Content is king. That phrase has been used repeatedly throughout the online marketing world.
But what exactly is content?
When someone posts a photo of their dog, is that content?
If you write a new blog post, is that content?
Or if a business posts a video shot at a local retreat, is that content?
Content can take on a number of different forms. But if you want to create information that continues to work for your business for months – years – into the future, focus on creating evergreen content.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content doesn’t age like other content you use on your sites and social media accounts. Evergreen content is created to continually rank well in the search engines, and remains fresh for readers over long periods of time. It’s relevant to whoever stumbles across it, and is content that can be easily shared and recommended across platforms.
You might be thinking that all of your blog content is evergreen. But there is a difference.
Evergreen content stands the test of time. It provides more value to the reader, and publications throughout your industry may refer to it as a valuable resource. It builds up your reputation and authority. The content is timeless, and you continually update it to keep it relevant.
Evergreen content takes on several formats
Evergreen content is both relevant and informative, making them popular with whoever reads them. Common forms include:
- How-to content
- Product reviews
- User guides
This isn’t a comprehensive list; there are many ways to create content that stands the test of time.
Yet before you start planning your editorial calendar and filling it with evergreen content ideas, it’s essential to understand a few things you should include.
For starters, all content should be created with the reader in mind. What are they looking for from your content? What has value to them? What will they want to read? What will they like to share? For a piece of content to do well over time, it needs to be relevant to the user and provide knowledge on a subject they can’t get from other sources. They trust you because you’re thorough.
It’s equally important that you use concepts that stand the test of time. Will your piece make sense a year from now? Five years from now? The more general you can write it, with periodic updates to ensure it meets current guidelines and thoughts, the more it will attract a wider audience. It may seem difficult to write content on things that change frequently – Facebook, for example – but if you update it often, it can grow and remain current for years to come.
Length isn’t a significant part of the ranking process. What matters most is its value. Evergreen content almost always attracts significant page views when it first is released, then snowballs as it’s shared across platforms, and used in a variety of ways through different recourses and publications.
How do you write great evergreen content?
The best way to create evergreen content is to have a plan of action before you begin.
Start with your keywords
The most vital part of writing evergreen content is to understand what your audience is searching for. With a thorough keyword analysis, you can identify keywords and phrases that searchers are using every time they go to Google.
With your keywords in mind, you can use them in your titles, subheadings, and body copy, giving your content the best chance of being viewed and shared for long periods of time. Use online keyword research tools like Answer The Public as your starting point. You’ll discover different ways searchers are using your most viable keywords and phrases
Magnify and divide your topic
Sometimes the best evergreen content comes from getting detailed about what you do. Marketers often get hung up on generic terms, when searchers spend most of their time with basic items. For example, you might focus on furnace replacement, whereas searchers spend a lot of time learning about funny noises furnaces make when they turn on.
While it’s important to have long-form articles, you should consider creating a dozen or more shorter articles you can link to that will target your audience in different ways. This can attract more long-tail search results, and help build the credibility of your evergreen content.
Break it up, and use your space well
Evergreen content shouldn’t be difficult to read and digest. Instead, craft the content to make it readable, searchable, scannable, and easy to consume.
Headings work well to break up content. Leave lots of white space. Use graphics as they pertain to your content. Highlight key points. Use step-by-step processes. Bullet points work well. Bold areas you want readers to focus on.
Write for beginners
Using personable language will engage and entertain a wide variety of readers. If you get over technical, you’ll chase a large audience away before they ever begin. Evergreen content should be designed for wide attraction, and should simplify difficult concepts in a way a large audience will understand. You can always link to more detailed descriptions if absolutely necessary.
Optimize for SEO
We put this lower on the list because optimizing for SEO should never be your focal point. While you should ensure you use keywords and other SEO best practices for on-page optimization, making it readable is the most important part of creating evergreen content.
Evergreen content is designed to be used again and again
Once you’ve created your content, don’t post it and forget it. It’s designed to be updated and shared over and over again.
If you publish it and forget it, you can have years of content sitting there doing little for your business. But with a little effort, you can make it accessible in a variety of ways, always working to bring in more traffic and customers. There are a few ways to do this:
- Use your evergreen content to build training guides. This is an easy way to build authority with your customers and industry professionals.
- Highlight evergreen content on your homepage. This works especially well if you have seasonal content you can rotate in based on the time of year.
- Pay attention to your most successful posts. Re-run them after you update them to make them even more relevant for today’s readers.
- Create a “start here” page on your navigation. You can make a comprehensive introduction to who you are and what you do, linking to all of your most popular and informative pages.
- Build social media campaigns around your most important content.
Do you use evergreen content effectively for your business?