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If you're working your fingers to the bone creating content but you're not climbing in the search engine rankings the way you want, make sure you've got evergreen content as part of your content marketing strategy.
Evergreen content is a term that refers to any piece of content that isn't time-sensitive and can be used at anytime. It doesn't matter if it's about something new or old, seasonal or not, evergreen content will always work for your business. In this blog post we'll give you the answers to why and how to create evergreen content as well as tips on maintaining it for continued success!
What is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is the steady, dependable kind of blog post that always stays fresh for readers. The name implies it – this type of article should never go out-of-date or disappear after you publish it like some articles do! It's not just any old search optimized content either; instead evergreen will stay relevant over a long period and grow with more traffic from Google searches.
The concept behind this type publishing strategy was first introduced by Brian Clark in 2004 and has since been adopted as an important way provide value through “everlasting” pieces (hence the name). Ever green posts usually fall under three categories:
- How-to Guides
- Product Reviews
Evergreen content can be written content, audio content, or even videos.
Creating this type of content does not automatically make your piece evergreen, but content like instructional videos providing useful tips like how to do simple Tunisian crochet are more likely to be an evergreen article than more transitory topics like how to master the latest Tik-Tok plank challenge.
What is not Evergreen Content?
Not everything you create is going to be evergreen content. In fact, not everything that you create should be evergreen. Here's some of the content you may create that isn't evergreen:
- News articles
- Statistics and reports that may quickly go out of date
- Articles focused on pop culture or a recent trend
- Content that is usually only interesting to a small or localized subset of the population
Just because content isn’t evergreen doesn’t mean that it won’t still get search results and back links. Unlike evergreen content, however, this type of content usually gets a spike in traffic when it’s first published and then wanes in popularity over time.
Tips for Writing Evergreen Content
Now that you know what evergreen content is, here are some tips on writing your own:
1) Pick the right content. If you want to create evergreen content, you need to start by picking the right subject to write about. Review the key content areas you write about, and then do keyword research for every topic. Look at search volume over time to make sure that searches are growing. Make sure that what you're writing about aligns with what the searchers are actually looking for (i.e., the intent of their search).
2) Write for beginners. Experts aren't likely to be searching on the broad topics that evergreen content usually covers, so you want your content to cater toward beginners. There are always new people who are curious and want to learn more. This also means that you shouldn't use too much technical language.
3) Create 10x content. Rand Fishkin coined the term 10x content several years ago when describing content that’s ideal to rank better in search engines over time. Here’s how it works:
If you create content that's just like everyone else's, you're not likely to get very far. If you're just a little better (2x), you may move up in the rankings and hold your position for some time, depending on how competitive the keywords are. But when you create content that's 10x better – that stands above all of the competition – you can lock yourself into the top position and be much harder to dislodge.
Review Rand’s original 10x content tips >>
4) Build links back to your evergreen content. The strategy we use in my content marketing agency is to build evergreen or pillar posts around client's primary subjects, and then build ancillary content that links back to it.
I use this strategy here on MVM and with my clients through my content marketing agency. Here on MVM, I have an evergreen content piece called “Email Marketing 101” and all of my ancillary email marketing pieces, like “How to Create a Great Welcome Series for Your Email List” all link back to Email Marketing 101.
This strategy helps your site visitors get deeper into your content, build your know-like-trust factors, and shows search engines how important your evergreen content is.
You can also leverage evergreen content to build backlinks from other sites through proactive outreach.
How to maintain your evergreen content
Evergreen content isn't something you just create once and forget about it, letting it do its work. To keep your ranking – and your relevance, you need to keep your evergreen content up-to-date.
- Build a regular schedule to review all of your content on a regular basis to see which pieces have stopped being as valuable. A great time to do this is during your marketing reset.
- Update the information, reorganize it and rewrite sections that are no longer relevant or useful in order for them fit with current standards/models.
- Add new evergreen keywords and sections throughout blog post if needed.
- Reach out to new sites that are ranking for similar keywords and ask for backlinks.
- Check your backlinks and remove the ones that no longer point to you.
Evergreens can be updated often while still retaining their designation because they were never time sensitive: think tax filing deadlines rather than Red Sox scores from last night's game. You can keep track of your review and update schedule as part of your content calendar, whether it’s in a spreadsheet or a project management tool.
Evergreen Content Isn't the Only Key to Success
While evergreen content is an important part of your content marketing strategy, its not the only thing you should consider. Evergreen content is great for link-building and SEO, but other timely and topical pieces are also important.
Timely and topical pieces are perfect for short-term marketing campaigns when you want to drive a lot of traffic and leads in a small amount of time. They often get shared (and re-shared) on social media and have the opportunity to go viral.
In my agency, we strive for 20-30% evergreen content creation, especially when we’re launching a new strategy. As your collection of evergreen content grows, you’ll reinvest in updating and maintaining your evergreen content and building supporting content that supports your content marketing goals.
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