Content marketing is the most important piece of SEO. Creating evergreen content may be your most powerful content marketing tactic.
You’re likely familiar with content marketing. It’s a long-term content strategy that uses high-quality content published on a consistent basis to build a personal relationship with your target audience.
You might be less familiar with the phrase “evergreen content.”
What is Evergreen Content?
Most content doesn’t stay “fresh” forever. Not even close.
The vast majority of content vanishes into search engine obscurity.
It might lose relevance. Better content may outrank it. The content might become so outdated it’s no longer true. Whatever it may be, most content has an expiration date.
How do you make content that’s evergreen?
Around three million blog posts are published daily. Thankfully, most of these posts are absolute trash (technically speaking). They’re short posts, poorly written by non-experts about time-sensitive topics. This simplifies surpassing them in search engines.
The majority of content gets the most views right it’s published. Then, fewer and fewer people see it every day. This seems like a fool’s approach to content marketing. Wasn't this supposed to be a long-term strategy?
In contrast, evergreen content generates more and more traffic every day. It does so by staying relevant longer than average content does.Staying relevant for a while is one thing, but how do you stay relevant year after year?
How to Write Evergreen Content in 6 Simple Steps
1. Pick a Topic That’s Always in Style
Your topic and your headline are the most important decisions for your content. This is especially true when it comes to thinking of evergreen content ideas.
Many topics go in and out of fashion faster than you can say fidget spinner. Pick a topic that’s so classic it’s always relevant to your audience.
Avoid articles about news, trends, pop culture, and anything that tends to have an expiration date. It’s important to capitalize on trending topics with other articles, but they won’t work well as evergreen content.
When choosing your evergreen content topic, use your best judgment. Ask yourself the question, “Will this be relevant to my audience in six months?”
2. Choose a Format Conducive to Evergreen Content
Your audience prefers reading certain content formats over others.
Evergreen content tends to be certain formats more than others.
Choose formats that satisfy both of these criteria.
No matter your industry, people prefer formats such as “how to” tutorials, resource lists, product reviews, and reference guides time and time again.
Writing in these formats won’t automatically ensure your content retains relevancy. Evergreen content requires additional work. One of the most time-consuming aspects of this work is making it longer.
3. Create Long-form Blog Posts
You can’t produce much value for your readers in short, 300-word blog posts. To do that, you’ll need to create articles ten times as long. Long-form content ranks better than its shorter counterpart just about every time.
Fact: the average length of the top result Google is over 2,000 words.
This is largely because user intent for most search queries is for a comprehensive answer. A result that leaves no stone unturned.
You can’t write a comprehensive answer in 300 words. You also can’t use shortcuts to rank first on Google. That’s why evergreen content needs to be long-form.
4. Keep it Up to Date
Content maintenance is the most often neglected phase of content marketing. It’s not as sexy as writing a new article. You don’t get excited about revisiting old content as you would exploring a new topic.
Yet, evergreen content should be some of your top performing pages. If a page is that good at driving traffic, don’t you want it to be up to date?
You can save yourself a lot of time here by creating content that seldom needs to be updated. Using the formats we went through above should keep you in good shape.
Still, you should add to “how-to” guides and resource lists to make them even more comprehensive and up to date. This will help you in your rankings. Google prefers content that is fresh and accurate.
5. Write With Simplicity
Your readers aren’t experts.
You want your readers to comprehend your writing.
Don’t write for experts.
In general, people on the internet tend to enjoy reading content written at about a 9th-grade level. This means short sentences.
It also means you don’t need to use a lot of twenty-dollar words. You don’t need to use “superlative” when “great” or “excellent” will do just fine.
Getting your point across is more important than being clever. You have to kill your darlings. Some readers won’t understand the last sentence’s meaning. That proves the point.
It also helps to write short paragraphs. These help to break up your long-form content and make it more visually appealing. Try to keep your paragraphs no longer than four lines.
6. It Has to be the Best at Answering its Query
Google’s goal is always to provide users with the best result for their query. If you do everything else right but fail to produce quality content, it will still never rank well.
When someone clicks on your page and leaves immediately, Google is watching. This metric, known as bounce rate, is one of the most important factors in their rankings.
Popular topics in your industry have probably been covered already. They’ve probably been covered hundreds of times. Don’t worry. Do your keyword research and you’ll find a long-tail keyword with no standout result. Create an article for this keyword with your own unique spin, and you may have yourself an evergreen article.
Making evergreen content takes more work than your average, 300-500 word blog post. It involves more research, writing, and upkeep. Though it isn’t the easy way to create evergreen content, every extra second you spend pays off.
No other type of content yields more backlinks. This helps evergreen content to rank higher on Google and drive more traffic for your website.
The evergreen content strategy is killer for SEO. With a little patience and time, it will produce far better results than shorter content that fades away. If you want a sustainable, long-lasting content marketing strategy, write evergreen content.