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Dan Rice

Why Do I Need Evergreen Content?

2nd Jul 2018 Content Marketing 7 minutes to read

Making your content go viral is considered nigh on impossible to plan for, and more often than not, timing and luck are the most crucial elements in the success of viral content. In fact, you are far more likely to be successful if you target consistent and predictable success over time.

There are other ways to gain results from on-site content and build authority and relevancy without investing thousands of pounds into larger, interactive pieces campaigns. Introducing evergreen content.

The purpose of evergreen content is to remain relevant to your target audience over time. Your aim with this type of content should be to provide useful information that has isn’t time sensitive and will continue to be both relevant and interesting. If you are successful in producing the right evergreen content, it will reward you by gaining stronger and more consistent rankings than trend-based content due to its ongoing relevance.

A strong example of content that would be more trend-focused is the royal wedding of Harry and Meghan. Public interest in the wedding will only drive significant traffic and attention in the short term and will quickly go out of date as that interest fades.

Your approach to evergreen content should begin with selecting strong keywords with the right search intent. This will allow you to achieve high rankings, which in turn will drive a strong, predictable and consistent flow of traffic to your website. Your website can then be optimised through a process called conversion rate optimisation (CRO) to ensure that the regular traffic you are driving to your evergreen content is being converted into viable leads and online sales for your business.

Making Your Content Actionable and Useful

Evergreen content should be designed to be as actionable and useful as possible for your target audience. If you are unsure where to start with an evergreen content campaign, a good place to consider is working with new starters or people who have recently learned about your product or industry. Simply because everybody will have been a starter at some point, so it is just as good a place as any to get started yourself! However, it is very important to remember that the needs of your target audience should always come first and beginner content could be highly off-putting to your followers.

It is crucial to remember that the best strategy for your business is to produce the most useful and actionable content possible for your target audience. Conduct keyword research into the terms you are planning to cover and remember to consider their popularity on social media too. Tracking this data over a number of months or years will provide you with stronger indications about the topics that will or will not be successful for your business.

The best way to approach this is to ask yourself the following question:

What is one question or problem that all my clients have had to solve at some point?

Your evergreen content is more likely to succeed if you are able to:

  • resolve a really painful problem e.g. help determining which recipes are safe for you and your family’s allergies and tastes
  • offer something they really want, e.g. the next iPhone
  • add significant value to their lives, e.g. teaching them actionable steps required to clean their own drains

In many cases, it will be simple to determine which of these approaches is best suited to your business. If it is less clear, it may be worth considering “your why”, which, according to Simon Sinek, is essentially your reason for being in business in the first place.

Another approach could be to review your unique selling point or conduct a SWOT analysis (which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats).

Any of these approaches should provide clues about the topics, ideas and, therefore, content that will be relevant to your target audience in the long term, making them strong candidates for evergreen content campaigns.

Using Evergreen Content to Establish Your Expert Status

Google is designed to provide its users with the most relevant answers provided by the authors with the greatest authority to share that information. When it comes to evergreen content, this presents an opportunity for you to establish relevance with Google.

Provided you have produced a compelling piece of evergreen content, you should be able to start driving traffic to your site in the same way as you would expect with time-limited or trending content. The level of detail and topical knowledge required to compile a comprehensive piece of evergreen content will ensure it includes a number of keywords in a way that is natural and reveals your expert status on the subject.

With the support of your SEO or PR teams (depending on the nature of the content), you can kick-start your content and drive significant traffic in its early life. However, the best evergreen content will stand alone and, before long, its quality will speak for itself.

If your evergreen content campaign has been a success, it will soon begin to drive traffic on its own and you will no longer have to rely on proactive link building to drive more traffic to your site. The success or failure of your content during this process will give a strong indication of whether or not the search engines, the media and the public are willing to accept your expert status and share your content with others.

Ensuring Long-Term Success with Evergreen Content

Having established that evergreen content is all about longevity and providing value to your audience in the long term, we need to consider how we will ensure the content lives a long and healthy life online. If the evergreen content doesn’t achieve a strong ranking early on, you will need to do more promotion or optimise the content even further in order to achieve this if you want to secure long-term success.

Here is a quick checklist that you should work through for your biggest and best evergreen content campaigns if you don’t intend to give up on those ideas:

  • Ensure you have optimised for SEO: with frequent Google changes and algorithm updates, it becomes important to create rich and unique content for the user that is optimised with relevant keywords.
  • Regular updates: while evergreen content should be able to sit on your site without changes, there will be instances where slight adjustments need to be made. These might be to the content itself, keeping it fresh without a rewrite, further optimising for particular keywords or news-jumping on recent events. This doesn’t need to become a huge overhaul of content; minor edits every six to 12 months will keep it fresh.
  • Reshare: use social media and, where possible, recent blogs to link back to evergreen content. These will provide additional boosts and help drive new links to the blog, building your authority over time.

If you really want the content to be a long-term success and it is relevant to the majority of your customers at some point in their lives, you should consider placing the content prominently on your home page. Whatever you do, don’t simply leave your most compelling content to dwell in the archives of your blog where nobody will ever see it.
If you’ve already let this happen, bring your best content back to life and give it a good refresh. Produce a great new supporting blog and “relaunch” it to your social media and newsletter audiences. If you get this right, it will give your evergreen content the kick-start it needs to start producing long-term results for your business.

Why Do I Need Evergreen Content?

Evergreen content is important for any company that is looking to build consistent and predictable traffic to their website. The aim should be to drive an initial burst of traffic through proactive promotion (as you would with trending content), but the difference between this and other types of content is that you should then be able to allow the content to take over and deliver consistent traffic over time.

If you can produce compelling content it will adds significant value to your audience. This will also ensure that you have a valuable asset that will continue to deliver you traffic, attention, links and social media shares for years to come.

You need evergreen content if you want to demonstrate that you are an authority of the subject and you will continue to be one for years to come. It is important that you have this content and that this information will continue delivering results so that you don’t have to be 100% reliant on consistently producing winning content on a regular basis as your only method of driving leads into your business.

If you want to gain actionable insights into the topics you should be creating your evergreen content campaigns for, you’ll need to conduct some research into suitable topics for your audience. A great place to start is this blog by my fellow content strategist Lola, where she teaches you how to get started with Answer the Public.

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Dan Rice

Content Strategist

Football fan and pizza enthusiast, Dan, is somewhat of a dog whisperer; boasting that they’re always drawn to him, even though he’s afraid of most canines. He’s known for his love of psychology, comedy and start-up businesses, but not spicy food: he learned that the hard way.

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