While you may hear a lot of talk about the importance of fresh content for SEO, there is another valuable type of content that can boost a website’s visibility in search results – evergreen content.
In this article:
- What is Evergreen Content?
- Why is it Important?
- Creating Evergreen Content
- Promoting Evergreen Content
- Evergreen Content Examples
What Is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is content that has long-term value. Like an evergreen tree that always has leaves, evergreen content always has a use.
It’s a post or page that readers can reference for years to come because the information will always be relevant and valuable. It’s directly related to the core topics of a website and often includes:
The opposite of evergreen content is a post that can quickly become out-of-date or irrelevant. Content that is not evergreen typically includes:
Websites can benefit from mixing evergreen content with their fresh posts and pages.
Why Is Evergreen Content Important?
It is crucial to have evergreen pages and posts on a website for several reasons.
- It provides lasting, compounding value. The more you can use the content you create, the more valuable it becomes. With evergreen content, you produce a piece of content once that provides use for years to come. And, unlike a timely blog post that has a traffic spike that occurs right after publishing, evergreen traffic grows and continues to increase over time.
- It uses core keywords and drives search traffic. When you use keyword research and optimize evergreen content pages for SEO, you can improve your website’s search rankings. This boosts your online authority and drives more and more traffic to your website.
- It educates new customers, clients, and readers. Content that addresses frequently asked questions and provides basic knowledge about your industry or business helps readers, customers, and clients learn more about you, what you do, and what you sell.
- It builds your authority. When you publish high-quality content about topics that relate to your industry, you present your experience and influence in the field. This helps you show off your authority and experience while building trust with audiences.
- It attracts links. Detailed, in-depth, and informative content is likely to be linked to by other websites. When other sites write about a topic, they often link back to resources. By creating a webpage that is extremely valuable and informational, you increase the likelihood of other blogs linking back to it as a resource.
- It creates site continuity and hierarchy. This type of cornerstone content allows you to build your site in a structured way that readers and search engines understand. Your evergreen pages can act as the main points of an outline that organizes your site content.
To begin reaping these benefits, start creating foundational content.
How to Create Evergreen Content
As you begin producing content, go through the following five steps.
Consider your topics. As you come up with evergreen content ideas, consider your topic, industry, and business. Brainstorm the type of content that will build a foundation of information your target audience will seek. For example:
- Answer frequently asked questions of your readers, customers, and clients.
- Tell beginners what they need to know about your business or industry.
- Come up with topics you can turn into comprehensive guides or tutorials.
- Think broad and then drill down into more specific topics.
Make a list of evergreen topics, and then do research to pick the best ideas.
Research the keywords. Once you have a list of potential topic ideas, don’t jump right into creating content. First, perform keyword research to identify phrasing that has the potential to drive the most traffic to your pages.
Use Alexa’s Keyword Difficulty Tool to find the variation of your phrase that:
- Is popular and widely used by searchers
- Is a low-competition keyword and has a competition score your site can compete with
Write for readers. Once you identify the best keywords and topics, start creating your content. Utilize the best practices on how to write content for a website.
- Use short and concise words, sentences, and paragraphs.
- Incorporate white space to break up page elements.
- Use text formatting to highlight key points and takeaways.
- Show instead of tell whenever possible (Use examples and images to help readers visualize concepts.)
- Avoid jargon and industry speak that may confuse readers.
- Speak directly to the reader when it sounds natural.
- Don’t be afraid to stray from strict grammar rules (It’s OK to break minor rules if it adds clarity and doesn’t sound sloppy.)
Optimize for search engines. Once you create your content, add elements that prime the page for search engines.
- Naturally use the keyword throughout the content.
- Write an SEO friendly URL that includes the keyword.
- Use the keyword in the page title, at least one subheading, title tag, meta description, and image alt tag.
- Add relevant inbound links to other pages on your website.
- Add relevant outbound links that lead to resources and sources.
- Find related keywords and use them naturally in the content.
If you aren’t sure if you hit all of the points for optimizing your content, use Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to find out. The tool reviews your page and provides a report of the details you may have missed, along with step-by-step directions for fixing the errors.
Plan to update. While evergreen content is written to provide lasting value over time, there may come a time when the information becomes slightly outdated. To avoid finding yourself in a situation where your evergreen information is no longer relevant, set up a schedule to review and update your cornerstone content.
Depending on your resources, schedule a time to review your content at least 2 to 4 times a year. By regularly reviewing and updating your content, you can ensure it provides lasting value.
An evergreen content strategy is more than content creation. It also includes strategic content promotion. You want to highlight your content so readers can easily find and access it.
Highlight it on your site. Make sure it’s easy for website visitors to find your cornerstone content. Create custom promotional images for sidebars or add topics to menu drop-downs when relevant. Or add a hub or resource library that includes all of your in-depth cornerstone content.
Utilize on-site linking. Another way to guide readers to your evergreen content is by linking to it on other pages of your website. Add internal links to your cornerstone content throughout other blog posts and pages.
Promote through off-site link building. When you create an epic, evergreen piece of content, other bloggers and websites will be more likely to link to it. Reach out to other websites and let them know about your post, and use the post as a resource in your guest posts.
To find backlinks, guest posting opportunities, and sites that will be most likely to link to your content, use Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter the URL of your website or the website of one of your known competitors to produce a list of sites that share the same audience.
With this report, you have a list of sites you know your audience spends time on and are great places for you to begin your guest blogging outreach or link acquisition strategy.
Boost social media shares. While publishing evergreen web content is a great way to boost search engine traffic, it’s also a powerful tool for increasing traffic from social media referrals. Because the content will remain relevant for months or years to come, evergreen content can be passed around the internet indefinitely. So incorporate strategies to give social media legs to your cornerstone content.
- Set up posting schedules that share content far in the future. While fresh and timely posts will quickly lose their relevance on social media, evergreen pages hold lasting value. So schedule posts about cornerstone content far in the future.
- Promote on social platforms that support evergreen content. Some social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook feature quick moving and short-lived posts. Other platforms such as Pinterest and StumbleUpon give posts an opportunity to repeat or re-funnel through feeds. Focus on promoting on these platforms so your content will have a chance to reappear in front of audiences.
- Add buttons that make it easy to share on social media. Don’t use social sharing icons just for your blog posts. Include social share buttons on all pages that include cornerstone content.
Engage in search engine marketing. When you have high-quality, valuable content that is targeted for keywords you know your audience uses, you have a perfect opportunity for search engine marketing (SEM). Set up paid search campaigns that target the terms and intent that your target audience uses to find information related to your business and offerings.
Republish evergreen blog posts. You can republish articles on your blog to prevent it from being buried deep in your archives. To revive old posts and bring them back to the top of your blog feed:
- Select a valuable blog post that was published a year or more ago but is still highly relevant to your business, industry, products, or services.
- Refresh the post if needed. Update any images and links, add new information if available, etc.
- Leave the same URL. It’s important not to change this.
- When you are ready for the post to go live, change the date and time of the post. Do not schedule the republishing of posts. Setting a new, future date will put the post in draft mode and break the live link. You want the link to stay active the entire time, so republish it at the exact time you want the new version to go live.
By going through these promotional tactics, you can stretch the use of your evergreen blog posts and pages and get the most exposure and use out of your content.
Examples of Great Evergreen Content
To get some inspiration for your content, check out these examples.
SUP Beginner’s Guide | Isle Surf and SUP
In their SUP Beginner’s Guide, Isle Surf and SUP offers a top-down look at everything a person would need to know to start paddleboarding. To keep the page evergreen, the guide provides information that won’t change. It then links to pages with information that will change, such as price and product availability.
101 Essential Oil Uses and Benefits | Dr. Axe
The natural health resource website Draxe.com created an epic post on 101 Ways to Use Essential Oils. The post includes a long list of items that will make it stand out from other similar posts that include far less information.
How to Write a Blog Post | Hubspot
Hubspot is a content marketing software, so they have created dozens of pages of cornerstone content that outlines basic concepts of content marketing. One example is their How To Write a Blog Post that introduces advice for beginners.
Green Smoothie 101: How to Make a Green Smoothie | Simple Green Smoothies
Simple Green Smoothie created a post that provides the basic information they know their target audience is seeking. Green Smoothie 101 gives their audience the starting information they need before digging into the rest of the content.
The Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising | Buffer
Buffer found a way to make a timely topic evergreen by committing to regularly update it. In the Complete, Always-Updated Guide to Facebook Advertising, Buffer provides step-by-step directions for almost every facet of Facebook marketing. It’s a topic that frequently changes, but they made it evergreen by regularly revisiting and updating it.
These are all powerful ways to connect more deeply with readers and search engines. Valuable, lasting resources and webpages develop your website and online presence in a way that can attract a larger audience and build a strong foundation for SEO.
Ready to start developing and building your library of evergreen content?
Get help with finding the best keywords and plans for your content strategy with a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. The plan includes our Keyword Difficulty Tool and access to the On-Site SEO Checker, Audience Overlap Tool, and more SEO and competitive research tools.