Just like the evergreen tree retains its bright foliage all year round, evergreen content holds its value for the long term. This longevity makes it a must-have for websites that want to succeed in the search results and secure value for both current users and customers of the future.
In order to create the most effective evergreen content, it’s important to really understand what it is and how it works.
What is evergreen content?
To put it simply, evergreen content is a type of content that will always be applicable and accurate. Because it’s always relevant, evergreen content should generate traffic over the long term, rather than creating the short-term spikes that time-sensitive content drives.
Evergreen content needs to be perpetually appealing. The target audience must find it entertaining, informative and useful no matter the day, week, season or even the year that they land on the page.
Evergreen content also needs to demonstrate expertise and paint a picture of the business. Not only is it a way to drive more traffic to a site through organic dominance, but it’s a great way to show readers more about the brand and encourage them to take the next step.
Steps to creating great evergreen content
Evergreen content should be precise. While the end goal is to drive more traffic to a site, you shouldn’t be aiming to appeal to a wide range of people. Instead, focus on the target audience and your niche.
If you’re stuck for ideas, consider the most common customer queries. What questions are asked the most? What are customers’ biggest pet peeves? How can you assist them?
Spend some time brainstorming potential ideas. Once you’ve got a solid list of topics, consider the amount of work that’s already been done on each subject. Search relevant keywords and explore the pages that rank. This will give you an idea of the content you’ll be competing with and the things you need to do to set yours apart.
If you’re still struggling for ideas, Google’s Keyword Planner is the perfect place to get inspiration. Here, you can enter the product or service to generate ideas.
For example, the product might be ‘scented candles’ with the top relevant keywords including ‘candle holders’ and ‘soy candles’. Most of the users searching these exact terms will be looking to purchase, but there’ll also be people looking for more information about the products. So potential evergreen content topics include the best ways to display your candles, or the benefits of soy wax candles over traditional wax.
Remember to favour Google’s keyword recommendations over trendy terms and phrases that might not stand the test of time. No matter your specialism, evergreen content needs to contain concrete terms rather than buzzwords.
Format and structure
Formats that are a natural fit for evergreen content include FAQs, how-tos, case studies and expert pieces. These content types have a long shelf life because the topics are always relevant. It’s unlikely that the most popular queries will change much in the next five years (assuming the offering doesn’t change). Customer guides should always be significant, too, along with your specialist industry knowledge.
Make readers’ lives a little easier by structuring the content properly. Include headings and breaks where necessary, ensuring that it’s easy to follow and not too overwhelming. A good structure will also help the search engine when it crawls and indexes your work. Look for high-quality visuals to accompany your copy, and if you feel some sections are a little too complex, simplify the facts into a basic infographic or video.
(I’m reluctant to recommend a word count for your evergreen content. Aim to produce something that’s relatively long-form. Of course, if you can get to the point and provide enough information within 400 words, then that’s great).
SEO best practice
As with all the content on a website, the title of evergreen content needs to be well thought out. It needs to summarise, advertise and encourage people to click through. Consider the titles that competitor content use and try to come up with something better – something more informative and tempting. You also need to make sure the title appeals to the search engine, so include at least one of your main keywords and make sure it reads naturally.
Finally, ensure the content abides by SEO best practices, including useful internal links, meta tags and a fast loading speed. Easy navigation and mobile friendliness are also must-haves. The search engine has an eagle eye, so make sure you dedicate plenty of time to researching, fact-checking, drafting, re-writing, proofreading, editing… and proofreading again. Evergreen content is written to last, so take your time.
When you’re producing evergreen content, avoid using stats or reports that might expire and steer clear of popular culture, language and trends that are likely to pass. You should also keep away from referring to the current climate or a specific holiday (eg. “We’re getting close to Christmas”/”It’s the last weekend of summer”). While the body of the content may remain useful, your readers won’t appreciate irrelevant seasonal references. News stories should only be included for the purpose of context, too.
You have a lot to say about the subject, but the point of evergreen content is to offer high-level expertise in one particular area. You’ll be tempted to include as much information as possible. But’s more effective to narrow things down… there’s plenty of time to visit other topics in your next pieces.
Great evergreen content doesn’t have an expiry date. When you get it right, you’ll have created something with the potential to hold a strong ranking position for years to come.
Originally posted on www.naturallycontent.co.uk