When there are exciting new changes in your industry or a viral news item that connects to your business, you (hopefully) strike while the iron is hot and get fresh content in front of your customers. Providing timely content is a savvy way to get customers’ attention, but what happens when the buzz dies down? To prevent your website from becoming irrelevant overnight, it’s crucial to invest in evergreen content even more than you do in the next big thing.
Evergreen content is content that never goes out of style. It stays relevant to readers long after the news cycle is over and will keep driving new clicks (and leads) to your business for years. If you’re neglecting evergreen content, you’re losing out on valuable web traffic and opportunities to make connections. Here are the details on using evergreen content and making it work for your business.
What is evergreen content?
Your content must meet several criteria to be considered evergreen. First, it needs to stay relevant over long periods. News items, style advice, articles on new technology, and many reviews are excellent examples of what evergreen content is not. If no one will care in a few months or even a couple of years, it’s not evergreen.
Evergreen content also must be unique, useful, and detailed. Generally speaking, evergreen content should teach something — and wanting to learn about that topic is how your readers will find you. Evergreen content should find a unique angle and not duplicate material already available to readers. And if it’s not comprehensive, people will quickly lose interest. People will click away from a short summary on a topic but stay for a deep dive that provides interesting and relevant details.
Finally, evergreen content must be optimized and searchable. While evergreen content can certainly educate your existing customers, its primary purpose is to bring new traffic to your website. To accomplish that goal, using effective SEO is essential, and people must want to read what you wrote. If no one is searching for your topic, the content won’t bring in new readers.
How do I create evergreen content?
You should design your evergreen content to position you and your business as an expert in your industry. That means you’ll have to start with some research. What does your target audience want to read? And how do you obtain the knowledge you need to provide it?
Start by considering your target audience. What types of keywords would they search for? You’ll want to write content with those words in mind to help potential customers find you. Remember that it’s better to be specific. There are more than a billion websites on the internet, and you’re never going to outperform most of them. But while you are extremely unlikely to end up on the first page of results when people search for “music,” terms like “music school” and “music education” are a bit more realistic. Hone in on your specialty.
Next, consider what types of topics will interest your audience. How-to and explainer articles are popular for a reason. Consider the types of questions your existing customers commonly ask — or the misconceptions they often hold. These will be great starting points for your evergreen content. List posts also perform well. They’re easy to read, popular, and work well for evergreen content.
When writing, don’t forget to do the research. You may be an expert in your industry, but how will your readers know that? Further, no one knows everything, and even the greatest scholarly minds cite others in their work. Discovering more information than you had before will make for better articles, and linking to other sources will build your credibility. Other people will also be more likely to link to you as an authority.
Can any content ever be fully evergreen?
Things change. Your recommended home improvement technique can go out of style when a better, safer alternative comes on the market. A new law can upend your legal guide. And health guidance often changes as more research is published. So, doesn’t that mean that evergreen content is a myth?
No, it means that even evergreen content needs a little sprucing up now and then. While your evergreen content shouldn’t require frequent updates, occasional tweaks keep it relevant and performing well. Set up a schedule to regularly review your evergreen content — say, quarterly or biannually. Reread each article and confirm everything you wrote remains factual and recommended by experts. If you’ve crafted your evergreen content well, the process should not take very long or require many changes.
You can also use this as an opportunity to clean up broken links, update photographs, or add new references to content you’ve created since you originally published. Do you now have a podcast episode relevant to the article? Briefly mention it! Your evergreen content should mostly stay the same, but there’s nothing wrong with a minor adjustment here or there. In fact, it will produce a better return on investment.
Remember that evergreen content won’t work overnight — it will take time and patience for people to find your work, use it, and start sharing it with others. But the more useful and relevant you keep your articles and the more comprehensive content library you build, people will begin to find you and see you as a trustworthy source.