The SEO Checklist
Here's a handy checklist to help guide you through the maze of SEO. If you get stuck, or need help feel free to reach out and we'll be more than happy to help you!
Create a page that would thoroughly help someone who has searched for that information. This is the ultimate question in SEO. Content helpfulness for the query is the end goal of all SEO efforts. Everything else is just a way to measure that helpfulness.
❏ If the purpose of a post is to answer a particular question, make sure your content answers that question thoroughly and in a remarkably helpful manner.
❏ Don’t bury your answers deep in your posts to keep people on your site longer.
❏ Surprise the user with how in-depth you go with your research. The Google query is “depreciation of a Lexus”, it’s only a little helpful to say something like “About $10,000 in the first year.” It would be far more helpful to research Lexus cars for sale on the used market and draw out a depreciation curve for the vehicle.
❏ Presentation of your information matters. Giant blocks of text written as if for an encyclopedia are hard to read and don’t give a good user experience. Include bulleted lists, bolding, italics, images, video, interactive tools, downloadable cheat sheets, etc. Learning to style a gorgeous blog post absolutely makes a difference to the quality of the page. Remember that a successful blog post may be read by hundreds of thousands or millions of people over a few years, so make sure you package the content in a way that reflects that.
❏ For a thorough explanation of how to create High Quality Pages (according to Google) see section 4 of Google’s rating document.
Establish an online reputation
❏ News Articles, Wikipedia, Blog Posts, Magazine Articles, Forum Discussions, and Ratings from Independent Organizations are all relied upon for reputation information. Get your name and your site out there.
❏ While no reputation doesn’t indicate low PQ, a positive reputation is an indication of high PQ.
❏ Proactively build an online reputation for yourself and your site. Start with a solid “About Us” page on each site.
❏ Write guest posts for reputable sites--not for the purpose of building links, but to establish a reputation and provide a good resource for their readers.
❏ Consider speaking at conferences or offering to be on podcasts or other Youtube channels to establish a reputation.
❏ A long-standing alias with a good online reputation is perfectly acceptable to Google.
❏ Do not expend an unreasonable amount of time developing a reputation unless you’re writing YMYL content (content about finances, legal, or medical topics). Just make a basic effort to be known. The vast majority of your time should just be used in creating helpful content.
Make sure it’s apparent who created the content on each page or post. Hiding the author prevents users and Google from establishing the reputation of the creator of the content.
❏ If there’s a clear reason for anonymity, it’s acceptable to remain anonymous
❏ This is most important for YMYL, financial transaction, and ecommerce sites/pages which require a high level of user trust. For these types of pages, if you don’t have enough of this information the page can be automatically given a Low rating
❏ Again, using a long-standing alias is also acceptable
Make sure you are clear about who is responsible for the content on the site and who handles customer service (especially for ecommerce sites). This is important for establishing E-A-T and is particularly important for YMYL sites.
Avoid creating “Low Quality” content
❏ Create content that achieves the purpose of the page. If your article doesn’t answer the question it was intended to answer, you can actually get a “Lowest” quality page rating.
❏ Don’t use exaggerated or overly shocking headlines, they set an expectation for the purpose of the main content, and if that purpose isn’t met then your article will be considered Low Quality.
❏ Don’t have so many ads that they distract from the main content. Placing ads within the content that are too large or come before the main content distract from or interrupt the main content. Ads should be visible but shouldn’t be so large or placed where they become a significant distraction. Follow the ad quality guidelines from Google.
❏ Again, proactively build your reputation. If your online reputation is really mixed or somewhat negative, you’ll get a Low rating for reputation.
❏ Don’t copy content from other sites. Even copying and making some changes to content will lead to a “Lowest Quality” rating.
❏ Don’t block the main content of the article. Large ads, pop-ups, and other obstructions to main content can lead to a “Lowest Quality” rating.
❏ Don’t auto-generate main content. Creating a template and then using an RSS feed or API to generate hundreds or even thousands of pages will create a red flag for Google and you’ll get a “Lowest Quality” rating.
❏ Don’t trick users into clicking on links, such as affiliate products or links to other pages. Make it clear what the user will experience every time they click. Disguising ads as main content or as navigation links will lead to a “Lowest Quality” rating.
❏ Never take an action for the express purpose of building a link. All link building for the purpose of getting a higher ranking in Google is black hat as it violates their guidelines.
For help with these items, feel free to fill out the contact form on the home page or click the link and one of our experts will be in touch!