It can be frustrating to see a piece of content get high traffic and then fall off into the abyss of minimal views. You might be left wondering what, if anything, you can do to get some consistency. Evergreen content is one solution that can elevate your content from a one-week wonder to a steady superstar. Plant the roots of your very own evergreen content garden by following the tips mentioned in this article.
Evergreen content defined
The term “evergreen” brings to mind positive mental images of towering green trees that keep their leaves all year long. Just like its namesake, evergreen content is meant to stay relevant and “fresh” for readers over a long period of time. This content is meant to be read, shared, and linked in a consistent cycle that isn’t bound by seasonal popularity. With that being said, certain types of content lend themselves to being evergreen more than others.
Evergreen content is not:
- Breaking news articles
- Statistics that are likely to go out of date
- Focused on fads or trends
- Niche or overly specific
- Seasonal information
- Opinion pieces
Evergreen content is:
- Educational or informative
- Posts that answer continually relevant questions
- Lists, resources, and guides
- Sharable, scannable tutorials
- Time-tested topics that apply to a wide audience
For example, content written about the hottest fashion trends for fall or the top Christmas gifts of the upcoming holiday season is not evergreen content because it has a built-in expiration date and will be all but obsolete mere months after it’s posted. However, content surrounding how to dress for a wedding or choose a perfect gift for your dad are evergreen, because they’re not tied to a seasonal event and will remain helpful long past the original publish date.
Some topics remain evergreen and relevant over time. Health, parenting, career advice, and home improvement tips are just a few examples of topics that people will continue to search for as long as there are ways to search. Evergreen topics are more macrolevel than microlevel—for example, think less “coolest kitchen design trends of 2018” and more “how to make a small kitchen look bigger” if you’re looking to go evergreen. Or “how to cook for a large gathering” instead of “how to cook a Thanksgiving feast.”
Tips for creating evergreen content
Evergreen content is a valuable addition to any blog or website. Think of it in terms of real estate. If you flip a house and sell it immediately, you’ll probably make a profit. However, it’s more profitable to invest in a long-term property that pays dividends in the form of rent for years to come. So, make an investment in your content and make it evergreen.
To help you create evergreen content, here are a few steps we’ve found helpful.
Know your keywords
The key to creating content that lives on is optimizing it for the right keywords. After all, content can only last if the audience finds it easily through search. Make sure and do thorough keyword research to understand the what, when, and how as it applies to your audience looking for content. You can do this by using tools such as Buzzsumo, SEMRush, and Google Trends to see what topics get the most attention in your industry.
Put your content center stage
Evergreen content isn’t just a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. To make content truly evergreen, you need to make an effort to promote it far past its initial publishing date. That could mean updating it annually with new information, or a fresh introduction. Or, you could refer back to the content by linking it from your newer posts.
Other strategies for shining a spotlight on your evergreen content include:
- Highlight the content in a “top posts” sidebar of your blog
- Promote the content seasonally on social media
- Link to the content from other pages on your site
- Re-publish the content to help it reach a new audience
In the end, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to highlighting your evergreen content. So, don’t split hairs between one strategy or the other. What’s more important is that you do highlight the content and give it a chance to succeed day in and day out.
Cast a wide net
To appeal to as wide of an audience as possible, keep your topic broad and accessible. Look for topics that are relatable to all, instead of just a selecting few. For example, “how to dress for a job interview” is relevant to a wide audience, while “how to dress for your second interview at an accounting firm” has a more niche audience.
Keep it concise
Experts and seasoned pros aren’t likely to be searching for evergreen topics like “how to unclog a sink” or “how to cook a turkey,” so don’t write like you’re trying to impress them. Avoid overly technical language or industry-specific jargon, unless your content centers around defining these terms for the average reader. If a reader can’t understand the terms you’re using, they’re not going to come back to your content again or share it with their network.
Along the same lines, keep your writing clear, concise, and scannable to make it as easy as possible for your audience to consume it. It’s important for your audience to trust that you’re a good writer, but you don’t need to try and wow them with flashy vocabulary and complex sentences.
To keep your writing clear and to the point, we recommend using the following principles:
- Short sentences and paragraphs
- Clear topic sentences
- Active voice
- Text formatting (such as bolding and italics) to highlight key points
- Visuals that “show, not tell”
If your content is well-written and well-researched, it’s more likely to attract backlinks and citations from others writing about the same topic. This helps lend credibility to your content, as well as to introduce it to more readers. In fact, high-quality third-party backlinks and citations are vital parts of a successful SEO strategy. You can accomplish this through choosing topics based on provable facts, or through topics that could spawn responses such as expansions, rebuttals, or new interpretations.
Evergreen content provides your readers with useful content they can return to months, or even years, down the line. Not only does this help you retain your audience, it also ensures that your content lives on and doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. In the never-ending quest for a reliable readership base that returns to your content time and time again, evergreen content is the best tool content creators have.