The cyber world is fixated on buzzwords like “trending” and “hype.” We’re obsessed with the now and eager for the newest tidbits of information. A phrase heard less often is “evergreen content” – the concept of content that never loses relevancy. Evergreen content is the golden standard for marketers, as its value doesn’t depreciate with age.
Every good marketer will argue for evergreen content on a site to boost search engine optimization (SEO) and increase site traffic. Creating evergreen content – and knowing how to use it effectively – is an unsung skill. Once you master the techniques of creating and optimizing evergreen content, you’ll enjoy SEO perks that will last a lifetime.
What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content stays relevant over time, without the need for major updates. An example of evergreen content is a page with the title, “What is SEO?” The definition of SEO won’t change, so the website owner can leave this content up without making any significant changes. A page with the title, “SEO Best Practices,” is not evergreen, as the author has to update it after each Google algorithm update.
Content that needs minor changes can still be evergreen. For example, if you write a blog post about how to download data into the cloud, the content would most likely remain the same. However, if a new cloud development came out, you may want to update one section to include the update. You can date stamp your change or introduce it as an editor’s update. It’s fast and easy to refresh evergreen content, and it stays relevant to readers.
Evergreen content is sustainable and long lasting, giving website owners returns on investment for the foreseeable future. Content such as news articles, statistics, seasonal or holiday blogs, current fashion trend articles, or other information that will become obsolete in the near future has its uses, but it doesn’t have the sustainable power that evergreen content enjoys.
The Benefits of Sustainable Content
While updating your content to meet new standards is important to stay relevant in your field, it’s also wise to incorporate solid pieces of content that will never get old. Evergreen posts should be more detailed and comprehensive than newer posts, giving readers greater value. This content presents experts with a resource to keep in their toolboxes while giving amateurs a chance to get a better grasp of topics that interest them. Evergreen content drives all types of consumers to your site – loyal customers and cold leads.
Evergreen content is more effective and efficient than standard content. Writers and content managers have to write the piece once, yet many users will read and enjoy it over time. It lightens the workload for site managers by giving value to users without having to create new content. At the same time, readers benefit from accessing information that is important and will stay relevant to them in the future.
What Does Evergreen Content Look Like?
It’s important to understand that there is more to good evergreen content than simply providing content that won’t become dated. Evergreen content should typically be longer than other types of content and more detailed. With longer content, you can elaborate on your subject and use more keywords, boosting SEO. You can link to more sources, which are helpful for outreach campaigns in the future. With longer posts, your content can go from a helpful blurb to the ultimate resource on the topic – one users will reference again and again.
The best evergreen content will be on a topic highly relevant to your site’s niche. It should address the interests of your target audience and work as a guide on a particular subject for readers. Blog managers write evergreen content from places of authority, as experts on their subjects. It’s typically better to write evergreen content for an audience of beginners instead of experts, as most people reading older content will do so to gain basic, essential information about a topic.
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to mention that evergreen content is well written. It’s not sloppy, grammatically incorrect, or hard to understand. It’s shareable content and has the potential for users to promote it on social channels and link back to it in other articles. Evergreen content picks a subject, asks a question about it, and answers the question in detail. A few common examples of evergreen pieces include:
- “How to” tutorials.
- Industry resource collections/lists.
- Industry definitions.
A great example of evergreen content is Content Marketing Institute’s “What Is Content Marketing?” post. It comes up at the top of the list when you Google search the same phrase, even though the post itself is old – relatively speaking. Though the information is old, the content isn’t dated; it maintains credibility due to its succinct definition of content marketing, as well as the definitive insights it gives into the topic. This post will never go out of style or become irrelevant because the definition and basic elements of content marketing will not change.
Creating Content with Consistent Value
You can write a piece of killer content, but that still doesn’t mean it will give readers long-lasting value. The secret to evergreen content is writing a message that will stay relevant for the long haul. You can also turn videos or infographics into evergreen content – there’s nothing in the rulebook stating that evergreen content has to be a blog post or article.
The first step toward creating evergreen content is to brainstorm a topic. Your content should address a need within your industry. If you have a question and you can’t find a detailed answer to it, address it in your post. If information about a topic in your niche leaves out important details, rewrite the piece with your own additions. There is always room for improvement – make your piece the new go-to for beginners in your field.
Next, develop a compelling headline. Use a resource such as Copyblogger’s article on how to write magnetic headlines (an example of evergreen content!) if you need a refresher course. Your headline should explain the content within while being descriptive and catchy. If this seems like a tall order, it’s because headlines are one of the most important aspects of your content. Starting with the headline instead of ending with it can help shape the rest of your article.
Write your content with SEO in mind. Make a list of topic goals and relevant keywords, using keyword research best practices to ensure you’re using the best terms and phrases for your industry. Support your evergreen content with internal links embedded with keyword phrases to other pages on your site to send a signal to Google. For example, if your topic is social media marketing, optimize your headline accordingly and internal link it to anchor text to gain a position in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Evergreen content may seem out of reach, but a blog manager can make writing evergreen content easy by keeping a few key objectives in mind. Remember, evergreen content should:
- Be comprehensive. It should elaborate on a subject and use keywords.
- Be useful. Readers can take action immediately after reading.
- Make itself clear. You should outline your key points clearly.
- Have a friendly but professional tone, as an expert.
- Be shareable. Users can easily bookmark it for future reference or share with friends.
- Contain only information that will not change over time.
Keeping Evergreen Content Fresh
Since the definition of evergreen content is content that stays relevant, you should periodically reread and update these posts. If you have a resource list, for example, check your links to ensure the resources are still active. If you learn of a significant change about a topic on which you’ve written, make a simple update to keep information on the cutting edge without having to write a brand new piece.
Content with consistent value helps site managers because it delivers leads and traffic for years after publication. It establishes a site as an authority on its subject and can deliver returns without much of an investment. While evergreen content may be difficult to create, it’s well worth the time and research.