Just as spruce and fir trees stay vibrant and healthy long after you plant the first seeds, evergreen content retains its relevance years after you hit the “publish” button. Evergreen content is the work horse of the digital publishing world because it continues to drive traffic to your website even though you don’t put any extra effort into it.
A robust marketing campaign demands evergreen content as well as time-sensitive pieces. While a news article might result in a brief traffic spike (and even a boost in sales), it will eventually fall off the virtual map as its information fades into history. Evergreen pieces, meanwhile, never stop leading visitors to your business.
Are you interested in creating and reusing evergreen digital content? If so, use the following guide to capitalize on this valuable strategy.
Start With Long-Form Content
Image via Flickr by greg westfall
Writing for the Content Marketing Institute, SEO consultant Al Gomez asserts that the best-performing evergreen content features two essential qualities: length and quality. Longer content can contain more in-depth information, which means it answers more of your potential customers’ questions.
The more comprehensive you make your content, the more valuable you become to readers as a resource. They know they can use your website to research information they find important, whether it’s how-to guides or lists of answers to pertinent questions.
However, you can’t just bulk up a weak piece with unnecessary verbiage. The best evergreen digital content must deliver high-quality information, such as:
- Statistics and figures: Backing up your assertions with industry-accepted statistics lends credibility to your argument.
- Explanations for jargon: Help potential customers better understand your products, services, and industry. If you use an acronym or industry-standard term, define it for your audience.
- Analogies: When you’re explaining complex concepts or terms, use analogies so your audience can better understand your perspective.
- Multimedia: Adding infographics, images, videos, and other forms of media to a written article enhances its value and provides more in-depth information.
You don’t have to write hundreds of 4,000-word articles, but if you want to get the most value out of your evergreen content, pack as much information into each piece as possible without straying off-topic.
Optimize the Content
The goal of evergreen content is to consistently drive traffic to your website. If you want it to perform well, optimize it for search engines so that consumers can find it.
Your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy will vary depending on your specific goals. If you’re trying to rank for local keywords, such as “laundromats in Houston, Texas,” it’s important to include location-based keywords in the content. According to Jayson DeMers of Search Engine Land, a study found that half of people who conducted local searches on their smartphones visited the store that same day.
You can also target industry-specific keywords and keywords that related to the subject of your article. Make sure you use optimized title tags, meta descriptions, and media descriptions to improve your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
If you’re inexperienced with SEO, consider outsourcing the project to a team of professional writers. They will create evergreen content that not only impresses and engages your audience, but also ranks well in the search engines. They can also create content faster since they’re not tasked with running a business at the same time.
Update Your Content for Relevance
While evergreen digital content stays relevant for years, it might require updating as time passes. For instance, if you included statistics in a piece you wrote in 2012, those numbers probably aren’t correct in 2016. Updating the statistics (as well as the sources) can ensure that your content remains accurate.
You might also want to update the call-to-action (CTA) as your business model changes. When you wrote the article, maybe you wanted readers to sign up for your newsletter or join an upcoming webinar. After a few months, you could change the CTA to encourage readers to buy a specific product or to follow you on social media.
Consider your style, as well. Businesses change and evolve as time passes, so don’t let older evergreen content contradict your brand. Update it to reflect your new style guide or your fresh approach to the written word. As you learn more about content marketing, you can update it to match your knowledge.
Reuse the Content in the Future
There are several ways to reuse evergreen digital content in the future without triggering a duplicate-content penalty in Google:
- Break it down: You know that longer evergreen content performs best, which means you might address several points in the article. For a future piece, explore just one of those points in even more depth. Link the two articles to one another to increase page views and reduce bounce rates.
- Move it up: If industry trends make a past evergreen piece even more relevant, move it to the top of your blog feed. Simply change the publication date so it appears first on the page. You can also create featured posts with some blogging platforms.
- Link to it: Renew interest in your evergreen digital content by linking to it from new articles or from social media posts.
- Incorporate it: You can use the content for a webinar, seminar, speech, video, or infographic down the road.
You could create an ebook that contains several of your best-performing posts and offer it as a free download (perhaps in exchange for readers’ email addresses). The ebook doesn’t require any extra effort apart from formatting and design, and your readers get a significant amount of free content in one neat package. Plus, you can collect contact information, which means more leads for your business.
Evergreen digital content is the gold standard for inbound marketing. Whether you’re attempting to start, grow, or expand your business, it’s a useful strategy for attracting potential customers and convincing them of your ability to satisfy their needs. Over several years, evergreen content can send far more traffic to your website than time-sensitive pieces.
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