Evergreen content: The ins and outs of creating timeless pieces

/ March 26, 2021 / No Comments / In Content & SEO / By

Evergreen content to content marketing is like icebergs to our natural environment—they’re timeless (global warming-permitting), a rich source of nutrients, and have a far-reaching influence on the climate around them.

Making up a good portion of the content you encounter online, evergreen content plays an important role in driving traffic to your website. And this is precisely due to its timeless nature, which allows it to stay relevant over a long period of time. 

Meaning perpetual life, “evergreen” is a fitting name for content that lives on your website (or blog) for years to come while still maintaining the same relevance as the day it was published. 

However, that’s not to say that you’re done with it as soon as you hit “post.”

No. Evergreen as it may be, updates will still be required from time to time.

The good news is, these updates will be minimal—requiring much less effort than writing an article from scratch. It also guarantees your evergreen content stays pertinent.

In this article, we’ll be diving into what evergreen content is, providing examples of evergreen content and tips on how to create it, as well as talking about the role of SEO in evergreen content creation.

Let’s get straight to it.

Evergreen content must still be updated from time to time to ensure it stays pertinent.Click To Tweet

Evergreen content definition

By definition, evergreen content is content that is neither trendy nor time-sensitive. It works particularly well on blogs as it produces traffic that either stays consistent or grows over time.

Listicles, how-to content, and tutorials are all examples of evergreen content that are sustainable and long-lasting. They have the power to generate consistent interest and search volume.

What evergreen content is not

Best Christmas Gifts for Her. 

Seven Hottest Colors for Fall. 

Key Moments from Last Night’s Episode of Game of Thrones.

Know what these articles have in common? Their time-sensitivity, which is exactly what evergreen content isn’t. 

Though these topics may generate a huge spike in traffic for a few days or weeks, they have an expiration date.

Case in point: Check out how the search volume for the “best Christmas gifts for her” started to grow in September and peaked in December, only to flat-line immediately after Christmas.

Google Trends screenshot of best christmas gifts for her as an example of what evergreen content is not

And that’s completely understandable too. Why would anyone be looking for Christmas gift ideas after the fact?

News, weather, pop culture, seasonal content, and political events are just a few examples of content that will only stay relevant for a short time before they eventually lose steam.

How to create evergreen content

1. Spotlight evergreen content

Don’t bury your evergreen blog content. 

Instead of writing it and forgetting about it, highlight it on your homepage, keep it in your website’s sidebar, and share it on your social media accounts. 

More importantly, on the rare occasion you have to update it, promote it like it’s a new piece.

When you update and re-publish it, you give it a higher chance of generating buzz and generating traffic to your website.

When you update and re-publish your evergreen content, you give it a higher chance of generating buzz and generating traffic.Click To Tweet

2. Know who you’re writing to

When working on a piece of content, always write with a buyer persona in mind. 

Creating a buyer identity is helpful when determining the range you are marketing towards, especially if it’s content you intend to have available for months and years to come.

Though this goes for all types of content, it’s particularly applicable to evergreen content.

When creating a buyer persona, be as descriptive as you can. Include things like age, income, marital status, career, values, preferences and dislikes, and what they primarily use the internet for. 

Some of these may seem silly and irrelevant. But the exercise will actually assist your keyword research process and help you to avoid coming up with evergreen content ideas that target the wrong audience.

3. Avoid trends and time-sensitive references

Trending content has its time and place. 

Knowing how to have a good mix of both trending content and evergreen is a mark of the most successful blogs and websites—and you should definitely strive to be among them.

When you’re creating evergreen web content, make sure you’re not ageing your pieces by referencing hot new TV shows, movies, or current events in the media.

You’ll also want to ditch time-sensitive words.

Last week. Next month. Yesterday. 

These are all phrases that will undermine your evergreen content and make it irrelevant much sooner.

Seemingly perfect evergreen content can be brought down by phrases that date it and make your audience question its validity, particularly if it’s an older piece. To help your content remain timeless, avoid using language that ages it.

When creating evergreen content, avoid dating your article by referencing hot new TV shows, movies, or current events in the media. Click To Tweet

4. Perform due diligence and quality control

Don’t underestimate your audience’s intelligence. They will sniff out an inauthentic piece of writing before you can press “post.” 

No matter how evergreen an article, if it’s filled with inaccurate facts, lame sources, and spelling or grammar mistakes, you’re alienating your readership and turning off loyal subscribers. 

Be sure you’re only producing content that has been well-researched and that you’re proud to put your name behind.

There is a lot of competition out there, so invest the appropriate time and effort into your pieces if you want them to stand the test of time. 

The role of SEO in evergreen content

Image of Google search representing role of SEO in evergreen content

SEO is essential to getting your evergreen content noticed. 

It’s also a great opportunity for you to put your evergreen content strategy to work and try to get your pieces ranked on the search engine result pages (SERPs).

You want your SEO evergreen content to be long-lasting, so choose the keywords you focus on very carefully. Putting thought into your selections will help your website attract traffic and limit competition from other blogs with similar niches.

If you have a quality piece whose SEO keywords consistently garner traffic and attention, your chances of breaking into the top rankings are much greater.

Here’s how you can incorporate SEO into your evergreen content strategy.

1. Focus on steady and upward-trending keywords

In your search for keywords, do your homework and avoid words and phrases that are trending downwards.

The goal of evergreen content is to attract traffic for a long time and eventually rank on SERPs. If you’re focusing on keywords whose popularity is in a downward spiral, it might not attract the volume of traffic you’re hoping for, regardless of the quality of your piece.

Use the SEO research tools at your disposal wisely and make sure the keywords you’re looking for have an optimistic future or have at least held steady over the past year or so.

With evergreen content, make sure keywords have an optimistic future or have at least held steady over the past year or so.Click To Tweet

2. Optimise for long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords will be your new best friend when it comes to getting your evergreen content noticed. 

They are longer (three or more words) and more specific phrases that help hone in on a particular search intent and boost your content in search engine rankings.

Here, you’ll want to find keywords with active search volume and then incorporate them into your evergreen content. 

Their longer word count makes them less competitive due to their specificity.

Think “best breathable running socks” versus “running socks.” Content that uses the former keyword phrase will have less competition, and thereby a much greater chance of ranking on SERPs.

3. Produce Your Best Work

Yes, every article should be a piece of well-written, thoroughly researched, and SEO-friendly content

But evergreen pieces are the ones that will be attracting readers for a long time to come. 

Competition is fierce and even if your piece ranks on SERPs, if it’s not top-notch work, another content creator will come along with a better piece and knock yours out of the rankings.

While you’re working to optimize keywords and drive down competition, make sure your evergreen pieces are polished and updated consistently.

Evergreen content examples

Evergreen content should aim to answer a question or perform a service. 

That means that instead of providing updates on the latest or recent events, cover topics that will consistently be on an audience’s mind for the foreseeable future.

There is an endless range of evergreen content topics, including weight loss solutions, parenting tips, relationship advice, pet care, and money-saving hacks. These are examples of popular topics that people will search for time and time again. 

Each industry, of course, will have its own type of evergreen content. So what topics you decide to cover will depend on the sector you’re in. 

So you have an idea, here’s a look at some evergreen content in action.

Evergreen content example #1: Top beginner tips for selling on Poshmark 

 Screenshot of evergreen example work from home wife

How is this evergreen content?

The Work at Home Wife is a blog targeted towards career-aged women looking to bring in extra money by working from home, either full-time or via side gigs.

Despite it not being a new piece (it was first published back in 2019), the content remains relevant and its details are unlikely to change anytime soon. 

And guess what—another thing that’s going to stay consistent and relevant? People looking to make extra money from home.

What makes this a good example of evergreen content?

Side hustles and working from home are two topics that won’t be losing popularity any time soon. 

In this content, the writer, Angie Nelson, is capitalising on her audience’s desire to achieve both these goals by providing beginner guides on how to make more money from home.

Small things are bound to change, and Poshmark could change its rules, which may make an item or two in the article irrelevant. But it would take just a small update to freshen up the content and keep it evergreen.

Evergreen content example #2. 26 weight loss tips that are actually evidence-based

Screenshot of evergreen example from healthline

How is this evergreen content?

Weight loss. We’ve all been there. 

There’s no shortage of articles on the internet promising to deliver the best tips and tricks to help their readers achieve their weight-loss dreams.

The author of this piece took a popular topic and gave it an evergreen angle by backing the tips he’s offering with scientific evidence. 

What makes this a good example of evergreen content?

When there is an endless number of competitors, it’s well worth your time to research long-tail keywords and find a specific angle for your piece that places it above the rest. 

This author took the time to do the scientific research needed and develop the article into a professional, polished, and fact-based piece.

Another good point to note: The studies that he references in this piece are likely to remain applicable for a long time, so the number of updates this piece will need is minimal.

Evergreen content example #3. 50 top parenting tricks and hacks

Screenshot of evergreen example from lifehack.org

How is this evergreen content?

Articles like this are timeless and won’t experience a downward trend in popularity anytime soon. 

Every parent out there is looking for the miracle that will get their child to sleep through the night, tidy up after themselves, and all-in-all, not self-destruct.

What makes this a good example of evergreen content?

Parenting hacks will always be popular because there is an ever-growing community of parents that need tips and tricks to keep their little ones happy, healthy, and entertained.

It’s also geared towards a huge audience—parents of newborns, toddlers, and older children alike—and doesn’t contain any language that would age it prematurely. 

The author did her research on what parents need most and responded to that need by providing hacks geared towards making their chaotic lives with children a little bit easier. 

Evergreen content example #4. How to save money

Screenshot of evergreen example from dave ramsey

How is this evergreen content?

Saving money is on almost everyone’s mind at some point. And one of the most popular ways to get new ideas on how to do so? The internet, of course.

Tips for saving money will always be popular and target a huge audience, which gives the author a chance to drive new traffic to his blog over a long period of time and potentially rank on SERPs.

What makes this a good example of evergreen content?

This article is from Dave Ramsey’s website, a popular financier who is known for his articles on saving money and reducing debt.

Ramsey here understands that the best evergreen content won’t be directed towards experts in the field. The audience taking to the internet for answers on how to save money are probably new or inexperienced, looking for simple and non-technical answers that they can apply to their own lives.

Ramsey supplies attainable solutions to his audience by using evergreen images, simple language, and techniques that are easy to follow.

How to create evergreen content: Four tips

Before you get started on creating your evergreen web content, here are some simple tips to remember to focus on when creating these timeless pieces. 

1. Do keyword research

We’ve mentioned this earlier, but the importance of keyword research cannot be understated. This is what will drive traffic to your piece and make your business profitable.

Avoid guesswork. Don’t simply assume you know what keywords will be popular and have longevity on your blog. 

Invest the time (and money) into performing quality research on what keywords will best serve your evergreen writing.

Once you’ve found the right keywords, perform a quick search on Google and see what comes up. This also helps to check for search intent. 

If you see gaps and opportunities for articles, create them. Take your broad keyword and make it specific so your article will be the best-written piece related to that search phrase.

2. Assume your readers are novices

Keep that in mind the nature of evergreen pieces is that it serves a relatively wide range of audiences. In other words: non-experts. 

Evergreen content typically caters to novices that are looking for basic information on things like the best indoor plants and ways to earn extra money.

Keep the language simple and easy to understand when you’re writing. This will help your piece appeal to a broad audience, whether they have any experience on the topic or not.

3. Keep your content relevant to your business

It’s easy to run off in a million different directions when looking for content that can withstand the test of time, has the least amount of competition, and will be most likely to rank on SERPs. 

Keep in mind that you can’t possibly be an expert in everything.

Once you’ve picked a niche, spotlight it. Instead of coming up with a million blog ideas that aren’t relevant to your business, focus on understanding the biggest questions that your audience has about your industry: What are some of the most asked questions that you could help answer?

4. Focus on answering a question or fulfilling a need

When you write an evergreen piece, you should be answering a question or fulfilling a need that is not likely to go away anytime soon. 

Always start by giving serious thought to what you can offer your audience, how you can teach them, and what you can help them accomplish that will better their lives.

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