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SEO ranking factors: Some interesting insights?

As many of us know Google has a very large amount of ranking factors it takes into consideration when it comes to ranking a website in its search results. Over the years these ranking factors have changed and evolved to compensate with the changing world of the digital landscape, website coding advancements and the growing sophistication of Google’s Algorithm.

As a company that specialises in SEO and looks to keep on top of this changing playing field, we read a lot of SEO related content. Moreover we need to keep on top of all the updates to Google’s Algorithm and announcements to any changes in their ranking factors. SEO has a really great community of experts and there are some super smart people who help interpret the changes in any ranking factors, which is key for us to take note of. On top of this we regularly run SEO tests of our own on websites we run to test first hand which ranking factors carry more weight.

So Which Are Some Of The Most Important SEO Ranking Factors In 2014?

Remembering that Google takes into account hundreds of ranking factors, we are going to look at some of the top SEO ranking factors, what they mean and why the are important. What is interesting is that we are seeing some slight changes in the typical results we have been accustomed to seeing when doing a review of this nature.

1. Content Is Still King

On average websites with well thought out, original and informative content out rank websites with poorer quality content. We have seen content play a big part in SEO for many years and it is something that really does not seem to be going anywhere. In fact we are seeing it grow as a ranking factor to being essential for good quality long term SEO results. Furthermore quality that takes advantage of ‘rich media’ such as videos, infographics and high quality graphics also add value to ones on-page SEO content quality.

2. Links Still Rank

Anyone who has worked in SEO or with an SEO Agency will know that link building is a major part of SEO. Now despite search engines looking at more diverse sets of ranking factors towards the end of 2014, links still are playing a major role.

3. Technically Sound Websites

The gap between online marketing and website development has reduced even more over the course of 2014 with Google giving more emphasis on well designs, fast, easy to navigate and mobile friendly websites. Here at Bang Online we think of websites as the foundation to an SEO strategy and it is very true in the sense that you will have far more SEO success building on a well designed and solid website as the foundation.

4. Gotta Be Social

The gap between SEO and website development is not the only one to shrink the past 12 months. We have also seen the same for social media and SEO. Simply put websites that have a strong social media presence on one of the major social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google Plus) will see superior search engine rankings than those that do not. This mean that part of your online marketing budget must be going into growing a social media presence if one of your goals is good search engine rankings.

5. User Signals – Really?

It has become evident that engagement metrics impact search engine results. This means Google is now taking into consideration CTR, time on website and a lower bounce rate when it comes to ranking a website. While this is quite a brand new ‘official’ ranking factor, it has been noted that this may have been an indirect ranking factor for some time. Moreover this adds more emphasis to the popular saying in SEO that ‘Content Is King’ as the better ones content is, then the better engagement you tend to get.

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