5 ways to future-proof your content for SEO

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Creating new content can be an extremely time-consuming but nevertheless, worthwhile process. We all want our content to achieve maximum reach but if your resources are limited, then future proofing your content remains crucial to achieving the best return.

In this article, we discuss how, with careful planning, you can best prepare your website content now for search engine optimisation (SEO) in the future.

In particular, we consider 5 key suggestions:

  1. Conducting in-depth keyword research
  2. Focusing on the creation of long form content
  3. Promoting your content
  4. Making the most of influencer marketing
  5. Regularly updating your content

By following these tips to future-proof your content, you can give it the very best chance of staying relevant for longer.

1. Do some in-depth keyword research

Keyword research – the process of finding and analysing actual search terms that people enter into search engines – might seem like an obvious first step.

But there are so many different ways to carry out keyword research. And not all of them come out on top.

According to HubSpot, the intent behind your keyword is a more important ranking factor than matching a person’s search exactly. This means that keywords can help build a rich content calendar to give potential customers a reason to click.

So why is so important to understand searcher intent?

In a recent interview on the SEOSAS podcast, Moz and SparkToro founder and all round SEO expert, Rand Fiskin, noted that

“The more you understand the searcher, what they’re seeking and why they want to solve their problem…the more you do a great job of solving that problem for them in the content that you create and rank, the better you tend to perform, not just in terms of rankings but in terms of conversion rate and brand building through that content.” (source)

We should be careful not rely on keywords to do all the work though. Keywords simply give us the building blocks needed to create content that will be seen by the right people.

What is most important is spending as much time as possible creating content that addresses your audience’s needs like nothing else.

Why? Because content fatigue, where brands and businesses churn out boring, cookie cutter copy, is very real in today’s climate, where the rush to produce new content can be at the expense of engaging the reader.

You should therefore aim to present your searchers with something completely new and fresh, that they will be willing to spend their valuable time reading.

Google’s Keyword Planner is considered one of the top tools for the job. The good news is it also free.

We have already talked about how to make the most of keyword research in 5 ways to optimise blog posts for SEO in 2020, so be sure to check out the blog post for more information.

2. Focus on creating long-form content

Short-form content is usually defined as written content with less than 1,000 words. And short-form content definitely has its place when you want to provide short, snappy and instant answers to busy searchers.

But if you are looking to really win at SEO and future-proof your content, it is widely accepted that long-form content ­– articles greater than 1,500 words in length – will produce better results in the long term.

This is a topic we have previously covered in our post ‘What is the best length for my website content?’

And it is a theory that Rand Fiskin gets behind too, commenting on the studies that show the high correlation between longer content and better SEO performance:

“My theory is that it’s not that Google loves ranking longer content…What’s happening is that Google loves ranking content that does a more comprehensive job of solving the searcher’s problem and solving the searcher’s next X number of needs.” (source)

Long form content with more words will generally resonate better with readers. This is because you allow yourself the time and space to populate your article with relevant information that will in turn make you an authority in your field.

Long form content also offers more opportunity to target keywords; add internal and external links, and perhaps most importantly, answer the searcher’s query in depth.

And as we already know, answering your searcher’s query in depth will make Google more likely to reward you by boosting you up the rankings.

This in turn can then lead to your article being featured by Google as a much coveted ‘snippet’ – that short piece of content that directly answers a searcher’s query on the search engine results page itself.

See ‘Snippets: How to optimise for zero click searches’ for more information on what forms a snippet can take and how best to optimise your content to achieve them.

The key thing to remember is to stop if you feel like your copy is beginning to waffle: It’s too easy to sacrifice quality in the attempt to hit the word count.

3. Promote your content

Right now, it is not enough to simply write content that sits on your website. To give it longevity, it is a good idea to promote your content on at least one social platform.

This will help your content gain followers whilst also driving customer engagement. The end goal of course is to send people back to your website, where they can purchase your goods or services.

By creating small snippets of content, like short videos or extracts from a blog post, you can pique interest. Your core content will then sit on your website for customers to either click through to or find organically.

Sharing it on social media also means that people can discover you long after the content has been published.

4. Make the most of influencer marketing

Influencers are topical right now. And that is because they can be an excellent part of your marketing strategy. Finding someone who is influential in your market can build the trust that your business might not be able to do alone.

By enlisting the help of an influencer (either for payment or perks), they can expose your business to their followers and encourage them to convert to you as a customer.

It’s a good idea to find an influencer who actually cares about your brand though. Beware the pitfalls of choosing the wrong influencer

Don’t worry if your chosen influencer doesn’t have a huge following – it’s all about how much their followers engage with their posts.

Find someone who aligns with your brand values and meets your customer persona. This will keep the marketing strategy authentic and will draw in the right kind of customers for you.

If you’re still not convinced, the Digital Marketing Institute has found that 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations.

This gives so much scope for future-proofing, as potential buyers will trust the influencer long after the content gets published.

5. Regularly update your content

Even if your content is performing well, it makes sense to revisit it from time to time.

Adding in new links, fixing 404s, and creating new shoppable call to actions (CTAs), for example, are a great way to show Google that you’re still relevant to customers landing on your site.

Doing this will help protect your ranking – making it even easier for new customers to find your content.

You may even want to tweak sections of copy if things have moved on since you first created your content. Known as historical optimisation, we have previously shown how historical optimisation of old blog posts can boost leads by 240%.

Creating evergreen content – content that doesn’t go out of date – is the best way to guarantee long-term success.

To start, set a schedule to review your content at least once a year to ensure it still delivers. You can adjust this time period depending on how quickly your content dates – you may not need to touch it very often at all.

Need more advice about creating future proofed content?

If you are looking for a steer on how to create evergreen content that helps futureproof your SEO rankings, please just ask.

Get in touch with The Content Marketing Team and we’ll make sure that everything on your site is as updated and optimised as it can possibly be.

We are a small and friendly team with proven expertise all aspects of content marketing, including:

  • website copy
  • search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • UX writing
  • conversational design
  • blog posts
  • social media
  • explainer videos
  • case studies
  • white papers & reports
  • infographics
  • how-to guides
  • photos
  • website design and development

Whatever your requirements, we would be more than happy to talk you through any aspects of our services and products.   

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