Evergreen content – The oasis of long-lasting traffic

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    Today, the increasing demand for unique and fresh content can make creating your online presence feel like walking across a hot desert - the mirage being your desired Google rankings and quality leads.

    Most businesses do not have the time, budget or even energy to take on the content marketing journey. This is where evergreen content can be the green oasis you are looking for: it delivers what your customers want and conserves energy at the same time, your energy.

    What do we mean by "evergreen"?

    We all know that evergreen trees retain their leaves and freshness throughout the year and, like these trees, evergreen content is something that is relevant and attractive for a long period of time.

    But isn’t all digital content immortal? Articles and blog posts never entirely vanish from the web.

    As Megan Mars said in her 2012 article: "When we talk about content being 'evergreen', we mean content that remains fresh, interesting, relevant and valuable long past it's publication".

    Evergreen content, therefore, provides information that will attract lots of readers over the long-term, in contrast with a highly timely news or comment based piece that can be equally valuable, but with a shorter shelf-life. It can also save time and money, as a few focused, evergreen articles can be enhanced by other relevant blog posts and re-purposed spin-offs.

    Planning your approach

    When planning your evergreen content, you need to keep your target audience in mind at all times. Your content should provide those core pieces of information or advice that your audience is looking for often: 'how to' guides, comparison charts and calculators are just a few examples.

    If you decide to have a complete guide on a subject, divide broad topics into narrow, detailed posts and then link the content together. This is great for SEO, and lets readers solve specific problems, guiding them to additional relevant articles whilst improving your click-through rates at the same time. As long as information is updated when needed, these guides will remain “evergreen” for a long time.

    But even the most lasting evergreen pieces aren’t worth much if people aren’t searching for the topic. The more search-friendly your evergreen content is, the more it will be seen, shared, and linked to, driving traffic back to your blog and website.

    Content formats

    If you are looking for inspiration, here are a few examples of evergreen content types:

    Educational Content – Creating content that is genuinely helpful for those seeking information or advice will help with your Google ranking as well as make you appear well informed to readers. Formats can include the use of e-books, guides, tutorials or Q&A’s.  For example, here's a guide to the differences between crowdfunding and crowdlending.

    Real World Examples - Getting into detail with specific case-studies can be very useful for readers and can help buyers make business cases for investments in new products or services. Case studies and best practices are ideal formats to use when addressing industry challenges and offering suitable solutions.  Here's an example of a good case study.

    Industry Guides - Timeless and useful, a list of terms, checklists and industry stats will always be highly appreciated. Not only are people keen on finding data to back up their business cases, but they are also looking for a resource that is easy to scan and digest. Infographics always work well here.

    Round-ups - Always look for new opportunities in your industry. Is there a niche topic that has only ever been briefly covered? Jump on it!  Understanding existing trends, new products or platforms and gathering and sharing the findings neatly in one place will be very useful for readers. You will be seen as an expert in your field and a reliable source of up-to-date industry news.  Try creating a resource centre.

    Top content marketing strategies rely on a mix of both topical articles and long-lasting evergreen pieces. Blending in posts that show you recognise your readers' needs and can help with information for today and the future is the best way to create content that will deliver results for your business.

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