A company blog that gets backlinks, ranks well for relevant keywords, and receives a consistent content stream is often the top objective for content marketing teams. However, one of the best ways to maintain traffic and consistently rank among an estimated 600 million plus blogs is to create high-quality, relevant evergreen content.
Creating content designed to last is far easier said than done. You need to craft content that never goes out of style while also optimizing for search engine visibility and conversions.
Discover what it means for content to be evergreen, why it’s essential, how to create it, and finally, how to make sure its evergreen-ness (totally a word!) never fades. We’ll also provide inspiring evergreen content examples.
What Is Evergreen Content?
The term “evergreen” comes from the trees that keep their green needles all year. Content that is evergreen never expires. The topics remain relevant to your target audience, no matter the time of year or the next big trend in your industry.
For example, if you’re an attorney and write a comprehensive blog about the 10 Things to Consider While Writing a Will, this would be evergreen: Death and taxes are always relevant to your target audience.
At the other end of the spectrum would be content that provides a timely reaction to or explanation of a slight change in immigration or employment laws, which change often.
Evergreen Content Characteristics
Content that is consistently relevant and interesting to your audience has several characteristics. The topics lack seasonality (though interest may ebb and flow over time) and aren’t subject to changing trends.
The general understanding of the topic also won’t likely evolve, and the information it contains is timeless. Examples of the types of content that can be evergreen include:
- Something your buyers will always need
- Fundamentals of a challenge that won’t go away
- Solutions to persistent issues
- How-tos that don’t need to be reinvented
- Case studies that will always be meaningful
Not all high-interest topics are evergreen. For instance, your customers may always be interested in stock tips, but the strategies and tactics for picking stocks can change dramatically over time.
What is not evergreen content? News, sports events, seasonal topics, and fashion trends are all examples of content topics that are not evergreen.
Why Do You Need Timeless Content?
The importance of including timeless content goes back to the objectives of online marketing: backlinks, organic rankings, and traffic. I don’t want to imply that you shouldn’t create content on timely topics, as those can introduce new customers to your brand. However, it’s important to note that the traffic to these posts naturally declines over time or in the off-season.
Your content strategy and ongoing content planning should prioritize content that won’t lose its luster, providing an opportunity for consistent traffic and relevance. Evergreen content doesn’t require updating or recreating; it keeps working for you in the background.
If the information in your content is always (mostly) accurate, Google will give you brownie points. Google’s goal is to provide searchers with the best up-to-date results for their query, so if your content is outdated, the spiders will crawl right on by in favor of more accurate content.
Content analytics lets you easily distinguish the performance of different kinds of posts. For non-evergreen or time-based content, you may see a spike in the post’s initial 30 to 60 days. After that, interest diminishes until it flatlines.
Evergreen content receives a steady stream of traffic. Searchers are consistently querying the keywords you used to craft the content.
Content marketing is a long game for any brand, and this type of content provides ongoing returns. It continues to deliver traffic and conversions long after publication.
High-quality, relevant topics are more likely to earn backlinks, which drives up a post’s quality score. Further, the more your content is found from other sources or through search, the more views it receives without the spikes and dips of seasonal content.
Creating content that doesn’t expire provides value for your target audience by answering common questions, offering solutions to persistent issues, and giving guidance or instructions for activities of interest. You get the benefit of increased organic traffic.
What Makes the Best Evergreen Content?
Specific evergreen topics depend on your business offerings, target verticals, and ideal buyers. However, as you begin to develop ideas, consider subjects that would fit into the following formats:
- How-to guides
- Problem-solution posts
- Product reviews
- Industry terms glossary
Case studies and testimonials are also good options for giving your target audience insight into your products or services.
If we look at the healthcare technology industry, a company operating in this space might create evergreen topics such as:
- Interoperability challenges: This topic will always be top of mind in health IT.
- HIPAA compliance: While specific HIPAA regulations may change, the need for compliance within healthcare technology does not.
- Improving patient care: Practitioners using healthcare software will continue to have this concern.
A marketing team could produce evergreen content in several popular formats for these topics. In contrast, non-evergreen topics might include coverage for events such as the Healthcare Information and Management Systems annual conference or a roundup of annual industry cybersecurity incidents.
What Should You Do Before Creating Evergreen (or Any Other) Content?
Before getting down to content creation, ensure you understand your messaging architecture and have a handle on your editorial calendar.
What does your company stand for? In other words, what is your brand’s voice? Your audience identifies with your brand’s messaging, so your grasp of your identity should be rock solid.
Brainstorm words that represent your brand. We recommend that you come up with nine or 10 and then pare down to a final list of the three or four concepts that best represent your brand. For instance, a law firm may have the following: Family Law, Wills and Trusts, Excellent Customer Service, and Expertise in Changing Law.
Whether your blogging schedule is every day, twice a month, or once a week, you need to include a mix of timely and evergreen content on your editorial calendar. That way, you can attract the maximum number of visitors to your site.
It’s worth noting that you need both content types, as the former drives organic growth while the latter demonstrates that you have a pulse on your industry.
How Do You Craft Content That Is Evergreen?
Now that you understand the importance of crafting timeless content, we’ll break down creating this type of content into steps, provide a few tips, and discuss how to maintain your content’s evergreen status.
4 Steps To Generate Timeless Topics
Following these four steps can help you generate topics your audience will gravitate toward time and again.
1. Make a List of the Top 50 Questions and Ideas
What are the top 50 most frequently asked questions that your customers ask? Pull your team together to collaborate on making a list of FAQs. Check out top-ranking posts in your industry for similar ideas.
The possibilities are endless, so your team can (and should) revisit the list periodically to ensure you never run out of evergreen content ideas. Focus on short, tight posts that examine one issue or topic and give people practical solutions and information.
2. Identify Trending Keywords
The most efficient way to conduct keyword research is to:
- Use a keyword planner tool or Google Trends to understand keywords’ search volume and trends that matter to your audience.
- Start with keywords with significant volume and look at the pages that rank highest to determine if they receive enough traffic.
- Examine trends for the keywords you have narrowed down from the first two steps. Use Google Trends to understand the long-term search volume of the keyword to discern if it’s consistent.
It’s easier to rank if you include long-tail keywords in your content, so make sure you put those on your list.
3. Define Your Topics
Generating evergreen content topics is not unlike other brainstorming sessions. The primary difference is that you want to stay within the parameters of topics that will always resonate with your audience.
Conduct searches to discover trending topics using your top 50 and keyword lists. Evaluate the top-ranking sites for the information they include and content gaps you can fill. Develop an outline based on what you learn and the topic’s importance to your audience.
4. Create “10x Content”
Evergreen posts are usually long-form, with deep insights, solutions, and credibility. They typically follow the principles Rand Fishkin, co-founder of Moz, calls “10x content,” or evergreen content that is 10 times better than that currently ranking on the first page of Google for a keyword.
Crafting 10x content boosts long-term Google rankings. Its characteristics include:
- Quality: Is the piece well-written, optimized, and easy to read? Does it solve a problem? Does your website provide a good user experience?
- Uniqueness: Does your content offer a distinct approach and voice on the subject? (Quick tip: Avoid angles with a short lifespan.)
- Authority: Are you able to showcase thought leadership on the topic?
- Longevity: Are you referencing anything that is time-bound specific? (Quick tip: Don’t use phrases that automatically date the content, such as “this year” or “last month.”)
In a nutshell, this type of content offers knowledge, solutions, and critical takeaways. It’s also up-to-date and includes research, visuals, and examples.
6 Quick Tips for Creating Evergreen Content
Crafting content that will indefinitely draw your audience to your website isn’t easy. We’ve put together six tips to lessen the burden.
1. Use Your Analytics
Analytics keep you informed of your content’s performance. They can also tell you what evergreen topics are already in your arsenal. Assess data to determine how visitors reach your website, and analyze your social media accounts to see which posts receive the highest engagement and shares.
2. Watch Your Blog Comments
Blog comments can be a good source for topics as commenters often ask follow-up questions or suggest topics to cover. Comments also often provide important clues to conversations happening in the blogosphere. Use them to generate a list of crucial evergreen content posts, and make sure you store your inventory where it’s readily accessible and anyone on your team can add to or reference it.
3. Monitor Your Social Media and Online Communities
I belong to several groups on different social media sites (LinkedIn, Facebook, Slack, etc.). Often my colleagues discuss topics that provide perfect evergreen content for my audiences, even though many of the people I intersect with on these platforms are not content marketers.
For example, one of my colleagues had questions about public literacy in healthcare, wanting to know very detailed specifics. Her questions were consistent with my brand, which is plain language content, and provided insight into the type of information my audiences might need.
4. Write About Your Passions
If you’re in this business, there must be something you love about it. (If not, do something else. Seriously. Life is too short.) Write about what makes you passionate about your work or infuse your interests into your posts.
An episode of Mad Men provided inspiration for one of my posts. I wove elements of the episode and my enthusiasm for digital communications into a post that became my most popular ever.
5. Take a Wider Angle
While some topics are ripe for evergreen content, not all angles are. For example, earlier we discussed the relevance of HIPAA compliance in the healthcare technology industry.
However, not all compliance angles are evergreen. While failures can be big news when they result in data exposure, covering these incidents is timely content that has a shelf life.
6. Avoid Headlines and Phrases With Short Lifespans
You immediately date your content when you use terms such as “last year” or “in 2015.” Though using these phrases when writing blogs about trends and year-in-review posts makes sense, you should avoid them in evergreen posts.
Ways To Maintain Evergreen Content
Though your timeless pieces are generally future-proof, they still require occasional pruning to ensure they continue to deliver results. In maintaining evergreen posts, you should:
- Monitor rankings: Consistently review content analytics for the piece and respond to any significant performance dips. If your evergreen posts are sliding down in ranking, the topic may be losing relevancy or a competitor published a “better” post.
- Refresh as needed: If you see a decrease in views, you may need to revisit your piece to determine if anything needs an update, such as statistics and data. You’ll likely need to update content regularly with new statistics, processes, screenshots, or other variables.
- Republish and redistribute: Once you make updates, republish your post and redistribute it on social media. Doing so can cause a bump in traffic and secure higher rankings.
- Build links: Backlinking and rankings are connected. Find ways to generate more backlinks to your evergreen content to improve visibility. You should also look for broken links, which can lead to poor performance. Use a broken link tool to crawl your content and replace inactive ones.
Content that is evergreen isn’t maintenance-free, but it certainly reduces your workload while also driving more traffic to your site.
What Are Helpful Real-World Evergreen Content Examples?
These brands are nurturing and growing their audiences with these powerful evergreen posts.
Neil Patel’s Post on Increasing YouTube Views
Summary: Neil Patel originally published his post offering tips to boost brand success on YouTube in 2016.
Why It Works: YouTube is a critical channel for many content marketers, especially as video becomes dominant. Increasing viewership is a topic that brands will always have relevance for Patel’s audience, and the advice he offers is fundamental to achieving desired results. The post addresses foundational strategies rather than passing trends.
MarTech’s “A Field Guide to Amazon Advertising”
Summary: The post provides an all-inclusive guide to using Amazon ads for e-commerce businesses and was published in 2015.
Why It Works: The content is universal and appealing to e-commerce businesses, breaking down each aspect of Amazon ads. Though the platform continues to evolve, the basics haven’t changed. The author updated the piece when Amazon dropped two ad types, referencing them but commenting on the change in status.
Isle Surf & SUP’s “How to Choose a Stand-Up Paddle Board”
Summary: This post provides readers with evergreen content on how to choose a paddleboard.
Why It Works: This how-to post has long legs. Paddleboarding, although “trendy,” will likely not change dramatically in design or function. There will always be beginners who need to know what to look for when purchasing a paddle board.
Eventbrite’s “12 Stories of Events Gone Wrong and Lessons Learned”
Summary: Eventbrite’s post takes a new slant on the case study format, providing real-world stories with added commentary.
Why It Works: The content serves as a cautionary tale for audience members. The snags described in the article are all still prevalent in the life of an event planner.
How Do You Manage Evergreen Content?
Content governance is essential for storing, finding, and maintaining content that will continue to deliver traffic. Check your timeless content quarterly to make sure nothing has changed.
You don’t need to write a completely new blog post. If the content requires updating, make the necessary changes and republish the updated version, demonstrating to your audience that you are paying attention. Doing so wins trust and a loyal readership.
(Tip from DivvyHQ: If you’re using Divvy, get into the habit of filling in the “Maintenance Date” so you get an email notification prompting you to review your evergreen content pieces at a future date.)
Evergreen Content Is Here To Stay
Evergreen topics are here to stay and should play a key role in your content marketing efforts. You can begin to see results with just a few evergreen pieces. The more you plan and produce regularly, the better those results will be.
DivvyHQ’s platform provides tools that make it easier for you to collaborate, plan, and create your evergreen content. Our analytics tools ensure you stay on top of performance. Request a demo to see what Divvy can do for you.