Sometimes, content has a shelf life. Regardless of how engaging and well-written it is, it’s only relevant for a short time. Evergreen content is the opposite. Long after evergreen pieces are published, they continue to bring in viewers and provide value.
When you plan content initiatives for your business, you should add evergreen content into the mix. Here’s why evergreen content is critical to your content marketing efforts and your audience far into the future.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content stays fresh for a long time. With evergreen stories in your marketing plan, you create search-optimized content that isn’t tied to current events or a specific moment in time. Evergreen topics engage your audience and serve a purpose anytime.
Evergreen content garners steady interest, and its traffic remains relatively even. In contrast, timely content will generally see a spike and then a drop in views over time as the content becomes outdated.
Here’s a real-world comparison as an example: If you were at the grocery store, evergreen content would be a nonperishable item, such as a can of beans, that can be consumed years later with no issues. Trending or timely content is more like a gallon of whole milk — it’s only good for a week or so.
Examples of evergreen content
Evergreen content comes in many forms:
- How-to guides
- Buying guides
Evergreen content can be adapted across various industries. As long as you have a clear idea of how you want this content to help your audience, you can create long-lasting content. Here are a few examples of evergreen content types any industry can use.
- How-to posts: These articles guide readers through a process.
- Guides: This type of content breaks down complicated topics or processes.
- “A Guide to YouTube”
- “The Ultimate Grammar Guide”
- “Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy”
- “Guide to Bitcoin Investing”
- Listicles: A numbered list can make a concept more accessible.
- “10 Ways to Cope With Stress”
- “7 Ways to Reduce Pollution”
- “6 Examples of Renewable Resources”
- “8 Small Dog Breeds”
- Questions and answers: These posts answer a key question.
- “When Is the Best Time to Buy a Car?”
- “What Should I Know Before Buying a House?”
- “Where Can I Buy Stocks Online?”
When you intend a piece to be evergreen content, avoid the following content types:
- Trend-focused articles
- News articles
- Pop culture articles
- Statistics-based articles
- Product announcements
Adding a year (“Best Vacation Spots in 2024“) or season (“Best Summertime Activities in New York”) to the title also limits how far your content can stretch. While these topics might still attract viewers after they’re published, they won’t be as evergreen as pieces that aren’t tied to a specific time.
Create a content calendar to help you sort through both trending and evergreen content so you can publish timely information when appropriate while amassing ample evergreen content.
Why evergreen content is important
Evergreen content is the gift that keeps on giving, continuing to draw readers and provide value. Consider the following reasons why evergreen content is valuable:
- Evergreen content ranks higher on search engines. With the right keywords and a focus on timelessness, evergreen content has the potential to rank high on search engines. These pieces tend to be long and high-quality, which can push you to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Evergreen content drives traffic to your site. Evergreen content can rank higher on search engines and send significant traffic to your website landing pages regularly.
- Evergreen content helps build your backlinks. Evergreen pieces are relevant for a long time, so they can generate backlinks. Backlinks occur when other sites link to yours over long periods. Backlinks give your website more credibility and help you rank higher on search engines.
- Evergreen content offers great value to your audience and company. Whether you write these pieces in-house or hire a freelancer, evergreen articles provide value to your audience and your business years after production.
- Evergreen content brings credibility. Evergreen pieces should tie back to your business and position your brand as an industry leader. This is especially true if you rank on the first page of search results for relevant keywords, giving audiences confidence in your knowledge.
- Evergreen content can help generate leads. Evergreen content brings more people to your website, providing ample opportunities to capture more leads and boost sales.
- Evergreen content can be promoted repeatedly. Unlike time-sensitive content, you can promote evergreen on your social media channels periodically and still appeal to new audiences.
- Evergreen content reduces the amount of new content you need. If you successfully create evergreen content, you don’t have to create as much new content. Your evergreen content can do much of the heavy lifting for you.
Producing evergreen content relevant to your industry can position you as a thought leader, adding credibility and respect to your brand.
How to research and write evergreen content
Evergreen content revolves around keywords. Before writing evergreen pieces, you must determine the terms most relevant to your business to make the most significant impact.
Follow these steps to find keywords:
1. Make a list of topics.
Start by considering topics relevant to your business and how they can help your audience. For example, if your company provides small business insurance, your list of topics may include the following:
- Certificate of insurance
- Liability coverage
2. Use a keyword tool.
While topics are crucial, they aren’t content. Keywords will lead you to your evergreen content. To find what makes sense for you, use a keyword tool like Google Trends or Moz. For best results, seek out terms with the following characteristics:
- Find keywords with a high search volume. Search volume is the number of searches for a particular keyword over a specific period. If the term doesn’t have a high search volume, few people are interested in the topic. However, you’ll have more competition for keywords with a higher search volume. Ideal keywords have high search volume and low competition.
- Find keywords that trend well. If a keyword peaks and drops, you know it’s unsuitable for evergreen content. Look for keywords that won’t decline in popularity. Instead, find keywords that will trend upward or remain consistent over time.
- Find keywords that have consistent search intent. Look for search intent (the reason someone conducted a search) that doesn’t change over time. For example, before 2020, a person may have typed “best face mask” into a search engine to find a beauty product. However, since the pandemic, they’re more likely looking for face masks to wear outside their homes. Therefore, this keyword phrase doesn’t have consistent search intent.
For the insurance company in our previous example, the keyword results may look like this:
- Certificate of insurance
- “What is a certificate of insurance?”
- “How can I get a certificate of insurance?”
- Liability coverage
- “How much is liability coverage?”
- “What does liability insurance cover?”
- “What is the difference between deductible and copay?”
- “What is the difference between deductible and coinsurance?”
3. Write your content.
Once you have your keywords and know what stories you want to create, it’s time to write your evergreen pieces. You should ensure the following:
- Your evergreen content must tie into the keyword. It’s hard to outsmart Google, so if you’re aiming for traffic for the keyword “best practices for email list building,” don’t write about how to communicate with a potential customer over the phone. When someone reads this piece, they should learn precisely what they need to do to build an email contact list. In other words, don’t try to use a popular keyword to drive traffic to an unrelated piece you want to promote.
- Your evergreen content must be well-written. Well-written content engages customers and addresses your audience’s needs and interests. Well-written content tends to rank higher than sloppy content, so before publishing, pore over it to check for errors. Professional-looking content that shows attention to detail and writing quality helps build credibility and audience trust.
- Evergreen content must be credible. Fact-check your content. Double-check that your research is correct, and use language that makes you sound like an authority on the subject.
- Evergreen content must communicate clearly. Avoid jargon and overcomplicated explanations. Make your content as clear as possible; your audience will respond to simple, concise material.
- Break your evergreen content into sections and subsections. Sections and subsections make your evergreen content easier to read. While the goal is to get your audience to read the entire piece, the truth is that they may only scan it. Make it easy for them to find the exact information they want by breaking up your content into clearly labeled sections.
- Evergreen content should avoid time-based specifics. Try to avoid using years or the words “today” or “yesterday.” You don’t want the content to appear outdated when someone reads it months or years from now.
Your starting point is to find relevant, high-ranking keywords for your content. From there, if you focus on creating clear, well-written content that helps your audience, you’ll be able to build evergreen pieces that engage them.
How to refresh evergreen content
You should regularly check to see if your evergreen content still ranks highly in search results. Regardless of how much work you put into it or how good it is, the piece could fall in the rankings over time. If you see your article’s traffic slip, it may be time to refresh your evergreen content.
You don’t have to completely rewrite your content. Instead, add to your current piece. Google will be able to tell when you’ve updated your articles, which can push you back up in rankings — if you do it well.
Here are some ways to update your content:
1. Correct outdated information.
While true evergreen content generally stays accurate as time goes on, sometimes things change. For example, if you published a piece about Twitter for business a few years ago, it may be out of date because the social media channel has made updates, such as increasing the character count of tweets and changing its name to X. While the general concepts and principles the article explains might still apply, you also want the details and numbers to be up to date.
2. Add new text.
Revisit your piece and consider what angles you may have missed the first time around. These might be quotes from experts or an entire section you didn’t include. In the Twitter example, you could add a new section that describes how to become a verified user.
3. Check your links.
Are there any broken links in your text? Are the links the most relevant ones you could use? Can you find more credible sources to link to? Do an audit of your links to ensure everything still makes sense and adds value.
4. Add new media.
An easy way to breathe fresh life into your content is to add new media. For example, you could create an infographic that summarizes the information in a specific section or embed a podcast that further explains the points in the article. You could also add videos or slideshows.
5. Make it interactive if possible.
Interactive elements such as polls, surveys and quizzes encourage your audience to stick around longer and maybe even share the piece. This will signal to Google that this is relevant content that should rank higher.
6. Double-check your grammar and spelling.
Even if you were thorough before publishing your piece the first time, it might still have spelling and grammar errors. Read the piece out loud or the sections in reverse order, which helps to pinpoint patterns and mistakes you may have missed.
Putting evergreen content work for you
Evergreen content can be an efficient, valuable part of your content marketing strategy. It can help drive website visitors over time without requiring a continual investment in new content. While you’ll want a mix of timely and evergreen content, it’s crucial to hone your evergreen content strategy to drive brand awareness and help you manage your marketing budget.
Linda Pophal contributed to this article.