Optimising your website for better rankings should be a top priority for any growth-focused business owner. However, compiling your 2017 SEO strategy can be daunting considering that the world of SEO continues to change at lightning speed. For this reason we’ve put together these top tactics to guide your search strategy. Action these and you’re on your way to being a number one hit in the SERPS in 2017.

1. Mobile is the future

Mobile searches are on the rise and as technology continues to advance, so will the power of mobile devices. Google has responded to the mobile trend by including it as a factor within their algorithms. Businesses without mobile friendly websites and mobile strategies will be outranked by competitors who have put in the effort.

2. The rise of voice search

Voice search is listed third as the largest SEO trends for 2017 and beyond. Marketers need to adapt their search engine optimisation strategies to account for the increasing number of voice searches. Voice-based search queries can be drastically different than traditional typed queries and businesses will need to tailor their content towards these longer queries that fit with voice search terms.

3. Topics

Google will continue to evolve into a semantic search engine, which means that smart marketers will focus on topics, not just keywords. It is important to plan content around broader more conversational queries used to find information online.

4. Social media

While social shares may not affect a webpage’s position in search listings, your social profiles definitely influence the content of your search results. Marketers need to be active in social media to reap the indirect search benefits.

5. Relevant links

Backlinks still have mileage left, with quality being more important than ever before. Creating content that’s geared to earn links organically remains the way to go.

6. Schema Markup

Shema markup is beneficial because it tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says. Schema markup enables the search engine to provide results that display better information for the user. According to Searchmetrics, only 0.3 of all websites use schema markup. Be sure not to be one of those websites missing out on this huge source of SEO potential.

7. SEM alignment

It is important to let your SEO inform your SEM keyword lists so that you only bid on keywords that convert. Your SEO and SEM strategy should team up in terms of improving the quality score of landing pages, and therefore decreasing the overall SEM cost. Be sure that your SEO and SEM don’t operate in silos.

8. Your content

Your content needs to be written and optimised for user intent, not ruled solely by your keyword strategy. Your content needs to deliver on the promises made in your headlines & meta descriptions that motivated the user to click through. At the end of the day it is your content that will determine whether a user converts or not.

Without a steadfast SEO you’ll never achieve the website goals you’ve set out. Be sure to always keep up with the latest trends and to adapt your search strategy accordingly. Know your data, innovate, understand and implement new concepts and always test.