When it comes to SEO and the online world as a whole, content is king. However, with online conversation moving so fast amongst an abundance of different voices, a new challenge has come in the form of shaping content that is sustainable.
If you could create pieces with the potential to last forever in their relevance and readability, then you are offering value with no sell by date. Users will always come to your site to read that one piece about tips for new parents, as there will always be new parents.
That’s exactly what evergreen content is – something made specifically to retain its relevance over time, thus gaining more and more of an audience. A piece about the 2018 World Cup would have gained some good traction whilst the tournament took place, but by now it is almost irrelevant. No one is searching for content related to something that finished 6 months ago.
That’s the key: Create something people will always want to read, that there’s a permanent audience for, and that answers questions that will always be asked.
What is and isn’t evergreen?
To make it simpler, let’s discuss some of the popular content formats that work best for evergreen content, along with some specific examples of each. Some of the most popular are:
- Listicles – e.g. 39 Benefits of Using Social Media
- Tips – e.g. Top Tips for New Parents
- How to Guides – e.g. How to Build a Shed
- Encyclopaedic – e.g. Wikipedia Pages
- Product Reviews
Using these formats alone does not automatically generate a post that is truly evergreen. That’s down to the nature of the topic itself. But what the above do provide is ample opportunity for the growth of such evergreen pieces.
For example, a listicle on ‘7 Reasons 2019 Will Rule’ has a very clear and obvious shelf life. Change that to ’10 Ways to Enjoy Chocolate’ and you’re onto a winner because, unless everyone loses their minds, people will always love chocolate. This means it’s good for SEO too, as people will always be searching for ways to use chocolate as a result of our undying love for it.
Videos are very effective, and well worth the investment if you have the time and money available to produce high quality video content. They are good for a number of the above examples such as lists, tips and product views, however they are particularly suited to how to guides. People are always looking for videos that both tell and show them how to complete any number of tasks, from deciding on new years resolutions to crafting gorgeous Christmas cards.
How do you create evergreen content?
Firstly, decide on your topic. There’s an endless supply of captivating subjects to construct your content around, but you need to ensure that they are relevant to your business. This very piece that you are reading is highly relevant to One Agency, as we deal in both content marketing and SEO. If we were to write a piece about dating tips, it could be evergreen, but it wouldn’t be of great value to us as a business as it wouldn’t attract the right audience.
Here are some examples of general content topics that are well suited to evergreen content:
- Relationships & love
- Food & Drink
- Money & Finance
- Careers & Jobs
Then you need to decide which format is best. This can be dictated by the nature of your business, or even by the topic of the piece itself. If you are a greetings card brand, your business lends itself well to holiday themed listicles. However, if the piece you had in mind was more geared towards the crafting of bespoke cards, a how to guide or video might be a better idea.
Updating and repurposing
One particularly efficient and useful method of creating evergreen content is to repurpose older content. You can update or tweak a piece to make it more relevant, or you can even change the format entirely in order to make it more likely to last. If you do this with older, underperforming pieces then you are achieving two things at once: Giving some old content a boost, and reducing the hours you would otherwise have put into creating something completely new.
Think of it as the marketing equivalent of regifting those awful socks someone bought you last Christmas, to someone who might appreciate them more.
All of this ties into one of the biggest benefits of evergreen content – it can always be updated. The best examples can go on for years, being tweaked and added to whenever it’s necessary to do so. If you were to publish a listicle on the Christmas markets people must visit, this could easily be added to or altered each festive season – at which point people would search for it, and read it, time and time again.
How and why does it work?
Because evergreen content remains valuable to readers, not only does it retain a readership over time, but it also tends to generate a steady increase in numbers. If you can make your evergreen content the ‘go to’ piece for that particular subject, then you’ve got it cracked. Then there’s the SEO side. Gear this content towards keywords and phrases that you want to be ranking for, and you’ve got a successful double whammy on your hands.
Amy is Marketing Insight Manager at One Agency. She has 2 years experience as a Content Executive, working on content & PR campaigns for a vast pool of clients across many industries.