8 Crucial SEO Ranking Factors of 2017

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We still have two months left in 2016 and we’re already trying to prep ourselves for what the next year will bring to the digital marketing world.

And leading the way is Google’s Pigeon Update with its grounded focus (no pun intended!) on getting local search right.

What will matter for SEO in 2017? Our team of experts at Techmagnate did a little digging to see what they could find, and so far it smells like a lot of content out there. But there are also other equally important factors that SEOs will need to stay cognizant of if they want to see higher rankings.

The good news is there’s finally a clear understanding about what “great, rich content” should be like.

The bad news? There is none. Let’s get this list started.

As the title suggests (not-so-subtly), this post is about 8 Important SEO Ranking Factors in 2017. And the nominees, in no particular order, are:

1. Content

Great content. High-quality content. Well-written, well-researched, impeccable text, high quality images, engaging videos, imparts knowledge to the community and teaches people something new every single time. It’s no short order.

2. Page Titles

Too often, SEOs and development teams forget to give page titles their due attention and the rankings can take a considerably negative impact. In contrast, we’ve found several pages with substandard content that ranked quite high with long-tail keywords because their page titles were very well-optimized.

3. Local Optimization

With the advent of Pigeon comes a central focus on high-quality content developed for local searches. With over 80% of local searches leading to in-store visits and immediate purchase decisions, businesses will need to get their act together pretty quickly.

4. Page Layout and Navigation Structure:

When we spoke about interdisciplinary cooperation within digital marketing, we weren’t kidding. For those who haven’t done this yet, it’s high time you got your design and development teams involved with search optimization. Your web pages need to be responsive and built with UI/UX in mind, otherwise they’re getting bumped to the bottom of the pile.

5. Link Profile Clean-Ups

Websites can no longer wait for a Google alert or warning to get working on their linking profile. It’s much more prudent to spend a few minutes every day to review your link profile and have the unhealthy links removed or disavowed. This pruning needs to be constant.

6. Quality Backlinks

Not too far behind the link profile cleanup is the building of quality backlinks. We don’t see a downside here because we can look forward to credible knowledge shares and strong networks coming through.

7. Social Media

While there’s no clear evidence of social media contributing to higher rankings on Google – in fact, Matt Cutts repeatedly denies it – there’s no escaping the fact that each social channel has its own filtering algorithms that push great content to the top. And if that content is getting clicks, views, shares and link-backs, then there’s definitely a circle of influence phenomenon going on here.

8. Removal of Thin Content

If you haven’t done an audit of your site’s pages yet, you may want to start yesterday. Either remove or rewrite pages with thin content that doesn’t do much other than link out to other pages without providing any real information.

Learn more here: Top 8 SEO Trends to Watch Out [Infographic]

How do you find these pages? Take a look at your bounce rates in Google Analytics and compare them against the average bounce rate of your website. When we removed pages with thin content for a client of ours, we found the organic traffic increase by 20%. That’s not too shabby.

There are definitely many other factors that could influence how SEO rankings could get affected, but perhaps none is as strong as the impact rich content has.

What changes do you feel SEO and SEOs could benefit from? Let us know!

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