A Guide to Evergreen Content
If you’re involved in content marketing — and virtually anyone who has a well established position on the web is — I am sure that you have heard the term “evergreen content” and probably also have heard that your center of content (your website or blog) needs to have it.
What exactly is evergreen content and how can it help your online marketing efforts?
I will explain the basic concepts of evergreen content marketing, how to write an evergreen content piece, and why incorporating evergreen posts into your blog or website strategy is a competition-beating strategy if your competitors do not employ this approach.
Here is my definition of evergreen content:
Evergreen content is content which is consistently desired and therefore consistently searched for, optimized for high search position and remains relevant to your readers for long periods (perhaps even many years). That evergreen content is consistently searched for and because search optimization allows it to be consistently found it adds value to your business by consistently bringing traffic to your center of content.
Why define this type of content as “evergreen”?
Evergreen trees symbolize a long-lasting green. Evergreen trees retain their leaves (needles) throughout the seasons. Their leaves do not turn the brilliant fall foliage colors Vermont (where I live) is so famous for and then fall to the ground (dead and forgotten).
Rather, evergreen trees keep their leaves and evergreen content is considered sustainable and lasting. Evergreen content is content that continues to be relevant to your audience well after it is first published.
Let’s consider the types of content that is not evergreen content, here are some examples:
News Statistics based on a specific time frame Content based on a holiday or specific event Content based on a current trend or fad or product reviews (based on products in a fast-changing marketplace)
Here are some ideas for evergreen content:
Evergreen web content has (essentially) no expiration date and ideally will retain its value over a very long time frame. A topic has to be written in a manner that helps it to be evergreen content. The topic itself may or may not be evergreen. To be more or less evergreen depends upon how the writing is structured.
Writing in the formats listed above does not automatically make your piece evergreen, but these structures tend to work well with evergreen writing. Videos are especially effective when you need to illustrate how to do something, like how to bake an apple pie or how to network at an event. If videos aren’t possible, consider using a series of images (photos, illustrations or diagrams) to your help convey your message.
Some subjects just never get old! Here are some evergreen article ideas that are old as humanity:
Of course, it’s important that you address evergreen topics that are relevant to your business. If you sell office supplies, relevant evergreen topics might include “how to keep your desk organized” or “different pen types and when to use them.” If you’re looking to generate leads for your landscaping business, a post on what types of plants work best in your climate would work as an evergreen article or blog post. If you sell chicken coops a blog post on “how to raise chicken from chicks” or “keeping chicken basics” would stand the test of time.
The problem with generating good evergreen ideas is that often it feels as if the best topics have already been covered, maybe even in excess. In this case, the key will be to add a unique viewpoint to your topic, or you could go into more depth and provide additional details or insights. Creating more depth is also wise for your search engine optimization efforts as the search engines are always on the prowl for deep authoritative content.
Study your marketplace and look for and use in the content long-tail keywords. To learn more about what long tail keywords are and how to use them this link. Basically, long tail keyword have high enough search volume for provide value but typically not super-high competition. If you have a specific niche, you may find that there is less content on the web about your topic, making your evergreen content even more valuable.
So let’s learn a bit more about what is evergreen content by examining some specific examples.
Example of Evergreen Content #1:
How to Build a Dog House
To write a clear and concise tutorial with attractive photos would be a great evergreen piece. This would work for you if you sold dog houses as at key points in the piece you can provide links to how someone could also purchase a ready-made dog house from you. If you can provide advice and provide multiple solutions then you are doing a good job with your evergreen content piece.
I would also explain in the tutorial how the dog house can be made to match the dog owner’s house. I would provide a very attractive picture of an example of a very nice dog house that could be purchased from you such as this one here with a very happy dog in it.
Example of Evergreen Content #2:
The Value of Case Studies
You can explain to your potential clients how their marketing and customer engagement can improve by introducing them to the concept of case studies. This would be a nice evergreen content marketing article for a copywriter to publish. As a copywriter, you can provide advice on how to avoid the most common pitfalls or you could even provide a blog post on how case studies can be crafted to create evergreen content. You could provide a link to your downloadable guide on evergreen case studies and a link to a consultation with you on how to create and maximize the use of case studies.
These are pieces that would be considered evergreen content because the topics will continue to be relevant into the foreseeable future.
If you want to learn more about how case studies can make a contribution to your marketing efforts visit the Website of Heidi White. She is a freelance copywriter that specializes in case studies and provides many other writing services as well.
Here are some examples of evergreen content sites.
These sites are major producers of evergreen content:
These sites publish huge quantities of evergreen articles on a wide variety of topics. They add value to a searching public and the major search engines reward them for their content. Wikipedia, for example, ranks on the first page for a very significant number of all Google searches!
However, in an effort to whip out pieces, some of these evergreen sites end up producing low-quality articles. It’s good to visit these sites not only to see good examples of evergreen content, but also to investigate how some of these sites are lacking, and this may give you some ideas on how you could write on your specific topic to add value to people searching for this content.
Evergreen SEO: Combining Evergreen Content with Popular Keywords
Evergreen content is a valuable part of a strong content marketing strategy. Content is king! However, evergreen content becomes even more powerful when combined with SEO techniques. Consider basing your evergreen pieces around keywords you’d like your site to rank for. Even the most lasting evergreen piece isn’t worth much if people aren’t searching for that topic or if it doesn’t relate to your business.
Be sure to follow basic SEO techniques such as on-page keyword optimization (but not keyword stuffing!), making use of your images’ alt text, and your internal link profile. The more search-friendly your evergreen article is, the more it can be seen, shared, and linked to, driving traffic for months or even years to come.
Don’t write for the Experts – Sometimes you may feel the urge to write a piece showing off your expertise of a certain subject, but this can be a big mistake. Experts are less likely to be searching for help—your audience may not be expert in your topic and hence the reason why there is search volume. It is often best to not write for the experts.
Avoid Overly Technical Language – Because most of your content is for non-experts, complicated, technical language may scare them off. Use simple and easy-to-understand language – be an advocate for your audience. Make it easy for them.
Narrow Your Topic – If you write about too broad a topic, your piece will be much longer, and more likely to lose the interest of beginner readers. Broad topics tend to be shorter keywords, or head of the tail terms, with more competition. Writing a broader piece also is more difficult for you (the writer). Stick to a focused topic.
Link Posts Together – If you’re doing a complete guide on a topic such as “A Series of Content Marketing Tutorials” divide that broad topic into narrow, specific pieces such as “Your Ideal Audience” and “Story Telling” and then link those articles together. This is great for SEO, and lets readers solve a specific need while also guiding them to additional relevant articles.
Don’t Rely Exclusively on Evergreen Writing
Evergreen web content is very valuable, but that isn’t to say that all your content needs to be evergreen – timely, topical pieces have their value as well. I once wrote a blog post on the Twinkie Crisis and Content Marketing and it generated a great deal of traffic to my blog – short lived though it was. I optimized for the word Twinkie which was a niche term but not exactly a long tail phrase. The Twinkie post was certainly not evergreen as it was tied to the Twinkie Crisis.
An evergreen content piece has value in that it has the potential to continue to bring traffic to your site for many months, or even years. An optimized content marketing strategy relies on a mix of both topical articles and long-lasting evergreen content.
I hope that this post takes some of the mystery out of what is Evergreen Content and will help you to think about evergreen content to enhance your online marketing efforts.
This content was originally published here.