Roughly 97% of companies worldwide had a content marketing plan in place by 2021, but are they all successful with what they post today? Unfortunately, most of this content isn’t optimized or attractive enough for search engines and audiences, respectively. Therefore it gets lost in the vast digital sea of content out there.
To make sure you stand out from the crowd and attract your audience, you must create valuable and well-optimized content. While SEO is a great way to rank higher on social media and search engines, it isn’t always the ultimate tool to improve engagement.
To retain reader attention, you need to offer value throughout your content, and the best way to do that is to create evergreen content.
In this article, we will look at how to plan and create content that’s always relevant to what’s happening and the benefits you can derive from doing so.
Why You Should Post Evergreen Content
The concept of evergreen content is rather versatile and can differ based on the type of audience you are writing for. However, something that always remains constant in every type of evergreen content is how it stays fresh and relevant.
When writing for casual customers, for example, you will need to maintain a light tone and perhaps joke around a bit throughout your content. For B2B content curation, a more formal approach would be more favorable.
Evergreen content needs to remain fresh, but it isn’t always time-sensitive. Instead, the topic, structure, and material must be relevant to the readers, regardless of the year or season. This means that you don’t necessarily have to focus on the latest trends in your niche.
Instead, you choose a topic (perhaps a question) that everyone asks and answer the question in a refreshing, easy-to-consume manner. There are numerous types of evergreen content, such as tutorials, guides, lists, and more, and it doesn’t have an expiration date.
No matter how refreshing and ‘green’ your writing style is, news articles, statistics, or seasonal blogs cannot be dubbed evergreen. They are seasonal shrubs, at best, not evergreen trees, as they die out and become obsolete after a while.
For example, a news article on BBC News about COVID-19’s source investigation was trendy back in 2020 and 2021, but the page will eventually die out. It’s not just the traffic on reports like these that suffer, but the entire website’s traffic also fluctuates based on how ‘hot’ a trend is.
This type of content is NOT evergreen and may need to be updated now and then.
On the other hand, guides, reviews, and similar content (such as how to sell your home, how to jumpstart a car, how to write evergreen content, etc.) don’t need regular updates. It remains in demand, and the traffic remains relatively stable. HubSpot is a great example of a website that posts evergreen content.
Evergreen content offers numerous advantages, as:
- It reduces the effort required to stay relevant. You don’t have to update every piece against recent trends or events.
- It saves you a lot of time so you can work on new pieces or focus on your products and services. As a result, the ROI of evergreen content is much higher in the long run compared to trendy articles.
- The traffic it generates is organic and consistent.
- It takes a while, but the SERP (search engine results page) ranking it achieves is more stable, with high chances of improvement over time.
- The content continues offering value to people for a long time instead of becoming irrelevant.
- It helps increase the chance of creating backlinks.
- It reduces your bounce rate.
- It creates and supports long-term SEO strategies, giving you room to include more links and keywords into your content.
Types of Evergreen Content for Digital Marketing
As mentioned above, there are numerous types of evergreen content that you can create, such as:
- Guides. These are articles that help solve a problem or answer practical questions, such as what SEO marketing is, how to write evergreen content, how to tie shoelaces, and more.
- Cornerstone content. These are articles, web pages, or other content that presents information backed by reliable sources to cover your niche and share ideas. Examples include informative content that explains how your product or services work.
- Infographics. Visual content offers better engagement, especially if it helps readers accomplish something or guides them in completing a task. Mini-infographics are also a great way to curate evergreen content, and they’re easy to make — just use an infographic maker.
- Lists. Lists recommending useful tools, techniques, collectibles, or more are a great way to offer lasting value. For example, you could list down the different SEO techniques available to marketers.
- Statistical proof. Content that claims something and uses reliable sources to prove it is a great way to create evergreen content. This type of content is particularly useful for driving backlinks to your website.
- Tutorials. These are similar to guides and may use infographics, lists, or more to help you solve a problem. This type of evergreen content identifies a problem and offers an answer accordingly. Some of the most popular tutorial-based websites include:
- Stack Overflow
- Yahoo Answers
- Testimonials. This is a unique type of evergreen content that helps readers make an informed decision about a brand or destination. Examples include websites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor.
- Documentaries & podcasts. Vlogs, documentaries, podcasts, and other similar types of content are a great way to add evergreen content to your website, provided that you choose your topics wisely.
- Glossaries of terms. Think of this type of evergreen content as a dictionary specific to your content or niche. It can be particularly helpful if the glossary reflects jargon as it is a reference point for your followers.
How to Plan & Create Evergreen Content
Now that you know what evergreen content is and its types, let’s start on how to plan and create content that’s always relevant to what’s happening.
Step 1. Select Niche & Audience-Specific Topics
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you are creating content that will always stay relevant to your users, not consumers of trends or news. If you’re writing for your SEO website, your evergreen content should not be about the types of software design or the best places to visit.
You need to find topics specific to your niche and audience. Otherwise, you risk losing credibility. Instead, write on topics like the Best Tools For SEO Optimization or How Your Online Reputation Can Help You Build Your Business.
The goal is to retain a consistent level of interest and traffic volume over the long run. User research is key when looking for the best topic to write on, i.e., what your audience is looking for right now, and what they may be searching for a year or two from now. Here are some techniques you can use to find evergreen topics:
- Use keyword research to your advantage, but use common sense as well. Find topics that will remain relevant, not just those that have reached the top because of a social fluke or temporary event.
- Find keywords that are asking questions. Long-tail keywords on Google Trends, for example, are a great indicator of what your next topic should be. Don’t choose the first trendy topic out there, though. Choose one specific to your niche.
- Search public forums for high-volume questions.
- Look at the competition and search for their top pages. BuzzSumo and SimilarWeb are great sites to spy on your competition.
Pro Tip: When choosing a topic for your evergreen content, avoid writing content on something that has no search results. This indicates a low level of interest.
Step 2. Match Topics with Evergreen Keywords
Research is key when choosing the right topic. As mentioned above, make sure you aren’t writing on something that hasn’t been searched for. Include keywords that have a high search volume. Since evergreen content is more beneficial in the long run, don’t worry too much about high competition, so long as you make sure your content adds sustainable value.
Sustainable value means that your content has something that users will return for. Perhaps a checklist or guide that readers will need to follow to achieve a specific result. Accessible and engaging emails, chatbots that offer information, landing pages, and your glossary can play a crucial role in helping you accomplish that.
Search for keywords relevant to your website that will be a great fit for your content. It is okay to include a few with low volume, but don’t focus too much on them. Your evergreen articles shouldn’t just drive traffic their way; they must also retain readers.
Now, you write. Everyone has their own writing style, and you must follow your own when working on your piece. An immediate voice change in your evergreen article may put off your existing readers. You gotta please the readers, right?
Step 3. Use SEO Tools to Optimize Content
Keywords, internal links, external links, and appropriate article structure ensure your content ranks better. Leverage tools that help you analyze your content and give you a better understanding of what you need to do.
In this step, you aren’t focusing on your content’s quality or the value it offers as much as on keeping it “fresh” in the eyes of your audience and search engines. It may require updating your post regularly as strategies, tools, and techniques change as time passes.
Google, for example, continuously improves its algorithm to change what it analyses when ranking. Currently, you need to follow the EAT principle, i.e., focus on showcasing expertise, authoritativeness, and being trustworthy.
There are several SEO optimization tools and WordPress plugins that you can use to explore your possibilities. Take Scoop.it, for instance. Scoop.it has several ‘evergreen’ articles on its blog, and writers regularly update each to ensure that the right tools are included therein.
Step 4. Publish, Evaluate, & Adjust
Once you have planned, created, and optimized content relevant to what’s happening, it is time to publish it. The process of publishing evergreen content is similar to other forms of content, so there’s no rocket science here.
Here is an example of published evergreen content about standard mattress sizes and dimensions to give you an idea of the format and structure to follow. Mattress size standards aren’t likely to change any time soon, making the topic choice, content structure, and message in general suitable for the site’s long-term SEO strategy.
Consider the table above and its value in the long run. This table represents a key point where people may return again and again for reference. Make sure you include something like this in your article.
Give your post a week or two, and now comes the painful part; evaluation.
You need to understand how your post is performing and analyze it with respect to the topic, market, and search results. You can’t expect thousands or millions of readers within the first two weeks, though. Depending on your website’s current traffic, how long you’ll have to wait for evaluation may vary.
The idea is to check whether your topic is driving traffic or getting lost in the search engine sea. You need to check its social popularity, SERP ranking, and whether it can retain traffic.
There are several tools that you can use to your advantage when looking to identify possible issues. These include:
You may also need to check your title and headings to ensure that they are making a good impression on search engines and audiences. Remember, most people skim first to decide whether the post is worth their time, so headings are crucial for engagement. If you are looking to practice your title and heading game, consider taking inspiration from Buzzfeed or HubSpot.
You can use tools like Ahrefs, Google Trends, and SEMrush again to see if your title is SEO optimized or not, and Yoast SEO or Grammarly to check for engagement issues. For evaluation, check important website metrics such as volume, bounce rate, impressions, and activity to get a better idea of what you may be doing wrong.
If the problem is your topic, you want to give your audience a chance to tell you. So, consider adding a form plugin to your website to see what readers really think.
Tips To Keep Your Content Relevant Long-Term
Here are some tips on how you can create evergreen content that stays relevant long-term:
Don’t Mention Dates or Current Events
Mentioning dates on your posts helps create a dated meta tag on your article, making it highly relevant in the short term but counterproductive in the long run. Search engines and users alike focus on the date – more importantly, the year – on which you published your article or the data that you used.
Make sure your content does not include specific dates or events that mark it as a historic relic.
Update Your Content with Fresh Information & Statistics
It is no secret that relevant information and statistics, if used correctly, can increase your website’s credibility. This is true for evergreen articles too, but the dates in statistics may present a problem.
To tackle this issue, you should consider using the latest statistics only and update your content regularly with the latest figures and information. Check your articles every six months and see if they need to be updated. Content automation is a great way to update your articles automatically.
Pro Tip: Don’t change too much of your article, if possible. Too many changes may impact your SERP ranking adversely, as search engines may recognize that the page has been ‘revamped’ instead of updated.
Add A New Title & Meta Description Occasionally
Titles and meta descriptions should be updated occasionally (but not too frequently) to keep them updated and reflective of recent events. Remember, search engines first look at the title and headings, followed by the meta information.
Yoast SEO can be particularly useful in helping you optimize your meta title, meta description, and article title. By updating the meta information, you not only give search engines the impression that you are updating the page regularly, but you also get to keep your article relevant to what’s happening without running the risk of impacting your rank.
Again, too many changes in the meta-information may make it seem like you either don’t know what you’re doing or are attempting to mislead your audience. It is a Blackhat SEO practice.
Cover the Topic In-Depth from The Start
Relevancy comes with staying on point, no matter what. Try not to discuss random elements in your article and only list things that expand on your topic – whether you choose to expand vertically or horizontally.
Straying too far from the topic at hand may increase the length of your article and impact your engagement and bounce rate ratios. From the introduction to the conclusion, make sure you are staying on topic and that you cover every detail and question your readers may have. Then, stop writing.
It is vital that you put your customers first and create content that looks into the future but isn’t far from the present.
Creating Great, Relevant Content Is All About Focus
Regardless of the goal you are trying to achieve with your evergreen article, it ultimately comes down to ensuring that what you write offers long-term value.
You don’t have to forecast or directly offer future-based advice but focus on things that are likely to remain stagnant and relevant. When writing, keep in mind that you may need to revisit your article and update it.
Focus on crafting content in such a way that even by skimming, people can get a good idea of what to expect. For example, you can write headings that give a good idea of what each step of the guide asks readers to do, with a detailed explanation underneath. It is also a good idea to answer some frequently asked questions within your evergreen content.
Remember to keep watering your evergreen articles as you go along. And in a short while, you will start seeing the fruits of your labor!