Why is Evergreen Content so Important to SEO: The Ultimate Guide

Why is Evergreen Content so Important to SEO_ The Ultimate Guide

 

Imagine having a piece of content that will never run stale. It all boils down to these two magic words: evergreen content.

Named after the evergreen trees that never lose their foliage all-year-round, evergreen content never fades in value. They’re consistent in driving organic traffic and will continue to do so for months, years, or even decades to come.

How so?

They’re not circumstantial or based on some fleeting trend. 

They’re also not informed by volatile topics or click baits. 

Instead, they’re created with one thing in mind: retaining relevance and driving the continued growth in traffic, leads, and shareability over long periods.

What’s Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content refers to any timeless piece of content or any content that never runs of style. You can bet people will still be reading it for years and years to come and gaining the same value.

It’s the opposite of trendy content – in-depth, high-impact, and foundational, with a lifespan that exceeds one or two years, depending on the industry.

Evergreen Topics

Evergreen topics are topics that people will always want to read. Their value seldom fades.

They include topics such as:

  • How to Create a Website from Scratch
  • Unhealthy Foods You Should Avoid
  • A Perfect Workout Routine 

No matter the trend or political situation, people will always want to create websites, eat healthily, and maintain that perfect body.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content has enduring value. They’re written in a manner that they’ll never run out of style or become outdated.

Examples include:

  • How to Beat Procrastination in 10 Easy Steps
  • 10 Workout Routines for That Perfect Beach Body
  • How to Create a Website in 7 Easy Steps

7 Characteristics of Evergreen Content

For your content to be considered evergreen, it must meet the following characteristics:

  1. It’s Not Time Sensitive: meaning, it’s not associated with any time event or season. But will for a long time remain relevant to anyone who reads it.
  2. It’s Original and Unique: An evergreen piece of content should never be pulled off blogs or be a regurgitation of the same half-baked content already filling up the blogosphere. Instead of producing what everyone is churning out, learn to think outside the box if you want to produce an article that can stand the test of time. 
  3. It’s Useful: There has to be something valuable about that piece of content. When someone reads it, they should feel like they’ve gained something by the end of it all.
  4. It’s Optimised: An evergreen article should follow all the basic guidelines for on-page SEO. It should be among the posts that show up in the SERPs every time an online user runs a related search query.
  5. Detailed and Informative: Learn to cover topics exhaustively. The easiest way to go about it is to wear the mind of the reader. What do you think they might be interested in? You want to make sure the article has all the critical information on lock.
  6. It’s Searchable: The evergreen topic you choose must be something online users search all the time. Users have to be genuinely interested in the topic as well as the content covered. 
  7. Quality: Your grammar must be up to snuff. There should be no redundancy or any careless grammar mistakes. Quality should take precedence. Invest some serious time into researching, planning, writing, and designing the content. It shouldn’t feel like a hastily rehashed article, but something you invested a great deal of your time and resources. 

7 Popular Types of Evergreen Content

    • How-to Posts: These are the most popular type of evergreen content. They’re all about providing a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to get something done. As long as someone is looking to learn something, how-to articles will always attract a fresh set of eyes, thus introducing your business to a new audience all the time. 
    • Interviews: Interviewing an industry expert can be another great way to draw never-ending attention to your business or website. All you have to do is pick a well-known name within your industry and interview them. And as long as people are searching for them online, you can bet a slice of that traffic will be directed your way. 
    • User Guides: User guides are quite similar to how-to guides, in the sense that they’re all created to help the user achieve a specific goal. Users are always searching for a detailed guide on how to get something done. This type of content can be kept fresh with slight time-to-time changes and editing. 
    • Customer Reviews or Testimonials: Evergreen content doesn’t necessarily have to be produced by you. But by some of the users that you’ve had the privilege of serving. Customer reviews are more popular than you think. Agreeing with this statement is 61% of online shoppers, quick to point out that they read customer reviews online before buying anything. 
    • Curated List: A curated list refers to a listicle – a definitive list of just about anything: news, resources, technology, and so on. Users will always want to find out what tools they can use to accomplish something, the latest trends, and so on. Such lists will always remain relevant and stay fresh with only a little bit of tweaking and editing. 
    • Biography and History: You can contextualise your article and make it relevant to your target audience to drive steady traffic to your website or blog. It doesn’t have to be that complicated. Just break down the history of something you already know or fancy, and we can guarantee, the content will still read fresh long after you publish it. 

 

  • Curated Content: One of the best and easiest ways to create evergreen is to curate it. Users often get confused by the uproar of information online. They’ll appreciate you for consolidating all this information and organising it into a single piece of article that contains almost everything they might be interested in. 

 

Other Types of Content that Fit into the Evergreen Category

  • Wikipedia Style Content
  • Storytelling
  • Comparison Articles
  • Tips
  • Biography 
  • Question and Answer
  • FAQs
  • Pillar Pages
  • Videos
  • Movie Reviews
  • Buying Guides
  • Research Studies
  • Glossaries
  • Tools and Calculators

What Types of Content Doesn’t Fit into the Evergreen Category?

 

  • News articles: News articles are far from what can be considered evergreen. They have a limited lifespan. They also don’t satisfy most of the rules that make up evergreen articles – they’re usually not unique, useful, detailed, nor optimised for search engines. 
  • Fashion and Technology: Fashion never lasts, and technology is always changing. You have a limited amount of time in which your articles can remain relevant. Once something new comes up, your content loses its relevancy and becomes obsolete. 

 

  • Case Studies and Statistics Over a Specified Timeline: Users want to read statistics on social media usage in 2020 or online shopping trends in 2021. Such types of content tend to a limited lifespan, after which they’re rendered obsolete. 
  •  Trends: Trends change all the time. What used to be a trend a few years back is no longer the craze at the time of writing this. And once a particular trend passes, that marks the end of the traffic it generated.

Why is Evergreen Content so Important to Your Online Success? 

After you launch your website or blog, your next worry should on what type of content to produce for organic traffic.

Many parameters are at play here (like the type of content to produce, the ideal content length, or if you’re to include images, texts, or videos. You’re also to decide how often you should be publishing, how to choose article titles, and so forth. 

A common mistake many publishers make is underestimating the necessity of creating evergreen content.

Here are some of the reasons evergreen content is so crucial to your overall content marketing strategy: 

Generate Traffic for Years: A well-optimised evergreen post will eventually secure a prime ranking in the SERPs and potentially generate massive amounts of search engine traffic for you.

Generate Loads of Backlinks for You: The easiest way to generate backlinks for your website or blog is to publish high-quality, evergreen content that other publishers can link back to, over and over again. The more backlinks you attract, the higher the search engines rank you. 

Can be Shared Multiple Times on Social Media: Evergreen content can be shared multiple times on social media. Meaning, you do not have to keep producing fresh content all the time.

Great for Building Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness (EAT): Regularly publishing evergreen content is a great way of stamping your authority and proving your expertise in your field. The more you do this, the more people trust you and your brand. 

Evergreen Content Ideas

Some topics will never get old. You can bet they’ll still be read years and years to come, long after you published them. 

Here’re a few examples of evergreen topics that never get old:

  • Love and Romance
  • Parenting Tips
  • Financial Management
  • Jobs and Careers
  • Food
  • Saving Money
  • Investing

While choosing an evergreen topic to write about, you want to go with what’s relevant to your business, not just about anything. If you’re in the business of freelancing, an evergreen topic idea would be something like “10 Ways to Plan Your Day.” 

And if you’re in the real estate business, then the ideal topic idea would be something like, “How You and Your Spouse Can Save for Your Dream Home.” 

The problem with evergreen content is that you’ll always feel like all the good topics have already been covered. But that’s not the truth. You have to remember that everyone has their own viewpoint or point of reference. 

Examples of Sites with Evergreen Content

Here is a list of sites that specialise in producing evergreen content:

  • Wikipedia.com
  • Imdb.com
  • Ehow.com
  • About.com
  • Answers.com

These sites publish vast quantities of evergreen content on a range of topics. That explains why they’re highly ranked in the SERPs. 

Take Wikipedia, for example. They’re ranked first in almost half of all search engine searches. 

However, to churn out high volumes of evergreen articles, some of these sites have ended up producing low-quality or subpar articles. 

While visiting these sites, don’t just focus on the examples of evergreen articles they’re producing. You also want to study their articles, learn from their weaknesses or what they’re lacking, and see if there’s any room to produce something better. 

3 Awesome Examples of Evergreen Content 

The internet is filled up with evergreen articles. We could share thousands of them if time allowed. But we’d like to stick with a selected few that we think are beyond outstanding:

Example 1: Why Procrastinators Procrastinate 

This article explains procrastination with a simple, easy to understand “Gratification Monkey” analogy. It never gets simple and more real than this. In this post, the writer describes the monkey as the drive for instant gratification. We tend to focus on the reward that we get presently while ignoring the lessons we’ve learned in the past and disregarding the future. 

So, why is This Piece of Article Considered Evergreen?

You can bet this article will remain relevant for the longest time possible. And that’s because almost everyone can relate to it. It’s detailed and covers the topic exhaustively. 

In other words, it could be the last article you want to read about procrastination. It paints a clear picture of why people procrastinate and what could be done to remedy the problem. 

Example 2: Why I’ll Never Have a Girlfriend by Tristan Miller

This article reflects on why people almost never find that perfect partner to settle down with. It looks at everything statistically, conflated with first-rated humour.

So Why is this Article Considered Evergreen? 

The article was written by Tristan Miller close to a decade ago, as a school project. It’s well written, researched, optimised, and covers the topic in great depth. You can bet people will still be interested in reading it for another two decades to come.  

Example 3: Farting on a Kid’s Face

There’s no special rule to writing an evergreen article. Just make sure your article can stand the test of time, and you’re halfway there.

This article was written six years ago by RubyRhods. It’s been read millions of times, and it still reads fresh whenever someone stumbles across it for the first time. 

The story is pretty old. But you’ll laugh every time you read it. 

Evergreen Content and Organic Traffic

Evergreen content is great for driving organic traffic.

Don’t get it twisted: you can still drive organic traffic with non-evergreen content. But the traffic you get from populating your website or blog with evergreen content is on another level.

First, evergreen content is meant to help you make better use of your time. 

6 Important Tips for Creating Evergreen Content

After reading what evergreen content is, and analysing a few of its examples, let’s narrow down to some of the tips that might help you out with writing evergreen content:

  • Choose the Right Keywords: It’s simple – you want to write about a highly searchable topic on the internet. You want your content to drive traffic. The least you could do is choose a topic that most people will be interested in. A better approach would be to go with longtail keywords, one that’s more specific but be sure to make your content detailed enough to exhaustively cover the topic. 
  • Optimise the Content for Search Engines: Make sure there’s balance in the article you write. In addition to writing an article that readers will enjoy reading, you want to make sure you’re writing the article with search engines in mind. You have to make sure the article can easily be found when someone runs a related search query.
  • Remember to incorporate your primary keyword into the title, an alt text to your images, and your site’s URLs throughout the copy. Don’t go overboard with it by stuffing the keywords and overpopulating the site with hyperlinks. More importantly, make sure your hyperlinks relate to the evergreen article without coming off as forced. 
  • Write for Beginners: Assume you’re writing for beginners – people who have little to no knowledge of what you’re writing about. No expert will be going through blogs trying to learn something. But you can bet your content will be catering to a large number of recurring new audiences. 
  • Avoid Jargon or Overly Technical Language: Beginners are a bit green and therefore not in a favourable position to understand overly-technical language. You want to use the most straightforward language possible when targeting them. 
  • Repurpose Your Content: after you publish your content, there are various ways you can give it a different spin and repurpose some of the ideas you come up with in a different format. 

Should All Your Articles Be Evergreen?

The idea of creating evergreen content sounds sweet to the ear. But does it mean that every single one of the articles you produce should follow the evergreen criteria?

Absolute not. 

For starters, your website isn’t just going to attract only one type of readers. Some of your readers will be interested in topical and timely pieces. 

When you’re working on a short-term marketing campaign, this piece can be a great asset to your marketing strategy. 

Non-evergreen content works great for a short-term marketing strategy or when you want to see quick results. 

So, to conclude, the best content marketing strategy is one that blends topical posts and long-lasting, evergreen articles. 

How to Create Evergreen Content: A Two-Step Process

You read it right. Our guide for creating evergreen content is a two-step process. We didn’t want to overwhelm you with a lengthy guide, so we condensed everything into the following two steps:

Step 1: Find an Evergreen Topic

The first step to writing an evergreen piece of article is finding an evergreen topic. It’s simple logic on this one: you’re to stay away from anything trendy and instead focus on topics with consistent search traffic. 

It would be best if you did in-depth keyword research on this one – and here’s a detailed guide in how to go about it: 

Choose Keywords with the Right Search Volume

You have to brainstorm some of the topics you’d like to cover on your blog or website. The next thing would be to enter these topic ideas into Ahref’s Keyword Explorer. Feel free to use any other keyword research tool you prefer. 

You’re also allowed to look into the keyword ideas report to see if the other suggested keyword ideas could make great evergreen topics. 

 

  • Check for Search Volume: But what’s even more important is to look at their search volume. Do you see any potential?

 

If you can’t see it, then the odds are that people are searching for the topic differently. For that, you want to go back to your parent topic. It could be that people are searching for the topic more generically instead of narrowing down to the specifics.

Higher search volume means many people search for the topic – there’s, therefore, a better chance of you driving even bigger traffic with the topic.

 

  • Check Top Ranking Pages: The next thing you want to check is the top-ranking pages for that particular topic. How much traffic are they driving?

 

Remember: you’re working towards a share of that traffic. So, the bigger the traffic, the better.

Check for Positive Trend

Your content might have a high search volume, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it fits into the evergreen category. 

You’ve to take your research further by ensuring:

  • The topic isn’t seasonal
  • The topic isn’t on a decline

Google Trend is the tool for this. Just run the topic, and Google Trend will provide a detailed report of how the topic has been performing over time. You should be able to tell if the topic has been losing popularity or gaining it over time. 

Topics like “Top Christmas Gift” are obviously seasonal. 

A topic like Cryptocurrency may have a high search volume, but its popularity has been waning over the years. 

Consistent Search Intent

You could also evaluate the topics for consistent search intent. What objective does the search have when querying the keyword?

If the objective isn’t clear, that means it’s more prone to change. Your ranking is bound to be more volatile. 

Use Google’s Keyword explorer to see the keywords’ ranking history (you’ll also be provided with a graphical representation of how the keyword has been performing over the years). 

Step 2: Begin Writing Evergreen Content

 This is the easiest part of creating evergreen content. You only need to be good with words and at least have impeccable grammar skills. If you don’t consider yourself a great writer, you might want to assign the article to a more qualified writer to help you put everything together.

Your priority should be on writing a piece of article that can stand the test of time. 

How do you do that?

Create 10x Content

It’s Google’s job to deliver the best results to the user. They want to deliver the most relevant, useful, and high-quality post they can find.

You want to impress search engines. So, come up with something better than what’s already populating the internet.

That’s what we mean when we talk about 10x content.

1x content is just like everything else on the internet. Anyone with content can easily outrank you.

If it’s slightly better than what’s already there, then it’s 2x content. It can last you a week, a month, or even a year, depending on how lucky you are.

10x content is the epitome of quality. That’s a piece that’s hard to beat, next to impossible. 

By writing 10x content, you’re setting the bar too high, and therefore making yourself formidable or hard to beat. You’re therefore more likely to maintain a higher rank for the longest time possible.

So, how do you create 10x content?

That something we should cover in a whole post. But we highlight the main points:

  • Quality: It all begins with the quality of the article. Is it easy to read? More importantly, is it useful, entertaining, or interesting? Does it solve a real problem? 

Most importantly, does it have the wow factor in it? Imagine yourself as the reader. Is the article something that you’d want to bookmark?

If not, then you’re not yet there. Keep working towards it. 

  • Uniqueness: What makes your article special? If I were to ignore it and choose a different article from the search engine result pages, what will I be losing or missing?  
  • Authority: Are you an expert in your niche? This is where you pour all your expertise.

These are the things to keep in mind while creating a 10X piece of content. You have to give it your whole. Spend as much time and resources as you possibly can to pull together an irresistible piece of article.

Avoid Taking Angles with Shorter Lifespan

If you’re to reference anything, then you want to make sure it echoes longevity. You can’t reference pop culture when writing an evergreen piece of culture. You can’t reference a movie whose hype will be fading with time.

Avoid referencing anything trendy in your article. 

Stay Away from Language or Jargons with Short Lifespans

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Avoid using any word that could render your article obsolete after some time. 

Here’s a list of words you should never use in an evergreen article:

  • Yesterday
  • 202X
  • Last Month
  • At the beginning of the years

In short, you’re to avoid using any word that dates your article. 

Don’t get it wrong. There are times when it’s completely okay to date your article, considering it’s normal for some search query to contain the current year (e.g. Top Marketing Strategies in 2021). 

If you plan to capture this traffic, then it’s completely okay to include the year. Otherwise, don’t do it if you’re more concerned about longevity.  

How to Maintain the Evergreen Status of Your Content

The above steps are to help you create evergreen content. Follow all the specified steps to the letter to create evergreen content enough to last you for months, years, and, if you count yourself lucky, decades. 

But that’s not where your work ends. Your content could do with some regular maintenance and light editing. 

Failure to do this means your content will become stale as time goes. 

That being said, here are a few tips on how to maintain the evergreen status of your content:

Track Your Rankings

Your ranking is an accurate indicator of your content relevancy.

If Google drops your ranking, then that’s a clear indication that your content is no longer evergreen. 

Use Ahref’s Rank Tracker or any other tracking tool to keep your eye on your content ranking. 

Refresh Your Content

Don’t just publish your content and forget all about it. Instead, make it a habit to revise your content from time to time. 

Here are the sections to edit: 

  • Dates or year (especially in the title)
  • Stats
  • Processes
  • Broken links
  • And the screenshot used

A simple trick is to look at the content that has catapulted in the SERPs. They should give you a hint of what your content is missing.

Go through the content and swipe a few of the topics they have covered to include in your own.

After you’ve refreshed your content, you can republish it and embark on a serious promotion campaign. 

Build Backlinks

Links are a critical segment of SEO. The more links your content attracts, the higher it will climb in the SERPs. 

There’s a strong correlation between ranking and backlinks. The more backlinks an article accrues, the harder it will be for you to outrank it. 

Don’t Burry Your Evergreen Content

Don’t just assume that because it’s evergreen, that piece of evergreen content will make itself known. Don’t just publish your content and forget everything. Instead, try to highlight it to be easily be seen by the visitors you attract to your site.

Here are a few tips to make your evergreen content visible on your site:

  • Prepare a guide targeting beginners 
  • Highlight evergreen articles in the sidebar. You can also create a banner for them and place it on your homepage.
  • Rerun them periodically to expose them to the audience that checks your site from time to time
  • Build a social media campaign around them
  • Link them with the fresh content you publish

10 Evergreen Content Ideas

Don’t beat yourself up because you cannot come up with fresh evergreen content ideas. We’ve something you can work with, in the meantime, as you supercharge your creative side:

  • Original Research
  • How-to Guide for Beginners
  • How-to Guide for Seasoned or Advanced Users
  • A Checklist for Something
  • Resources Listicles
  • Best Books for Doing Something
  • A Listicle for Free and Paid Tools One Can Use to do Something
  • History of Topic or Product
  • Everything There’s to Know About Something
  • Complete Guide for Doing Something

Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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