Creating fresh, new relevant content takes time. And your time, as always, is limited. But if you have evergreen content, the kind that is timeless, always relevant and useful, and needs little maintenance, your content creation becomes more efficient.
In fact, evergreen content should play a major role in your content strategy. The right evergreen content will help you build more traffic and higher conversions over the long haul, which is much more efficient than frantically posting only new or short-lived content every day.
Evergreen Content is Foundational
Every website needs a solid foundation. Evergreen content is part of that. Timeless content that has been appropriately identified, optimized, and kept up to date has a higher ROI (in this case the investment is time) than a piece that becomes quickly irrelevant.
Some key points about evergreen content:
It takes more effort to produce but less effort to maintain.
You don’t need to produce as much over time.
It helps build your reputation as a thought leader.
It gives your website stability.
What Is Evergreen and What Is Not?
Evergreen content is so-named because it doesn’t get old, turn brown, and fall out of the SERPs. It is timeless, perhaps canonical, information your audience will continue to be interested in.
Canonical or definitive of your business or industry
Not Evergreen content:
Rapidly changing statistics
Time or situation specific content, like events or annual lists
Opinions on the above
Evergreen Is for the Long Term
You won’t see sudden spikes in traffic that die off. What you will see is a slowly growing audience with repeat visitors, organic inbound links, and an increase in engagement. As people find your content and determine that it is valuable they will return to it, recommend it to their friends, and link to it. Over time all of these buckets will increase as long as you properly maintain your site.
Conduct periodic audits and update the information as needed. How often you need to do this depends on your industry. The timelessness of your content is defined by the rate of change in your field. For the high tech industry, for example, evergreen may refer to something that remains relevant for a whole year. Other industries have less change and your content will still seem fresh 5 years from now.
Dust the content occasionally and only update the parts that need it. If you can, change the CTAs to link to new items/information. Update statistics. Add relevant new facts. Just don’t publish it as an entirely new piece. You will lose all your link love and have to start over.
What About Search?
Done correctly, this type of content is very search engine friendly, but you need to build your content using the proper keywords and phrases. You’ll grow links slower and often from far better sources, which is important to current search engine algorithms. Periodic updates encourage crawling on a regular basis, just like it was all new content.
How Do You Find Evergreen Topics?
Start with your current analytics, especially for your blog or other frequently updated material. Choose top pages and posts and subtract any that do not fall under the definition of evergreen. The topics and subjects that are left are those that draw people into your site.
Draw from comments and current customer requests as well. Is there something you are asked on a regular basis? Use it as a source of content that will appeal to many people over time. In conducting topic research, use the same resources as those you use for keyword research.
Now, Go (Ever)green
Start planting and nurturing your evergreens today. Just now putting up your site? Invest the time in evergreening from the beginning. There is no better time than the present to go (ever)green.