What is evergreen content?
The word evergreen reminds me of a pinecone tree which stays fresh and green all year around. That is exactly what evergreen content is about – content that is relevant and in demand for long time (I wouldn’t dare to say forever as nothing is forever, right?). For example, the London Tube Map is unlikely to change and will be used until we no longer need to take the London Underground.
The opposite of evergreen content would be topical content which is mostly related with current news, events and trends. For instance, news on today’s traffic – it is valuable information today but not tomorrow.
Evergreen content vs. topical content
To show the lifespan comparison between evergreen content and topical content, the following two posts from the Obergine blog are chosen.
We created an infographic for London 2012 Paralympic Games in July 2012 and as you can see there was a distinct peak just before and after the games.
However as soon as the hype for London 2012 Paralympics declined, the traffic for the infographic diminished too and it is very unlikely to pick up again naturally in the near future. Therefore topical content is short lived – like a butterfly – beautiful and vibrant but dies quickly.
On the other hand the blog post - “How to pass Google Analytics Individual Qualification?” written in October 2012 has been bringing consistent traffic to the website.
It shows that there is continuing demand for information on how to tackle the Google Analytics exam and people are and will be searching for this until the exam no longer exists. As a result the blog post consistently ranked high on the first page for the relevant keywords.
In six months the Google Analytics exam advice post drove more than twice as much as traffic compared to the visits that the topical content for London 2012 attracted in 9 months.
However topical content is great to get that instant boost in web traffic and is essential to your marketing plan. In other words – any content marketing strategy needs to maintain the right balance between evergreen content and topical content.
How to create evergreen content?
1. Identify evergreen topics that are relevant to your business and create an editorial calendar, for example:
• “How to…” articles such as this one can be popular for a long time as people are always on the lookout for ways to do things and solve problems
• Historical events and people are not going to change and therefore can be evergreen content, for example: “The life of Coco Chanel”
• Standard information – for example, if you run an international e-commerce clothing shop you may want to create content on the correlation between cloth size measurements used in UK, Europe, USA and Asia. They are all different and can be confusing for consumers
• “Forever new” old topics, for instance; first love, dieting, depression and so on
2. Create evergreen content that can stand the test of time by
• Including evergreen sources that have authority and are not likely to be 404 pages in a few years’ time
• Make it easy to read for the majority – in other words the language needs to be simple and easy to understand if the content is going to be searched and consumed for a long time
• Divide the content into a step by step guide – More subheadings you include easier it is to digest the content and the keywords are likely to be picked up by Google.
P.S. Can anyone guess who the Lego character is? Anyone who guesses it right can have the lego person. I will post it to you :)