Everyone agrees that the best place to be is at the top of search engine results. But how do you get there? If you’re not there already, how do you figure out what might be wrong so you’re not wasting your time addressing things that might not even matter?
Start with the elephant in the room.
The only search engine you really need to worry about is Google. Google commands between 60 and 85% of the search marketplace depending on who you ask and what they measure.
The way Google decides who gets to rank at the top is a closely held secret. They give us guidance though, for example they openly disclose the fact that they use over 200 signals to rank web pages, and that speed and social signals matter.
Based on what they have shared, and because some SEO’s devote their entire career to researching Google’s ranking algorithm, it’s safe to conclude that the following things matter:
- Popularity – Is your website and content frequently visited and shared?
- Authority – Do respected authorities within and outside of your industry reference your site and content?
- Content – Is your content well constructed, organized and engaging?
- Exposure – Is it being promoted? Is it getting enough exposure?
- Setup – Is it easy for search engines and visitors to find?
Enter the PACES SEO checklist
The B-SeenOnTop PACES SEO checklist looks closely at your website and a sampling of your web pages to evaluate how well it satisfies each of the above criteria. It identifies what has been done well, and where there is room for improvement.
Employing the PACES checklist has benefits on top of just understanding why your site might not be ranking as well as you’d like.
- Use it to develop an itemized action plan.
- The PACES grouping of criteria makes it easy for you to identify the skill sets needed to improve your rankings. For example, if you need more or better content for your website, consider hiring a writer that specializes in your field and SEO copy writing. If you need exposure, you might want to consider a social media specialist.
- Because you now know what needs to be done and the skills required to be successful, you can limit the scope of your project to only what’s necessary. Don’t hire that writer, for example, if your problems are technical in nature.
- If you decide to outsource the work, you’ll now be able to compare proposals, apples-to-apples, before making a hiring decision.
- All this will save time and money. It will give you a basis for ensuring better quality and measuring the eventual outcome.
Check out our SEO checklist. It’s a 188KB Excel spreadsheet that resides on the same server as this website.
If you have suggested improvements, I’d love to hear from you. If you have questions, please ask in the comments below. It’s likely others will have the same question and you give me the opportunity to save time by answering it only once.