The start of every new year is an exciting time – and this is especially true in the fast moving world of Search Engine Optimisation. Here are some top tips on how to keep on top of the SEO curve throughout 2017 by altering your SEO strategy.

1. Get ready for Artificial Intelligence

We recently wrote about the importance of Artificial Intelligence in SEO here. AI made its first significant appearance towards the end of 2016, in a bid to smarten up and refine search algorithms.

Google RankBrain will be working towards making search even more intelligent by being more precise and relevant than ever before. This means that there will be less opportunity for black hat SEO manoeuvres, so be sure to implement good taglines and solid content to grab the user’s attention.

2. Branding

Trying to make your brand stand out from the crowd can be tricky – particularly on the vast space that is the internet. So ensure you jump on Google’s branded URL bandwagon! Personal branded URLs are a great way of embodying consistent branding and building user trust.

3. Use Short Branded Links

Short branded links are a new link form that look a little bit like this: (Google’s branded link shortener) and (Pepsi). This makes the link appear more trustworthy and stand out more. Recent research has found that implementing branded links has a 35% CTR increase – so be sure to use these where possible!

4. Reach for the AMP Stars

Google launched AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) back in Spring 2016, in a bid to showcase and accelerate breaking news stories at the top of the Google SERPs (read about it here).

AMP is good news for SEO pros as AMP are open source protocols which means pages load rapidly on mobile – the best part is that AMP pages load quickly and at a decreased data rate (a typical web page consumes 8x more data versus an AMP page). 2017 is set to catapult this trend even further, so use it!

If you’re an SEO newbie, or an SEO pro who’d like to brush up on their SEO knowledge, check out our latest GIANT Thursday video on how to do Keyword Research!