You probably already know that producing high-quality relevant content is a great way to increase your search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to your website. And you’ve probably heard that for it to work, you need to generate a healthy amount of content (around 11 posts) every month. What if I told you that there are two types of content and that one type will fall off the relevancy radar and stop being useful, and therefore valuable, far sooner than the second type.
The second type is evergreen content. Content that will keep attracting new readers to your site, year after year, after year. In other words, this content won’t stop working for you, even years after it’s been published. The kind of gift that really does keep giving. Sound good? Let’s take a closer look.
What is evergreen content?
I mentioned that there were two types of content. First, let’s take a look at what isn’t evergreen content – content that’s seasonal, or current.
Seasonal topics like Eurovision and minced pie recipes are only likely to pull readers to your site at specific times throughout the year, or once per year when they’re relevant. The same goes for pop culture references and current topics – in fact, these topics lose their value even quicker. For example, the search term “Boris Johnson Resignation” saw a huge spike on the 3rd of July 2022, but it soon dropped, and it’s likely to stay this way. On the other hand, you can guarantee a surge of “Christmas cookie recipe” search queries annually.
As the moniker suggests, evergreen topics remain lush and lively throughout the ages. With evergreen content, the idea is to create content around timeless topics. Evergreen content should provide value to your readers, no matter what else is happening in the world. For example, people will always look for ways to lose weight, how to take better portrait photography, and how to use a specific type of software to achieve something.
Why Is Evergreen Content Important?
Every time you publish timely or seasonal articles, it spreads, gets shared, and you get more organic traffic directed towards your website. But when the topic drops off the relevance radar, when it’s no longer trending and therefore your content becomes out of date, the traffic slows too. This forces you to frantically prepare and create the next piece of relevant content, which equals more work, more time, and more money spent.
Publishing evergreen content about evergreen topics will ultimately mean less work for you in the future because your posts will keep pulling in a constant stream of traffic. The more evergreen content you have, the less work you’ll need to do to update your blog or website. In fact, you can get to a point where you only need to update your content if the information becomes inaccurate due to recent changes, for example, a software update. A good example of evergreen content is an article on Skyword.com titled, “Top-of-Funnel Marketing”. When searching Google for “what is top of the funnel marketing,” Skyword’s article appears as the featured snippet, even though it was written in 2014!
The second result is an article by Taboola Blog, first published back in 2018. Both articles provide information that’s as relevant and valuable today as it was six years ago.
Okay, if you’re still reading, it means I’ve convinced you that evergreen content is the bee’s knees. So, where do you start with creating your own evergreen content?
With research, of course.
Where to Find Evergreen Topics
There are several ways to research which topics are best to write about. In the end, you’ll probably want to combine all the following methods, but for now, let’s look at each one separately.
Since you’re looking to boost your SEO through evergreen content, you can start by doing some keyword research.
First, make a note of topics relevant to your site that you’d like to write about. Use a keyword research tool such as SEMRush, Ubersuggest, or Keywords Everywhere to see if your topics have a healthy search volume. Ideally, you want to target topics with a high search volume, but relatively low SEO difficulty.
Hopefully, this step should also give you ideas on what other related topics that you could write about.
Use Google Trends
Use Google Trends to see if a topic is seasonal, or if it shows a constant and stable trend throughout the year, every year. For example, you can see from the figure below that Eurovision is very obviously a seasonal topic with annual, short-lived peaks.
On the other hand, you also don’t want to pick a topic that’s on a downward trend. While “Keto diet” does seem like it’s trending in a healthier way than Eurovision, we can also see that it spiked in 2019, and is now on a downward trend.
Both avocado recipes (red) and chicken wing recipes (blue) show a constant and stable trend, though avocado recipes are more popular in the UK. Both topics would make for great evergreen content.
Finally, if you’re selling toothbrushes or other oral hygiene products through an online store, you may opt to write an in-depth article on “how to brush your teeth.” The graph below generated by Google Trends shows a constant and steady upward trend for this search phrase.
One of the easiest ways to look at what you should be writing is to do a quick search of the content you want to write about and study the top few results. Watch their layout, and formatting, and read their content. Can you create something that’s more accurate, or in-depth? Can you write it in a way that’s more engaging or easy to understand? Do what they’re doing, but better.
Think of Your Readers
Who do you want to attract to your site? When you’ve figured out the audience you want to target, take a few moments, or even hours, to put yourself in their shoes, and think about what content would be useful to them.
Once you’ve figured it out, give it to them. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce business that specialises in subscription coffee, then writing about football won’t help anyone. On the other hand, publishing handy recipes and tips for delicious home brew will mean that your readers are more likely to go on to explore the rest of your site because it just so happens that you sell amazing coffee, a key ingredient in your recipe.
Craft Amazing Content
Subpar content will help no one. If it does succeed in pulling traffic to your site, your visitors won’t be impressed, and they’ll probably click away before they’ve even finished reading the article. There’s no space for badly written, mistake-ridden content on the front page of search engine rankings.
If you’re thinking about using an AI tool to publish a bunch of 500-word articles with keywords thrown in, you’re probably wasting your own time. This isn’t the most cost-effective way to climb search engine ranks, even if it seems like it at first, and it certainly is not the way to gain new and loyal customers – in the end, everyone will lose out.
Invest time and money into writing a bunch of well-thought-out, in-depth, amazing articles that stand the test of time instead, and they will be read again and again, shared, bookmarked, and saved, and they’ll lead to more visitors and ultimately more customers.
Make It More Amazing
I know, I know – we just talked about making your content amazing, so why am I bringing it up again? Well, here’s the thing with writing evergreen content:
Your content will only last the test of time so long as it remains the best. If your blog post is the same as every other blog post on the topic, then the moment someone makes something better, you’ll drop to the second, third, or hundredth place. Now imagine if you made your content ten times better and more resourceful than any other content on your specific topic. Well, then it won’t be very easy to knock you off from your position. In the marketing world, we call this 10x content.
How To Create 10x Content – Top Tips
It’s about quality, not quantity. Yes, it does help if you publish 10x content 11 times a month, or more! But if you publish subpar content 20 times a month, it won’t help you.
Here are a few tips on how to make your content stand out:
- Format the article so it’s easy to read. Nobody likes walls of text – your visitors are not searching for a novel; they just want answers to their questions!
- Back up your claims with links to reputable sources.
- Use graphs where needed. Screenshots, diagrams, and illustrations will all help to make your content stand out above the rest. Take time to make your content the best there is.
- Aim for 1,500 words or longer. You need to provide deep insight into your topics, not just scratch the surface.
- Target a few keywords with high search volumes (20 – 500 queries per month).
- Don’t forget to use internal links to help Google crawl and index your website
- Make use of subheadings to target long-tail keywords such as “what is evergreen content.”
Tips on what to avoid:
- Avoid referencing topics that are currently trending, or in the news cycle. For example, referencing a very popular TV show that may or may not involve dragons*, or a new movie. In time, the reference will become dated and forgotten.
- If possible, don’t mention dates, or refer to “last year,” “last month,” etc.
*If you didn’t get my dragon’s reference, that’s okay – it just proves my point.
Republishing Evergreen Content
Every once in a while, reread your evergreen content. If it needs refreshing, do so then republish it. This is especially important if you notice your content beginning to slide down the search engine rankings.
Now that you know what evergreen content is and how you can create some, hopefully you’re bursting with ideas. But if you’re not, don’t worry. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started. You should be able to adapt each of the following content ideas to fit almost any topic.
6 Evergreen Content Ideas
1. How to Guides
These are often 1,500 to 2,000-word step-by-step articles that walk readers through how to do something. Be sure to include diagrams and illustrations. The better this guide, the more likely your readers are to bookmark and even share your article. Don’t forget, if it’s appropriate, to ask your readers to share their results with you via the appropriate channel. For example, if they’re following a recipe, they could share a photo of their creation via Twitter or Instagram.
2. Beginner’s Guide
Beginners’ guides are immensely useful and done right, they will keep pulling traffic towards your site for many years to come. Take Ahrefs beginner’s guide on How to Do Keyword Research for SEO. They created a piece of evergreen content that’s both useful, and directly related to the tools they sell.
3. Listicles and Top Tips
Readers love listicles, and so does Google. Create lists of 10 Things You Never Knew About Your Pet Cat, or 5 Ways to Boost Your Productivity. I personally prefer topics like 7 SaaS Retention Strategies You Can Implement Today, and Top 3 Subscription Management Platforms.
4. Success Stories
Sharing your customer’s success stories is an ingenious way to create evergreen content. Aside from boosting your SEO, these articles will stay as living testimonials of how awesome your product is! If you run a SaaS, collaborate with your ambassadors on writing about how your product was used to achieve their goals, then share it with the rest of the world.
The same idea works for e-commerce stores too. Customer success stories work as social proof as well as evergreen content.
5. Resources: Definitions, Acronyms, Shortcuts, and Glossaries
Useful reference libraries are arguably one of the best ways to provide evergreen content. These are the kinds of pages that your readers and potential customers will bookmark, share, and revisit again and again.
Tutorials are more in-depth how-to guides. Flesh out the simple step-by-step how-to guides. Include video content, in-depth explanations, and most crucially, break the post up into a series of posts. Don’t forget to link them to each other!
There you have it, a complete guide on evergreen content, and how you can create it. In the end, if you don’t want to fall into a cycle of constant content creation, evergreen content is a must.
If you’re still not sure what kind of topics to cover on your website, or if you’d like help with creating evergreen content, don’t hesitate to get in touch.