Creating content that’s practical and of utility is content that’s shareable and lasting.
No ifs, buts, ands or maybes.
And when you create content that lasts, you develop relevant and industry expertise that not only audiences recognize you for, but search engines as well.
Got it? Good.
…wait a second… don’t believe me?
You see, this kind of content can be informative how-to guides, or what is this and that articles. They provide utility, are revisited occasionally for their use and typically contain long-tail keywords.
Or what’s known as evergreen keywords. Take “What is Evergreen Content” or “How to Leverage Evergreen Content for Higher Rankings” as examples.
In fact, according to a study performed by a leading SEO firm, 29.13% of 1.9 billion keywords that have monthly volumes of 10,000+ are of the long tail variety.
Think about it. That’s 551 million long-tail keywords that are searched AT LEAST 10,000 times a month.
So, clearly, content with evergreen keywords is a huge piece of the total pie of what’s being searched for.
If you’re interested in capturing a piece of this HUGE search query pie, read further as we breakdown strategies for creating evergreen content, with keywords and examples.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What’s Evergreen Content?
Content that retains its relevance, is not time-sensitive, drives traffic to high-yielding landing pages and requires little if any, updating, reformatting, or thickening.
It’s not, however. In fact, its utilitarian nature has been around in one form or another since the invention of writing.
Think of the recipes, stories and tales that describe morals and wisdom that are steeped in cultural traditions throughout the world. Think of the encyclopedia’s many definitions and explanations. These all have stood the test of time!
But since its 2019, here are 3 modern examples of evergreen topics:
Take the above 3 and compare them to these non-evergreen content articles below:
- The 5 Most Used Social Media Channels
- Digital Marketing Trends of 2019
- Today’s Most Influential Influencers
- Richard Branson Did What?
Can you see why the second bunch is not evergreen?
For one, the second bunch is time-sensitive, making them dated within a year. Also, each is based on temporary trends and are focused on the present moment.
So for genuinely evergreen content, you’d want to avoid:
- News-driven topics (i.e. Donald Trump’s latest comments)
- Topics that report on trends, fads and fly by events
- Topics that are based on time-sensitive stats.
These topics shouldn’t be avoided altogether but should be a smaller percentage of the total amount of content you create, depending on your business model, of course.
How to Create Evergreeen Content With Examples
Need a creative push to make content that lasts? Here are 5 strategies to get you started.
5 strategies for evergreen content
- Use broad subjects that stand the test of time
- Get evergreen content ideas by analyzing traffic
- Create a how-to guide content series
- Repurpose old content
- Optimize old content
1. Use broad subjects that stand the test of time
As a general rule, your topic of choice should be relevant for a long time.
“What’s a common industry-wide problem or pain point that people are interested in solving and needing an answer to?”
“And will this problem or topic still be around and hold interest in years to come?”
If yes, you’ve got yourself a candidate. The next step is to use a
keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Moz, SEMRush, or the many other free ones, and find variations of the topic you came up with.
Here’s a guide on how to execute a killer keyword research.
Content with evergreen keywords is most effective when it addresses a specific need along the buyer’s journey, guiding them through each stage. Think of the sales funnel for content.
With that said, here’s an evergreen content example of finding the right topic.
A guitar teacher who launches a Beginner Guitar series that shows you how to play specific chords is an evergreen topic. Tips on playing the C-chord better is very likely to stay the same for decades. It just won’t go out of date, unless the guitar becomes completely obsolete (not likely, but Elon Musk does exist).
This means older videos are going to be getting traffic for years after they’ve been published, with little maintenance of course.
2. Get evergreen content ideas by analyzing traffic
Evergreen content ideas are aplenty. You just need to know where to look. Many great starting places are:
- Your expertise: Think of your education, training or experience and its foundational principles that are repeated over and over again.
- Content that’s been sent as part of your email campaigns that had high open rates.
- Topics that your big competitors are obsessed over.
- Topics that are being devoured (in a good way) by your audience.
In finding topics that are most appealing to your visitors, assess your website’s traffic with Google Analytics. Or make a note of which social media posts generate the most engagement.
Mind you, both of these do require experimentation and time, but it’s well worth it, as they both help you avoid trying to be everything to everyone at once and sticking to a niche instead.
The pareto principle represents the idea that 80% of your traffic and sales come from a tiny portion (say 20%) of your customers. The numbers can vary, but you’ll find the idea holds in just about every situation.
Here’s how you can create topics in demand:
Say you have a yoga-focused website that’s Google Search Console, and Google Analytics supported (do this if you haven’t already). Start by the process by:
- Writing a few posts focusing on yoga positions
- Then writing a few other posts on experimenting with yoga gear.
Once published, promote, promote and promote with a combination of SEO, social media and PPC.
- Then over time, analyze its traffic with Google Analytics and Search Console.
- Lastly, create a series of articles on topics that generate the highest engagement and traffic metrics.
Here’s a Google Analytics screenshot of a blog we work with:
3. Create a how-to guide series
Once you have evergreen keyword topics in-hand, the next part is deciding what kind of content you want to create.
Since we’re focused on climbing up search engine rankings, owned media is an excellent place to start, such as a how-to guide series published on your own platform.
We like this option to start because it can apply to nearly any brand, and it’s an exciting way to explore a subject in great detail. Instead of just informing your audience with theory, research or events, the how-to guide allows you to provide relevant advice and secrets centred around your audience’s pain points.
Combine this with using broad topics that are highly searched for and you have a whole arsenal of content to start with.
Creating a series of articles centred around a topic tells search engines that you have topical expertise over the subject, which is a far more efficient strategy to ranking than tackling isolated key phrases.
Alternatively, you can combine the entire series into one post, which can be called a pillar page.
How you can create a how-to guide series
Say you’ve created both content on ‘yoga positions’ and ‘yoga gear’, and over time, your audience is having a frenzy over the topic of ‘practicing various yoga poses.’ If you already haven’t, start your evergreen content series with:
- A general informative article like “What are the various yoga poses for beginners and not-so-beginners.”
- Then create a separate article such as “What are the benefits of the lotus pose and the crane pose.”
- Lastly, finish with a practical step-by-step guide of how to perform each pose, with another article detailing where your readers can get training or lessons.
Of course, you’d want to include the right keywords with the right attributes in these articles.
Take notes from the educational giant Investopedia:
Can you imagine the potential for content? Take into account the different channels you can repurpose your content series and you have a whole artillery!
4. Repurposing old content into evergreen
If you’ve already published great content that your audience enjoys or did enjoy at one point that’s not so evergreen now, why not repurpose it and make it stand the test of time?
Here’s Harper’s Bazaar, an iconic women’s fashion brand, with not so evergreen content from 2017.
Fast forward to this year, you’ll notice they’ve expanded on the previous topic with an article that’s a lot more relevant and timeless!
The topic of seasonal and yearly fashion trends is never going to be written about enough, so the above shows a clever way of recycling similar ideas in evergreen ways. And one way to do that is to either add or drop the date within the title for a new angle. Here’s a deeper breakdown:
How to repurpose old content into evergreen
- Start by finding content that’s out-dated or far from trending in your database and pick out its still relevant sections, like the lessons learnt or how it’s affected today’s events
- Then, rewrite an entirely new article, or series of them, centred around the gems you’ve collected. And do so, according to the rules of evergreen content.
- An alternative is to make as many surface-level changes (while being authentic) to these old rusty gems that need a little extra TLC. This means updating all the dates and news and events-focused sections.
But if you’re updating, what’s the point if you’re not optimizing for search engines?
5. Go back and optimize your old evergreen content posts
Like we’ve mentioned, evergreen content is a huge factor in higher SEO rankings. Rather than throw out old content that’s already proven to generate engagement and accumulate SEO authority, a few simple updates can seamlessly make the page relevant again, both for search engines and us humans.
How to optimize old content for search engines (SEO)
Start optimizing your out-dated content in these ways:
- Add keywords to your blog post: You can do this by analyzing the search intent of your article’s keywords and adjusting its content to fit better to what searchers are looking for. Also, find related keywords that you can include as subsections to enhance the post’s rankability.
- After you’ve found the right keywords: place them in the title, the meta description, the headers, throughout the content and in the alt tags of your photos. Or alternatively, get a plugin that automates this process.
- Then fix and add links (internal and external): You can do this by fixing broken internal and external links, while also updating them with more relevant pages. In addition, if your posts are missing links, make sure you add 1-3 internal and external links to points that need references. Overall, you’d want to cross-pollinate as many of your posts and pages systematically by topic. Also, don’t forget about backlinks!
Internal linking your subtopics together improves your technical and on-page SEO scores, making it easier for web crawlers to index your entire website. For off-page SEO strategies, check out our link building guide.
Key Takeaways for Evergreen Content
Think you’re ready to evergreen your way for higher rankings and better content?
Here’s a recap of our guide to ensure you do:
- Evergreen content is practical and holds its relevance for years with little updating, while being long-tail keyword heavy, making it ideal for SEO.
- Evergreen content is not time-sensitive content such as trend-driven news or statistical reports that can be easily out-dated. That’s not to say you shouldn’t create such content. Instead, non-evergreen content should be a smaller portion of your owned media content strategy (depending on your business model).
- Your evergreen content, such as your how-to guide series, should be updated every 6 months to a year for relevancy. When it’s updated, make sure to promote it again telling your audience the details.
- Strategies for creating evergreen content include: using broad topics based on keyword research, creating a data-driven content series around those broad topics and repurposing and optimizing old content.
However, reviewing your website to be more evergreen can be a lot of work, so it might be tempting to pull the plug and start over. But with our guide, you’ll have more than a few starting points to evergreen your whole website.
And who knows, by the end of it, you and your team might just be singing ‘O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree’ before the year’s out
Stay tuned for more digital marketing insights!