In my career as an SEO specialist, I’ve written innumerable articles for many different clients. The short-term content I generated such as news and opinions on popular topics received good traffic, but only for a very limited time. Days after they went live, the websites’ traffic dipped back to mediocre levels, and the content had been mostly forgotten. On the other hand, my clients continue to benefit from the “evergreen” content I created months after they got published.
What is Evergreen Content?
Essentially, it is the kind of content that can provide relevant information to people for an indefinite length of time. It remains mostly true and useful that the site’s visitors will find a reason to view it, whether they are completely new to the topic or veterans in the field. Fittingly, the name comes from the type of plants that have leaves no matter the season, even when it is snowing or there is little to no rainfall.
Benefits of Evergreen Content
Because the content remains valuable for long periods, it will continuously generate good traffic to the site. It goes without saying that it should be good content, which can generate plenty of comments, social shares and backlinks for being a reliable reference. Search engines will have it ranking high because of these factors, and it will lead even more new visitors to the website. These new visitors will also see the website, the content and the author as credible sources due to the good number of comments and social shares, as well as its high search engine ranking. The website’s brand is thus firmly established.
How to write Evergreen Content
With an understanding of evergreen content and its value, you will want to start creating your own. Here are seven tips that you should consider if you want content that will benefit you and your clients for a long period of time.
Fulfill a basic need.
Think up topics that will give answers to simple questions, such as “how to” and “best of” articles. The Internet never runs out of people looking for answers to their problems or lists of the best options they can have. Such guides and curated content, unless time-bound (ex. Top 5 Printers of 2011), will almost always be true considering the objectivity of the subject being tackled.
Tackling a broad area in your industry or the interests of multiple audiences will be much harder to write. They usually leave your article scattershot, losing any readers’ interest especially when it drags on for too long. Take one issue and go as in-depth as possible, explaining every detail there is to that particular topic.
However, if you have the time and you are willing to put in the effort, you can do a comprehensive guide on a number of issues. Just make sure that you will deliver on each area excellently if you’re going to undertake such an ambitious project.
Give your own perspective.
Simply reposting a popular article from a more established website can bring in plenty of traffic, but like short-term content, it will not last. Rewriting the content also won’t be enough if the message is essentially the same. If you plan on writing about a trending topic, you have to set your piece apart from the multitudes of other websites covering the same topic by offering an alternative take on the subject.
Avoid timely references.
Nothing will make a piece of content look dated than referring to specific events, products, popular media and the like. This also applies to having the publishing date visible to visitors. Although these references might not have a real effect on the quality of the content, it still plays a part in affecting the perception of the readers.
Even if the content is still relevant, mentions of things long past or the sight of a date from one or two years ago will act like signals in visitors’ heads that the information in that specific page is outdated.
Make your title clickable.
Part of making your content evergreen is making people want to click on its link every time they see it. If people already feel the urge to check out your content today, they will probably feel the same in the future. However, one thing people do to make a title attractive is attaching it to a popular topic. However, as mentioned earlier, this is a title tip that you cannot apply for evergreen content. Using a self-explanatory title for “how to” and “best of” articles is the simplest way to catch attention.
Research your keywords.
Like with any content creation plan, you have to do some keyword research. The objective is to make it a valuable resource, and the best way to achieve this besides writing it as best as you can is by optimizing it for search engines. In conjunction with the second tip, you will want to use long tail keywords so you don’t end up competing with more established websites.
A common misconception with creating evergreen content is that it can be left untouched once it has been published. There will never be content that is truly evergreen in the sense that its content will always be true and relevant. Guaranteed methods begin to fail, statistics become outdated, and facts get disproved. Thus, it is absolutely necessary that you update your content when parts of it need changing.
Most of the body should remain intact for a long time with only a few details that would have to be updated. It wouldn’t be evergreen if you need to revamp half or a majority of the information you originally provided.
Take the time to constantly cross-reference your article with the newest trends and statistics on the subject so you can update it as soon as possible. Reaping the nigh-endless rewards of evergreen content also requires persistent effort on your part.