A 90-day study from web design company DreamCo Design explored the Google Analytics results of around 50 websites to determine the most important SEO factors.
Researchers analyzed sites across various industries, comparing data to actual Google search engine rankings for keywords typically used by those sites.
What they found was an increased emphasis on title tags, keyword density, description tags and internal site links. Basically, the more relevant the site is, the better it's likely to rank on local search.
Google wants to deliver users to the most relevant and reliable results," said CEO Jay Correia. "There aren’t any cheap tricks to really get around that."
Bounce rate and the amount of time spent on the page was also found to be an important SEO factor, as the longer a user clicked around the higher a site tended to rank.
Social media was also shown to have a less direct factor on SEO. "Simply having Facebook, Twitter and other social media profiles really offers little to no direct search engine optimization benefit," according to the release, adding, however, that the indirect benefits of creating traffic using social platforms still make it an effective marketing technique.