What is Evergreen Content and How it Works

What is Evergreen Content and How it Works

Bill Gates first uttered the infamous phrase “content is king” back in 1996. Two decades later, this principle still holds true to anyone who has been involved with online marketing.

What Bill Gates didn’t know back in the day, was the rise of Google as the primary standard metric of online visibility (at least in the western world). The race for SEO and the obsolete notion of writing content just for the sake of it has given birth to a lot of stale pieces of content that fill our screens daily. 

We believe that web content works best when it stays relevant regardless of how much time has passed since publication. So, let’s see what is evergreen content and why it can help with your SEO efforts.

What is evergreen content and how it works

Much like the tree that stays unaffected by the passage of time, evergreen content always remains interesting and relevant to readers. Usually, it is fairly long, analyzes a topic in-depth, and it is designed to educate no matter its date of publication.  In a few sentences, evergreen content is:

  • Always relevant
  • Well-researched
  • Factual
  • Informative
  • Not complex (describes complex issues in simple language)

Strategic placement of evergreen content on your website can increase and drive traffic organically for months or even years. Some types of content that do not fit the “evergreen” criteria, are news, pop trends, statistics and seasonal events. Remember the Harlem Shake? Nobody does!

Evergreen content and SEO

A good content marketing strategy will always implement evergreen content as part of its overall approach. A great article or landing page will certainly be interesting but there are a lot of factors at play here.

If, for example, your website is about travel photography and your content ranks for pressure cookers, you have wasted your money. Or time. Or both. 

Evergreen content and insightful SEO keyword research go hand in hand. However, and we can not stress this enough, stuffing your content with keywords will never work. Google algorithms have gotten smart and there is a lot more to it than repeating the same phrase over and over.

Keyword stuffing will quickly earn you a penalty that will be hard to shake off. We make use of all available tools for on-page optimization to make a piece of content not only engaging, but also, search friendly.

Driving organic traffic to your website through SEO

A combination of SEO best practices and well-crafted evergreen content can yield impressive (and consistent) results. Search engines in general (and Google in particular) use elaborate algorithms to discover content and index it according to topics and categories. Therefore, each query sent to the search engine will yield results for the specific and tangential keywords. SEO-driven evergreen content is powerful precisely because it provides value to the reader (by being an authoritative voice in the web).

Search engine algorithms love to consistency and will push a page that people trust further up the rankings. That being said, it is important to understand that ranking 1st page, especially in competitive niches (such as insurance) takes a lot more than just content.

Does longer content rank better on Google?

There are no hard and fast rules regarding SEO and what ranks. Ranking on Google is largely a guessing game. According to the people at the big G themselves, a good piece of content provides information and fulfills search intent.

Theoretically, you could have immense success with a 10-word landing page. But that’s highly unlikely in this day and age. According to research, long-tail queries on Google are becoming the norm as people require factual answers for specific questions.

Although the standard length of a blog post used to be 500 words, this a proposition that seems irrelevant by today’s standards. It all started back in August 2013, when Google updated their algorithm to push in-depth articles further up in the rankings.

The reasoning they gave was that “up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.” Even marketing experts like Neil Patel swear by the effectiveness of factual, in-depth content over generic writing, suggesting that the average blog post should be at least 2.000 words long. Of course, words alone don’t say much. The writing needs to be interesting, informative and analytical, otherwise this is a lost cause.

Bringing quality into a numbers game

Blogging tool provider Buzzsumo analyzed 100 million articles and published a study about which kind of content tends to get more shares. They found out that content in the 3,000-10,000 word area were far more likely to perform well in terms of organic traffic and shareability.

Brian Dean and his team reached a similar verdict when they ran their analysis of SERP factors. After examining one million Google search results, they discovered that long-form content (>1,800 words) ranks better in comparison to short-form articles. 

The verdict among these studies is clear: long form evergreen content (1,500-3,000 words) vastly outperforms hastily written articles. Even though this does not apply to every industry and each situation, evergreen content should be an integral part of your SEO strategy.

How to Create Evergreen Content

So I’m sure you are ready to create some evergreen content.  Below are some ideas for how to begin building your foundation.

FAQ’s

Whether you have a blog or a business, Frequently Asked Questions, are great first building blocks.  Take a few moments, or more, and think of any and all questions which might be asked by someone just coming to your site/business. These questions usually address ‘beginning matters’, which then writing a post to answer them, provides perfect foundation stones.

It is basic, but yet important material that needs to be available on your site.  When a new person visits your site, and wants to learn more, it is these type of posts they look for.  If you don’t have it, you are missing out.  They’ll go somewhere else to find answers to their questions. 

Because this type of content remains relevant, timeless, and definitive, you are creating a strong foundation for not only use in your content marketing strategy, but your audience’s needs.

How-To’s

Another excellent source of evergreen content is to create how-to’s, educational, or instructional posts. Again, think of what a person might want to know after being introduced to your site.  Give it to them.  Most often this is Evergreen Content.

Reviews and Resources

Writing reviews on books, videos, other resources, etc. is timeless.  And for people who are looking to learn more, they appreciate ideas on ways they can. They are thankful to you for offering your knowledgeable opinion and giving guidance to things they can benefit from. 

You don’t have to know everything, but you can help your site’s traffic find what they might want at the time (if you don’t have it). And if you provide material which allows them to easily do this, they will come back to you to get more in the future.

Define

Glossary, common lingo, or term posts are another great asset to create for a secure base on your site.  Although you know all the jargon for your business or topic of your blog, newcomers always don’t. These type of posts are a quick way for them to learn and get up to speed, before they get lost.  They are grateful for them.

Lists

Top Ten Ways to do ‘X’ or Five Great Places to Visit or Three Inspiring Books to Read are examples of List Content and these make awesome posts.  People love lists.  They can quickly scan through them, go back, and read in more detail on items they want. 

They are a fun way to combine or summarize posts on your site.  And if you’ve written in more detail about all ‘Ten Ways to do X’, then you can link to each article within your list article, demonstrating you have lots of what they are interested in.

History or Origins

Writing about the history of things offers interesting back material.  Many of your readers are curious about the history and origin of things.  Provide this historical and timeless content which is relatable to your blog/business’ are of expertise.  Your audience will see you as a well-informed owner and this helps give you credibility.

Create a Hub for Evergreen Content

Once you have numerous evergreen posts on your site, you might want to consider offering ways it can be easily found on your site.  Creating a hub for this material is beneficial.

This can be done by using various side widgets or menus.  Many sites like to use ‘Most Popular Posts’ or ‘What You Need to Know First’ or ‘Best Ways to Start’ titles.

Get in touch if you want to know more about your evergreen content strategy!

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