The importance of creating content once that can be distributed forever
BuzzFeed’s Jonathan Perelman once said:
The internet has become a place where good content can live and thrive forever. Being able to offer consumers a unique perspective holds much more value in today’s world where information overload is widespread.
Therefore, building a smart content distribution strategy is vital for long-term success.
Evergreen content – content that remains continually relevant and stays “fresh” for readers – is one of the most important elements when it comes to content marketing. If you’re able to produce content that’s sustainable, relevant and resonates long after its initial publication, you’ll always be able to connect with your audience.
If you want your content to live forever, you need to start by solving a problem for your audience, addressing their needs, and ultimately help to create value. Ask yourself the following:
“Will people be able to consume my content 10 years from now and take something from it?”
Don’t worry if you’re unsure, or you need help figuring out how to create evergreen content. We’re going to explain why you should be creating content once that can be distributed forever as well as how.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content means any topic that always has a level of interest or relevance.
In other words, there is always an audience that wants to consume content around these matters, regardless of the current news cycle, season, or trends. In fact, the term comes from the evergreen plant – a plant that retains its green leaves all year round. And just like the way this plant always retains its colours, evergreen content is distinguished by its consistent ability to drive traffic.
Whilst there may be fluctuations in interest over time in the long term, evergreen content is not affected by seasonality.
It’s important to remember that there are two important distinctions behind this definition:
Evergreen topics are subjects which always have continual interest and search demand over time. Take the following topics for example:
- Weight loss – it doesn’t matter if it’s today or 100 years from now, people will always be interested in finding ways to get fit or lose weight.
- How to tie a tie – so long as formal wear is needed, knowing how to tie a tie will be a necessary skill, hence why there’s always interest in learning how to do it.
On the other hand, examples of non-evergreen topics may include:
- “Donald Trump has won the US elections” – it’s only possible for this to happen twice as US presidents cannot be elected more than twice.
- “World Cup 2022 held in Qatar” – although this event happens every four years, the fact that it was held in Qatar was a one-time event.
Here are some examples of evergreen content:
- X Tips to Get Active and Improve Fitness – the basics of weight loss (according to public health authorities) have always been the same.
- How to Optimise Content for SEO – people are always wanting to learn a technique, hack, or process. Therefore, ‘how to’ content will always work well, particularly when it comes to SEO optimisation, as content marketers will always be looking for ways to better enhance their copy for search engines and audiences.
- The Ultimate Dog Walking Guide – dogs need to be walked, and there will never come a time where this wouldn’t be applicable, so pet owners will always look for guides like this.
Of course, these examples won’t be relevant for everyone – you’ll need to do research specific to your industry and audience to come up with the right topics.
Why is evergreen content important?
Whilst both evergreen and topical content play a vital role in your marketing strategy, evergreen content remains relevant for the long haul. Its ongoing value makes it a rewarding marketing investment as well as a strategic addition to your SEO efforts.
Some other benefits that evergreen content offers include:
- Future-proof with a growing influence over time – the concept of evergreen content means that it’ll remain interesting to your audience, so you can create it with the confidence that it won’t lose relevancy.
- Faster SEO improvements – as evergreen topics will be searched for often, content is likely to rank quicker on search engines, and performance will continue to improve if it’s of high quality.
- Increase website traffic – evergreen content will always drive traffic to a website, particularly if it’s supported with other relevant content (don’t just publish a couple of evergreen pieces and leave it at that).
- Creates value for both you and your customers – evergreen content addresses a common question that your audience has, and by producing it, you can kill two birds with one stone. You’ll provide your audience with answers to their burning questions and secure steady organic results for your brand.
- Generates leads – by establishing your expertise through creating relevant evergreen content, you can encourage visitors to your website who haven’t yet tried the product or service your business offers.
- Promoting it over and over again – one of the biggest bonuses of evergreen content is that you can re-promote it with minimal optimisations to the original piece.
- Worth its weight in backlinks – creating in-depth, educational, and timeless content makes a great resource for other authors to reference and link back to. This factor increases the likelihood of evergreen content being linked to other sites, blog articles, and social posts.
The different evergreen content styles
There isn’t one type of style best suited for evergreen content. But there are a couple that are often used when creating most evergreen content. These include the following:
- How to guides – this style is one of the most popular types of evergreen content, especially as anyone can create them. All you need to do is gather your unique expertise along with some research, and you’ll be able to create a piece of content that will continue to produce results long after publishing.
- Case studies – customer stories are always a great method for creating evergreen content, while also having the added benefit of securing social proof for your brand.
- Product reviews – sharing product reviews and testimonials from customers on your website can help build trust with new potential customers, in addition to providing great SEO results.
- Listicles – list articles are always very readable and scannable (for both readers and search engine crawling bots) if structured properly. People will bookmark a well-structured article and search engine bots will favour content that has clearly marked sections.
- FAQs – answering your audience’s most commonly asked questions can be great as evergreen content, particularly if you offer helpful advice and directions.
- ‘Everything You Need to Know About…’ articles – this style will encourage your audience to bookmark or return to the piece of content for future reference.
You can create evergreen content in a range of formats across different industries. All you need to do is make sure that the content is useful, engaging, and relevant to your audience.
How to create evergreen content
Finding topics for evergreen content is all about avoiding time-sensitive matters and instead focusing on topics that will have consistent search traffic potential. Think about which topics are relevant to your brand and how they can help your audience.
1. Find keywords with traffic potential
Brainstorm a couple of topics you plan to target on your blog. For example, you could find out what problems your target audience has in common, by conducting interviews or asking on your social media profiles. Make sure to also do a deep dive into platforms like Quora, AnswerThePublic and BuzzSumo to find out what questions your audience are asking.
Once you’ve got a list of topics you want to explore, enter them into the keyword explorer tool on Ahrefs or the keyword overview tool on Semrush. You can also look at the ‘keyword ideas reports’ to see if there are any other evergreen topics you could target.
2. Check for a continual positive trend
Evergreen topics should mean that whatever content you put out there shouldn’t be on a declining trend. You can use tools such as Google Trends or the trends graph in the keyword explorer tool on Ahrefs to see if a topic is growing in popularity or losing popularity over time.
Producing evergreen content means creating something that will stay relevant no matter what day, time or year it is. Your content should show Google that it deserves to be the best result today, tomorrow, and for the following months to come.
But how do you do that?
1. Create high-quality content
Google’s goal is to provide the best result for a person’s search query. With this in mind, if you want to be deserving of a position on the first page, you’ll need to create high-quality content. And if you want your content to maintain rankings in the future, you’ll need to create content that’s better than the content other people are putting out there.
Consider the following elements and questions to inspire your next piece of content:
- Design and format – is the design of the content good? Is it easy to read? Is it scannable?
- Value – does the content actually solve a problem for your audience?
- Entertainment – is the content well-written and interesting to read?
- Unique and original – does your content make someone choose yours over someone else’s? Are you offering a unique and original perspective as well as unique solutions?
- Authority – are you an expert in the topic you’re writing about? Why should someone trust you?
- Data-led – is your content backed by data? It isn’t always necessary, but your content will be more unique and credible if it is.
2. Avoid using language with a short lifespan
You should steer clear of using words and phrases that could date your content and pin it to a particular time period, for example like the following:
- “Earlier this year”
- “Last month”
Such language will influence how a visitor to your website or even someone searching on Google will see your piece of content – it may put them off clicking on it and reading it.
How to maintain evergreen content
For most evergreen topics, following the steps above should keep your content relevant for some time. However, your content’s ‘evergreen status’ won’t last forever – things can change. There will be times where you’ll find that your content needs to be refreshed. Plus, updating it can drive a new wave of readers to your website.
With that in mind, how do you keep an eye on and maintain your content so that it continues to be evergeen?
1. Track your rankings
If Google drops your content’s rankings over time, then it could be a sign that whilst your topic may be evergreen, your content isn’t. You can use tools such as Rank Tracker on Ahrefs, to track the main keyword you’re targeting for that piece. When you track performance in this way, you’ll be able to step in and update your content as needed when you notice a drop in interest.
2. Update your content
When your content feels like it’s not maintaining its evergreen status anymore, you’ll need to figure out why it’s no longer relevant in the eyes of Google. Typically, it could be that some part of it has become outdated, for example:
- Year in the title
You should also look at the pages that have overtaken you in the SERPs. As Google’s goal is to serve the best, most relevant result for people’s queries, the pages that now outrank you may contain clues on what’s missing from your content. Ask yourself the following – what does their content have that you don’t? When you’ve figured this out, think about including those topics or points in your own content.
Now, all that’s left to do is refresh, republish, and re-promote your content.
3. Build links
Links are essential when it comes to evergreen rankings, since pages that have fewer links are easier to outrank. This is because according to Google, backlinks are an important ranking factor. If your content only has five backlinks, then it’s likely that it’s not going to be difficult for someone to outrank you—no matter how often you update it.
To get a rough idea of how many links you may need to get on the first page of the SERPs, enter your target keyword into a keyword explorer tool, and look at what it says under the keyword difficulty (KD) score.
Focus on things that don’t change – these are your evergreen topics.
Creating evergreen content boils down to finding out what your customers want to know and answering those questions. And since trends come and go, evergreen content will retain its value and relevance, making it an important cornerstone of successful content marketing.
If you want consistent traffic coming to your website and blog for years to come, evergreen is the way to go. You can then work to maintain its relevancy by republishing and re-promoting it.
So, go green and you can become a powerhouse that drives ongoing growth with every piece of content that you publish.
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