If you’ve looked in to content marketing, you may have come across the term ‘evergreen’ content.
You may be wondering what it is, how it differs from normal content and you may be asking yourself ‘does my site need evergreen content?’.
Let’s find out the answers to these questions:
Why is content called ‘evergreen’?
Evergreen content is content that remains relevant, informative and useful way past the date it was published – years even.
It’s named ‘evergreen’ after evergreen plants, like pine trees that don’t shed their pines in the winter months, instead they retain ‘life’ throughout all the seasons.
Examples of evergreen content
It’s probably quicker to start off by mentioning what’s not evergreen content. Things like a news report, an article talking about a specific event, a data report or a content piece that’s themed around a holiday or an event – these are all linked to a specific moment in time and interest in them will fade fairly quickly.
Content pieces, like blogs, articles, infographics and even videos that are about a topic that has longevity are classed as evergreen content.
A brand that invests a lot in evergreen content is Hubspot. They write extensively about digital marketing, and a huge number of their articles are evergreen as the concepts they talk about don’t change much:
This image is from Hubspot’s blog page and you can see that the two articles published here are evergreen articles.
What is the purpose of evergreen content?
While you may want to wow visitors to your site with your latest insights and findings, it’s a good idea to mix evergreen content pieces into your content marketing strategy. And, by linking these pieces to your SEO strategy they’ll have extra impact.
Knowing what keyword terms and phrases your customers search for online and then building pieces around them, will improve the chances of your site being listed higher in the search results.
Creating regular, accurate evergreen content based around these keywords, will overtime build your reputation as being a trusted source of information. This will draw people back to your site and eventually turn some of these ‘browsers’ into ‘buyers’.
What to think about when planning and creating evergreen content
Like any type of marketing, to see results you’ve got to first spend time on research and planning. For evergreen content this involves:
Pinpoint who your ideal customer is
Think about who it is you want to work with. If you have multiple products / services, create a specific customer persona for each. Typically, customer personas include details like age, income level, interests and where they source information from. You can include more detail if you wish.
Some people see customer personas as unnecessary but I find them a useful aid to have as I can mentally see the reader when I’m writing content.
Find out what your customers look for online
Knowing what your customers search for online takes some digging. The simplest way is to go to Google and type in a keyword that is related to what you offer. A drop down list will automatically appear with related searches. For instance, this is what I see when I typed in content marketing:
Google Trends is a useful platform to use as it shows the search volume for a phrase over a specified time, the longest being 12 months. You can also compare two phrases to see which is more popular.
Here I compared ‘content marketing’ and ‘evergreen content’:
As you can see the search term content marketing (in blue) is searched more times than evergreen content (in red).
Create a list of topics
For each keyword or phrase you’ve identified write a list of four or five ideas for articles. Evergreen content that aims to answer a ‘Who, Why, What, Where or When’ question tends to get a lot of interest. Using this article as an example I’m answering the question ‘ What is evergreen content?’
Listicle articles are also popular, for instance, Top x tips, X number of ways to…
If you’re stuck for ideas, check out Answerthepublic. Using a keyword you give it, it scours the internet to find questions that people are asking online that includes this keyword, and displays the results in a visual format:
This is some of the questions it returned when I typed in content marketing.
Build a content plan
Once you’ve finalised your ideas, it’s a good idea to build these into a content plan. This can be something as simple as a spreadsheet that is split into months and listed underneath the title(s) of the content you’re going to put out that month.
Optimise the articles
No-one truly knows what formula search engines use to rank search results – it’s a heavily guarded secret. But, when writing for a digital audience, it’s best practice to: include the keyword or phase in the title, meta title and meta description, mention the keyword or phrase again in the first 100 words of the article and use a variance of the keyword or phrase naturally throughout the body of the article.
Write for your audience
Writing for your audience is another tactic that experts believe helps content to rank higher on search results. Writing for your audience basically means that the structure of the article makes sense to the reader e.g it has an introduction, the body of the article covers the topic and it has a conclusion that brings the points mentioned, together.
It also involves using language that is natural to the reader; so using a personable tone and not overusing technical jargon.
Promote your evergreen content
There is so much content online that the likelihood of yours being found organically is quite low, that is of course unless you have an established site with a high ranking domain.
To get your content seen by people you have to promote it on social media, including links to articles in your email marketing or through paid-advertising, if you have the budget for it. Another tactic is digital PR, which includes writing content for a higher ranking site which includes a link back to your site.