What is Evergreen Content?

In short, it is content that will last the test of time. In theory, just like an evergreen tree, ever green content stays somewhat fresh for a longer period of time. Evergreen content is always applicable to reader interests and less likely to become immediately out-dated. Evergreen content is used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well as marketing. The idea behind this type of content is that it can be easily found by search engines while staying relevant (forever green) without having to be updated. Evergreen content also increases the life of your website design.

Evergreen Content: How It Works

I’m sure you’re thinking, “Hey, isn’t all content online sustainable? I mean when I write articles and blog posts they don’t ever just go away, unless I take them down or delete them.” When we talk about content being “ever green” online, we mean content that continues to be relevant past its publication date. Traffic continues to grow over time which makes it great for organic search engine optimization! Some sites that are out-dated because of design are hard to replace simply because the content has done so well with search engines that you may not want to disrupt the flow of traffic by creating a new page. (Ask me how I can help you with this!)

What Evergreen Content is Not:

  • Articles focused on current trends or fashions
  • News articles
  • Statistics or numerical reports that are dated, has a limited window of usefulness
  • Specific holiday or season articles

What Evergreen Content is:

  • Instructional, “How To” Articles
  • Checklists, or other type of lists
  • Top 10 Helpful Tips
  • Answering reader FAQ’s (frequently asked questions)
  • Product Reviews/Testimonials
  • Explaining common concepts in your industry for your readers

Writing content using these does not automatically make it evergreen, but gives structure to the content in a manner that will work well with evergreen writing. When writing evergreen web content write it as specific as possible while keeping the idea that it has (virtually) no expiration date. For example, if you are writing “how-to” instructions, do it in a manner so that it will last as long as possible even with changing technology.

Why Do I Need Evergreen Content?

To understand why evergreen content is a necessary and powerful tool for web design, you need to know how search engine optimization works.

Search engines have three main activities:  Crawling (discovery of web content), Indexing (analysis to decipher keywords and store them for easy retrieval),  and Retrieval (a user query fetches a list of relevant pages matching input keywords).

Search engines constantly use software to go through the code of your website looking for the keywords to index and store for a search by others later. Dates and expired content that has not had recent traffic will be tagged as old or expired and will not be at the top of search engine results, although, sometimes relevance does out rank dates.

With evergreen content, use keywords that can be searched over and over again. Then, search engines are more likely to show your evergreen content in their results.

Just like the image above has several components, but mostly evergreen trees, not all content on your website needs to be evergreen.  Keep it balanced enough that it will extend the life of your website design and lead traffic to your website for many months and even years to come. Make sure your website content includes timely, specific and topical information as well. If not, you just might miss the boat!  The best content strategy for search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing on your website includes a mix of both topical and long-lasting, evergreen messages.