Evergreen Content: What is it, Why you need it, and How to create it

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content gets its name from the variety of pine trees known as ‘Evergreens.’ These trees don’t lose their leaves in the winter; instead, they have green pine needles that remain on the tree year-round. Evergreen content, thus, is an analogy. It is content that doesn’t age or lose relevancy, regardless of when the content is read. Several topics fit into this description, like recipes or weight loss methods. People aren’t going to stop making and eating food, nor are they going to stop wanting to lose weight. Political topics, breaking news, sporting events, and more would not be evergreen, as these topics are either a one-time occurrence or become irrelevant over time. 

Why Do You Need Evergreen Content?

Blogs and online spaces need traffic. This traffic is most beneficial when it comes steadily. When blogs focus solely on seasonal or one-off topics, the web traffic to that blog resembles a sine wave. These popular topics create spikes; however, once interest in that event drops off, the traffic follows suit. Thus, evergreen topic because key because it will always attract visitors to your site. For site owners, this is a significant development. Regular and organic online traffic is the best way to grow an online space. Additionally, this type of content requires less work. It doesn’t need to be updated, which means that you can focus on other projects and ventures. 

How Can You Create Evergreen Content?

The first step in creating evergreen content is to find appropriate content to write about. One of the best ways to do this is to use a keyword search tool that provides metrics about search volume. This will give you a rough estimate of the traffic, a specific topic is getting, and if the traffic is worth authoring evergreen content. If there are other webpages about this topic, you can also check the amount of traffic that these resources receive. Tools like google trends allow you to double-check the subject, to ensure that it has a positive direction. Some topics that may seem evergreen can have seasonal dips. Some topics are also more volatile than others, making them poor options for content. 

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Once you have determined a topic for your content, you must create that content. This isn’t as easy as it seems. It isn’t as simple as just pounding out some SEO focused articles that hit a certain word count threshold. The content must be good! For evergreen content to be effective, it needs to be better than what everyone else has published on the same topic. Not just a little bit better, your content needs to be significantly better. This will ensure that it lasts for as long as possible. Thus, you can reap the benefits of evergreen pieces for years

There are three metrics that you can use to ensure that the content that you are producing is excellent. Firstly, ensure that the written content is good. Does it provide actionable advice or a solution to the issues that it addresses? Beyond this, ensure that the website design is excellent. How many times have you visited a website that seemed like it would have promising information, only for the website to be unbearably designed? Make sure that your site looks good; the font is readable; there aren’t too many ads and the like. Secondly, ensure that your work stands out. If you are writing content for a contentious topic, what makes yours different? By inserting unique features or an ‘x-factor,’ you can help your work stand out from the pack. Finally, become an expert in what you are writing about if you aren’t already. To create the best website substance, you need to have a clear grasp of the topics being discussed. 

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Several pitfalls can damage evergreen content if not avoided. One of the most common is pop culture references. Even if the topic itself is perfectly evergreen, adding references to popular shows, movies and music can date the topic detrimentally. Some shows seem like they will be popular forever, such as Game of Thrones. When looking at the keyword searches, however, this is not the case. The reason why so many people do this is simple. When they write an article and reference something that is currently popular, it draws in significantly more traffic than it would otherwise, because the keywords attract people. While this can be applicable in some scenarios, it is a terrible strategy for creating functional, evergreen website content.

Another pitfall that is tougher to avoid is using dated language. For instance, saying ‘last month,’ ‘this year,’ ‘this season’ and other similar statements cause evergreen content to become less effective. An even worse offense is using specific dates or years within the material. Like the above pitfall, however, it is a double-edged sword. In the current year, many searches will include the year to get the most up-to-date information. Conversely, once the new year starts, the keyword will become obsolete. Thus, unless you want to update your evergreen content every season, month or year, try to avoid this. 

Maintaining Evergreen Content

Despite your best efforts, your content may need updating sometimes. Even the best evergreen subjects can sometimes need refreshing. One way to monitor your content and assess when it needs updating is by using analytics. Track the traffic that is incoming to your site. If traffic is dropping off significantly, it may be a good indicator that some of the content needs to be reworked. 

Technically, several factors can cause your site or pages to become less relevant regarding their search position on Google. Statistics is one of these reasons, as new studies come out, the information cited becomes obsolete. Processes detailed in your pages may also need updating. As new versions of software, hardware, programs, and other tools are released, the methods of operation may change. For any tutorial or product-related evergreen content, the processes that you describe will need updating sometimes. Screenshots and links can become irrelevant over time, too. Sometimes, replacing these pieces are all that’s required to update an article.

Finally, try to focus on building more backlinks to your site. Websites cannot succeed on their own. Instead, sites need to be linked to other sites. While this is just a rough correlation, in general, sites with more links leading to them do significantly better, regardless of content. Several online tools let you track the backlinks pointing to your site. 

Quick Summary of Evergreen Content

To recap, evergreen content is content that is relevant and useful regardless of when it is read. This is useful because it allows website owners to cultivate an organic and steady stream of traffic to their site. Instead of relying on trending topics or breaking news, this is a lower maintenance method of drawing in new readers and traffic. When you create evergreen content, you need to ensure that you are writing good content that you have a healthy amount of knowledge about. Even when you create fantastic content, remember that it will need to be refreshed sometimes. There are several strategies of doing this that will make your site stand out. When you first begin creating evergreen content, it may seem overwhelming. If you have no idea where to start, try picking something broad that you have a passion for and working from there. This ensures that you write well and have the requisite level of knowledge.

Isaac Adams-Hands

Full Stack Developer, Digital Marketer, and InfoSec enthusiast. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney and his Business Diploma from Georgian College before joining various marketing positions in search portals, e-commerce, higher education, and addiction recovery services.

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