Evergreen content lifts its name from the type of tree or plant that never loses its foliage. It isn’t anything to do with the ship that got itself stuck across the Suez Canal. Although that event did create some great content.
In the same way that these trees or plants remain green throughout the year (and all-time), evergreen content never loses its relevance. Marketers who focus on evergreen content create content for longevity rather than jumping on trends as and when they arise.
Evergreen content is a form of content marketing that looks to leverage search terms that people have and, importantly, always will happily type into Google. These are pieces of content that you can pour your very soul into without the fear that it will suddenly become an irrelevant page on your website that no one visits and garners zero traffic.
Imagine looking at a graph that shows interest over time. When looking at evergreen topics, such as How to drive a car you’d see a fairly flat line as interest in this topic rarely jumps or diminishes. Whereas if you were to look at a trending topic, such as Will Smith slaps Chris Rock, you’d see a very high and sudden spike, followed by a lull, followed by almost zero search volume. The same goes for seasonal pieces of content, especially those related to holidays such as Christmas, Ramadan, or specific sporting events. Whilst these are more reliable than flash in the pan news events, they still won’t draw in traffic year-round.
So evergreen content will clearly be great for your website, after all, who doesn’t want a constant stream of people using their site without the fear the topic will suddenly drop off. So it’s important to understand what evergreen content is not.
Examples of content that is not evergreen:
The simple rule is to consider if the content will undergo a drop in interest after a certain point. A great example might be the outline of events over a festival weekend. Incredibly useful at the time, completely useless thereafter.
Don’t feel that every single piece of content that you create has to be evergreen. There’s definitely space in your strategy for trending and seasonal content. It makes sense to capitalize on these opportunities to bring in new eyes to your website, but in order to cement a foundation of reliable traffic, you’ll definitely need evergreen content.
Glossaries: People learning about specific topics are often overwhelmed by the collection of words that they don’t understand. Glossaries are a great place to quickly learn words and phrases.
FAQs (Frequently asked questions): If you’re offering a service or product, write up the questions that almost all customers ask and provide them with this resource. If you’re writing about a particular topic you could cover the basic information within FAQs.
Beginner’s Guide to…: There will almost always be a fresh selection of people wanting to learn a new skill or understand a new topic. Most will start with a beginner’s guide.
Case Studies: Showing examples of a customer’s experience with your company makes for a great piece of evergreen content. As long as the service that you’re offering is relevant, the content will be appropriate for the lifetime of your business. Don’t forget to update these pages regularly with more recent case studies.
Curated Resources: This could be a collection of guides, tool books, instruction manuals, industry history, statistics, anything that people will regularly need access to. Don’t simply create links to pdfs, if you want to rank be sure to add little write-ups.
Historical articles: You can’t change the past, therefore historical write-ups of major events or trends can be a useful evergreen content strategy. The smaller and less significant the event, the less likely it’ll pick up traction in the future.
Best and Worst Practice examples: Share the best and the worst of the industry in a list-like blog. The best and worst examples will always be relevant for those looking to emulate in their own work.
Top x blogs: Lists of the top 10, 20, 100, 1000 things to do in a certain place, ways to achieve something, as long as the list is related to an evergreen topic, the list will remain evergreen.
Checklists: A list of items that people can mark off to help them organize themselves for something or work through a process that never changes. It could be a pack list for a certain climate, a list of documents required for a passport application, or the process of buying a home. And if these processes or lists change, you can easily update them.
Self-improvement: Whatever the time of year, in fact, whatever year it is, people will look for ways to improve themselves. This could be psychological and personality-based or it could be skills and work-based.
The first step to using evergreen content in your SEO strategy is all about research. Think of as many topics as you can around your website and your services then begin to conduct keyword research on these topic titles. You will be specifically looking for keywords that have a decent search volume and whose top pages are receiving a decent amount of traffic.
The next piece of research is to investigate Google Trends. You’ll want to make sure there are no major peaks and troughs to search volume, look for a steady flat or inclining line on the graph. While Google Trends can be great for established industries, keyword research experts like Fat Joe recommend trying out redditmetrics.com for newer and emerging industries. Since reddit is considered the frontpage of the internet, using this tool in conjunction with Google Trends is a great starting point in building evergreen content.
When you’re certain that you have a valid evergreen topic, the most important step will be the actual content creation. Work to a 10x rule. This means that your content needs to be at least 10x better than what is already out there. If it’s not, what right do you have to rank and compete against what is already out there. Consider that Google is, first and foremost, a customer service tool. They want to deliver a great experience, and your content has to offer that.
Once the content is written and published, keep track of your rankings and monitor keywords that are attributed to the content. Don’t simply publish and forget. It’s especially important with evergreen content that you keep statistics, historical data, and general information as accurate as possible. If you don’t then your content is no longer evergreen, it will lose relevance and, therefore, cease to be evergreen.
The refreshing of your content provides a great opportunity to re-release the page via your socials and get a fresh set of eyes on the page. You might even add a [Edited/Updated: insert year here] or similar tag to the page.
Evergreen content is the best base for an SEO-focused blog. By concentrating on topics that don’t vary over time, you’re bound to draw in traffic over the long term. Consistent traffic that comes from a page that you’ve invested significant time and effort in is gratifying and far more rewarding versus turning you and your team into a content farm!
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