The Pros & Cons of Evergreen Content

Branching Out: Is Evergreen Content the Best Strategy for Digital Marketing?

In order to answer whether an evergreen content strategy will drive more traffic to your website, you need to know- what is evergreen content exactly? Evergreen content is precisely what it sounds like – information that stays relevant, important, and interesting to your audience over time. 

Like an evergreen tree, this content stays fresh regardless of when it was written. So, what does evergreen content look like? It could be a “how-to” blog post, a video showing tips and tricks in your trade, or even a podcast about the best strategies for your business. The key is that it has long-lasting value.

Midjourney image of a forest and Google Chrome icon.

While evergreen content can help your website reach more people because it draws in a wide-variety of readers over time, it shouldn’t be the only type of content on your website. In this article we’ll outline the pros and cons of using evergreen content for your digital strategy.

The Benefits of Evergreen Content for Your Digital Strategy

Evergreen content can be featured on websites in any industry… but what are some of the benefits of having it there? Don’t we want to keep up with the times?

1. Improved Search Engine Visibility

Evergreen content is keyword rich and can drive more traffic to your site. Since it is typically written about topics that are relevant to your expertise, these posts will include keywords you want to rank for in the first place. It gives you an opportunity to feature those keywords on your website in a way that’s useful to readers.

2. Boost Brand Credibility

Evergreen content gives you an opportunity to show off your industry expertise and establish yourself as an authority in your field. It gives you a space to write insightful and helpful content about your industry. That can build trust among your audience and peers- AND make you more credible in the eyes of Google.

3. Earn Backlinks and Shares

High-quality evergreen content can be extremely valuable if it helps you earn backlinks or shares. Backlinks tell Google that other websites even trust you as a source of reliable information. That can in turn augment your search engine results. If you’re trying to gain attention from journalists, an evergreen piece can give reporters interesting data that helps support a story regardless of when that information was posted.

4. Better Return on Investment

Since evergreen content can live on your website for a long period of time and still be useful to your audience, it has the potential to give you a better return on investment than a trending piece. Trending content can quickly become out-of-date and should be updated or deleted so your industry knowledge doesn’t seem out of touch.

Shortcomings of Using Evergreen Content for Digital Strategy

As we pointed out earlier, evergreen content is helpful – but only to a certain extent. You need to balance a mix of trending and evergreen pieces in order to get the most bang for your buck. With that in mind, what are some of the other drawbacks of using evergreen content in your digital PR strategy?

1. Limited topic range

Because evergreen content focuses on timeless topics, there are only so many pieces that will generate interest and stay relevant over time. When ideating for evergreen content, it can be a challenge to think outside of the box from what your competitors may have already posted about. You also will be limited to more relevant content and leave the vast field of tangential content behind. 

2. Less likely to be viral

Viral content hinges on timeliness. Since evergreen content is designed to be timeless, it has a lower likelihood of garnering that electric amount of attention a trending topic would be able to ignite. While a clock can be right twice a day, the timing rarely works out that your how-to video will suddenly rock the media world in a twist of fate. 

3. Lack of Novelty

Although evergreen content has a longer shelf-life than trending topics, it is harder to make this type of content unique or novel for exactly that reason. There’s nothing particularly new about it – despite the fact that it is useful information. While it might be useful, it certainly won’t attract new readership on its own. 

4. Limited engagement

Depending on the topic, evergreen content can have a pretty niche audience. Readers could be peers in your industry, people who are interested in this information for hobby purposes, or those trying to learn a new skill. It doesn’t always lend itself to a diverse group of readers. For that reason, it tends to hit a wall in terms of engagement.

Evergreen content will also dissuade readers from engaging more with the site- if there’s nothing new, why come back? 

How to Create Evergreen Content for Your Website

When ideating for evergreen content – keep this question top of mind: “will anyone find this useful in two years from now?” If the answer is yes, then you’re on the right track. If you find yourself doubting that two-years-from-now you will still be interested, then you’re probably working with a trending topic. Be sure to consider what content is truly timeless- and focus on that. 

First things first, how do we come up with ideas for evergreen content?

1. Analyze your industry

What are some common questions people may be searching from your field? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to start ideating for evergreen content:

  • What are some how-to topics that could help others better understand a process of your industry?
  • What are the most commonly asked questions from your customers? Make a list of the top 25 and start brainstorming from there
  • How could you explain some of the best tips and tricks of the trade?
  • How do you problem-solve for a recurring issue or common problem within your industry?
  • What terms in your industry do others find confusing or hard to define? Would a glossary of terms be helpful?
  • What tools do you find most useful within your field?
  • What checklists do you use to accomplish certain tasks? What that checklist be useful to others?

Tip: try to answer questions that focus on “what” or “how” as opposed to “why” or “who”. It’s more likely that “why” or “who” could change drastically over time with key players retiring or being replaced or new technologies changing the landscape of your field. “What” and “how” questions will likely stay the same for a longer period of time and hold interesting information.

2. Focus on practical value

Offer up actionable advice that your readers could use in real-time to figure out a solution to their problem or how to achieve a goal. This will make your content valuable and boost the likelihood that readers will return to your site for more insights!

3. Update your content regularly

Even though evergreen content has long-lasting value, it’s important to revisit these posts occasionally just in case there’s any new information you could add to keep your content fresh and interesting.

Examples of Evergreen Content

Midjourney image of a laptop in a forest

Whether it’s a Blue Spruce or a Douglas Fir, evergreen trees come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. It’s much the same story for evergreen content! Here are some evergreen content examples.

1. How-to guides

Explain to your audience how to complete a task with a blog post or a helpful video. These have a high likelihood of being shared, especially if you are breaking down a complex topic into something that’s clear and concise. However, really make sure this is a burning question for folks in your sphere, otherwise, it won’t generate much interest.

2. Best practices, tips, and tricks

Outline some time-saving, savvy ways to meet a goal that others could find useful. In these posts, it’s important to underscore why your method may be better than others. It’s also crucial that you thoroughly explain how your trick works, otherwise, you may end up with questions in your inbox.

3. Glossaries

Show your expertise by defining some of the keywords within your industry. This could be a valuable resource to others over time who may be trying to learn more about your industry.

4. Problem-solving posts

Write about a solution to a problem that’s common in your industry. This could have a great likelihood of being shared if it’s a unique approach.

5. Q and A with company executives on timeless topics

Interview some of your in-house industry experts about your field. You never know when your background could be of use to a journalist who needs to know more!

6. Checklists

Write down a checklist that’s useful to complete a task. This could be of use to readers who are newer to your industry or even those who are well-seasoned and could use the reminders! These are likely to have long-lasting value and showcase educational expertise.

7. Tools of the trade

Explain some of the positives and negatives the top platforms, programs, or tools you use in your industry. Outline why some may be a better investment than others. Make sure to check back on this page, because although it could have evergreen value for a while, there may be some emerging players eventually, which will require you to update.

8. Infographics

Create an eye-catching infographic about a timeless topic. These infographics can explain a process or system, reflect insights into your industry, or general themes.

Balancing Evergreen and Trending Content on Your Website

Midjourney image of a tree on a scale

Having a mix of evergreen and trending content on your website is important to keep your audience interested and engage new readers. Overall, that will be key to Google and your readers that you are an authority on your topic, and you’re also tuned into what’s next.

Here are some best practices to get that balance just right.

1. Understand your audience

Who is your target audience? What kind of content are they interested in? Use tools like Google Analytics to see what pages on your website are the most popular and what topics generate the most engagement.

2. Plan your content calendar

Have a calendar that outlines what topics you want to cover in the future, be that evergreen or trending. This will help you keep track of what you’re posting and whether you’re providing a good mix of content.

3. Refresh your evergreen content

Make sure to revisit your evergreen content every now and again so that it stays a bit more relevant and useful. If there’s a new technology or platform that should be explained or included, make sure to update the post!

4. Be flexible

If you notice your evergreen content is garnering more attention than your trending topics or vice versa, make adjustments. Interest will come in ebbs and flows.

5. Keep track of your results

Use Google Analytics to inform your content strategy and see how certain posts are performing.

Overall, evergreen content sends a signal to audiences that you have a firm understanding of your industry. Whether people are on your website because they were looking for your specific brand or because your blog answered their question – evergreen content sets you up to be a thought leader in your industry and a trusted source of information. 

For more helpful tips about how to boost your content check out these blogs: 

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