Content marketing has so many buzzwords, doesn’t it…
Viral… Interactive… Video… Blog…
While you could say all types of content have a similar value, there is one type of content that could be considered the holy grail of content.
No, we aren’t talking about the hit single by Will Young or that conifer you keep meaning to chop down, we are talking about what, in many ways, is one of the best types of content you can make.
Evergreen content is that special type of content that has the potential to take your online presence to the next level. Get it right and it can bring in constant web traffic from your target audience on a daily basis. Get it wrong and it can bring completely the wrong audience to your website.
But what is it exactly?
Let’s delve in.
I'm gonna take this life and make it evergreen
Evergreen content is content that, like evergreen trees, stays around and relevant (or green) for a long period of time, bringing in web traffic on a constant basis. Whereas normal content will have a short shelf life and often get lost in the internet, evergreen content published years ago could still be relevant now.
Let’s take an example from a piece of evergreen content we made.
We created a blog post back in 2013 called ‘4 ways to craft great newsletter introductions’. It is simply 4 useful tips that anyone can use to make their newsletter stand out a little more. Little did we know that this would become a piece of evergreen content that would bring in thousands of website sessions a month! As it turns out, the content of this article is ageless. 4 great ways of starting a newsletter in 2013 are still great ways to start a newsletter today.
What we actually managed to do with this blog post was to get it to rank for some high volume newsletter-based keywords, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Now this might sound simple enough, but really, this was the case of us doing some in-depth research before writing it and making sure we optimised well for SEO.
Of course, every now and again you can get lucky with a blog post and hit a rich vein of evergreen search volume.
Now we know what evergreen content actually is, shall we take a look at how you can create your own evergreen piece?
Take this moment, make it last forever
Let’s make this clear: evergreen content can be any type of content and isn’t confined to blog posts or articles. Well-optimised video can be evergreen and infographics can be just as effective as a blog post.
While there are no golden steps to success for evergreen content, there are things you can do to help it along the way. Let’s take a look at the process you will want to go through to create an evergreen piece.
Before you dive in and get creating your content, you will want to spend some time really researching everything.
You will need to know search volumes, ranking difficulty, where you will be promoting it and obviously, you will need to know exactly what you are writing about.
You will want to hit that sweet spot of keywords that aren’t difficult to rank for but have a decent size search volume. This is undoubtedly the most difficult bit to get right as, in a way, it’s out of your hands once you have published your post and optimised it for SEO. You will have to pray to the Google god and hope that the algorithm is in your favour.
2. Create comprehensive content
The majority of evergreen content articles are more comprehensive pieces. They offer real knowledge and value to the reader.
Think about a subject that people will still be searching for in 50 years’ time, a question that will always be asked. Provide a comprehensive answer to this question and you could have a piece of evergreen content.
We aren’t saying that you have to write a full 600 page book about your subject… but it needs to be high quality and it needs to be highly useful.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it useful to my target audience, does it provide real value?
- Is it clearly outlined and easy to digest and read?
- Does it have the right tone of voice and strike a balance between friendly and knowledgeable?
- Is it completely shareable? Would you share it to your own network?
- And, perhaps most importantly, is it essentially timeless or can it be easily updated to reflect topical changes?
If the answer is yes to all of these points then you may be onto a winner.
SEO company Moz have a great example of evergreen content. They produced a piece called 'The Beginners guide to SEO’ back in 2015, and even now it still ranks in the top position for introduction to SEO based keywords. They update it constantly to fit to modern practices and Google updates so it always stays relevant.
3. Optimise it efficiently
The main aim of your evergreen content is to get a stream of quality web traffic to your website for life!
But you can’t do this unless you give it the best chance of ranking it organically on search engines.
With this in mind, take some time to really optimise your content piece for your SEO keywords.
- Optimising the H1 tags
- Optimising the meta data like page title, url, meta description etc…
- Using your keywords in the alt tags of images in your content
Give it the best shot of ranking before you publish it.
4. Promote it across all of your channels
It can be tempting to simply publish your content and hope for the best.
Don’t do this!
Promote your new content in as many places as possible - this includes all of your social media channels, your website, your blog, email it to your database, even try and get a PR angle on it and get some coverage.
The more places you have it, the more people that will see it, share it and keep it evergreen.
5. Offer free, downloadable content alongside your evergreen content
What’s the secret to making evergreen content ten times more evergreen?
Yes, it’s offering more content off the back of it!
Remember, it’s about offering as much value as possible to the reader, so if you can offer something even more valuable after someone has read your content piece then you can take them further down the funnel.
This could just be a simple CTA connected to a landing page or a cool infographic. Try and keep your web visitors on your website longer, or even better, get them to convert into a lead by asking for their contact details.
There is no point getting lot’s of new people to your website and then not doing anything with this traffic…
‘Cause you're the one good reason…
There we have it… Evergreen content.
It’s important to remember creating the content is only half the battle, the other half is getting it in front of your audience and truly making it evergreen.
It will be tough, you will probably write lots of articles and fail to make them evergreen, but if you persist and plan and execute every step properly, you will create that diamond piece of content.