How to Develop and Create Evergreen Content
Creating content that remains relevant over a long time can help to increase search engine rankings. Here's our guide to developing evergreen content.
Timeless pieces never go out of fashion; they will last for an eternity. This fashion rule also applies to online content. Evergreen content refers to content that stays relevant for readers and search engines over a long period of time. This could be a blog post, an encyclopedia article or an infographic, the important thing is that such content remains permanently interesting, which makes it a very useful eye-catcher.
Evergreen content will continuously generate traffic and gain valuable search engine rankings for months, or even years, after the date of publication. It is therefore a proven way to generate online reach and build reputation. “We get 80 percent of all views at least a month after an article has been written,” said Adam D’Angelo, co-founder of the question and answer site Quora in the New York Times – a good example of evergreen content. Search Engine Watch also showed how web traffic responds to successful evergreen content.
Source: Search Engine Watch
How to Create Evergreen Content
To create permanently relevant content, there are basically two options.
1. Publish content which is so enduring that it remains relevant to the topic– even when external influences change. This means developing topics and formats that will always be useful and entertaining for your audience: today, tomorrow and, if at all possible, even after a few years.
2. Bring new life to existing content. If you give valuable content an update that makes it relevant and fresh again, you can expand your user base. Plus, Google prefers fresh content.
It‘s as easy as that! Below we focus on ideas for new evergreen content and also on how to give your older content a fresh coat of paint.
Ideas for new evergreen content
Do you want to create new content which continues to interest both your readers and search engines over time? Then you should avoid current developments or trends because these are not permanently useful for your target audience. This means to avoid topics that will lose their relevance and therefore bring less traffic over time. News and statistics also become obsolete very quickly. However, certain formats and topics perform particularly well as evergreen content.
Evergreen content: 9 formats
If you want to use evergreen content successfully, you should first think very carefully about your target audience. What content do they prefer, and which aspects of this content will have a permanent appeal? With tools like BuzzSumo, it’s possible to analyze which website articles have been most popular in the past and which have been most shared on social media. Regardless of the topic, it is often content helping to solve a particular problem that remains useful for the longest period.
1. Tutorial videos
How to change a tire or how to bake an Apple Strudel – these topics won‘t change frequently. That’s the reason why tutorials work so well, both in text and video form. Find which problems concern your target audience and offer them solutions. Video tutorials can also help your customers to use your products and services effectively.
2. Tutorial articles/how-to-guides
Written guides are also helpful and interesting over a sustained period of time. For example, many authors need assistance with certain types of text or with spelling and grammar. They can consult Textbroker tutorials, one example of evergreen content.
3. Questions and answers
Why do sites like ehow.com do so well? It‘s because they supply answers and advice about frequently recurring problems. Therefore, you should provide your target audience with an FAQ section. In addition, with the help of your Customer Service team and a little keyword research, you can identify the questions that crop up frequently and answer them.
4. Encyclopedia articles and definitions
People are always searching for technical terms, and their meaning is generally not subject to change. Wikipedia.com is therefore a classic example of evergreen content. However, depending upon the type of keywords addressed, dictionaries and similar products will need regular updates.
5. E-books and white papers
These formats have the potential for enduring content that a company can rely upon for long periods of time. After all, this type of content offers complete subject coverage with accurate information and gives valuable advice. As long as the respective content remains valid, this topic-specific content form will remain relevant.
6. Case studies
Case studies illustrate the operation and performance of companies based on practical examples. How specific problems were solved and the difficulties certain projects have successfully overcome will always be relevant for customers. Well-structured and graphically enhanced case studies can also significantly influence purchasing decisions.
If exciting personalities share your view of the world, this will generate long-standing interest. Even experts who answer burning questions on specialized topics will attract attention for long periods and secure good rankings.
A well-prepared infographic will illustrate complex content in a striking manner. An example of a successful infographic which continuously spread across social media is the graphics used to optimize the Kissmetrics landing pages.
9. Product reviews and testimonials
Provided they are authentic and credible, testimonials from satisfied customers are enduring flagship content. The same applies to good reviews, and you can actively invite satisfied customers to evaluate their experience.
Of course, these are just some examples of evergreen content formats. Lists, curated content, and rankings are also conceivable options and just require a little creativity to develop.
Evergreen content themes
The scope of evergreen content topics is only limited by your imagination – there are no other constraints. The main thing is to use content that will also serve your target audience tomorrow, either as a practical guide or an entertaining read. Yet there are some topics which naturally work particularly well as long-term content:
- Finance & Accounting (examples: saving tips, investment strategies, consumer loans, etc.)
- Career (examples: common questions at job interviews, tips for salary negotiations, etc.)
- Health (example: tips for colds, home remedies for heartburn, etc.)
- Diets (examples: get slim without exercise, healthy eating tips from celebrities, etc.)
- Fitness (examples: get fit for Spring, injury-free running, etc.)
- Cooking and Recipes (examples: Grandma’s Favorite Cake Recipes, DIY Sushi, etc.)
- Travel (examples: the most beautiful beaches, destinations popular with locals, etc.)
- Beauty (examples: make-up tips, how to keep looking young, etc.)
- Dating/Relationships (examples: places for a first date, etc.)
- Gifts (examples: the best gifts for Valentine’s Day, for Mothers, etc.)
But even if these issues do not fit to your articles, you can still create successful evergreen content if you understand the basic principle. While an article heralding a new Google update is relevant only for a short time, a text that deals with the impact of the update and provides recommendations for website owners may continue to be of interest for several months or even years.
Create a breath of fresh air
Instead of creating new content, you can also create evergreen content by refreshing existing content. This has the advantage of updating valuable content and making it relevant again, instead of letting it disappear into oblivion.
When you give your content a fresh coat of paint, you increase its information value. Content updates also work well with search engines because Google sorts results from the most to the least relevant. With an update, you can therefore win new traffic, generate new links and social shares, and improve your rankings.
How to identify future evergreen content
An update and expansion is particularly worthwhile for valuable content which has long-term potential. To find out which content would be most suitable for this process, you should first conduct an analysis.
Evaluate your content like this: Which content will gain the most views and which will ensure the most conversions? You should also look at the retention and bounce rates to determine the point at which an update would offer the greatest benefit.
Content that generates traffic over a sustained period is also very promising. In addition, looking at the rankings can show potential for evergreen content.
You should ask one thing for all eligible articles: What could make this content interesting and useful again and again? Then decide what content is worth pursuing or updating and carefully polish that content to sustain it for the long term.
How can you turn existing content into evergreen content?
There are many ways to dust off older content pieces and move them back into the limelight. This always involves adding, removing, or editing information.
- Add a new hook line/remove older messages
- Write a new introduction
- Add new examples or update old ones
- Add photos or videos
- Update links
- Include a new section/write a Conclusion
- Update statistics
- Incorporate new findings
- Optimize the structure
Remember: If you rewrite or expand an article, you must also update it in every other respect. After you have made extensive changes, you can re-publish your refreshed content and share it again via social media.
Maintain a balance between old and new
Evergreen content can offer timeless content pieces that remain forever relevant. However, older content can become similarly evergreen if repeatedly updated and refreshed in the right way.
Evergreen content can make a positive difference with sustained traffic, social shares, new leads, and valuable search engine rankings.
Remember, though, that to operate your content marketing successfully, you must also address new issues and create fresh content. Those who are able to rely upon a mix of current content, timeless evergreen content, and updated content will be able to sustain reader interest and improve their content strategy.
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