October 10, 2014
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Evergreen content doesn’t go out of season or have a use-by date: it’s media that’s still relevant months or even years past its date of publication.
Unless you’re Sky News, evergreen content should be a priority for your site. Why? It’s a sound investment. Relatively little work can yield ongoing search and social benefits that drive conversions. So you need to make like Will Young — let me show you how.
To reap the SEO benefits of evergreen content, you need to create resources that meet your target audience’s needs. Are customers always getting in touch to ask how a certain product is made? Does Keyword Planner show that lots of people search for relevant buying guides? What industry questions are so common that they come up in Google Autocomplete?
Creating quality content is the key to ranking well, but there are some technical considerations too. Keyword-rich titles and subheadings will help Google assign relevancy, and allow visitors to quickly find the information they need. In light of the Google Hummingbird update, it’s well worth focusing on question-related queries.
For example, an electronics retailer might create a tablet buying guide with subheadings like ‘What size tablet do I need?’, ‘Are iPads worth the money?’ and ‘Can tablets get viruses?’.
The content you create should always be comprehensive. That is, it should answer all of the reasonable questions a reader might have about the topic. Otherwise, they’ll look elsewhere for resources that satisfy their content cravings.
This is especially important with evergreen content. If you want to build authority and generate links with a how-to, buying guide or FAQ, it’d better deliver a thorough solution to readers.
Send them elsewhere for further details, and they’ll question your expertise.
Provide vague and unhelpful content, and they’ll question your motives.
Don’t worry too much about word count getting out of hand. Google reckons that ten per cent of searchers are looking for detailed answers. That’s why ‘in-depth articles’ (2,000 words plus) are now often featured on the sweet, sweet first page of search results.
But that doesn’t give you licence to waffle. People will engage with your evergreen content if it solves their problem efficiently. If you can do that in 200 words, don’t dare to deliver 201.
And remember to always display information in the most easy-to-digest way. Graphs, tables, diagrams, photographs and videos are your friends.
Evergreen content will get lost in a chronological blog or news feed. You need to make sure it’s easily found over the long-term with a prominent publishing platform.
Your site footer is often a good choice, especially for buying guides and FAQs. However, if they span many different topics, consider tying them to the relevant category pages instead. Alternatively, create a knowledge hub that distinguishes between evergreen and time-sensitive content. If the information is necessary for new visitors, consider a ‘Start Here’ section.
Argos has a prominent link to its televisions buying guide in the associated product category
It’s best to avoid date tags on these uploads. Even if the content is still relevant, readers might be put off reading articles that are months old.
Evergreen content doesn’t depend on newsworthiness, so you can create and share whenever it suits your editorial schedule. Of course, if a related topic is trending, make sure to take advantage of heightened search volumes and interest by re-promoting your work.
We took advantage of this news hook to re-promote my blog post about meme etiquette
The ability to re-share and milk maximum engagement is a huge plus to creating evergreen rather than perishable content, but beware of irritating social media followers who’ve seen it all before.
Although evergreen content is designed to be relevant for the long-term, you’ll still need to make tweaks along the way. Buying guides will need to change as novel product features emerge, while jargon dictionaries should be updated with new entries. Remember: comprehensiveness is key.
To maximise the benefits of evergreen content:
For great examples of evergreen content, look to our CRO infographic, John Lewis buying guides, the BBC’s Talk French videos, Martha Stewart craft tutorials, this history of Coca-Cola page, and National Geographic galleries.
What are your favourite examples of evergreen content? Do you know any other tips for getting this strategy right? Share your comments below.
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