all of our profiles on those platforms. Go ahead and shiko us please. Also, if you would like to leave us a review, we’re asking, we’re–

Matt: Please! Please, please, please, please.

Chris: Yeah begging, I’m comfortable begging. Leave us a review on Yelp. We’d really appreciate that. By the way, please nobody tell Yelp that we’re asking you to leave a review at Yelp, I believe it’s specifically against their guidelines.

Matt: Did you know that Yelp was recruiting at Texas A&M when I was graduating?

Chris: I did not know that.

Matt: Like they were like, “We got this thing, and it’s like reviews.”

Chris: And we hide reviews that are good for some businesses and show others.

Matt: Yes, yes. Yeah, I don’t know. We charge $33 a lead.

Chris: Yeah, yeah. Well you know, they’re doing well. Please leave us a review on Yelp, we’ve it easy to find us. All you need to do is go to

Matt: Yelp!

Chris: If you’re a PHP genius or a WordPress guru, we’re probably–

Matt: No. No, no.

Chris: Oh that’s right, we’ve already found you. We’re looking for– what are we looking for?

Matt: Badasses.

Chris: Badasses.

Matt: We’re looking for badasses.

Chris: If you’re a badass marketer, you wanna really dive into marketing and deliver excellent results after some really incredible training, give us a call. You can reach us at 713-592-6724 and we’ll run you through our process.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: If you would like a free website analysis– I have to be honest, the free part is not comprehensive, it is free. You will get value out of it, we got lots of testimonials about how valuable that is. You can get that by going to– I was gonna do slash but it’s literally just–

Matt: Is it like, there’s a little dash in there? Is there like a little–?

Chris: There’s no dash, slash, there’s nothing.

Matt: No? There’s no dash in–?

Chris: Just will take you there. There’s a blue button at the top, it says, “Free website analysis,” now.

Matt: We need a resource page.

Chris: And we need to get a resource page for that also. Alright so–

Matt: SEO teaching, PPC.

Chris: I did get a little bit of news. I just thought this was interesting, the FDA gives approval an EKG device that attaches to the–

Matt: None of that matters. None of this matters at all.

Chris: No?

Matt: Bitcoin is the only thing that matters.

Chris: Yeah, well that’s the next two things I have! So next! Bitcoin hit $17,000 or hit a little bit over $17,000.

Matt: And we got mining going on in the office.

Chris: We got Bitcoin mining actually, here. And because it snowed here, it’s actually cold here in Houston, I mean, relatively.

Matt: It warms us up.

Chris: It’s a really wonderful heater. Did you know like–?

Matt: It puts off a lot of heat!

Chris: It’s a lot of heat. I was reading some statistics on electricity. I’m like, “Yeah, Bitcoin mining and supporting the transactions is a lot of electricity.” And then the other story is, “NiceHash got hacked.”

Matt: Oh yeah, that was– Oh man, that was–

Chris: $64 million!

Matt: So NiceHash, they have like a special algorithm that basically tells you what to mine best.

Chris: Right. Okay, makes sense.

Matt: It’s pretty cool.

Chris: Pretty sophisticated.

Matt: They didn’t get hacked, but the wallets got hacked. So who knows if they’re gonna still make it.

Chris: I thought it was their one wallet. They put everything into one wallet.

Matt: Yeah, well their one wallet, and then you transfer it over. Yeah.

Chris: Yeah, and it’s sad, right? So it makes people a little bit nervous. It had zero impact on the price of Bitcoins.

Matt: So I got the little– the USBs. We order them together.

Chris: The ledger, yeah.

Matt: The ledger.

Chris: They’re on order.

Matt: Get the ledgers.

Chris: Yeah, ‘cause they’re offline and if you do–

Matt: We’re gonna start taking Bitcoin.

Chris: Yes. We’re already paying some people in Bitcoin.

Matt: Yeah, we are paying people in Bitcoin.

Chris: Alright, so he get to Anna Lebedeva’s article, “The most common technical SEO mistakes and how severe are they?” So she starts off– she has to disclose she does work at SEMrush. By the way SEMrush is pretty phenomenal. Yeah, they do pretty awesome stuff. Love it!

Matt: Love it. Love it. Love it. Massively awesome.

Chris: Really good. What they did is they collected data on 100 thousand websites and 450 million pages.

Matt: That’s pretty cool.

Chris: And then they identified the most common technical SEO mistakes and assigned a severity level to each and every issue. We’re gonna talk about that.

Matt: Could I get a graph?

Chris: Yeah, you will be delivering–

Matt: Severe, super severe, harmful. Like, infographic.

Chris: There should be an infographic. By the way Anna–

Matt: There’s a lot of infographics but not on the–

Chris: Kudos to you, tip of the hat, punch in the face from us. That’s a good thing. You wrote an article that had how many? It’s got like six?

Matt: Every image is an infographic, I love it.

Chris: Yeah, it’s phenomenal. Really well done. Alright, so the most common technical SEO issues and their severity. “There are three layers,” she says to SEO, “Crawlability & site index–” excuse me, structure. “On-page SEO,” and then, “Technical SEO.” There’s three and then Matt’s drawing the pyramid to indicate the three pieces.

Matt: Even an upside-down one. Yeah. Either one, either one.

Chris: I did like this– I like how dramatic this is. “Each area is like a Pandora’s box – once opened, it releases various evils that you will have to deal with.” We’re gonna talk about those various evils. The first area, “Crawlability & Site Structure,” right? So the main crawlability and site structure errors that you should avoid, “Links & redirects,” are the first one right? And she classifies these as Harmful Issues. She said, “30% of websites have broken internal links. Pay attention to 4XX errors,” the most common is the 404, file not found error.

Matt: So you know what they told me in sales?

Chris: What did they–? I don’t.

Matt: Well, there’s a loose parallel here.

Chris: Okay. As you know, we give a lot of leeway to parallels on our podcast, right?

Matt: Well, 90% of the sale is showing up. Just do your stuff right, people!

Chris: Yeah, do this basic stuff right.

Matt: Just do the basic stuff. That’ll get you on the second page, and then a little extra boost gets you on the first.

Chris: Yup. We can provide that little extra boost. Let’s see. She said that there were– of the 404 errors or 4XX errors, about 26.5% had them. She had some other statistics. I thought this one was interesting, 17% had the www domain configured incorrectly. Have you ever experienced this, where you actually tried to type www and then the domain name, and it didn’t pull up?

Matt: That happened. That has so many people are like, “No. People forget to use www anymore.”

Chris: I’ve had the reverse happen.

Matt: “Because we’re so technical.”

Chris: I’ve had the reverse happen, where the www version works and the non-www doesn’t work.

Matt: Oh, I’ve had it the other way most of the time.

Chris: I’ve actually called the owners, and I’m like– and their response was, “Oh, not everyone types that.” I’m like, “I just did.” Like not everyone knows that they’re not like– some people if they type www and it doesn’t work for them, you are– I’m gonna quote Mr. Wonderful, “You are dead to them,” right? So make sure that’s– I think it’s a really important one.

Matt: www.

Chris: www. That’s our new eWebResults gang sign, www. It takes three people. So excellent infographic.

Matt: Is it like three people like say that?

Chris: Yeah www. Alright, so that’s that one, right? My article’s a little back to front. She says, “When it comes to–” so the next one is, “Sitemap–” did I get my article…?

Matt: We’re gonna just take a little break here to study this.

Chris: Yeah, here we go. So the next one. Look, it’s really tiny at the bottom of the previous page. It’s “Sitemap & robot text files.” And she says, when it comes to sitemaps and robot text files, most of the sites that they looked at are doing pretty well. This is who she labels as quite severe. If spotted, these issues should be resolved first.

Matt: Now.

Chris: Immediately. So when you’re talking about sitemap and your robot text file, right? One of the ones that she mentions is 10% or actually almost 11%, actually had the sitemap.xml file, but it had the wrong pages in the sitemap.xml file. So one of the beauties of WordPress and having kind of a content management system that’s taking care of that for you when you make adjustments to the website, adjustments to the sitemap automatically happen, and that thing that you get pushed out to Google is in good shape. So that’s really, really good. And that was, “Sitemaps and texts files.” Alright, that was area– yeah? That was area number 1. Area number 2 now is “On-page SEO.” She says this area is of utmost importance especially on your valuable pages, I couldn’t agree more. “Basically on-page SEO is about optimizing content and the HTML code of particular pages to improve their rankings.” Okay, we got that. We’re on the SEO Podcast. And here– yup, Matt?

Matt: Don’t have dub content.

Chris: Yeah, don’t have dub content. So it’s pretty much everything. 65.88% of the sites that they reviewed actually had duplicate content issues. And remember, they visited 100 thousand websites, 450 million pages. That’s just impressive.That’s very impressive.

Matt: The sheer volume of big data.

Chris: You could do like a Beavis and Butt-head and you’re like, “That’s not that much.” So duplicate content issues. 93% had a low text-to-HTML ration. And I can see that, you know? Because as an example in WordPress, we use WordPress for our clients.

Matt: Most everything.

Chris: Our clients, we’ve written a custom theme/framework for implementing great SEO on those WordPress sites. And sometimes when you do media, when you’re uploading images– we were looking at a page the other day that all was on it was an image. That would count as a low text-to-HTML ration.

Matt: Yeah. Thin landing pages, thin websites, big issue. Google don’t like it, Facebook don’t like.

Chris: Alright.

Matt: I like it.

Chris: She actually says that most technical problems from SEO come from the content. 65% have severe duplicate issues, 93.7% have the low text-to-HTML ratio. And 73.4% have a low word count. They say at least 250 words. I would agree, 250 words. I would also push that up. Like 250 words just absolute, absolute, absolute minimum. You wanna be starting right about 600, 1,200, and if you’re in really competitive situations–

Matt: I’m saying 10,000. 6,000, 10,000. Yeah.

Chris: The sky’s the limit. Go visit Neil Patel for that kind of information. We were actually discussing–

Matt: I love Neil Patel.

Chris: We were discussing– he’s awesome.

Matt: Well like, I mean his work. I love his work, it’s great.

Chris: No yeah, he’s awesome. And we were discussing some pillar content just before this podcast. Next is, “Meta Descriptions,” right? So “63% of website owners have completely abandoned any effort to create a meta description,” and 54% just have duplicates. Matt, why is a meta description so important?

Matt: I don’t know Chris, you tell me. It’s to entice them to click on it and then tell them what they’re gonna do next.

Chris: Yeah. Yeah, we really have like two goals. So remember, that meta description shows up on the SERP, the Search Engine Results Page. And when you’re looking at that meta description, or rather when your prospects are looking at that meta description, you really want them to understand two things. One, it’s worth clicking, right? So you want something to entice them to click. And then two, what’s gonna happen when they get there? Because if you can preemptively say, “Call to schedule an appointment,” in your meta description, if it works, right?

Matt: So we’re talking subliminal.

Chris: That subtle stuff that gets them. So set the expectation of what’s gonna happen next in your description.

Matt: A strong CTA.

Chris: You’re gonna be ahead of the game. Now–

Matt: So, last thing.

Chris: Yeah?

Matt: You could use meta descriptions just like you’re doing like a PPC ad.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: It works really well.

Chris: Yeah, absolutely. And I already got those numbers. So if you want a higher click-through rate for your webpage, make sure you pay attention to your meta description.

Matt: Oh, hold on! Hold on.

Chris: And there is the infographic. Thank you Anna Lebedeva.

Matt: Awesome infographics. I wonder where my little tool–

Chris: And then she kind of touches on

Matt: She made this little tool, there’s–

Chris: She almost made these like throw-away, you got your title tags, your H1 tags, your image alt tags. She said, “More than 60% of websites are missing alt tags for their images, and have title tags that are too long, and are lacking H1 tags.” I did read one article that did a similar study and it found the correlation was not–

Matt: How much data though?

Chris: It was a lot. It was a lot. I don’t know if it was 100 thousand websites, ‘cause that’s a lot.

Matt: Okay, Okay. Because I’m telling you– this is statistically significant.

Chris: We are beyond statistically significant with this one. Alright, so we’ve covered area 1 and area 2, “The most common technical SEO mistakes and how severe are they?” Area 3 is now, “Technical SEO.” So she likes to say like– specific areas like site speed, mobile responsiveness. The macro indicators of website performance are in the Technical SEO section, alright? So did you know, Amazon did a study and they revealed that a 100 millisecond of extra load time caused a 1% drop in sales?

Matt: That’s pretty incredible. I know that people just ditch mobile sites if they don’t load. I mean I know that, but I didn’t know– I mean 1% of like, how much do they make? It’s a lot.

Chris: It’s 1% of a billion. Yeah, it’s a lot. So you want to make sure you’re working on your page speed. More than 20% of websites have slow page load speeds. And they considered this, she considered it, Anna considered it, the highest level of severity. The highest level. Very important.

Matt: Yeah. Site speed, that’s one of the biggest things.

Chris: Next feature she got into was, “Old Technology,” right? So we’re talking– what are we talking about?

Matt: Flash.

Chris: Flash. Like that’s the first one, flash and Iframes, right? The internet never–

Matt: Iframes are still being used quite a bit.

Chris: Yeah, they are. Her point is the Internet never stops evolving, and make sure that you’re staying up with the current technology. They said that they found a 0.38% are using frames, 0.38% of websites. 5.8% still have flash content, and then 9% “Doctype not declared.” So you really need to declare your doctype on your document– I mean on your website. And then we have finally, “Mobile-friendliness.” And this is interesting.

Matt: Everything should be mobile-friendly.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: You should design websites mobile first.

Chris: Yes, Google’s gonna be indexing mobile first just around the corner so you need to be designing mobile first first.

Matt: First. Like I can tell you, when we’re building landing pages, we’re building it on desktop and then mobile. And we’re having a conversation today, we really need to design it mobile first and then desktop.

Chris: And then desktop.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: So what was it? The stats are pretty low on who doesn’t have a mobile version. The stat is–

Matt: But if you find them, great client.

Chris: Like 0.08% were missing canonical tags. Her point is, if you’re implementing AMP pages, you really have to have great– you know, your canonical tag act together. And then 0.66% their viewport was not configured properly. So that was good. That was really good.

Matt: That was really good.

Chris: Be aware of the most common technical mistakes and then do good by you. And punch in the face to you Anna Lebedeva.

Matt: I thought it was great

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: Yeah, this was good.

Chris: It gets a punch in the face. We almost need like a rating.

Matt: Thumbs up.

Chris: It’s a dub dub.

Matt: A dub dub? A dub dub. Dub.

Chris: We can give it a dub dub. I like the dub dub with the thumbs up. That kinda works. It’s a weird w.

Matt: Yeah.

Chris: It’s a weird W.

Matt: That is kinda cool.

Chris: But it’s like dub dub, thumbs up.

Matt: I like it. I like it.

Chris: Alright, so–

Matt: That’s it. That’s all folks.

Chris: That is the podcast. I’ve got– just so you know, if you liked this podcast, we ask you to share it with three people. Also to shiko us. If you’re interested in–

Matt: Do something.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: And let’s share the value, share the content.

Chris: Yes.

Matt: Like we’re gonna really work on engaging you as much as you’re engaged– actually we’re gonna engage you so you will engage us.

Chris: Also if you’re looking to grow your business with the largest, simplest marketing tool on the planet…

Matt: The internet.

Chris: The internet. Call eWebResults for increased revenue in your business: 713-592-6724. If you have a referral– so it’s important to remind the people who listen to the podcast, and who might be interested in engaging us, what do we do here? So clearly we do SEO, right? We do internet marketing, but you know, sometimes when you say internet marketing, people are like, “Well, do you do websites?” Yes. “Do you do pay-per-click?” Yes. And when we say pay-per-click, do we mean like Google AdWords, and Facebook, and LinkedIn, and Instagram, and Bing?

Matt: Oh yeah.

Chris: Yes. Yes. Like all of those.

Matt: Yeah, we’re a full service agency.

Chris: Yeah.

Matt: We got everything under the sun.

Chris: If we don’t do it, we’ll let you know. And there’s not much we– Pinterest we haven’t really done much with. Other than that, we’re probably doing it.

Matt: You know, I made some money on Etsy.

Chris: Did you?

Matt: Yeah. I made some money on Etsy.

Chris: That’s cool. So now we’re also doing Etsy.

Matt: Yeah, Etsy.

Chris: It’s a task specifically for Matt right here. Alright, please remember we were filmed live here at 5999, West 34th Street, Suite 106, Houston, Texas. Transcript, video, and audio of this podcast are available at our website, We are the most popular internet marketing podcast on iTunes, that is because of you, you, y’all. We really do appreciate you. Go ahead and send us an email, [email protected]

Matt: eWebResults, I was like, “I thought I was done.” I’m not on stage anymore. I’m done.

Chris: I’m off the clock.

Matt: I was like, “Time is up!”

Chris: Now it’s beeping.

Matt: Now it’s beeping.

Chris: So thank you guys for making this the most popular podcast. We’re about to roll into the new year. We’ve obviously made lots of changes this year, and we’ll be making even more changes for the better in 2018. I’m actually–

Matt: We’re growing.

Chris: I’m pretty excited about it. I’m pretty excited about it. So until the next podcast, my name is Chris Burres.

Matt: My name is Matt Bertram.

Chris: Bye bye for now.

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