By Mark Harrison
A lot of us tend to create time-sensitive content in order to capitalise on whatever is topical or current at the time. In order to balance your content marketing strategy, it’s wise to incorporate more evergreen content into your schedule. Evergreen trees keep their leaves all year round and, as the name suggests, evergreen content is the stuff that gains traffic, links, and social media shares long after you first publish it.
While most content receives attention for a short period of time before interest declines, these are the posts that will be read and re-read over time. Where most of your posts must be carefully scheduled for maximum effectiveness, these posts are designed to be timeless.
Granted, it’s a fine line between the two. Even your product and service pages are subject to change over time, whether prices go up or you add a new aspect. With good evergreen content, you’ll see traffic gains over time without even having to edit or update your posts.
Learn how to build evergreen content into your marketing strategy and your site will stay relevant for longer to a larger group of visitors. Remember, the more time your visitors spend on your site, the more likely they are to buy something!
What your evergreen content should be
When done right, evergreen content is a more valuable source of traffic than more time-sensitive posts. As well as garnering repeat views over time, you will also gain links consistently, driving more people from different audiences to your site.
When in doubt, there are three straightforward qualities that your evergreen content should represent:
Can your content be easily understood by anybody? Is it search-friendly and findable? Bin the jargon and write for beginners and you’ll find yourself becoming a respected and knowledgeable source to those who already want to know more about what you do.
Does your content tell the user everything they need to know? Moreover, will it inspire them to purchase something from you? Valuable content helps to accelerate the process of nurturing leads and prepares them to act.
Is this the kind of content your customer can use again? Can you share or post it again somewhere down the line? Above all, you want it to keep attracting traffic in the long run, whether organically or as the result of re-sharing it at a later date.
The surest way to make your site more evergreen is to offer the best possible answer to a variety of common questions:
Educational and informative posts are highly valuable to visitors. If you are able to clearly explain what you do, how it’s done, or some other aspect of your industry, you’ll provide knowledge and context for curious leads.
When writing these posts, it’s important to be direct and authoritative. Generally speaking, long-form content tends to get more clicks than short blogs, so it’s a case of elaborating without rambling on or going off-topic, in order to create a resource that readers will want to revisit.
How Do You…?
Think of how often you’ve looked for a how-to guide when you’re trying something new. With smartphones and similar devices so close at hand, it’s increasingly common for us to go online for help with doing something.
Create a unique how-to guide that’s relevant to your business and you’ll show your potential customers how open you are. Keep in mind that your instructions should be clear and accessible and provide a helping hand for those who are new to this.
How Do We Know…?
Creating research and statistical posts are a great way to get backlinks from users who are looking for information about your industry. Whether you’ve generated your own data or you’re creating an infographic, these posts serve as reference points that others will cite in their own work and content.
If you’re avoiding topical and time-sensitive content, you may be wary of statistics. In this case, specificity both is and isn’t the key. Yes, stats change over time, but people often want to compare existing studies with new data. Be specific about when your data comes from, and this kind of content will still be valuable as a public record for comparison in future.
What Is the Best…?
An effective way of establishing yourself as a leader in your business is to make recommendations to others. Listicles are always popular with editors for SEO, but in relation to your business, a compendium of handy links and resources that your site visitors can easily visit would be a huge asset.
What’s more, you can bring some personality to your site by writing reviews. You could review anything from food to films, or any kind of product or service that people might search for online before trying. As valuable as customer reviews can be, sometimes you can build trust by letting the world know what you think as well.
Making evergreen content is about answering questions, so you should definitely have an FAQ page on your site. Aside from being ideal for SEO, (including the growing field of voice search optimisation, which favours a more conversational tone), you can answer many frequently asked questions that aren’t being addressed elsewhere.
As well as making different types of evergreen content, you should also do some research into evergreen topics. Subjects like health and career advice will always be high in demand, so find out what your customers are searching for and write about it!
Ideally, you don’t want to make your evergreen content too topical. However, content relating to annual holidays (like Christmas, Halloween, or Valentine’s Day) may also generate clicks reliably whenever that time of year comes around again.
Grow your own
In conclusion, evergreen content should be an integral part of your content marketing strategy. With a good amount of accessible, actionable, and renewable content, you’ll reap the benefits of backlinks, repeat visits, and scheduled re-sharing.
Especially useful if you’re just starting out, this allows you to begin quite small and make consistent gains over time. While time-sensitive content is important in order to keep your site fresh, studies have shown that evergreen content promotes faster growth in terms of clicks and conversions.
Evergreen content will allow you to rank higher in search results for longer, with posts that show your customers that you are authoritative, knowledgeable, and trustworthy in your field.