What is evergreen content?

By Josie Palmer
June 24, 2022
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A term we at Evergreen are more than familiar with, evergreen content is integral to the success of any business’s SEO campaign. But what is evergreen content, and why do websites need evergreen content?

If you are looking for the best way to boost your website visibility for your core services or products, your content marketing strategy should be built on the foundations of strong, authoritative content that stands the test of time.

Here at Evergreen, we are a dab hand at this, and so we share our insights below on how to create evergreen content to boost your visibility online and bring in organic traffic.

In a nutshell, evergreen content refers to content that will always be relevant and useful to the user, no matter how much time passes.

Evergreen content is foundational content that is forever topical to your core product or service. It will act as a natural gateway to your website, bringing in organic traffic through popular search queries that are relevant to what you are selling.

Unlike trending, proactive pieces of content that will come and go with the seasons, evergreen content is always useful and always relevant.

An easy way to think about it is like an evergreen tree (where the name derives from) that grows leaves all year round, as opposed to a deciduous that changes with the seasons. Just as an evergreen tree is always green so should businesses provide content that is always valuable and relevant.

What does this mean for you?

It means that your content strategy must stem from content that is not only relevant to your industry but will never go out of date.

It means creating content that is as helpful to users from the day it is published as it is in several years from now.

Of course, industry trends and advances will happen, but the beauty of evergreen content is that it can be updated to reflect this while keeping the core elements and foundational information your industry is about.

Tips for how to write evergreen content

  • Avoid topics related to a certain date or time of year
  • Focus for longevity, not the latest trends
  • Make the piece universally accessible
  • Offer expert advice that’s relevant to your industry
  • Create explainer content, as this demonstrates your authority and trustworthiness to web users
  • Consider FAQs that are popular in your wider industry as well as your customers

Examples of content that is evergreen

‘The essential guide to cleaning your bathroom’
‘How to remove wine stains from carpet’
‘The top ten tips for saving money’

These are universal topics that will are always applicable, and will always be relevant no matter the time of year. Search terms relating to these topics will be consistently popular, as they are relevant to a wide audience, providing information that is not susceptible to change.

Examples of content that is not evergreen

‘The best smartphones on the market in 2022’
‘Where you can vote in the next election’
‘How to make a New Year cocktail’

These content topics are not only more specific, but most importantly, only relevant for a certain amount of time. New smartphones are constantly released.

Why is evergreen content important?

Evergreen content is important as it acts as a steadfast for your website. No matter the time of year, it will be a piece of content that performs at a stable rate throughout the year.

Remember you’re not expecting to see massive spikes in traffic with evergreen content, as by its very nature it will see consistent and regular traffic. This is opposed to a trending topic that is reactive, bringing in a short-term boost in visibility.

This could be for various reasons, which could be an update in your industry, or, most likely, it focuses on a current trend that’s topical for the time (i.e. summer style tips, Christmas recipes, caring for your hands in winter, looking after your lawn in the summer).

These are still important to help boost organic traffic to your website but will peak and fall based on their relevance. That is why a two-pronged approach which factors in evergreen content and non-evergreen content is always the best way to go.

Time for an example…

In this example, we’ll consider a company that sells different types of interior paint. The website needs a plethora of content that will garner traffic and increase visibility. This will require high-quality, informative evergreen content relating to your product.

This is when it is essential to identify ‘evergreen’ topics, i.e., topics that will always be relevant to homeowners buying paint.

This could be:

‘The beginner’s guide to buying paint’

‘X tips for painting your living room’

‘How to paint kitchen cabinets in 10 easy steps’

‘X paint colours for a small kitchen’

‘The ultimate guide to painting your bedroom’

These are questions that will always be asked by people painting their home.

Meanwhile, some questions that may only be relevant at certain times of year may include:

‘The best colours to paint your kitchen this spring’

‘How to brighten up your home this winter’

‘X paint colour trends for autumn 2020’

Although these content pieces provide useful information, they are not evergreen topics. This is simply because they’re only relevant for a specific market for a specific amount of time, or date.

This is the crux of how evergreen content differs from other types of content; it is content that stands the test of time, that will consistently add value to your site throughout the year, and that will forever be relevant to your product.

This doesn’t mean you should discard trending topics and seasonal titles. This type of content can help with promotion, boosting traffic at certain times of the year and will still be a fundamental part of your content strategy.

Another important reason why evergreen content is so important is that it will act as your ‘pillar’ piece of content on your website. This is the term used for standout, long-form content pieces that act like a ‘pillar’ for other content. They form the base from which all supporting content derives.

The pillar content piece will hone in on your exact product and service and act as a ‘best of the web’ piece that all other content pieces link to.

This helps improve the internal linking architecture of your website and demonstrates to users you have built pathways for users to explore your content and easily find the content most helpful to them.

Check out this paint guide from Wickes, which is the top natural result in Google search results for the search term ‘paint guide’.

Paint buying guide

It acts as a central point from which all other content stems, and provides an interactive, engaging experience for users looking to learn more.

Quality content like this pays dividends over time. You are demonstrating to Google the importance of helping users with information, which is the core mission of Google: To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Need further proof?

Wickes’ paint product page is the top natural result in Google search when you type in ‘paint’. Wickes’ content strategy has built a plethora of resources on the topic of paint, which in turn bolsters their website’s authority in this topic area, and by association, their products.

Paint stores
Now that we’ve ironed out the impact that evergreen content can have, let’s get on to the next burning question: How do you create content?

How to create evergreen content

What needs to be included in evergreen content?

Evergreen content needs to naturally hone in on popular search queries about your key product or service.

Keyword research

Keyword research is essential, as this can help you establish the popular search queries with the most potential.

Aim for low-hanging fruit; this is a term used to describe keywords that offer potential in search results, which are not oversaturated with competitors.

Generally speaking, the more common search queries tend to have higher KD scores (keyword difficulty). This is because, realistically, your chances of ranking highly for this term are next to impossible, due to how competitive the keyword is.

The sweet spot can be found in search terms which get a fair amount of searches (for example, 300 per month), with a low keyword difficulty that enables more likelihood of ranking in the SERPs for that term.

Keyword research will enable you to discover the best opportunities for content topics within your niche, and will also help you discover the type of content that performs well in the SERPS in your industry.

Google it!

This one may seem obvious, but do some googling! Google is an incredible tool, and by putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, you can easily gain insight into their user journey and how they find you.

Establish the context of the query and match the user intent

Context is key. Ask yourself, what is a web user actually searching for when they ask that question? Ensure that you tailor your content to specifically answer user intent.

If you find a lot of search queries are informational, then that gives you an idea of the kind of content you need to create. This can refer to user guides, beginners guides, or how-to videos… high-quality explainer content is a fantastic way to get visibility in your industry.

A best-on-the-web guide within your industry space can, over time, become the destination online.

If it is regularly updated and supported with suitable creative assets such as infographics, imagery, and video, you will soon find your website’s organic traffic increase significantly, all because of a single piece of content.

How to establish your pillar content topics

Your pillar content topics should focus on your key services or products. For example, a guide that defines your service, its importance of it and its benefits of it can not only help users identify what they need but can elevate your website above competitors.

This is because you aren’t simply promoting yourself, you are actually helping potential customers suss out their options and understand the service.

Let’s refer back to Google’s mission statement – to organise the world’s information so it is accessible.

If you create a standout guide that goes above and beyond competitor articles, you will not only demonstrate your authority within this topic space but will increase your website’s visibility tenfold for product-specific terms.

Search queries can generally be categorised into the following categories:

  • Informational (what, when, how)
  • Transactional (‘best of’ listicles, top 10s, product reviews, investigative queries)
  • Commercial (intent to purchase a product, take an action)
  • Navigational (locating a product/ service nearby)

If we refer back to our paint analogy, think about the kind of questions customers would be asking if they’re new to the world of painting.

Typical questions around cost, quantity, and how to apply paint come to mind. These firmly fall into the informational query bracket.

Meanwhile, colour trends and listicles of the best paint to buy fall into the transactional intent bracket. These types of searches represent users at the discovery stage, with investigational queries.

A landing page for a singular paint product serves a purely commercial intent, with product-heavy copy featuring key information about that exact paint.

It’s worth noting that commercial landing pages do not need to be too commercially minded or persuasive but share key information about the product such as product materials, composition, weight, colour, and any other necessary information.

How long should pillar content pieces be?

Pillar content pieces need to be at least 2,500 – 3,000 words, generally speaking.

Extensive, thoroughly researched, grammatically impeccable, and user-friendly, your guide needs to knock competitor pieces our of the water.

Be sure to include clearly defined sections and chapters, relevant imagery, and superbly written copy. Larger, long-form resources of 6000 words plus may well be necessary for competitive industries.

Top tip: Conduct competitor research to see the kind of content you are up against. This will help you to set a benchmark for the minimum you need to achieve.

This is, of course, a balance, as reaching a word count for the sake of it is never advised. This is why in-depth research is essential, as there will always be something that can add additional value.

I hope this has been helpful and provided you some clear insight into how you can level up your content marketing!

If you’re interested in learning more about the ways evergreen content can elevate your ecommerce website, make sure to sign up to The Evergreen Way to keep up to date with all our upcoming articles.

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