Evergreen content consistently drives traffic to your website, better than topical blog posts, social media shares, or other tactics.
So how do you create evergreen content to improve your content marketing and SEO at the same time?
Check out these 6 tips:
Tip 1: What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is the name for website content that remains valuable to your visitors regardless of season, year, or trends. Like pine and fir trees which don’t lose their leaves in winter, this type of content stays relevant all year, and year after year.
In your content marketing strategy, you should distinguish evergreen content from more topical and timely blog posts. Evergreen content is about driving consistent traffic to your website over time whereas many blog posts are published to take advantage of a particular trend or hot topic.
Evergreen Content Examples
The best and most obvious example of a website almost entirely dedicated to evergreen content is Wikipedia. The goal with every Wikipedia article is to become the definitive source on the internet for that topic. Each page gets updated regularly but the content as a whole does not change much unless the page is about a current event or living person.
Other examples of websites with lots of evergreen content include:
- IMDB and other movie and culture rating websites (Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, etc.)
- Wikipedia’s competitors, such as About.com
- How To websites like ehow and wikihow
Some people say that answer sites such as Quora and Answers.com are also examples of evergreen content but this is not entirely true. These websites may produce evergreen content on certain subjects, but the user-generated content changes constantly and may not always do a good job of actually answering the question.
Speaking of which: Evergreen content should always answer a question.
“Evergreen content should always answer a question.”
It may not seem obvious at first, but Wikipedia articles answer questions better than just about any other website on the internet. (They also create new questions…)
The best evergreen content answers the visitor’s question so well that it is shared around the internet and people continually refer to the article for years into the future.
Trying to focus your content marketing strategy entirely around evergreen content would be extremely expensive and it would be hard to respond to industry trends.
So for businesses where content marketing is merely one part of a sound marketing strategy, evergreen content is only one component of a successful content marketing and SEO marriage.
Tip 2: Researching Your Evergreen Content
The first thing to do when creating evergreen content is to pick a keyword your business is trying to rank for that actually fits the evergreen content model.
Not all topics and keywords make sense here.
Evergreen Keywords and Keyphrases
To start, you need to distinguish between evergreen and trendy or topical keywords and topics.
You should avoid the following:
- Current events or news stories
- Trends, whether fashion, or internet, or other social or cultural fads
- Seasonal articles*
(*This isn’t entirely true: It’s possible to do such a good job with a seasonal piece of content if it is semi-evergreen. For example, “best fall hikes in Ontario” could continue to rank well for years if it gets a lot of traffic each autumn. But the goal here is to get traffic all year round, so seasonal content is not truly “evergreen.”)
Use Ahrefs or SEMRush or a similar site to find a keyword to focus your article around. The keyword should be evergreen but it should also get at least some traffic.
Evergreen Topic Examples
Let’s say you own a car dealership, how do you figure out what topics to research for your evergreen content?
Here are some possible article titles:
|Not Evergreen||Potentially Evergreen||Keyword and search volume|
|The Best Family SUVs to Buy in 2022||Why Your Family Deserves an SUV||Best SUV for family (14K)|
|Check Out Our Amazing Spring Deals||The Best Time of Year to Buy a Car||Best time to buy a car (18K)|
|New vs. Used Car Purchases for 2020||The Top 7 Reasons You Should Always By Your Car from a [reputable brand] Dealer||Buying new vs. used car (1.3K)|
|The Best Mechanics in the Tri-State Area as of 2021||Why You Should Always Use Your Dealer’s Mechanic||Car mechanic (30K)|
Now, time and effort need to be put into the above article ideas to make them truly evergreen, but you can see the difference. Evergreen content is content your visitors would want to read at any time.
“Evergreen content is content your visitors would want to read at any time.”
Competitor Analysis – Don’t Compete with 10x Content
After you know which keyword you want to focus on for your first evergreen content piece, you should ensure that your competition isn’t too high for your topic.
Specifically, you want to make sure none of your competitors has created what’s known as a 10x content on your desired keyword. “10x” just means that it is approximately 10 times better than most other web pages on the internet targeting that keyword.
If one of your competitors has written a 10x content piece on your desired keyword, you should find a new keyword unless you are willing to invest the time and money required to beat them at their own game. (That can be quite hard and expensive.)
If none of your competition has written a 10x piece on your keyword, this is a fantastic opportunity to create evergreen content that dominates the search results.
Evergreen Content Types
But how will you present your evergreen content?
Written content is usually the most common kind, though video content could be evergreen too if the topic itself is evergreen.
Podcasts are often the opposite of evergreen content unless the podcast tells a story over many episodes. Most podcast episodes see their listeners greatly decline soon after they’re published.
Infographics are often highlighted as great for evergreen content but be careful here.
Infographics are not as easy to update as written content, though they are obviously much easier to update than video or podcast content. Infographics with statistics should be avoided as statistics will go out of date too soon.
The same is true for presentations, though they are easier to update than infographics. Plus research from Backlinko has shown that presentations are not very successful relative to other forms of content.
Focus on written content unless you have a topic that is better suited to a video or an infographic.
And remember, especially if you are hosting your videos on YouTube, you cannot easily update your video without losing your views.
Tip 3: Writing Your Evergreen Content
Regardless of the content type, you need to create a lot of content in order to make your article (or video or infographic) truly evergreen.
The value for your reader isn’t just in the topic or keyword staying relevant through the years, the value is in the detailed information or advice you give your audience.
“The most important thing is to answer your visitors’ questions.”
The most important thing here is to answer your visitors’ questions. If you are trying to write an evergreen article on why your visitors should buy an SUV, you better give them good reasons to buy an SUV. Most or all of those reasons need to remain relevant regardless of the time of year or auto industry trends.
And always remember, write for humans, not robots. Content that solves readers’ problems will improve your SEO because it will be read, shared, reread, bookmarked, and, hopefully, highlighted by other websites.
How to Present/Format Your Evergreen Content
We’re focusing on written content here because it’s the least resource-intensive approach, the most common type, and also the most likely to be successful. Backlinko’s definitive research into successful evergreen content identified a number of types of written posts that are more successful than others:
- Answering the question “What”
- Answer the question “Why”
- In-depth Interviews*
(*Of course, not all interviews are evergreen. An interview with someone who is briefly famous due to a social media meltdown, for example, is not an evergreen interview. An interview with a self-help guru could be evergreen.)
- Lists should have many items, and a fairly unique number if you can manage it (17 is better than 10 or 25)
- How-Tos should explain in great detail how to do it, with clear, delineated steps
- Answering the question “What” should definitely answer that question with detail worth of a Wikipedia
- Answering the question “Why” should provide the context in addition to the explanation and perhaps also focus on the “How” if it is relevant
- Interviews should help visitors in some way, either in their own lives or by imparting knowledge of some kind.
In addition to the format, it’s important to add images to your article, and perhaps even embed related videos if you can find them.
Images make content easier to read by both giving your audience something nice to look at and making long articles easier to read.
If you can find related videos – especially videos you’ve already made – embedding these can also increase engagement. If you’re going to use video, it’s important to find ones that are semi-evergreen, to save you the trouble of constantly replacing the embedded videos with newer ones.
Bullet points and text quotes are also good ways of making your in-depth content easier to read.
Bullet points are easier to read than paragraphs. And…
“Quotes from the text highlight important takeaways and make the article easier to read.”
Tip 4: Quality Assurance – Evergreen SEO
Before you launch your evergreen content, you need to make sure that it will improve your SEO, and don’t just think about the focus keyword here.
An Evergreen Content SEO Checklist:
|The title includes your focus keyword|
|Subheadings (H2s, H3s) contain related keywords or focus keyword|
|Content delivers the promise of the title|
|Text is broken up by images, bullet points, text quotes, etc.; images have relevant alt text|
|Meta description encourages clickthrough from SERP|
|Schema added to encourage Google to highlight your article in SERP|
Before publishing, ensure you’ve checked the following things:
- The title must include your keyword and indicate what type of content it is (i.e. “Top X…” “Best X” “Complete Guide to X” “What is X?”) [If you must include a year in your title, remember to update once a year in the future]
- Your subheadings should either include the keyword or contain semantically related keywords to support the title and to inform users of what each section is about
- Your content should actually deliver on the promise of the title
- Images require relevant alt text which support your target keyword
- The meta description should highlight features of your article to improve clickthrough rate from the SERP.
- If applicable, use Schema markup to further help Google understand why your article is valuable to searchers and is evergreen.
Tip 5: Promoting Evergreen Content
If you just publish your article and never promote it, it could be like shouting into a void, nobody will know about it unless you already have a huge audience.
It’s important to promote all your content, but especially evergreen content, across all channels your audience uses.
However, not all channels are equal when it comes to evergreen content. In that Backlinko study I mentioned before they found that one website helped turn content evergreen better than any other:
Using Reddit and Other Forums To Make Your Content Evergreen
According to Backlinko, shares on Reddit are a far greater predictor of successful evergreen content than shares on social media sites. Crafting an article that is popular on Reddit is going to help your piece become evergreen.
And the same is likely to happen with other forums, as Reddit is only the most popular forum on the internet. Forums are better than social media for SEOand promotion because they both drive traffic and provide quality backlinks.
Reddit is the gold standard, of course, as, according to Alexa, it’s the 20th most popular site on the internet. But not everyone can get their articles shared on Reddit.
Make a list of forums you want to target, in addition to your normal social media promotion tactics, to help turn your article into evergreen content.
The forums should be relevant to your content, nobody wants spam.
Be sure to follow each forum’s rules regarding promoting websites, it’s important to be a good citizen.
Influencers can be useful here, on social media or even in forums. If you already influencers in the industry, reach out to them to see if they can promote your content. Finding influencers (superusers) in forums – on Reddit or on forums more specific to your topic – can also help legitimize your promotion.
A key to getting your content recognized as evergreen is to get traffic to it as soon as possible. Though the goal is strong traffic overtime, good traffic early helps drive traffic in the future.
Tip 6: Keeping It Up-to-Date
Finally, if you truly want evergreen content, it’s important to keep it up-to-date.
“Keep your evergreen content up-to-date.”
All content will eventually get old. Your job as a content marketer is to make sure that your best content stays current. Even content designed to be evergreen will one day not be as relevant.
Plan to update your highest performing evergreen content at least once per year, if not twice. Though your piece likely doesn’t need much in the way of tweaks, it’s good to ensure it’s still relevant so it stays evergreen and stays near the top of the search results.
If you’ve used a year in your title, it’s especially important to update at least once a year, so Google knows the piece is current.
Create Your First Piece of Evergreen Content
So that’s it, now you’re ready to start creating evergreen content for your website.
- Pick a keyword which is evergreen and will help your business grow
- Figure out the best way to present your content
- Create the content
- Promote it well and consistently
Need help? Here at TechWyse we have content marketing experts that can help you create the perfect evergreen content to drive traffic for your business’ website. Contact us today.