Evergreen content should be at the basis of every content marketing strategy. Why is that? Because evergreen content gets results: better SEO, more traffic and more leads.
In fact, one of the biggest blogs in the digital marketing sphere, Ahrefs
, owes much of its success to its focus on creating super high-quality evergreen content; here’s how they went from 15k visitors in 2016 to over 200k in April 2019, all because of their powerful evergreen content:
Or, do a simple google search and look up “evergreen content” – it’s here that you can really see the power of evergreen content:
As you can see above, some of the top Google results for evergreen content are considerably old -, especially in Internet years. One of the articles featured was published in 2016, while another was published as early back as 2012.
For Wordstream – whose 2012 evergreen content guide is still the second in the Google result – that means that they’re consistently getting a big share of the approximately 1.5k people who actively search for this keyword every month and on the back of that traffic, also generate more leads and conversions:
Yes, even 8 years later – and most likely, beyond that too.
In this ultimate guide, discover everything you need to know about getting started with evergreen content.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content is content that stays relevant over long periods of time (or even forever) – and that also continues to drive results over time, such as traffic, leads, and sales.
Some types of evergreen content – such as “how to make the perfect cookie” – will always stay relevant, with no changes whatsoever. People will always want to make great chips and the tactics used will stay the same.
Other types of evergreen content will need occasional changes and updates. For example, a guide on how to create a content marketing strategy will be relevant for quite a long time; however, it will need some updates as things change: tools that no longer exist, new technology and trends, new strategies and so on. But even with these small changes, the content remains largely evergreen.
Why is evergreen content important?
Evergreen content is very powerful – which is why your content marketing strategy needs more evergreen content.
But what makes it so great?
One of the biggest advantages of creating evergreen content is the SEO value
you get. Amazing content that stays relevant for long will get a lot of backlinks – especially as it has more time to grow organically, and get to the top of search results.
And because of that, it’s also a great source of traffic; as you’ve seen with the Ahrefs example earlier, creating evergreen content consistently can help you boost your traffic considerably.
You just need to know how to leverage it – and what kind of evergreen content you should create and add to your strategy:
Getting started with evergreen content
Now that you know what evergreen content is and why it’s such a valuable tool from a content marketing perspective, the question is: how do you get started?
How do you create evergreen content that not only offers real value to your target audience, but that also gets results for your business?
As I mentioned earlier, high-quality evergreen content can help boost your SEO and your search engine rankings, your traffic as well as your lead generation.
But, in order to get all of these amazing results, you need to do your research.
You need to know what kind of evergreen content works for your target audience and what you need to create in order to achieve the results you want.
That said, while Google can be a great tool for some quick research, it’s not enough: it doesn’t always tell you when the content was published, how many shares it received, what type of content it is (long form guide, short blog post, etc.), and so on
However, there is a much smarter and easier way to go around Google search: content research tools.
I’m a big fan of Social Animal
, so I’ll be using that throughout the article to show you how to do proper research for an evergreen content campaign:
Social Animal is a powerful content research tool that allows you to find and analyze top-performing content in any niche. And you need to go through this step, in order to truly understand what your audience wants, needs and likes.
Once you have that knowledge, you’ll know what types of evergreen content you should create in order to engage your target audience.
Step 1: Keyword research
Evergreen content can bring a lot of benefits – but the results are amazing when combined with SEO strategies.
In order to rank high up in search results with your evergreen content, you first need to make sure you’re targeting the right keywords. Use your preferred keyword research tool and:
- Make a list of popular keywords in your niche that you can create content about (in whichever content format you prefer)
- Research each keyword and generate more keyword suggestions
- Research potential keywords for your evergreen content to determine the difficulty of ranking for that keyword
- Make a list of all the best keywords to use for your evergreen content ideas
This process also helps a lot by showing you what kinds of topics your audience is actually interested in, as well as what needs they have.
Then, you can leverage that knowledge to come up with evergreen content ideas that your audience will resonate with.
Step 2: Content research
Since you’re going to spend all that time creating an amazing piece of evergreen content, you need to make sure you’re getting the topic right.
This is where content research tools come in to help; I’ve used Social Animal
to look up one of my keywords:
This then allows me to see all the most popular content being shared, which includes those particular keywords. Then, I can check each article to try to understand why it’s been so popular and how we can make our evergreen content even better.
The best part though is that you filter your results exactly as you want so that you can find the content that you’re interested in:
Since we’re researching evergreen content, it’s worth leaving a longer period of time – after all, we want to see which content stood the test of time too.
Furthermore, you can also filter by content type if you have a certain content format in mind (evergreen videos, infographics, how-to guides and so on):
Plus, you can also use the word count filter to find content of a certain word count:
Evergreen content can contain as little as a few words – for example, jargon definitions make for great short evergreen content – or it can be a huge project, worth thousands, if not tens of thousands of words (such as an e-book or a complex how-to guide). Depending on your goals, use this to help you find similar content for your research.
Step 3: Choosing your evergreen content format
There are a lot of different types of evergreen content, in all kinds of formats.
The main things to remember are that it needs to:
- Offer real value to your target audience
- Stay relevant forever, with very few changes/updates over time
That being said, there are several content formats you can go for:
- How-to guides: very popular types of evergreen content, particularly because they offer a lot of value. You can create how-to guides for every level of knowledge, from beginner to advanced
- How-to videos: alternatively, you can also show create evergreen how-to videos; likewise, they can provide a lot of value to your audience; here are some examples of evergreen how-to videos that are all at least a couple of years old as of the time of writing:
- Templates: you can create a variety of evergreen templates, depending on your industry; here’s an example of a social media calendar template we’ve created for our readers:
- Listicles: listicles are one of the most popular forms of content. You can create all kinds of listicles, such as “best free tools/apps/software” or “best websites/blogs/”
- Useful tips and hacks: share your best tips and offer value to your audience, while also showcasing your own knowledge; here’s a great example of a tips post from 2007 (!) that appears first in search results for “workout tips”:
- Recipes and formulas: (not necessarily food-related!) they make for great evergreen content as people are constantly searching for such solutions and recipes/formulas won’t change over time (or at least, not normally)
- The history of…: i.e. telling the history of something in your niche/industry; this makes for great evergreen content as history doesn’t change (or at least, it very rarely does) – at most, you’ll have to update with new information as time passes
At this stage, it’s helpful to go back to using Social Animal
for further research, so that you can understand which types of content your audience prefers (i.e. which ones get the most shares).
Consider the different types of content formats you’d want to use for your evergreen content and use the “content-type” filter to research each one and see how many shares they get:
Plus, this will also help a lot with the next step – coming up with content ideas for your evergreen content:
Step 4: Coming up with evergreen content ideas and headlines
At this stage, you know:
- What keywords you want to target with your evergreen content
- What formats you should use for your content
This means you’re ready to come up with some evergreen content ideas that will help you achieve your goals.
This is where a content research tool comes in handy once again; ideally, when coming up with evergreen content ideas, you want to make sure that your audience is actually interested in these topics.
Start by searching for the keywords you want to target; then, you can use the headline analyzer from Social Animal to understand what kinds of headlines work best:
Spend some time examining the top most successful pieces of evergreen content from the past few months – and up to year – to get a true understanding of what types of headlines work.
Because while the content itself is certainly very important, no one is going to find that out unless the headline strikes their curiosity.
Step 5: Creating your evergreen content: best practices
When creating your evergreen content, you need to be very clear about what you want to achieve with that piece of content; do you want to:
- Boost your traffic and achieve high search engine rankings for your content?
- Generate more leads with your content?
If it’s the first option, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Consider the search intent: which results pop up in search results for the keywords you want to target? This will help you understand what people are actually searching for when they search for those keywords; you then need to keep that in mind when creating your content as otherwise, you might not be able to rank for those keywords
- Make sure you use your keyword throughout your content: use the target keyword in your SEO title, meta description, in your H1 and H2 headlines, as well as in the body of your text – however, make sure not to overdo it. Using the same keyword too many times will be considered “keyword stuffing” which can damage your search engine rankings
- Make your content better than the rest: check out the first page of results for your keyword and read through the content: if you want to rank higher than them, then your content needs to be better too. Think of ways you can improve upon what’s already been said and done and bring your own unique perspective as well
If, on the other hand, you want to use your piece of evergreen content for lead generation, follow these best practices:
- Provide huge value to your audience: if you want to generate leads from your content, then you need to provide real value. Ask yourself, what does the reader/viewer/listener get out of this piece of content? How does it help them?
- Showcase your knowledge: use your evergreen content to showcase your knowledge and skills; use examples and case studies to evidence this
- Add downloadables: create a downloadable piece of content that your audience can sign up to get; for example, you can create how-to guides and offer a free PDF version for download, create checklists and templates that people can download in exchange for their contact information, and so on
- Add a call to action
Step 6: Keep your content evergreen
In order to keep getting results from your evergreen content, your job doesn’t stop when you publish it.
Here’s what you need to do next:
- Keep promoting your evergreen content on your various channels (since it’s evergreen, that means you can keep promoting it and getting people to see it)
- Use a rank tracking tool to keep track of your rankings for your evergreen content keywords – if you’re falling in search engine results, you might need to update and enhance your content and your on-page optimization
- Update your content regularly: every few months, take the time to go through your evergreen content to see what needs updating: maybe you mentioned a tool that no longer exists; maybe a new strategy has started to gain popularity; whatever the case may be, ensure that your evergreen content is always up to date. Plus, make it clear in the post (at the beginning or in the headline) when it’s been updated
Creating evergreen content is one of the most effective content marketing strategies. It gets you more traffic, better search engine rankings and more leads – when done right.
Follow the steps outlined in this guide to help you create powerful evergreen content that gets results.