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Creating Evergreen Content Which Stands the Test of Time

Posted 27th April, 2015 by Aliysa

Many bloggers write about the latest news. Sure, it's a good template for blog content; there's lots to write about and it will initially drive traffic to your site. Chances are though, in a few days time web users will have moved on to the next story, leaving your post obsolete.

‘Evergreen content’ couldn't be more different to this topical content. 'Evergreen Content' doesn't quickly become outdated or factually incorrect within a week, a month, or even a year. Ever green content continually ranks highly in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) and goes on to attract visitors for years to come.

Many different types of content can be 'evergreen', but these are the most tried and tested examples of long-lasting content on the web:

Frequently Asked Questions:

For each person who asks you a question, there's likely to be hundreds more wondering the exact same thing, not just now but in years to come. This constant strive for understanding means that posts that address frequently asked questions are likely to remain relevant to audiences and flourish over time. A perfect example lays in our Cloud and cPanel: what's the difference? post. Having liaised with our sales team we identified this subject as a pain point for perspective clients and addressed the issue with a post. Two years later and it's still one of our most read articles.

Definitions and Glossaries:

Not all niche topics are easy to understand, especially if you're a beginner and they're filled to the brim with complex terms and acronyms. Getting to grips with the meaning of SEM and SEP and all the other search engine related terms is a challenge in itself. A post which define and explain such terms are brilliantly evergreen because they provide both current and future audiences with answers to an issue faced by most web users.

Beginner's Guide:

Beginner's guides introduce web users to a brand new topic, and provide them with all the information they need in order to understand how it works. These posts offer a comprehensive overview of all the key topic areas, using terminology which new users can understand.

Guides are a fantastic form of evergreen content because they teach web users, present and future, all the fundamentals of a topic in one handy resource. This saves them from having to scour the web for more information.

Instructions:

Step-by-step instructions are some of the most popular content on the web, because they offer web users bite-sized information on learning a new skill, with minimum effort required.

Not all instructional posts are evergreen, for instance instructions on mastering the latest technology has only a limited time value. However, if you can pick a long-lasting skill and provide concise, step-by-step instructions on how to achieve it, your post has a great chance of becoming evergreen.

The most common and successful examples of instructional posts are written in the style "How to", for instance "How to Stop Spam Comments in WordPress".


Helping Your Post Stay Evergreen:

Just because your content follows an evergreen strategy doesn't mean that it will perform well in search engines over time. Here's some points you should consider before you dive into writing a post for long term SEO rankings:

Choose Your Topic Carefully:

Take a moment to consider how relevant your chosen topic will be in the next 2-3 years. If the answer is "not very", then it's highly unlikely that your post will successfully become evergreen, and you may need to go back to the drawing board.

Stick to the Fundamentals:

Because we all need to start somewhere, there's a larger demand for blog posts which cover the basics then there is for posts which explain the complex details.

Come Back to Your Post Later:

Consider ways in which you can come back to your posts further down the line. Updating your content after it's been published, with more news developments or follow up discussions, will keep your content relevant if at any point it may be falling away in SERP.

Year-Round Performance:

'Seasonal posts' are articles which are almost irrelevant for most of the year, but then have a short, sharp burst of demand, e.g.: "How to Successfully Paint an Easter Egg". Whilst they have their uses, these posts are not evergreen, as they don't consistently draw traffic to your blog.

How Will SEO Behave in the Future?:

For your content to remain evergreen in the coming years, you need to consider how SEO might evolve in the future:

Will future search queries be conversational? How will search engines judge content for relevancy? Nobody truly knows the answer to these questions, but by following dedicated SEO sites like Moz or Search Engine Journal, we can at least make a good guess.

For more tips on writing great content with SEO in mind, check out our previous blog post.


What other ways are there to make your content evergreen? I'd love to hear your ideas for creating a post that lasts.

Categories: Tips, Blogging

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