Evergreen Content. What is it? How do you create it? And why is it so important for content marketing?
While other trees shed their leaves after a few months, the evergreen stays lush and lovely all year. Like its namesake, evergreen content remains “fresh” and relevant to readers over the long haul.
In contrast, time-sensitive content may create an immediate buzz but its life span is short. Very quickly, posts based on events or issues of the day become dated and lose relevance.
Your business website almost certainly has some evergreen content, like your About Us page, which seldom requires changes. But for effective content marketing, you need more than a few paragraphs on a website.
You need SEO-friendly evergreen content across multiple platforms, including your website and your blog posts. (Yes. Your company should have a blog). This content doesn’t have an expiry date and maintains value over time.
WHAT DOES EVERGREEN CONTENT LOOK LIKE?
Common types of evergreen content include:
- How-To Instructions and Guides
- Product Reviews
- Video Tutorials
- Personal Stories
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Historical Articles
- And more…
By comparison, time-sensitive content include topics related to holidays, seasons, events, or hot-button trends. And content that includes statistics and research elements that quickly become outdated.
WHY DO CONTENT MARKETERS LOVE EVERGREEN CONTENT?
Content marketers love well-designed, SEO-friendly evergreen content for many reasons:
- It helps you rank in search engines, like Google;
- It is more shareable and can attract natural, organic links; and
- It attracts and engages a continual flow of new readers without ongoing effort on your part.
Keep in mind that although it is low maintenance, even evergreen content needs to be reviewed and re-read occasionally. You need to make sure the information is still accurate and relevant, and links are working properly.
Creating both evergreen and time-sensitive content should be part of your long-term digital marketing strategy. To learn more about digital marketing strategies and how to develop one for your brand, read Digital Marketing Success in 5 Easy Steps.
SHOULD ALL MY CONTENT BE EVERGREEN?
When it comes to evergreen versus time-sensitive content, it is not an Either-Or situation. An effective digital marketing strategy should include both types of content.
There are strong benefits associated with evergreen content. That said, time-sensitive pieces also have a role to play in attracting and engaging your audience.
For example, SEO content about upcoming events or seminars, new products, or the latest industry-trends, may have a shorter shelf life, but can still drive significant traffic to your site.
WHAT SUBJECTS MAKE GREAT EVERGREEN CONTENT?
Some subjects are always appealing and lend themselves well to evergreen content. These include areas like:
- Personal relationships,
- Personal growth,
- Professional development,
- Money and finances, and
- Jobs and careers.
Like everything else you put online, evergreen content should be relevant to your business.
For example, a florist might post articles related to plant care. And a digital marketing company (like mine) might develop content about fascinating topics – like creating evergreen content!
If your company is lucky enough to have found a niche market, there may be less content out there about your topic. To learn more about niche markets, read How to Find Your Business Niche and Profit From It.
But for most businesses, it is almost impossible to find a timeless topic that has not already been covered – countless times – to excess. You are probably not going to create a piece of evergreen content on a completely unique subject.
Rather than drive yourself crazy trying to find something that has never been written about before, focus on finding a unique perspective on a popular topic. Or put in some research time and provide a deeper dive into the subject.
HOW IMPORTANT IS SEO FOR EVERGREEN CONTENT?
To really shine at content marketing, you need all of your content to be SEO-friendly.
When it comes to evergreen content, SEO is especially important. Because evergreen content has such a long life span, maximizing its SEO can produce significant, long-term marketing benefits for your brand.
Imagine a post that remains high in search engine results for months, or even years. Over this entire time, that post may be generating leads, increasing sales, and enhancing the reputation of your brand!
DO KEYWORD RESEARCH BEFORE CREATING CONTENT
Even content that stays “fresh” forever has no value if no one is searching for it. That’s why it is important to do keyword research BEFORE you begin creating content.
When you know the right words and phrases – the ones your ideal audience are actually searching for – you have a real advantage.
By incorporating those words and phrases into your content, you will make it attractive to search engines – more attractive than similar content that does not strategically use these words and phrases.
There are lots of tools to help with keyword searches. Some of my favourites are:
USE KEYWORDS STRATEGICALLY
DO NOT over-use keywords! Keyword stuffing angers the Google Gods and can have a negative impact on SEO.
Instead, use keywords strategically. In particular, make sure your keyword or keyword phrase appears in:
- Your headline
- The page title
- The url
- The content (but not too often!) A good rule of thumb is 1-2% of your text.
- The meta-description
And don’t forget to use keywords in the alt-text for images.
ADD LINKS PURPOSEFULLY
Have you written other posts on the same topic? On a related content?
Have you covered this content material in other formats, like images, infographics, videos, or slide shows?
If the answer to any of these questions is “yes“, insert links to already published content within your new content. This is good for SEO and it expands your audience’s access to valuable information.
As your repository of content expands, you should periodically review older pieces. There may be opportunities to upgrade and refresh the older materials by adding links to newer content!
Don’t be afraid to link out to external resources as well. There is analytic data to support the idea that search engines like great sites that link out to other great sites. And linking out incentivizes links in.
To learn more about incorporating SEO into your writing, check out Writing SEO Content: 21 Hacks to Boost Your Business Blog
HOW CAN I RE-PURPOSE EVERGREEN CONTENT?
Creating content is hard work. Creating truly great, SEO-friendly, evergreen content, is especially challenging. So don’t start from scratch every time!
Maximize the impact of your efforts by repurposing existing content into new formats.
For example, you can take the key points from a blog post and turn them into a video, an infographic, AND a SlideShare presentation.
There are lots of great tools that can help you re-purpose content. To learn about the ones I use most often, read 6 Free Blogging Tools You Will Absolutely Love.
Evergreen content is incredibly valuable in the world of content marketing. SEO-friendly evergreen content has the potential to bring traffic to your site for many months, or even years into the future.
The best content marketing strategy relies on a mix of both topical, time-sensitive articles and long-lasting evergreen pieces.
Article written by Kim Scaravelli, CEO, Trust Communications Inc.
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