Keeping it green - how to ensure your content writing has legs

All articles | Marketing
Published Jan 11, 2018 | Written by Jeremy Knight

evergreen-content-writing-blog.jpgCreating evergreen content is a proven strategy for upping your search rankings and driving traffic to your site. But what exactly is it? Why is it so useful? And how do we go about creating it?

In this blog post we explore what makes certain content “evergreen”, why it’s so worthwhile, what differentiates it from other types of online content and how we can harness its benefits for our content writing efforts.

What makes content evergreen?

Evergreen content, as its name suggests, is any form of online content that is long-lasting (eternal or sustainable,) that is not time-sensitive, that offers tangible value and that addresses the needs of your audience.

If the content has no obvious “use-by date,” then it's classed as eternal, which means it has the power to retain its relevance regardless of any changes within that industry or topic area.

Content that's sustainable will just need a little more regular attention to ensure it remains current, by amending or updating any facts or figures from time to time.

So what sort of content isn’t evergreen? Basically anything that is time-sensitive or that has a short life-span, such as news articles, current trends or the latest statistics. While these types of content may well have short-term popularity and relevance, they’re not formats that are geared for longevity.

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Why is evergreen content useful?

Creating content that's evergreen can be an invaluable tool to help drive traffic to your website and to guide prospects through your sales funnel.

By optimising it with carefully selected keywords you can use it improve your search engine rankings and to connect you with your audience via social media.

Lovingly created content that is relevant, well-written and useful can also help you to position your brand as a leader within your industry.

How do we create evergreen content?

The key to creating content that will last the distance is to choose topics within your industry that have longevity.

However, when we consider that in excess of 2 million blog posts go live around the world every day, it’s even more important to offer a fresh perspective on your subject to ensure you cut through the “noise” and stand out from the crowd.

With that in mind, here are a few of the key steps to consider when creating your content:

  • Identify your keywords - Look for long-tailed keywords (keywords of at least three words) that that are relevant to to the content piece that you’re creating and that have high search volume and low-to-medium search competition. When doing your research, select keywords that have staying power rather than being won over by current buzzwords which may quickly turn into yesterday's news.
  • Optimise your content for SEO - Be sure to include your keyword in your headline and H2s and then thoughtfully throughout the body of your piece. Try and avoid excessive use of your keyword, or keyword stuffing, which can end up making your writing appear disingenuous.
  • Use accessible language - It’s easy to assume that people know more than they do. So when you're writing, and particularly if it is targeted to the awareness or consideration stages of the buyer's journey, treat your readers as though they are beginners. Cover all the bases even if they may seem obvious to you. Likewise too, avoid using too much technical language which may alienate your reader.
  • Sense check your content - Ultimately your content needs to readable, so to ensure your readers don’t click away too soon you’ll want to ensure it’s well written, useful, approachable, and that it addresses a need.
  • Tend to your content - If you do decide to include useful facts and figures in your piece then you’ll want to ensure you keep it updated (at least every year) with the latest findings and that you add, delete or swap out any data or links as appropriate.
  • Promote your content - Once you’ve created your content, then be sure to shout about it. Share it on your social networks and re-run your top blog posts from time to time (updating the content as required.)

Ideas for content that's evergreen

OK, so you’re sold on the idea of creating evergreen content. But what sort of form can it take?

Certain types of content are simply better suited to being evergreen and others not so much. So, while a ‘Guide to Understanding Buyer Personas’ is unlikely to change too significantly over time, a ‘How to Guide to Instagram,’ while it’s useful, is likely to need regular refreshing as the application updates.

Here are just a few examples of some popular evergreen writing formats to kick-start your content creation:

  • How to Guides - Focus on a topic that will never go of date and pitch it to a specific stage of the buyer’s journey.
  • Case Studies - Real life examples are an excellent opportunity to showcase when things went right, and often just as helpfully too, when things went wrong.
  • Resources Lists, Checklists; The Best of's; FAQs, Industry Tips - All simple formats with the potential to provide a wealth of invaluable information and that will help you to set yourself up as a useful authority within your industry.

Taking the time to plan and produce quality online content is a crucial element of your inbound marketing strategy.

Ensuring that content is relevant and timeless can play an invaluable role in improving your search rankings, boosting traffic to your site and in making your content creation efforts (in the immortal words of chanteuse Barbra Streisand) “...ageless and ever evergreen.”

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Published by Jeremy Knight January 11, 2018
Jeremy Knight