There’s content, and then there’s evergreen content.
You might be thinking… “What is evergreen content, and why do I need it?”
Hint: Evergreen content attracts continuous organic traffic and loyal readers.
How does that sound?
In this post, you’ll learn what evergreen content is, why it’s important, and how to create it.
Let’s get started!
What is Evergreen Content?
You’re probably wondering, “Why is evergreen content, ‘evergreen’?”
The name, evergreen content, was inspired by evergreen trees. Unlike most trees, evergreen trees don’t lose their leaves. In fact, their leaves stay green and healthy all year round.
Like an evergreen tree, evergreen content is long-lasting and fresh. This type of content is useful for years to come.
What Evergreen Content Is Not
Before I talk about what evergreen content is, let’s go over what it isn’t:
- The latest statistics – “The Top 20 Pop Music Statistics of 2020”
- The most popular trends – “Content Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2021’
- Breaking news – “New Evidence of Life on Mars”
The topics above are time-sensitive—it covers short-term trends and the latest news. Evergreen content, on the other hand, covers long-lasting content:
- How-to posts – “How to Build an Online Business”
- Checklists – “10 Ways to Teach 3rd Graders Math”
- Resources – “How to Cite Your Research Paper in APA Format”
On that note, evergreen content is relevant, optimized, and authoritative. I’ll go over each description below.
Think of evergreen content as a dictionary. Sure, dictionaries aren’t used every day, but you’ll always refer back to it.
Scott Johnson, the owner of Pitt Home Buyers, explains this further, “When creating evergreen content for your website, be sure that you’re speaking on a topic that will continue to be relevant in the future.”
With that said, evergreen content doesn’t have an expiration date. Your readers should always find it useful.
It covers topics with long-term value for the present and future.
Evergreen blog posts are revisited, shared, and searched on Google. They attract links from outside sources and drive traffic.
Simon, the founder of CatchWorks, touches on this, “Evergreen content often forms the core foundations of an SEO content strategy.”
Evergreen content gets high rankings because it covers ongoing trends and search terms. Your readers are constantly searching for these topics—it never goes out of style.
With that said, your topic must be covered comprehensively. Your readers should leave your evergreen content with all of their questions answered.
In SEO, you can do this with:
- Consistent high search-volume topics
- Targeted keywords and semantic keywords
- On-page SEO optimization (i.e. keywords, linking, format)
Step 2 of this post goes over evergreen SEO in more detail.
Imagine going into an auto shop to buy a new car.
When you talk to a sales person, would you rather them…
A) Only know a few details about the cars they’re selling
B) Use their knowledge to answer all of your questions and help you find the perfect car
You’d probably go with B, right?
Authoritative figures attract the most customers because they’re credible, knowledgeable, and helpful. Evergreen content always covers a topic extensively. When you do this, the reader will think of you as an authoritative source.
Scott adds another insightful comment about authority, “Evergreen content builds your credibility and helps your customers see you as an expert in your field.”
Evergreen content is the key to building trust and credibility with your business. And when a user trusts your business, they’re more likely to become a long-lasting customer.
Why is Evergreen Content Important?
Along with the traits above, evergreen content is timeless—as in, it lasts forever.
“Evergreen content that will stay timely for years to come will likely give you the most legs and ‘bang for your buck’ in terms of your marketing strategy,” says Samantha Russell from Twenty Over Ten.
Timeless content gives you infinite possibilities to skyrocket your organic search and become an authority in your space.
So… how do you make this happen? How do you create evergreen content?
How Do You Create Evergreen Content?
You can create evergreen content in 6 steps. Examples of evergreen content will also be included in this section.
1. Consider Your Audience
When you create content, you should always think about your reader first. If your readers aren’t interested in your content, it won’t deliver long-term value.
Tricia Harte from Digital Third Coast recommends asking yourself questions like, “What pages are they visiting on your website? What questions does your internal sales team receive from potential clients? What do you do (differently) than your competitors?”
Along with the questions above, here are a 4 ways to gather customer data and feedback:
Analyze Your Website
Your website gathers a ton of useful customer information.
Figure out what your readers find interesting with Google Analytics. Google Analytics determines your most popular content with the following metrics:
- Bounce rate – How long do users stay on your page?
- Page visits – How many users visit your page?
- Engagement – What content does your readers like most? The least? How can you turn them into evergreen content?
Execute Social Listening
Like your website, social media can tell you a lot about your readers. Social listening monitors both your social media channels and conversations within your industry.
You can monitor your own channels and analyze your most popular social media posts—which posts receive the most engagement? The least?
You should also consider your likes and comments. Who’s interested in your content? Do they have any feedback or questions for you?
Along with monitoring your posts, keep track industry trends:
- Follow hashtags within your industry – what topics are your audience talking about?
- Track your competitor’s social channels – What pain points are your competitors not reaching?
These insights help you dig deeper into your audience’s pain points and build relevant and authoritative content.
Ask Your Readers Directly
When in doubt, ask your readers what they want to see.
Build a survey and send it to your readers via email, or hold a Q&A session on Twitter. Your readers will appreciate you asking for feedback and recommendations.
All in all, your audience always comes first. Their feedback will steer you on the right path to evergreen content.
Implement Keyword Search
There’s a good chance you already use keyword search for all of your content.
Evergreen content, in particular, needs keyword search to find continuous trends. Remember, evergreen content never goes out of date.
Use the following metrics during a keyword search:
- Search volume
Make sure online users are searching for your keywords. The higher the volume, the better.
Assess how much traffic other top sites get with your keyword. High traffic usually means your topic is evergreen.
- Other keyword ideas
Similar keywords will help you brainstorm evergreen content ideas.
For example, “Wooden house,” may have a similar keyword like, “Paint a wooden house.” From here, you could write an evergreen post on how to paint a wooden house.
2. Research Evergreen Trends
Evergreen content isn’t focused on current trends, but continuous trends. Remember, evergreen content is relevant—relevant content stays on top for both the present and future.
On that note, you can find long-term evergreen content ideas with Google Trends. Google Trends measure long-term online trends. We’ll use the term, “evergreen content” as an example.
The graph above shows you the search popularity of “evergreen content” over a span of 12 months.
At the top, you can customize the country, search type, category, and time length of your topic. You’ll get the most out of this tool when you tailor its features for your audience.
Plus, Google Trends will recommend other topics and keywords to use at the bottom of the page.
You can use both keyword search from step 1 along with Google Trends to gather long-term trends.
3. Write Cornerstone Content
Evergreen content is educational and engaging.
With that said, don’t expect to write a 500-word post and be done with it. Instead, create cornerstone content.
Also known as topic clusters, cornerstone content uses interlinked web pages to improve user-navigation and SEO crawling.
So… how does it work?
Imagine cornerstone content as a tree trunk. Cornerstone content covers one broad topic and interlinks to its branches, which cover related-topics.
Together, the tree trunk and its branches create relevant, optimized, and authoritative content—it’s evergreen.
You can check out this cornerstone article by Twenty Over Ten to understand how they work.
Along with internal links, cornerstone content includes the following features:
Well-researched stats are up-to-date and relevant. Avoid using statistics from questionable sites—you want to build trust with your readers.
Search for white papers and research journals within your industry for valid research. You can also create your own research with a personal study.
Using quotes from other authoritative sources does two things:
One, they add different perspectives on your evergreen topic. The most informative pieces of content educate readers with different POVs.
Two, they build relationships with other professionals. When you quote a professional within your industry, they’ll take notice. You might even get a few shares.
Images visualize your topic for your readers.
With that said, every photo should have a reason to be there. Random stock photos aren’t useful. Instead, insert screenshots to explain a step or sum up your article with an infographic.
As you write evergreen content, keep your audience in mind the entire time. Use cornerstone content to answer their questions and show them actionable steps to achieve their goals.
Plus, cornerstone content can be written in a variety of formats, as you’ll see in the next step.
4. Format Your Evergreen Content
Think back to the last time you read a textbook. You probably didn’t enjoy reading endless pages of small font, right?
Textbooks are intimidating—they created a belief that reading is hard and not fun. Luckily, you can format your content for your audience and Google.
Formatting your content benefits you in 3 of ways:
- It provides a welcoming environment for readers
- It helps Google crawl your site
- It can rank your content as a featured snippet on Google (you must also use schema markup, which you can learn more about here)
When you format your post, use headings, subheadings, and short paragraphs to separate blocks of text.
Along with formatting, you should create easy-to-navigate content.
John Matyasovsky, Digital Marketing Specialist at Roofing Webmasters, suggests adding a table of contents, “Readers can quickly access the portion of the document that most interests them.”
Here are 4 different types of evergreen content you can use to format your page. Click on each example to see each one in practice.
A list post is…well… a list. This type of content usually lists reasons, trends, tips, etc. about their topic.
This type of post teaches your readers how to do something. They usually include a list of actionable steps.
Guides cover everything you need to know about a general topic. They’re in-depth and answer any question your readers may have.
Example: Roofing SEO: The Definitive Guide
Also known as, “Frequently Asked Questions,” a FAQ page covers common questions users have.
Some formats will work better for you than others. Test out which ones are best for your audience and evergreen topic.
5. Promote Your Evergreen Content
You can write the best evergreen content ever, but it won’t be any use if nobody reads it. Optimized and relevant content is seen by current and future readers.
On that note, you can promote your post on and off of your site.
On Your Site
There are 4 ways to promote evergreen content on your site:
Insert your new post’s link into other blog content. Better yet, add it to a cornerstone article.
I also suggest featuring your evergreen content to a service page. For example, if you provide SEO services, promote a blog post about SEO.
- Implement a side toolbar
Create a side toolbar on your site with a list of your most popular blog posts. Add your evergreen content to increase its visibility.
- Pop-up ads
You can also promote your posts with pop-up ads. An example is adding a top banner to your site. Insert a call to action with a link to your new post.
(insert a photo of a top banner example here?)
Off Your Site
Use time-sensitive content to promote your evergreen post.
For example, you could create an infographic and post it to your social media. The infographic will attract readers to learn more about your content.
Speaking of social media, this is the time to tag anyone you mentioned in your posts. Most likely, they’ll share your content and spread the word.
Other types of time-sensitive content include:
- Social media post
- An email newsletter
- Short blog post
As you promote your evergreen content, take note of where your blog post receives the most traffic.
Let’s say your post’s highest traffic was from Twitter. Now you know to promote more of your content there.
You can track this with any analytics tool, like Google Analytics.
6. Update Your Evergreen Content
The most important part about evergreen content is to update it. Updating your content keeps it relevant and maintains its organic ranking.
Tricia Harte from Digital Third Coast agrees with this, “Provide updates as they provide benefits to your audience. Meaningful updates give you a reason to promote them via social media and newsletters and re-engage your audience with your content.”
With that said, don’t let your content get old. Out-of-date content is no longer relevant, optimized, nor authoritative.
Here are a few ways to update your content:
Statistics can be 1 or 2 years old, but any longer is outdated. Your readers are looking for the most current information out there.
Look at your meta description and keywords. Are they still relevant to search?
For example, you might find a new keyword to use within your content. Make sure to update your meta description as you make changes.
Repurpose Your Evergreen Content
You can use time-sensitive content to both promote and update your content. In this case, you can repurpose your evergreen post into another piece of content. This will target new readers and keep your content alive.
An example is repurposing your blog post into a video. You could embed your video within your post to attract visual learners.
You might be wondering how often you should update your content.
This answer depends on your content marketing strategy and analytics. On that note, measure your evergreen content results.
Analyzing your content helps build the most effective evergreen content for your business and readers. You can use the same metrics from step one:
- Bounce rate
- Page visits
- User sessions
Along with these metrics, you should analyze your SEO performance. If your rankings aren’t improving or begin to decline, you need to find out why.
Track your keyword competitors and use tools from Step 1, like social listening, to stay up to date with your audience.
When you track your results, you’ll figure out the best way to update your content and keep it timeless.
To Wrap Up
If you’re going to take anything away from this post, it should be this:
Evergreen content lasts forever.
Every step in this post will help you create timeless evergreen content in your industry.
Sure, writing evergreen content isn’t easy, but the long-term results are absolutely worth it. If you don’t have the time to build evergreen content, we’re happy to help you out.