Writing copy is hard work. With all the effort put into your writing, the last thing you want to do is rewrite the same topic a month from now. This is where evergreen content comes in to play.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s reassuring to know solid, timeless information is still in demand. Informative content that’s as good today as it was last year is called “evergreen,” as in “it’s always green and fresh”. Evergreen content not only reduces your workload, visitors often prefer counsel that withstands the test of time.
From SEO to reader engagement, creating evergreen content maximizes the results of your labor. A little extra effort upfront (although sometimes none at all!) can improve short term traffic, but also keeps your pages performing in the long run. For past and future posts alike, consider including the following tactics to preserve the productivity of your content:
Standing Out In The Crowd (Of Search Results)
Including evergreen tactics in SEO goes beyond targeted keywords and interesting headlines. Take meta data and rich snippet functions, for example. Meta descriptions can be written to appeal to timeless questions your readers will be looking for. Rich Snippets add information like ratings, price, availability and other relevant info on the search result, updating time-sensitive information from a central source. Together, these simple strategies not only complement evergreen content but also refine SEO efforts as well.
A commonly overlooked approach is taking advantage of image optimization to attract more traffic. Image searches depend on alternative (or “alt”) text, title, and caption to rank, all of which can be fine-tuned to target timeless keywords as well. Be sure to avoid keyword stuffing, though, or this method may work against you.
Writing evergreen content isn’t just about the information itself. While you may already use empathy and storytelling in your content, visuals representing those emotional connections add to overall appeal. Factor in the search value and each image becomes new potential for traffic as well.
Other ways to optimize your efforts include connecting current work to past copy. Whether the topics are complementary or peripheral, weaving the network of information strengthens each additional post. A fresh take on old perspectives also validates the timelessness of a recycled article with minimal effort.
As a side note, remember when writing your copy to focus on information that doesn’t expire. FAQ’s and tutorials are good examples, while current trends and events are not. Only use dates when necessary to support the assertion to readers that your information isn’t going out of style.
Before moving on to the next task, let your readers help with the finishing touches. No matter how great your article is, people will have additional questions you may not have anticipated. Get feedback on recently published articles from your followers and make those final changes to polish your work.
This tactic is useful for old content as well. Using social media, you can start a discussion featuring your post and let the customers offer their input. Survey how helpful and thorough your content seemed to them, and leave room for additional questions they may have. Eventually you’ll either hit a point where there’s little room for improvement, or the sea of suggestions justifies a whole new article topic!
Getting (And Keeping) It Fresh
While the goal is to become as evergreen as possible, updates are a necessary part of online marketing. The more often something is updated, the less complex it should be. Basic landing pages, social posts and newsletters are all ways to keep your content looking fresh without a rewrite.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that sometimes changes happen out of nowhere. Information gets completely redefined and old facts suddenly become obsolete without warning. Producing evergreen content sometimes forces you to decide whether to stubbornly cling to the old or adapt to the new. As disappointing as this may be, it can also be an opportunity to help your audience make this transition as well. Keep in mind that if the change surprised you, it will be just as surprising to others. In that respect, even outdated information can be used as part of a timeless, evolving resource.
As I wrote a while back in From Spiney to Piney – Evergreen Content to the Rescue:
“You really, really want this. You want a whole, piney forest of it. This isn’t your hastily written post that invites a brief surge in website visitors. Oh, no. this is a beautiful piece of content that brings people in day, after day, after month, after year to garner information.”
Evergreen content isn’t a quick production and then off to lunch. It takes planning and forethought to be strong. Take the time to do it right, however, and you’ll have a forest of beautiful, authoritative, long-lasting content that people will reference, visit and talk about for years to come.
If you need help finding out the best place to plant your next evergreen, give us a call at (415) 308-7375. We provide the expertise you need to take your marketing efforts to the next level.