There is a lot written online about the importance of ‘future proofing your SEO’. What’s meant by this of course is protecting your SEO practices against potential future changes to Google’s algorithms, and of course this comes in the wake of the recent big changes Google has made that go by the Penguin and Panda handles respectively. This was a great demonstration of the fact that it’s not good enough to just market your website according to current marketing principles – you also need to do it according to the likely future ones to make sure that your good work lasts and doesn’t later on get swept under the rug.
But though all this is very important, future proofing your SEO isn’t all you should be concerned with. Your SEO is only one part of your website, and every aspect of your site or blog is potentially vulnerable to changes made by Google but also in technology in general. If you run a blog or a website then you work in the tech industry, and that’s an industry that is notoriously fast moving. So how do you protect your site against the future in other ways?
Over the last decade the way we interact with the web has changed hugely. Whereas once we did it on a slow old computer with a mouse at our desks, today we do it on a number of different devices on the move and with touch screens and gesture based interfaces. We check the web on our phones in meetings, on our tablets on the tube, on our netbooks in coffee shops and even on our watched now… So if you want your site to be future proof in terms of the design then you need to make sure you’re ready for these changes. This means anticipating the way things are going to go, but also making sure that your site is designed in an adaptive manner. Using a CSS script for instance with percentages instead of fixed values for your sizes is a great way to make your site look good on lots of devices without your needing to alter it. At the same time you should also look into new devices though as they come out and see if you can somehow test your site on them. At the moment as a general rule it’s fair to say we’re moving towards more touch based interfaces, so how can you integrate that into your site design?
When you design your site you will do so according to fashion principles, and just like interior design a website can quickly look dated. Remember when sites used lots of marquees and gifs? And then when they used lots of flash? Right now minimalistic designs with lots of white and curved blocks of colour are very popular, but this will change with time. To make your site fashionable not just now, but a long way in the future, you need to embrace current trends but not so much so that they end up dating you.
Believe it or not, your content can date you. If you write content that is referring to technology or to the news, then of course this is going to sound dated and old fashioned much more quickly and your articles are going to quickly become irrelevant. Make sure then that you update old articles, and that you write at least some content that isn’t too time sensitive so that it stays relevant.