Content Marketing FAQs: What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content, perhaps you’ve seen this phrase used on your favorite content marketing site recently and found yourself wondering, “huh?” Or maybe you’ve got the idea and are just looking for some detail to start putting your older content back to work, driving up your visitor count, and improving your SEO. Either way, this post is for you.
Let’s start with a brief intro, in case you’re in that first camp and don’t have a handle on the concept of evergreen content.
Evergreen content is content that remains relevant and useful for an extended period of time, rather than being tied to a specific news event or trend.
It is called "evergreen" because it stays relevant and useful, like an evergreen tree that stays green year-round. Examples of evergreen content include educational articles, how-to guides, and resource lists. This type of content is useful because it provides value to readers over a long period rather than just for a brief moment. As a result, it can be a valuable asset for a website or business, as it can continue to attract traffic and generate leads or sales long after it has been published.
There are several benefits to creating and publishing evergreen content:
- Long-lasting value: Evergreen content remains relevant and useful for an extended period, providing value to readers long after it has been published.
- Sustained traffic: Because it remains relevant and useful over time, evergreen content can continue to attract traffic and engagement long after it has been published.
- Increased credibility: By publishing in-depth, informative articles, businesses can establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry and increase their credibility.
- Improved search engine optimization (SEO): Search engines favor evergreen content because it remains relevant over time. As a result, publishing evergreen content can help improve a website's SEO and increase its visibility in search results.
- Greater return on investment (ROI): Because evergreen content remains relevant and useful for an extended period, it can provide a greater return on investment compared to content that is tied to a specific news event or trend.
Evergreen content is a valuable asset for businesses and websites looking to generate sustained traffic and engagement, establish credibility, and improve their SEO.
Creating evergreen content can take more time and effort than producing news-based or trend-based content, but it can also provide a more sustainable source of traffic and engagement for a website or business in the long run.
Evergreen content is content you post to boost your site's SEO; then, you leave it there to continue working its magic and delighting your visitors for weeks, months, or even years to come. A short list of
Content that is NOT evergreen:
News articles: Articles that report on current events or breaking news are not evergreen because they become outdated quickly.
Trend-based articles: Articles that focus on a specific trend or fad may not remain relevant over time.
Time-sensitive content: Content tied to a specific date or event (e.g., a holiday, conference, or sale) is not evergreen because it becomes irrelevant once the date or event has passed.
Product-specific content: Content specifically about a product that is no longer available or has been replaced by a newer version is not evergreen.
OK, so what IS evergreen content?
Any content that’s relevant to your audience now, tomorrow, and into the future, here are some evergreen content ideas:
Educational articles: Write in-depth articles that teach readers about a specific topic or process.
How-to guides: Create step-by-step guides that show readers how to accomplish a specific task or achieve a particular goal.
Resource lists: Compile a list of useful resources (e.g., tools, websites, books) related to a particular topic.
FAQs: Answer frequently asked questions about your industry or product.
Infographics: Use visual aids to explain complex topics or processes.
Case studies: Share real-life examples of how your product or service has helped a specific customer or solved a particular problem.
So it’s content that solves a problem for your readers in a format that will stay meaningful. It’s content that won’t expire with tomorrow’s news cycle. It’s anything you create that connects your audience to your industry in a meaningful way.
Okay. So now that we've established what evergreen content is and is not, how do we use this information?
Make evergreen content that works for your audience
- Write in a style that works for your target audience, not just for experts in your field. You may have some of them visiting your site (kudos!); however, these folks know they’re experts and will understand if your blog post isn’t written directly for them. Instead, focus on the interested layperson and aim for content that helps them understand your field better.
- Keep your topics narrow. Broad pieces tend to lose the reader’s interest after the introduction. Once they see there won’t be much in the way of detail forthcoming, they’ll look for more useful content. Also, remember your audience is coming to you for information that helps them solve a problem. So by narrowing your focus, you can provide more details on each problem area you address—making the content useful to more readers.
- Spread the love when you can. Readers love when you link to other useful posts, and so do search engines. This is called a “Topic cluster,” and we’ll go into more detail below. For now, know that if you have other content that relates to the topic being discussed in your evergreen piece, link to it. This shows your reader that your knowledge is broader than this one piece and goes a long way toward increasing their trust in you, your company, and your content.
Make it work for you, too
If you know a piece will be evergreen when you write it, there are a couple of things you can do right from the start to ensure the piece pulls its weight. First, keep the topic narrow. As discussed above, this not only helps you direct the content to help readers with a specific problem, it also helps your SEO by continuing to pull in new readers. By working a long-tail keyword you want to rank for into the piece, you can up its SEO pull even further.
Next, evergreen pieces are ideal to use for topic clusters. By linking together several pieces on your blog and maybe even throwing in a pillar page or link for an ebook or other downloadable content, you’re showing Google (and other search engines, but let’s be honest about who dominates that sector) that your site is authoritative on that topic. And authority in a given topic area is a large part of their newest algorithm, meaning your evergreen pieces will continue to rise the rankings long after you’ve moved on to writing about new topics.
Working to your SEO benefit is also the fact that evergreen pieces tend to have lower bounce rates. Because readers tend to find these pages via a search engine, they’re more likely to stick around and read the whole article rather than just skimming the headline and leaving. This shows the search engine that the reader was happy with the content, improving the page’s SEO juice.
Maintain evergreen content
Suppose you're focused on making your content evergreen. In that case, you're automatically generating articles that help your existing audience, drawing in new readers with helpful content, and improving SEO for your site.
Continuing to tend your evergreen content will further improve it:
- Identify high-performing evergreen content pieces: Identify your best-performing pieces and leverage your knowledge to improve less-performing articles, e.g., article length, style, format, or tone of voice.
- A/B test your titles: You can tweak the title on a piece of content, setting up an A/B test to see which version creates the better draw for new readers. This knowledge will help you create new titles in the future as well.
- Keeps you updated: By making it a regular habit to go back to your old content and read through it, making small tweaks to keep it relevant, you’re also reminding yourself of all the content you have out there. Now when you need a piece to promote a new ebook, you can use evergreen content rather than needing to write something new that might end up being redundant.
- Remix and reuse: Find a great piece you wrote last year about the best ways to XYZ. Maybe it’s perfect for turning into an infographic. Now you have something to add to your social media schedule. Or maybe you have a tutorial you can turn into a video to put up on YouTube? Don’t forget to share it on Facebook as well. Or maybe you really like this piece, and it’s been a constant draw for new clicks, so insert it into the regular cycle of social media posts to up that draw even further.
All that being said, don’t forget to mix it up
As awesome and powerful a tool as evergreen content is, don’t let your timely pieces fall by the wayside. Too much of a good thing isn’t any better than not enough. Timely pieces are a fantastic way to get people’s attention and attract them to your site. These are the flashy pieces that grab folks' attention. It’s the link to evergreen stuff that keeps them reading.
Think of your evergreen content as a stalwart companion: it’s always there for you, working its SEO magic in the background. Just don’t forget to tend to its needs by updating and tweaking it every once in a while to keep it fresh, and it won’t let you down.
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