Useful Things to Know When Creating Evergreen Content for a Digital Marketing Agency Website
In digital marketing, things change so fast that even usual words lose parts of their meaning. The same thing is with evergreen content, which, in fact, may be even a year-green. However, being watered with updates from time to time, it can really stay fresh and relevant for long.
To be called evergreen, your content must meet two criteria: being relevant long past its publication date and meeting high quality standards. Worth mentioning, it has to be search-optimized, otherwise, a good portion of your efforts will be wasted.
Much has been said on why evergreen content is important. To put it briefly, it forms a backbone for your website, so its traffic graph does not look like a sine wave. The thing is that the popularity of topical content quickly fades and you must put tremendous efforts to constantly generate something trendy in order to avoid sudden drops in traffic. Like the Red Queen from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glasswould say, evergreen content allows you to “get somewhere else if you run fast for a long time”, and time-dependent content requires from you to “run at least twice as fast as that.”
Besides, with evergreen content you can showcase your expertise and earn the trust of your readers.
A debate around which content is better to use is artificial, since most marketers understand the advantage of a hybrid approach and they try to maintain the ratio between evergreen and topical publications that works best for them. However, there are still a few points on the subject that should be highlighted.
What types of content and what topics can be evergreen?
There are many options for written content, as well as for infographics, images, video and audio materials:
Long-form articles on timeless topics
You should strive for no less than 2000 words for both Google and readers to love your post. The latter opt for materials where they can find exhaustive answers to their questions without collecting necessary information bit by bit on different websites, and the search engine wants to rank higher pages that are more likely to get internet users interested.
A well-researched and comprehensive article also contains more long-tail keywords that make 70% of all web searches and cannot be short by default.
Topics for such pieces are often simple and non-specific. They give a possibility to focus on basic principles, map out general strategy, and discuss a subject without addressing its specific aspects. For instance, it may be a piece about creating contagious content. Tips used to cover this topic have no expiration date, since they are based on primary principles of people’s behavior, which do not change with time. Alternatively, it can be a description of your industry structure that helps to get a full picture on how different digital marketing channels can be applied for achieving particular results.
You can also make evergreen content using posts with a short shelf life. For instance, yearly reviews of stats are relevant for a limited time for obvious reasons. However, if you combine several publications into one to outline changes within the industry or your company’s progress throughout a certain number of years, it will attract readers on a regular basis.
It is possible to do the same trick with articles about the past. Thus, a list of 9 Obsolete marketing strategies drives attention, because readers want to know what used to be effective and lost its importance to better predict potential changes on the market.
Posts that have historic significance also add value by educating your visitors. Many want to know how business evolves and what principles it is based on. Your comprehensive topical timeline will be especially appealing to readers if crafted in a non-standard way. Take a look at how the Bubblegum agency team brought their creativity into full play for making The evolution of Search Engine Optimization.
Have you published interviews with the industry experts who had expressed their opinions regarding future trends? You can write a summary based on several publications with conclusions on whether their predictions have proved correct or not.
A post on techniques and methods related to digital marketing that stood the test of time is also a good idea. Lists of best and worst practices in the industry, like Five worst practices in content marketing, for example, perform well too, since thanks to them people get inspired, glean core rules applicable anytime and learn how to avoid mistakes.
Readers like to see practical examples with numbers, approaches applied for solving concrete issues, and takeaways they can use themselves.
Besides that such type of content remains relevant for long, case studies are also your portfolio that speaks more about your work than all marketing copies. People are more interested in learning what and how you have already done than what and how you offer to do. You do not have to show your cards all at once, but adding some stats to your story for the evidence wouldn’t hurt.
Look at examples from Construct Digital: they are brief and concise when presenting their projects, but still give the readers enough information to be perceived by them as credible market players.
Worth mentioning, you do not need famous names in the list of your clients to create case studies. Although examples of cooperation with widely known brands give agencies some additional points, visitors of your website are usually more interested to find out how you managed to find specific solutions to bring benefits to companies that hired you.
It takes time to create a comprehensive topical glossary. However, they are easily updated and readers find them very useful.
For the reference, we can take this Content Marketing Glossary that includes about 100 definitions along with useful links and videos. At Copyblogger, they kill several birds with one stone thanks to it: an informative list attracts readers, and contains links to other pages on the website contributing to its on-page optimization, as well as to the company’s YouTube channel.
White papers, guides and eBooks
These are not something you can create overnight, but making your website a free resource of valuable information definitely pays off.
It is even better if you create a content library, or a knowledge base (it is up to you what term to use) that will contain your white papers, guides, and other similar materials. You can either give an access to it to all your website’s visitors or only to those who have provided you with their emails. It looks like the second option has its negative side nullifying your SEO efforts, since content available for registered users only does not get indexed by search engines. However, here is a case from Copyblogger – their materials that drive most social and search traffic are located on My.Copyblogger, a content library for registered readers.
Before putting much effort in creating multi-page documents, you should understand what topics are in demand among the readers. Find out what they look for, what topics are undercovered on the web, what essential questions remain unanswered. You can start with preparing materials for beginners. Check examples from FirstSiteGuide Koozai.
Koozai’s Guide to content marketing
Lists of useful resources
You do not need to cover all evergreen topics possible by yourself: your readers will appreciate it if you give them links to authoritative websites with expert articles that answer their questions. The thing is you cherry-pick the most comprehensive materials to collect them in one place.
Good examples are Content Marketing Tools: the Ultimate List by Curata, SEO Tools: The Complete List by Backlinko, and 50 Content Marketing Resources by Single Grain.
Infographics, images, podcasts
Although these types of content are hardly updatable, there is no reason to write them off. As for infographics, they became so popular largely due to readers’ reluctance to digest a lot of stats in a text. However, the purpose of infographics is not only to visualize numbers: almost any data can be presented creatively.
The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing from Flypchart is also a good example of making the text richer in substance by surrounding it with visuals.
Remember that visuals are also great for humanizing your website. At Toggle they created awesome comics like these: Horoscopes For Your Agency Joband 9 Business Customs From Around the World, which for sure make their visitors feel there are actual people behind the website.
Toggle’s Agency Horoscopes
How to ensure your evergreen content ranks high and attracts many visitors?
The answer is actually simple: you have to produce quality and useful content and optimize it for search engines. However, it leads to other, more specific questions.
How to define what content is considered useful by your readers?
To find it out, conduct a research: look which topics in our niche perform the best, which get the most shares, and which of them are used by your competitors.
You can also learn the pool of issues your target audience has to resolve at some point. Visit relevant communities, forums and groups on social media, and ask your existing readers. Make sure that your content can help them to find a solution to a particular problem, or bring them significant value.
Then, look at your USP and conduct a SWOT analysis. This can help you to find your area of expertise, so you can provide your readers with unique information and give them professional advice.
Defining what is the most useful content for your target audience is not all: you also have to present it the right way. For that, it is good to know what types of content are the most popular (blog posts, podcasts, guides, etc.), and what headlines drive the most attention.
How to make your evergreen content SEO-friendly?
Firstly, you have to optimize it with relevant keywords. Secondly, you’ll need to update it regularly. That does not mean rewriting your posts – making slight changes like providing recent stats or adding new facts would be enough.
It is also important to make Google pay more attention to your evergreen content by building your website hierarchy in a proper way. Articles, which you are going to keep relevant for long, should be at its top: link to them from your posts on similar topics, creating a pyramid.
Last but not least…
Putting much effort into quality content is an unenviable job, if you do not make the most out of it. Promote it through different channels: share it on social media, (do not forget to join relevant Facebook groups), write guest posts for other websites with links to your evergreen articles, and reach out to influencers asking them to comment on your article – there is a chance they will mention you on Twitter or somewhere else.
Do not limit yourself with online promotion – meetups and conferences are also good for letting people know about your efforts. They will definitively contribute to sharing your content given it provides real value.