How would you like to post a single article to your website that continues to generate interest – and traffic – for years rather than days or weeks? Content that creates this type of interest is called “evergreen content” and, while it is valuable to your readers and a nice boost for your ego, it is also an incredibly valuable SEO tool; a sign to the search engines that your site offers value and quality to your audience.
What type of article might do this for you? If you post an article to your site about the Super Bowl for example, you are likely to generate a great deal of traffic for the two weeks before and after the event, and that is good. However, if you were to post an article on the history of the Super Bowl, and how it came to be the single largest yearly sporting event in the world, year after year, your article will remain relevant for years, and maybe even decades, to come. This is the type of content that search engines love to offer their clients, the searcher.
First, you must plant your evergreen content
While newsworthy events can generate a great deal of traffic in the moment, they are unlikely to create long-term interest. While you must post about such events to remain relevant to your audience, their value will diminish quickly as the news cycle focuses on new events. Evergreen content on the other hand, must remain relevant for months or years, rather than for the short-term.
To begin, you must ask yourself what you have to offer that is unique to your niche that will also stand the test of time. What is it that everyone in your niche should know that will benefit them over the long-term? If you have a writer’s blog for example, is there something you can share about being a writer that will be relevant past the current interest in online or self-publishing? If you are posting to IT specialists, do you have something to offer others about the constantly changing nature of your work rather than the latest tech innovation; something which is likely to be obsolete as soon as you publish about it?
Whatever your niche may be, you are likely to have specialized knowledge about your subject which can benefit others not just in the moment, but over the long term. By sharing this type of information, you have planted your first bit of evergreen content.
Next, you must grow your evergreen content
Whether you purchase articles which you hope will become evergreen or write them yourself, your goal is to generate long-term interest as a way to get the greatest return on your article marketing strategy. Articles which stand the test of time offer great value to your current audience, but they can also generate organic growth. When visitors to your site find value, they tend to share it with others. When your visitors share your content over the social networks, the search engines take notice, it is an indication to them of the quality of your content and it is this type of quality content that they are trying to find for their own audience; the searcher.
Continue to post and update evergreen content regularly, not just for your audience to discover and share, but in the hope that the search engines will discover it as well.
Finally, you must nurture your evergreen content
Updating your evergreen articles and posts to reflect changes in your niche is critical to keeping them relevant and timely; something the search engines are constantly watching for. If you allow your evergreen information to become outdated, it not only becomes less valuable to your readers, it may also cause you to lose ranking in the search results. Regular updates to your content will keep it – and your site – relevant to the search engines, and your audience.
As an example, let’s imagine that the IT expert’s site above has mentioned operating systems in an evergreen article. As of April 2014, Windows XP, the most popular OS the world has ever seen, will no longer be supported by Microsoft. This information is critical to all users, not just IT specialists. It must be mentioned in advance, and it must be updated regularly as the date approaches for the content to remain relevant.
Updating your information can usually be done simply and easily, with a few tweaks to the content:
- Place the new information in the body of your article
- Delete any information which has become obsolete from your article
- Change tenses, from future to past for example, and revise the language used to describe the change
- Add a header or footer to the article to highlight changes in the information you’ve shared
Updating your content does more than simply keeping the information relevant and timely, it also lets the search engines know that the content has ongoing value. You can also generate buzz about your site by posting notices to the social network about the updates you’ve made to the content.
After working so hard to create and plant your evergreen content, you must not allow it to go fallow. Continue to care for it by nurturing it and it will continue to grow, as will your website or blog.