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A Beginner's Guide To Evergreen Content

“Evergreen” is a term used by marketers to describe content that will always be of interest to readers. The term was coined as a nod to evergreen trees, which retain their leaves all year long.

Evergreen content contains information that will stay relevant over a long period of time and continue to drive traffic long after it’s published.

Evergreen content could include:

  1. Frequently-asked questions
  2. Historical information
  3. Tutorials
  4. Lists of resources
  5. Case studies

A Beginner's Guide To Evergreen Content

What Isn’t Evergreen Content?

Topical (or seasonal) content covers what’s trending. It consists of updated and targeted information that is relevant only during certain times of the year. Though topical content loses relevance over time, it can create buzz around your brand as news and fads can trigger an audience’s interest and get more attention.

There are two categories of topical content: time-based and event-based.

Time-based content covers seasons and years, as the cycle repeats every year.

Event-based content includes holidays such as Christmas or Mother’s Day, concerts, and even movies (though they eventually become evergreen).

Topical content is common in industries that change frequently, such as tech or fashion.

Examples of non-evergreen topics might be:

  • U.S. Presidential Elections: While elections are highly-searched events that receive a huge amount of coverage, they only happen every four years and lose prominence a few months after each election. Each individual election is not evergreen, however, the topic of Elections, in general, could be considered evergreen because it is an ongoing event.
  • The Olympics: If you include both the summer and winter Olympics, this event only happens every other year. While it attracts traffic from all over the world, it loses prominence after the event is over. Each individual Games is not evergreen, however, like the Election, the Olympics, in general, could be considered evergreen content because it is an ongoing event.

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As you can see in this graph, the Olympics were highly searched for some time, but search volume has significantly dropped since the Games.

Most keywords used in these search terms will probably never be used again once the event becomes less timely.

Why Your Site Needs Evergreen Content

Well-written evergreen content will continue to drive traffic to your website long after it’s been published. Having evergreen content on your site will allow you to provide readers with useful and quality content without having to constantly update it.

Since evergreen content has no expiration date and uses popular keywords that are searched over and over again, search engines are more likely to pull up a particular piece of content over and over again.

On our website, we have a piece of content called How Often Does Google Update Its Search Results? that was published on April 9, 2013, but has continued to drive traffic. The piece has consistently received a steady amount of page views and hasn’t been updated since it was published many years ago.

How Evergreen Content Helps SEO

When a search engine looks at your site, it does three things:

  1. Crawl: Discover content
  2. Index: Analyze keywords & store content
  3. Retrieve: Match results to a user’s search query

Google is frequently crawling your site, looking for keywords that best match a searcher’s query. During this process, dated or expired content may be determined irrelevant by search engines and indexed so that it won’t be found by users.

How To Write Evergreen Content

You likely aren’t writing to experts, so you should make sure to break your content down so that it’s easy to understand.

Evergreen Topics vs. Evergreen Content

In order to consistently resonate with readers, evergreen content must be written about evergreen topics.

Evergreen topics are those with consistent interest and search volume over time. Some examples of evergreen topics are “How To Lose Weight” or “Planting A Tree”. No matter the year, people will always be interested in these topics.

Evergreen content is about an evergreen topic that never goes out of date. Some examples of evergreen content are 9 Awesome DIY Backyard Ideas You Can Start This Weekend or How To Plant A Tree. These posts don’t need to be updated over time because the information will remain relevant as time goes on.

Not all evergreen topics are able to be used in evergreen content. Pop culture is often misused as evergreen content. For example, say you come across an article that describes what John Dutton, from the popular show “Yellowstone” can teach us about content marketing. While the topic of content marketing is evergreen, the content of the article is not because John Dutton and “Yellowstone” are not evergreen topics.

Use Relative Keywords

You should base your evergreen content around keywords that you want your site to rank for.

Basing evergreen content around keywords that are relative to your website will help continue to drive traffic to your site since your audience is probably searching those terms all year long. For example, if you are a digital marketing agency that specializes in content marketing (among other things), then you may write an article on How To Best Reach Your Audience Through Writing.

To discover keywords that may benefit your website, look at the search volume of different key phrases and check for a positive trend over time.

But Don’t Only Write Evergreen Articles

Though evergreen content yields continuous traffic to your site, the best content marketing strategy relies on a mix of both topical articles and long-lasting evergreen posts.

Timely articles are still highly searched for varying time periods and can still yield large amounts of traffic to your site.

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