Evergreen Content

Content Strategy: The Role Of Evergreen Content Generation

Content comes in a variety of shapes and forms. It can be short blog posts, long white papers, videos, podcasts, pretty much anything that educates, entertains, or engages.

If you build a matrix with one axis the medium, as described above, that’s only half of the equation. The other axis on the matrix addresses subject matter or type of content, rather than format.

The subject matter should be evaluated under a continuum. On one end, you have content that is currently relevant. This includes material such as breaking news, announcements, event coverage, and similar information.

Toward the other end of the axis, you have evergreen content.  Whether your content strategy involves merely blog-based content, or a fully integrated effort to repurpose and respin content into multiple formats, you need to account for evergreen content.

What is Evergreen Content?

The word “evergreen” is used here as an analogy. Just like a pine tree remains evergreen, evergreen content remains relevant over the long haul. While small details about the topic may change over time, the concept and key details behind the topic do not.

What types of content are evergreen? Here are some examples:

  • Definitions or explanations: “What is Search Engine Optimization?”
  • Detailed Instructions: “How to Fix an Oil Leak in a 1977 Ford Mustang.”
  • Lists of Resources: “Entrepreneurship and Small Business Assistance Programs in Austin, TX”
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) Lists: In this case, it would be about a specific topic that is not a company or product.

As you can tell from the above, these topics stand the “test of time.” They remain relevant regardless of what happens in the political, economic, business, social, or cultural environment of today.

How to Manage Evergreen Content

If you are able to write a truly remarkable piece of evergreen content, you will be rewarded with organic traffic. This is obviously a key reason for composing it in the first place.

Aside from organic traffic, though, there are other things to keep in mind. Let’s look at some tips for helping highlight and drive traffic to your evergreen content proactively via other means.

Make it Easy To Find On Your Website

It’s great to build an evergreen post or video, but if no one can find it, you’ve wasted your time, effort, and money. It’s not enough to put it out there on your blog and hope the eyeballs find it.

You already know what your best evergreen content is. So highlight it front and center! There are a variety of ways to do this, including:

  • Include a list of top resources or best blog content on your home page
  • Link to it as a top post in the blog sidebar
  • Update and Re-publish it when any of the material requires a refresh (and if it’s a good evergreen post, it will)
  • Install a “Related Posts” plugin for your CMS that highlights materials from similar tags or categories

On that last note, let’s jump to the next section…

Link To It From Other Content

The related posts plugin will auto-link the evergreen content from other relevant posts on your site. That’s a great start, and it helps that it is automated. That way you can internally link with less effort.

You also need to insert the link into other content with keyword-rich anchor text. This is a manual process, and should be managed with Penguin-related concerns in mind. You want to vary up the anchor text across the site, but remain on topic. If you write the new content first, it should be easy to link from a unique anchor text / phrase. This will help reduce the urge to keyword stuff (i.e. over optimize) those new posts and/or pages.

While you are building these internal links, you can even consider the idea of building a custom category or tag for posts that are evergreen. Perhaps it is something along the lines of “Educational Resources”, “Industry Trends”, or a similar category. Get creative, because “Evergreen Blog Posts” would be a very weak attempt at doing this.

Remind Your Social Networks

Once you’ve written your kick ass evergreen content, highlighted it on the website, and linked to it freely within the website, focus on exposing the content elsewhere.

First, keep in mind that it is very bad form to share or tweet the exact same content repeatedly. But that doesn’t mean you can share something once and never do it again!

If you use some common sense, you will find that you can share or tweet killer evergreen content as often as monthly. There are several ways to do this. Manually is the most time intensive an burdensome. I always opt for one of two techniques:

  1. Pre-schedule a series of monthly tweets using HootSuite or another social media management dashboard
  2. Install the Tweet Old Post plugin (if you use WordPress), which will automatically manage the process for you. While this is the easiest option, it offers the least amount of control over which posts you retweet. To make this one work properly, you will need to create the custom category I mentioned in the last section and filter via the plugin.

Benefits of Evergreen Content

Evergreen content not only drives organic ranking and traffic for your site, but it also opens up many avenues for prospects to find your site and for you to engage with them.

Write it, promote it, highlight it on the site, and do everything you can to encourage it being spread via social media and other means. In the end, you will provide real value while building a stack of content which can help promote your website and your business or cause.

What evergreen topics do you plan to tackle today?


Image Courtesy of Jan Ramroth, provided by user immergrun on Wikimedia Commons

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As Founder and President of Return On Now, Tommy Landry provides the vision behind our SEO and SEM methodologies. With over 25 years of business experience and a deep understanding of modern internet marketing techniques, he spends his time providing hands-on consulting, insightful content, and engaging public speaking appearances to Online Marketers of all skill levels.
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