Looking for new ways to use content to get results from your website? Do you have existing content that you want to get better results from? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then you are going to appreciate the information provided below.

In this article we are going to show you how using evergreen content is something that needs to be integrated into your content strategy.

Evergreen Content

What is Evergreen Content?

Even with all of the different forms of content (articles, videos, images, infographics, etc) there are really only two types of content; content that loses relevancy or importance over time and content that remains relevant for long, sometimes indefinite, periods of time.

We’re talking about evergreen content in this article, which can be defined as…

Evergreen Content Definition

A perfect example of evergreen content would be an article that talks about the history of a certain person, place or thing. Historical information does not change and therefore remains pertinent and relevant for long periods of time.

TIPS:
 Want a great piece of evergeen content for your business? Write an evergreen article about the history of how and where your industry started.

What is NOT Evergreen Content?

To expand a bit more, here are some examples of content that would NOT be considered “evergreen”:

  • Monthly statistics or numerical reports (e.g. “Market Report for January 2013”)
  • Seasonal / holiday specific pieces (e.g. “2013 Cyber Monday Holiday Special”)
  • Current trend or pop culture write-ups (e.g. “Skinny Jeans are the Fashion Trend of 2012”)
  • News articles (e.g. “2012 Presidential Election”)

These examples, although not evergreen, can and would make great article ideas for you to blog about.


How to Create Effective Evergreen Content

As with any other form of content, evergreen content needs to be created with quality being the first and foremost priority. Since the purpose of this type of content is to deliver results over a long period of time the quality of the piece is paramount to its success.

So how does one go about creating quality, effective evergreen content?

The 5 steps below will answer that question and get you started…

1. Know Your Audience.

Although there are always exceptions, it’s fairly safe to assume that the people searching for and consuming evergreen content are not experts on the subject. Instead these are beginners or novices looking to learn about a new subject. Knowing this, it will be important to think about  how you will tailor your content to beginners.

TIP:
Avoiding overly technical jargon and keeping the flow of information organized from least technical to most technical will be essential.

2. Do Your Keyword Research.

If the focus of your content is too broad, then it runs the risk of being too lengthy and too general to ever gain online exposure. These two things will keep your audience from finding your content and from consuming it. To avoid these things, a little keyword research can go a long way.

TIP:
Use the available keyword research tools, as well as your own common sense, to determine which key phrase should be the focus of your content.

3. Determine Your Content’s Lifespan.

Some content can be “evergreen”, but still have a limited lifespan (e.g. “How to Restore Your iPhone 3GS”). Knowing this ahead of time will help you properly plan out the most effective URL structure and allow for many additional content opportunities.

TIP:
Create top-level pieces (e.g. “How to Use an iPhone” – /how-to-use-an-iphone/) and have more long-tailed pieces branch off from there (e.g. “How to Use an iPhone 5” – /how-to-use-an-iphone-5/)

4. Establish Your Headline and URL.

Once you have defined your primary key phrase to target and the lifespan of your content it is important to remember to keep your content keyword centric and narrowly focused. Doing so will make creating your page / post headline and URL very simple.

TIP:
Avoid catchy titles that may not bring traffic. A good example of a headline / URL combination would be something like “How to Make the Perfect Fried Egg” with the URL being “/how-to-make-the-perfect-fried-egg/”

5. Link Everything Together.

Since evergreen content is usually for novices there will always be opportunities to expand the content into more detailed pieces. As you create these more technical, advanced pieces you will want to remember to link to those pieces from your high level content and back to your high level content from those more specific ones.

TIP:
Think of your evergreen content like a tree (fittingly). Your high level

A Forgotten Source of Evergreen Content

Evergreen Content Tips
Often times evergreen content gets left out of a marketing strategy for one of the following reasons:

  1. a lot of work to create
  2. redundant of what already exists online

Although these two things can be the case for most content topics they shouldn’t discourage you from working them into your strategy.

Where to Look for Existing Opportunities

Some of the most common sources of evergreen content like eHow, Wikipedia, About and IMDB have all built their audiences off of content that someone else has done before. One of these examples, Wikipedia, provides a great reminder of squeezing as much value out of existing content as possible.

Although most Wikipedia topics are evergreen, they remain useful and relevant as editors can keep the information updated with edits. This same approach can and should be applied to your existing website content.

Unless you are working with a brand new website, then you should have some existing content to revisit and refresh. Perhaps those high level, informational service pages of yours haven’t been touched in awhile. Or, maybe you wrote some evergreen blog posts that garnered a lot of attention and could be refreshed for a second life.

Using Your Existing Content

Here are some ways to squeeze more out of a forgotten source of evergreen content – your existing information:

  • At least once a year, audit your existing content by updating it where needed, adding new information and re-posting it
  • If it’s a blog post, remove the published date and re-share the content via your social channels
  • Add links to new posts or pages that you have published on your site since the original article was published
  • Perform outreach to journalists and editors if the topic of your evergreen content is relevant to a recent news story or event

Doing these things will help to keep your content exposed on a consistent basis instead of letting it get buried as newer articles get indexed. Someone who has proven that these methods work is Jason Acidre who believes that….

Key to Success with Evergreen Content


Ideas for Evergreen Content

Hopefully by now you’ve got some solid ideas to create your own evergreen content. If not, and you still need something to get those creative juices flowing, then here are some useful ideas for evergreen content to help:

  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • “How To” Guides and Tutorials
  • Glossary of industry phrases and buzzwords
  • List of Industry Resources (people, publications, tools, etc)
  • “History of …” pieces

Our Favorite Examples of Evergreen Content

We’ve decided to list some of our hand-picked examples of great evergreen content as these pieces have been extremely helpful to many people and the amount of work put into them deserves a even more exposure.

TIP:
Don’t forget that evergreen content does not have to be an article. Get creative and think about using something like video or visualization to present your information.

Evergreen Content that Converts

Evergreen content, like any other content you put time or money into, should produce some type of return for you. Although it’s typically used to create foundational, authoritative information for a website, evergreen content can and should be creating conversions (leads or sales) for your business as well. Great content, especially evergreen content, can bring you long-term traffic, website authority and brand awareness.

How do you get this content to create business though?

Some simple, but important, reminders to ensure that your evergreen content produces an ROI are to:

  • Strategically place relevant calls to action within or around your content
  • Optimize the look, feel and experience that your website gives its visitors
  • Promote the content to influencers when relevant news or events happen

Don’t make the mistake of creating a great piece of content and then just letting it sit and “rot”. Continue to give it life with the tips above and also outlined throughout this post.

And if you’ve run out of ideas to squeeze more out of your existing content or need to get started on creating new, effective evergreen content then we would love to help.

Need to start or improve your evergreen content strategy?

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Vinny La Barbera

I’ve been working in online marketing since 2000 and have helped thousands of companies improve their online presence and grow their business through better web / mobile design, development and online marketing.Learn more about me or follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.

  • TayshaMarie

    Great article, under “using existing content” you mentioned if it’s a blog post to remove the published date and re-share on social channels”, would it be bad to revise the existing content and then republish on your blog so it appears towards the top of your feed? If you do not recommend this, can you explain why? Thank you

    • There is definitely nothing wrong with refreshing a post and re-publishing it.

      The best way to do this is to add your new content to the post and then change the timestamp.

      One thing to keep in mind is…

      If your permalink has the date in it, then changing the timestamp will change the original URL. This will kill any accumulated SEO value as the post will be seen as a new post with a new URL. The best way to circumvent this is to implement a 301 redirect from the original URL to the new URL.

      Some other recommended ways to give an old post new life are to:
      (1) Create new posts that expand on the original post and link to the old post throughout the new ones
      (2) Create a “Featured Posts” section on your homepage / website that includes the old post to keep it visible no matter how old it gets

      • TayshaMarie

        Thank you for this reply, it was most helpful!

  • TayshaMarie

    Great article, under “using existing content” you mentioned if it’s a blog post to remove the published date and re-share on social channels”, would it be bad to revise the existing content and then republish on your blog so it appears towards the top of your feed? If you do not recommend this, can you explain why? Thank you