Are pages well written & have substantial quality content?
We have post multiple articles talking about the necessity of quality content. High quality content is one of the higher importance factors with SEO. This specific topics, according to this periodic table, receives a +3 which is the maximum allotted.
The importance of high quality content can't be expressed enough -- quality is far more important than quantity. Fewer quality content will have a better impact than numerous low quality articles.
Have you researched the keywords people may use to find your content?
Performing research is also a very important part of the SEO equation. This can be argued as the most important factor because all of the other elements are based off the research you perform. If your research is mediocre - then even the greatest of content, linking, social inclusion etc will result in mediocre results.
Do pages use words & phrases you hope they'll be found for?
When creating your content is has to be marketed for the keywords and search phrases you're targeting. For example, you can't create content about Justin Bieber and hope expect it to be found by searching for Britney Spears. The content must match the keywords and search phrases that you identified in your research.
It's important to understand that this doesn't mean to make every other word a keyword or include a search phrase 11 times in a single paragraph. Your content must be unique, plain English and easy to read. The search engines are smart enough to know when you're "keyword stuffing".
Are pages fresh & about "hot" topics?
The content for your website - is it relevant to anything that anyone is searching? The content that you create needs to be relevant to content that people are actually searching. You can create content about tax rates in 1982 - but it's not going to be searched often in 2016. If you create a more generalized content about tax rates for a specific location, you'll have better success. If you jump on the wagon and create content about tax rates for the current year in question - you'll have even better success in this category.
Do you have image, local, news, video or other vertical content?
Utilizing images, news articles, videos, infographics will help your content in multiple ways. It will create additional content, beyond the text, for the user to view and also for the search engine to index.
Search engines can index images, videos and more in the different sections based on what the user is searching for. Your content can be found based off an image or video and not just the text.
Using these items also enhances the appeal of your content to the user. Instead of having a couple thousand words non-stop, breaking up the content with pictures and videos helps make it easier to read.
Is your content turned into direct answers within search results?
Your content should always answer the question that the searcher is asking. If your content can't answer the question - then it's lost the validity and the user will search elsewhere. This can have a long term effect if you have good rankings int he website too. If your content spams questions and then doesn't provide an answer to those questions - you might have valid content but users who've had bad experiences won't visit your website anymore.
Is content "thin" or "shallow" & lacking substance?
This relates back to the quality of the content - and expands on it. Your content needs to have substance and length. Having content that's only a couple hundred words doesn't provide the best result to the searchers. Having thin content will absolutely - without a doubt - have a negative impact on your SEO efforts.
When creating your content make sure you do your research. Who is your target audience? What keywords and phrases are you targeting? Are people actually searching those? Then create quality content that has images, videos, infographics, and include the keywords or phrases within your content in a way that makes sense. Within your content answer the question that the searcher is asking and you'll gain their trust with your website.