If there’s one thing we can always depend on, it’s change. That’s especially true in the world of search engine optimization, where the technologies and algorithms are constantly being revised and updated. In order to prepare your SEO branding strategy for the new year ahead, we’ve compiled some of the top trends we expect to see making waves in 2017.

RankBrain and Quick Answers

Google’s artificial intelligence bots and machine-learning capabilities are more sophisticated than ever. These tools help crawl your site faster to look for relevant information, so the more that RankBrain can understand your content, the higher it will likely rate. These factors also contribute to the Quick Answers and rich bits that are increasingly popping up with common Google search terms that help users find answers more quickly.

Mobile Site Speed

We already know that half of all local searches are now performed on mobile devices and that market is only likely to grow in 2017. On top of having a mobile-friendly design page, your site needs to be able to load quickly to bring and keep users on your site. Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMPs, offer small structural changes that help your site load almost instantly on many mobile web applications.

Long Form Content

Today’s search bots (and the real users on the web) can tell the difference between a keyword-stuffed paragraph and a compelling, informative blog post. One recent study found that first-page result sites on Google contained an average of 1,890 words. That means that one piece of long-form content that contains real meaning and message may fare better than many high-concept bits in a row when it comes to search engine optimization strategies.

Predicting the future of SEO is oftentimes a guessing game, but one that carries an enormous potential payoff. If you understand the current trends, the right SEO branding strategy can help take your business to the front ranks. This new year, make sure that your website gets the traffic you want by staying ahead of the curve. Start planning your 2017 strategy with the waves of the future in mind.