In the world of content marketing, the term “evergreen” is an incredibly popular buzzword — but do you know why? What exactly is evergreen content and why does it matter? To help answer those questions, here’s a look at what makes content evergreen and why that matters for your content strategy.
What is evergreen content?
To understand evergreen content, think of the evergreen tree: any time of year, for years on end, it sprouts needles that are green. Online content is the same—it stays fresh and valuable for months and years to come.
In two words, evergreen content is both of the following:
The crux of evergreen content is that it’s timeless—useful and interesting for months and years to come. It’s the difference between an article about how to paint a house and an article about the top 10 painting trends this spring.
Examples of evergreen content include how-to guides, personal stories, company FAQs, histories, posts about company views that won’t change, and a list of resources or examples like in the example below:
It may be timeless to talk about the history of the United States Constitution, but it probably wouldn’t be relevant for anything but a history blog. When content isn’t relevant, it won’t matter to your audience.
To keep readers coming back for more, year after year, making relevant content that sticks is necessary.
Why does evergreen content matter?
Fresh, relevant content offers a variety of benefits, both in terms of SEO and for business growth. Consider the following:
Better search rankings
High-quality, timeless content performs better in search engines than short-lived articles. When your website has evergreen content that’s well-optimized for search engines, it ranks higher in search results.
Higher search rankings mean increased traffic as users search for terms that bring them to your site. What’s more, because evergreen content stays relevant, it keeps bringing in traffic well into the future, creating a continuous visitor stream that benefits your brand.
Increased web traffic means increased opportunity for lead generation. Optimize your evergreen content to generate leads—like by adding calls-to-action for your newsletter or mailing list—and as more visitors come to your site, your leads grow.
Tips for creating evergreen content
Understanding what evergreen content is and how to create it are two different things—so what’s the secret to building timeless content? Here are a few tips for what to write and how to do it well.
Define or explain something
When in doubt, define a term or explain a concept in your content. This sort of content stays fresh as new people come looking for information.
Go back to basics
Look for aspects of your industry that have been the same from the beginning. An organic grocery chain, for example, might write about the nutrients in kale or the history of avocado farming. These are facts that won’t change as time goes by.
Don’t date posts
The dates traditionally included in blog post URLs do not have to be there—and by removing those dates, you make archived posts look fresh. Straight North does this on its blog. However, removing dates isn’t always wise. If you write about news, current events, or anything where dates make a significant difference in the content, taking out post dates may confuse or frustrate readers.
The first article doesn't need a date as it's an evergreen post, but the second article requires a date to put the list of events in context.
Don’t bury archives
Don’t let your evergreen content get buried on your website—make it easy to find. Here are a few ways to do so: showcase evergreen posts in your sidebar or menu, link to old content from new posts, and periodically re-run content when appropriate. Even better: build a Content Hub to help increase your content's discoverability.
Does your website feature evergreen content, or are all your posts short-lived? What could you do to extend your content’s lifespan? Could making your content timeless and relevant improve your website’s conversion rates? What other tips for evergreen content have been helpful for you?
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About the Author
Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, a Chicago Web design firm providing specialized SEO, Web development, and other online marketing services. Follow Straight North on Twitter and Facebook.More Content by Shanna Mallon