Content is key, but you’ll need an audience to discover and consume it first. Your content must be optimized for search engines in order to consistently rank high in internet searches and attract your target audience. It must retain its value over time in order to score well in searches. So, how do you come up with valuable content? Evergreen content is your answer.
WHAT IS EVERGREEN CONTENT?
As the name implies, evergreen content remains valuable from season to season and year to year with little or no upkeep. Thus, it can be referred to long after it was first published, and the reader will still find it useful. If you’re wondering what makes blog content “evergreen,” it usually consists of the three criteria listed below:
Timeless: Evergreen material, as previously stated, survives the test of time. Except for a few minor tweaks here and there, evergreen content rarely changes and is basically everlasting.
Valuable and High Quality: Content must be valuable and high quality enough to get recognized to gain the actual benefits of being evergreen (which we’ll address in the next portion of this post). If a piece of material that you meant to be evergreen isn’t valuable to your readers and doesn’t get a lot of views when it’s first published, I hate to break it to you, but it will never be evergreen.
Canonical: Evergreen content is usually the definitive, or canonical, piece of content your business has on that specific topic. It’s detailed, in-depth, and it likely took you a lot longer to create than some of your other, non-evergreen blog content.
But, after all, aren’t we talking about the internet? Where things change at tremendous speeds? It may be more or less challenging to develop evergreen content depending on how quickly your industry evolves. The crucial thing to understand is that content that lasts even a year or two on the web can be considered fairly evergreen for your sector.
WHY YOU NEED EVERGREEN CONTENT
Okay, so you know what makes certain blog posts “evergreen,” but you’re probably still confused as to why there’s such a buzz around this type of content. Why is evergreen content so important to a company? Evergreen content can provide your company with three significant advantages:
High Rankings: Over time, evergreen content often ranks well in search engines due to its high quality and timelessness. As a result, bloggers must ensure that evergreen material is well-optimized with the keywords they’re attempting to rank for in search engines.
High Traffic: Because evergreen content often obtains high search engine ranking positions, it is seen more frequently, resulting in a continual stream of traffic to your blog and website long after it was first published.
Generates Leads: Evergreen content tailored for lead creation has a great capacity to produce leads over time due to the consistent traffic it generates. For example, many of the day-to-day leads generated by the New Target blog, Web Insights, can be attributed to posts published months or even years earlier.
To put it another way, evergreen content is so valuable because it keeps working for you long after you’ve published it. As a result, a business that uses evergreen material as part of its content strategy has an advantage compared to those that don’t. For example, if you exclusively published content on breaking industry news and followed a news-centric strategy to content creation, your blog content would quickly become old and useless and would not drive long-term traffic.
On the other hand, evergreen content ensures long-term SEO, traffic, and leads. Who wouldn’t enjoy the timeless benefits of evergreen content in today’s marketing world, where frequent and constant content development is a marketer’s job?
EVERGREEN CONTENT MAINTENANCE
While truly evergreen content won’t require much maintenance over time, it’s a good idea to check your evergreen content on a regular basis (say, every six months) to search for ways to improve it. You’ll want to keep your evergreen content as fresh as possible because it will continue to drive visitors and leads.
1. Identify Evergreen Content
The first step is to determine what evergreen material you already have. You’ll need to examine your blog metrics for this. Sort your articles first by top views. This will help in the removal of non-evergreen content. Remove articles from the top views category whose topics aren’t evergreen to further reduce your results (e.g., news, event-specific, etc.).
Examine which of your remaining posts are still generating leads for your company. You can also check your keyword metrics to see if any of these top posts score well for the keywords you want to rank for. With this approach, you should be able to generate a list of evergreen blog content, which you should audit overtime.
2. Update Content
The next step is to refresh the evergreen material you’ve identified. Are there any new developments on the subject that would be a good addition to the article? Are there any examples or statistics that need to be updated since you last visited the post (maybe you have more persuasive ones now)? Is it necessary to remove something that no longer applies? Make the necessary modifications.
The most important thing to remember is that you’re updating an existing post rather than creating a new one. This is because you don’t want to start from scratch and lose the SEO benefits that the post has previously accumulated. If it’s been a while since it was first published and you’d like to give it more attention than what it gets through search alone, consider republishing the content as new—just use this method sparingly.
3. Keep Calls-to-Action (CTAs) Fresh
Pay attention to each post’s call-to-action when completing your evergreen content audit (every post has one, right?). Is that the best call-to-action for this post? If the post has already attracted a lot of attention, you’ll want to provide the best CTA possible. To get the most bang for your buck, choose your best-performing offers for the CTAs of these posts.
If you haven’t updated the post in months, it’s likely that you’ve generated a new ebook, webinar, or other relevant offers that are more recent than the CTA you used previously. Perhaps your CTA design has changed since then, and you need to replace the old one with the new one.
4. Make Sure Content Is Search Engine Optimized
If you’re a regular and consistent content writer, you’re probably not nitpicking every single blog post you publish for maximum SEO. It’s understandable that you would get a bit complacent here because search engine optimization takes effort and careful consideration. When it comes to evergreen content, though, making these postings as search-engine-friendly as possible is extremely beneficial.
If a post is already generating a lot of traffic, investing the time to help it rank for some other keywords that you want to rank for will pay off. First, check your post for possibilities to incorporate these keywords, then use that anchor text to link to the pages you want to rank for that keyword.
5. Create New Evergreen Content
Always be on the lookout for innovative ways to develop evergreen content. Is there a specialized issue in your industry in which so little has been published that you could write a canonical, evergreen piece of content? Then, take advantage of the opportunity! Evergreen content is a valuable asset for your company, and developing more will only add to your site’s long-term value.
There are a lot of details you’ll want to get right, and your head could be spinning with all of the “to-dos.” But don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. Remember that creating evergreen content that generates visitors, leads, and sales takes time and effort.
Keep your eyes peeled for the influence you’ll have in a year or two!
The effort involved is well worth the investment. Still, if you are unsure where to start and need some extra help, our team at New Target can help you develop a content strategy that incorporates evergreen content so you can see the success you deserve!