Analysing a page’s rank potential is a vital step in planning your SEO campaign. It is a tool for working out how highly your page could realistically rank for various keywords. This is important for deciding which direction your SEO efforts should go in and which tactics to focus on, and in forming realistic expectations about the kind of results you might see.
While some self-titled SEO “experts” will make wild claims about getting you a guaranteed top-billing or front-page ranking, these kinds of claims are worthless. A reliable SEO professional, after researching keywords, will analyse the situation to work out what kind of results your site could realistically achieve and then discuss them with you. However, in order to approach this step in the process effectively it is important to understand the basics of what rank potential is and how it works
What is Rank Potential?
On the very simplest possible level, rank potential is the search engine ranking that your site could receive for a given query or group of queries. More specifically, it is the ranking that you might realistically be able to achieve given a certain investment of time and effort.
This last point is important. Given infinite money and work hours, any page could theoretically achieve top-billing in search results. In practice, however, it is probably impossible to beat a well-known multinational company in searches relating to their products, to outrank the BBC for a major news story, or to beat Wikipedia with your informational article. Rank potential doesn’t look at the ranking you could achieve in an ideal world – it looks at the ranking you could reach with the amount of investment you have at your disposal.
Of course, it is also possible to analyse rank potential for a range of different budgets and then compare them. This can be very useful, as it helps see how much difference a budget increase or decrease will make and therefore work out what budget you want to allocate to improving your SEO for the best return on investment.
How is Rank Potential Worked Out?
So how does this work, and how do SEO professionals work out what ranking you could achieve for a given budget? Do they just pluck out some figures based on an educated guess? Or is there some rule of thumb which states £X of investment in SEO services or Y hours of work will push a site up Z places? Actually, the process is a lot more complex and less haphazard than that, and based on an analysis of the situation and of your competitors.
In short, an SEO professional such as seohello.co.uk will look at the competition for a given search. They will assess how well these pages are optimised based on the many and varied factors that search engine algorithms like to look for. They will then look at how much your site could be improved within budget and how it would compare after this is done.
Of course, search engine algorithms are complex and those competitor sites may not be standing still, so rank potential is indicative rather than set in stone. Nonetheless, it can represent a good estimate and is a useful way to give you an idea of what you can achieve.