How Evergreen Content Can Help Your SEO
Evergreen content is a key part of SEO — It’s nothing to do with plants: it’s all about longevity: creating website content that holds high volume search engine rankings for as long as possible. Read on and find out what role evergreen content plays in achieving this and how to make your content evergreen.
Why Is Evergreen Content Useful?
If you are optimising for SEO, picking topics that stay relevant for a long time, or requiring few changes to stay relevant will allow you to get more value out of your content.
Remember one article that brings a thousand visitors a month for two years is worth just as much as two articles that do the same thing for one year each.
Picking evergreen content topics can save you time and money. Updating evergreen content can provide a much quicker route to the front page of Google than starting from scratch.
Evergreen Content Topics
Digital Marketing solutions like Andrew Backhouse Design make it possible for SMBs to get top rankings on Google. But achieving these rankings takes a little time and work. By targeting topics and questions related to your products that people are always interested in, you maximise the longevity of your SEO strategy. This is especially important for SEO on new websites because moving up the rankings can often take several weeks or months. By targeting topics that stay relevant for a long time, you give a site more time to climb up the rankings.
To show you the value of this let’s take a website selling non-stick cookware as an example. The owners of this site might notice on Google Trends that people have asked Google ‘How to flip a pancake?’ for many years. So they create a keyword-rich blog article on this topic, which doesn’t forget to add the importance of having a top-quality non-stick pan for the perfect flip. If this article gets top rankings, some of the searchers who click through to this page will also be interested in buying a new pan. Because people always ask this question, securing a top ranking for the answer will bring a steady stream of visitors to the cookware website for years to come.
Picking The Right Evergreen Content Topic
Google Trends is a great place to get some ideas for topics but its graphs don’t offer any concrete search numbers. So make sure you combine Google Trends research with insights from keyword tools. These tools offer the search volume and competitiveness of terms which will ensure that you pick the right keywords to go with your evergreen topics.
If two articles are covering the same evergreen topic, the one with best-optimised keyword choices will get the most clicks. With the help of the rankingCoach keyword feature, for our previous example, I discovered that in the US ‘How to make pancakes’ could be a better keyword phrase to build the evergreen content around for a top-ranking than ‘how to flip a pancake’, as it has much higher search volume:
However, it’s also important to note that the term ‘how to flip a pancake?’ is easier for a small site to rank for whereas ‘How to make pancakes’ will deliver many more visitors if a top-ranking is achieved. You need to pick keywords, those that strike the right balance between search volume and competitiveness for your specific site, and build your evergreen content around them.
Keywords tools help you to make the best evergreen topic decisions by offering informative and reliable keyword info. Which in turn helps you to cover topics with a long-lasting appeal get the best value for your business.
Keeping Your Content Evergreen
The pancake example above is the simplest kind of evergreen content, where the question and answer are timeless. This means the site owner might only need to keep an eye on the rankings and make very small changes to hold onto them. But there are also evergreen search questions and topics with answers that change over time.
For instance, the query ‘best smartphone’ has been a big keyword phrase for over a decade; The content in the articles that ranks top for this query now will be very different to the content that got top rankings 10 years ago; The content on the top-ranking page for ‘best smartphones’ in 2007 may have been an article on how the brilliant the iPhone 1 was but now it could be an article comparing the iPhone 12 with the latest Samsung Galaxy and the Google Pixel. It’s possible that the top page in 2007 with the iPhone 1 article is now the same page but with the iPhone 12 examples because the site owner has kept the URL but updated the page content to hold the ranking. Updating content this way is a great way to boost and hold onto valuable top rankings to keep them evergreen.
It is easier to update a top rankingCoach page to fold a top-ranking than it starts from the beginning with a fresh page. So updating old articles is often a better idea than starting fresh. To do this you always need to make sure that your evergreen content is adaptable and doesn’t hold any information that will make Google think it out of date and rank it badly. The most important consideration for this is the URL. You cannot change your URL without careful redirects or losing the page altogether, so you need to make sure that nothing in it dates the article or makes it difficult to adapt. For instance, you will often find articles with titles like ‘best tips and trends for (insert year)’, these articles can be very effective for attracting clicks but any key dates used in the content should never be in the URL:
This URL would be a bad idea because you cannot update the URL to change the year. Google will see the date and think the content is old, so it will lose its evergreen quality. This is why you should never put dates in any URLs of content that you want to be evergreen. Stick to a URL like www.sitename/bestsmartphones. If you want to use key dates place them in the
- Meta Titles
- Meta Descriptions
But Don’t forget to update all of these when it comes time to repost the article for the following year.
Content Management Systems like WordPress can often be set to generate date-based URLs for blog posts. I highly recommend switching this setting off and sticking to standard topic-based URLs. this will give all the content on your site a much better chance of becoming evergreen.
So, there you have it – Andrew Backhouse’s quick-start, sure-fire guide to Evergreen Content. If you need any help with your SEO then get in contact with me; I can be reached on the contact page of my site and I am normally able to get back to you within 24 hours.