For many years, top agencies have focused on improving search engine optimization (SEO), which includes weaving keyterms into front-facing and background content on your site. This method of optimizing content is only one half of the equation to building a successful content marketing strategy. The other half is relevant, engaging, high-quality content in the eyes of top search engines like Google.
The goal is not to trick an ever-evolving algorithm to temporarily accept subpar content but, instead, to produce high quality content that will continue to perform well while meeting the demands of your users.
No one wants to read poorly written, keyword clogged writing. Not Google—and definitely not your customers.
Instead, you need to focus on two key areas:
1. The technical aspects of SEO that are proven to increase your organic rankings—the mainstream approach to SEO.
2. Creating relevant, engaging content that will appeal to your customers now and well into the future.
WHAT IS COMPOUNDING CONTENT?
One of the reasons our clients see such phenomenal results year over year is the compounding impact these articles have.
Just as Warren Buffett preaches the power of compounding interest in investment strategy, a similar way of thinking can be applied to web content. As you create more great content supported by sustainable SEO practices, you're compounding your returns by increase organic ratings through content that will spread virally and have a lasting impact on customers now and well into the future.
Each piece of content will receive returns now and later as they continue to build over time along with Google's algorithm improvements; not to mention scores of new customers engaging with said content.
HOW TO WRITE COMPOUNDING CONTENT
So how do you create compounding content? Start by writing articles that won't fade out of relevancy quickly. Here are some types of content you should avoid when creating your compounding content strategy:
• Press releases, recent news, or other time-sensitive material
• Year-to-year statistics of reporting
• Gimmicks centered around holidays or events
• Blog posts about trends, fads, and the state of the industry
• Social media campaign pushes
While each of these pieces of content can still be impactful for your brand, it's important to understand when and how they should be used. When you're focused on building your compounding content, skip those topics.
On the flip side, what are some good formats to start building your compounding content catalog? Here's a collection of some of our favorites formats of content:
• Differentiator in long-term service offerings
• Tips & tricks that won't change with technology trends
• Industry-relevant tutorials
• Repeating events in which content is continually applicable
• Explainer articles of videos of common industry problems
• New product overviews (assuming the product will have a long lifespan)
• Community (or industry) centric lists
COMBINING SUSTAINABLE SEO WITH COMPOUNDING CONTENT
At Mostly Serious, we've coined the style of evergreen content matched with strong SEO, or "sustainable SEO." To maximize results of your compounding content, we need to make sure people are able to find your content in the future, beyond your initial push.
To establish sustainable SEO, be sure to consider how SEO keywords will integrate into your content. There are two approaches we prefer to finding an effective balance of content and SEO:
1. Decide on your keywords in advance and engineer compounding content around those keywords.
2. Write your content and weave in powerful keywords after your article or page is created.
With either approach, understanding sustainable SEO practices is vital to your success. Lucky for you, we've written a piece of compounding content on that very topic.
TAKEAWAYS FOR WRITING SUSTAINABLE, COMPOUNDING CONTENT
Avoid time-sensitive material and focus on content that will be as relevant in two years as it is today. While time-sensitive material can be great for specific purposes, compounding content is not one of them.
Utilize lists and other easily digestible content. As a basic rule, lists are great when delivering information to your customers, but especially when writing compounding content. Often times you're writing to beginners, not experts, so keep it simple.
Build a web from your compounding articles by linking them together. While you build your content collection, be sure to link your audience between articles to increase engagement and maximize the educational value for your customers.
Avoid complex topics that may change. In technology this can be especially challenging, as the world is changing beneath our feet every day; but with enough discipline you can narrow your topics to specific aspects that are unlikely to change.
Go off script when compounding content isn't the right answer. Sometimes you need to release news or speak to an industry trend, and that's fine. Know when compounding content is the right answer and don't be afraid to mix in timely, topical pieces when it makes sense. This is just one aspect of a complete digital content strategy.
EXAMPLES OF SUSTAINABLE SEO CONTENT
Lastly, below are examples of sustainable compounding content we've written for ourselves and our clients. Enjoy!
• Why We Chose Springfield
• Seal Break Pliers Product Overview
• Sustainable SEO in 5 Steps
• How to Open Office
Originally published on MostlySerious.io.
Jarad Johnson is the President at Mostly Serious, an agency that specializes in strategy, digital products, and online marketing. You can learn more about Mostly Serious on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or by visiting MostlySerious.io.