I’m Gonna Take This Content, and Make it Evergreeeeen
To celebrate the fact that Will Young’s ‘Evergreen’ has been crowned the best selling single of the 21st century, today, we’re taking a closer look at the ways you can ensure your digital content is always evergreen.
OK, so that first part might not be strictly true (the part about us celebrating - the part about Will Young having the best selling single of the century is somehow very, very real) - but with evergreen content playing such an important role in the success of a digital content strategy, we thought we’d cover it anyway...
So, what is evergreen content?
In short, it's timeless content. It’s copy that stands the test of time, remaining effortlessly relevant and valuable while refusing to age as it should year after year. Essentially, it’s the Paul Rudd of the content world (seriously, look at this guy…he hasn’t aged in 20 years). Carefully crafted in line with SEO best practices, this kind of content drives better rankings and encourages more engagement, whether it’s read a day, a month or a year after publication.
How do you create it?
Ah, the million dollar question. Creating good evergreen content requires you to think strategically about the type of content you’re creating - luckily, we’re going to do the hard work for you. I know, we’re amazing.
Keep your topics relevant
The first thing you need to think about is the topic of your content. Let’s say you’re a mobile phone retailer who, a few years ago, decided to attach a blog to your website as a means of improving your organic ranking performance and increasing brand awareness - good thinking.
Your first blog post, however, was titled ‘iPhone vs Android - Which Is Better?’, and details a thorough comparison of the most popular iPhone and Android devices on the market. Sure, this was valuable to your customers at the time, but with Apple releasing a new phone more often than I change my bedsheets (I’ll let you decide who comes off looking worse from that analogy), this post quickly became outdated in the eyes of its audience - leading to high bounce rates and low levels of engagement as a result.
When considering the topics of your blog posts, it's important to consider the needs of your reader both at the time and in the future - opting to write on themes that will remain relevant for years to come. Of course, this isn’t to say you should avoid seasonal posts - after all, a varied content plan is key - but when looking to create an evergreen blog post, think carefully about whether your topic is still going to have value to your reader after the initial upload period.
The easiest way to do this is to conduct some good ol’ keyword research into popular, more general search queries. Where possible, look to address search queries where users are looking for actionable, problem-solving advice, as it’s likely the information you provide will remain relevant to your readers from season to season.
Update your content
Returning to the example above, let’s say the ‘iPhone vs Android - Which Is Better?’ blog post was strategically optimised for a range of keywords and, following some mighty fine content writing, is ranking at position 5 for the term 'android vs iphone’. With a monthly search volume of 700, you want to take advantage of ranking for this term by ensuring the content is valuable to the reader. So, what do you do? Update.
The easiest way of ensuring your content is evergreen is to revisit it regularly and update your posts with any new information that will serve to add further value to the reader. By updating the example blog post every time a new iPhone or Android device is released, you’ll maintain (and even improve) your ranking positioning by creating more relevant, engaging content that readers will value as a result.
If, like me, the memory of what you had for breakfast this morning is already long gone (which is even more concerning considering I’m writing this at 10am…), it’s certainly worth setting yourself regular notification reminders to revisit certain content that relies heavily on current information or data. As a rule of thumb, never use statistics that are more than a year old, so be sure to remain conscious of research dates.
Keep your brand voice consistent
“Hello, I’m Morgan Freeman”. (I bet you read that in his voice, didn’t you?)
Having a distinctive brand voice is a super powerful content marketing tool that helps your audience readily associate your brand with the content you’re creating. As such, keeping this consistent across all of your content is vital to creating evergreen brand content that stands the test of time.
In much the same way as you can pick out Morgan Freeman’s voice from a mile and a half away, you want users to be able to read your content and instantly identify it as yours - and while you may have begun perfecting this craft in your recent content additions, if your old page or blog content doesn't follow suit, your brand voice is sure to lose its impact from the lack of consistency.
So, experiment with tone, vocabulary and style until you find the perfect voice that aligns with your brand image. It may not be as soothing and iconic as Morgan Freeman, but then again, what is?
Evergreen content is a key component of a digital content strategy that prioritises the value its offering to its readers. When utilised with the correct know-how, this content style should prove more popular with users than Will Young is with music fans, apparently.