EVERGREEN CONTENT AND SEO
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, consists of a number of techniques to help boost a site (or more accurately, various pages on a site) in the results of Google (or other search engine) searches. Evergreen content is a particular type of post that can be beneficial to site visitors, but it can also be a means of helping to rise in searches. So it's both a type of content, and an SEO strategy.
What Evergreen Content Is
The internet seems to be dominated by now — what's happening right now in politics, fashion, entertainment, sports. A lot of folks contend that the internet has shortened our attention span — we're used to, and want, information in a timely, condensed manner so that we can quickly consume it, and just as quickly move on to another bite of information or news.
This is undoubtedly true. To an extent. On the other hand, every single day there are still thousands (millions?) of searches for basic, sound information on topics originating years, even decades, ago. These subjects aren't timely in the least. Want to know the details of how to build a dog house? Need a list of all of the United States presidents of the 20th century? Want to know what radar is and how it works? Want to know how to bake a cake? Those are all examples of evergreen content — basic information that changes little, or not at all, over time.
Why "evergreen"? It comes from the fact that the evergreen tree (such as a pine tree) keep their leaves (needles) year round — they're sort of a symbol of perpetual life. Like the evergreen tree, evergreen content is long-lasting.
"Traditional" content — the trendy articles you're used to encountering online — can be popular and give your website a big boost in traffic quickly. Perhaps even overnight. Posting an evergreen content, on the other hand, typically will not give your website a quick gain in traffic — in fact you may see very little additional traffic in the near-term after posting such an article. However, because the evergreen content is timeless (or, at least valid for years), it will attact new readers. Slowly and steadily, month after month, year after year. That's something that won't happen with a trendy post — it's subject matter is often dated within weeks or months so, correspondingly, traffic to that type of article drops considerably within weeks or months.
Which is better — a trendy article with the possibility of an exciting big boost in short-term traffic, or an evergreen article with no quick boost but instead a slow and steady flow of traffic? There is no better here — they're both valid, good choices for content. It's not a "one or the other" approach to content — you should consider the two approaches complementary and write articles in both styles.
What Evergreen Content Is NOT
Evergreen content is typically includes thorough coverage of a topic that is relevant to the main purpose of your website, will not soon, or ever, be outdated, and can be thought of as a reference of sorts — it might be material the same person may occassionally revisit to get a review or refresher on some basics that are important to the visitor.
Evergreen content should not have an expiration date — its importance and value must be lasting. Evergreen content does not consist of:
- Recent or current trends, fashions, novelties or fads
- Coverage of events, holidays or season-specific occasions
- Statistics that will most likely change or be irrelevant over time
- News — news is usually timely, not timeless
Evergreen Content and SEO
Evergreen content is often in the form of a tutorial or how to manual that covers the basics, or a basic, aspect of a topic relevant to your website's purpose. Because of this, evergreen content is often longer than a typical "here's some news" or "here's something cool" post. While there's not set length required, this type of content is usually at least a couple of thousand words, and often a few or several thousand words, in length. Several recent SEO studies (including this one by Moz) have come to the same conclusion: Google likes long content. So just the fact that a piece of evergreen content is long may give it an SEO boost over shorter, more trendy or news-related posts.
A big part of SEO is aquiring backlinks. You want backlinks to your site's home page to give your whole site authority, but you also want backlinks to individual posts to help those individual posts to rank. Because a good piece of evergreen content can serve as a good reference for a topic, evergreen posts are likely to be shared socially — people with an interest in the subject of your site are, without prompting, eager to share your post with others. Here sharing means linking to.
While an evergreen post is unlikely to go viral and get a burst of backlinks, because it doesn't ever get dated it does have a good chance of slowly and consistently getting backlinks — month after month, year after year. Which can help the post rank — and stay ranked — in Google searches.
In addition to a steady gaining of backlinks, the popularity of sharing evergreen content on social media can mean some nice steady direct traffic to your site (direct traffic being from sources other than search results, which is referred to as organic traffic).
Types of Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is most often foundational — it holds basic information that will be of interest to just about anyone who visits your site. When you've settled on an idea, write up a rough outline so you be sure your article is thorough and complete. This process will also help you focus on particular keywords of interest to you, and will ensure that you can incorporate these keywords in the content. Careful consideration of keyword choice is on-page SEO — a technique you want to use in every type of article you write (not just evergreen content).
There isn't one single, set format that evergreen content follows. Here are just a few of the basic formats to consider for your evergreen content:
The Pros and Cons (of Anything)
When people consider buying something, or building something, or doing something, they often don't thoroughly think through the best process, or course of action before jumping in. They might not be slow, deliberative thinkers, or they might not have the necessary background information on the topic of interest. A sound, complete analysis, including the pros of cons, of a topic can be a big help to many people.
Before buying just about anything, people are always looking for credible reviews. Many online reviews are just copy-paste manufacturing marketing material, or copied text from other websites. Why? Because many reviews are simply a means of posting an affiliate link to drive visitors to a selling site. If there's a product in your niche, that you have some sound knowledge of, then a thorough, honest review of that product will be appreciated by many people, and might be linked to by many sites as it will serve as a good reference to that product.
Regardless of the subject matter one is interested in, no one ever starts out as an expert. We all need an explanation of the basics, and some hand-holding as we struggle for competency. A good how-to guide, complete with plenty of graphics and/or videos, is always welcomed — for any topic. Make your how-to guide the go-to reference for other sites that are in your same niche.
Don't Neglect Evergreen Content On Your Website
Google's algorithm updates are steadily favoring longer content, and striving to identify — and reward — quality, trustworthy content. Evergreen content fits right in those criteria. Google likes evergreen content, and so do web searchers. Blog owners and social media users love to share useful references to topics of interest, which means backlinks to your article as well as direct traffic. Every site owner (so that includes you) should be capable of coming up with at least one evergreen article!
Evergreen content can help your site get backlinks. For other sources of quality backlinks check out the LINKLESS MENTIONS FOR BRAND SEO article as well as the affordable SEO plans from MadBeeTech SEO.