Evergreen content is relevant to readers, stays “fresh” and attracts consistent search traffic over time, often for months or years. It’s always in season and isn’t impacted by time or trends. Learn how to leverage it to drive traffic throughout the sales funnel.
Here, you’ll find:
- What is evergreen content?
- Why is evergreen content so important?
- How to create an evergreen content strategy
- How to measure evergreen content performance
- 3 Mistakes to avoid when creating evergreen content
When you want to scale your website traffic over time, evergreen content can be a smart solution. Because it’s always fresh, evergreen content continues to attract impressions and clicks long after it first goes live.
How can you leverage the power of evergreen content for your business? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about evergreen content, including how to use it in your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy as well as when and how to refresh it.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content is timeless and relevant, attracting consistent search traffic over time. It remains fresh and valuable to readers, providing long-term benefits to a website or blog. Examples include how-to articles, guides, tutorials, and resource lists.
It’s named after evergreen trees, which weather the seasons without changing appearance. Similar to evergreen forests, this type of content is also considered long-lasting.
Evergreen content formats
To be evergreen, content typically needs to answer persistent questions (e.g., FAQs) or respond to timeless queries. Some formats that tend to work well for evergreen topics include:
- How-to content and tutorials that walk readers through completing a common task
- Listicles that share top choices or highlights for frequently searched topics
- Tips to help readers make choices or navigate issues that remain popular over time
- Product reviews, especially for items that rarely have new versions or updates
- Templates or checklists that readers can use to guide a project or task
- Ultimate guides that offer in-depth overviews of timeless topics
Blogs and articles are often evergreen, but this type of content doesn’t necessarily have to be written. Videos can also be evergreen, especially if they provide utility and generate consistent search traffic over time.
What isn’t evergreen content?
While many topics meet the evergreen content definition, these types of content don’t:
- News reports, as they typically refer to recent events or timely stories
- Blog posts about trends and styles that are temporarily in fashion
- Statistics-based reports, which require regular updates to reflect new data
- Content about holidays, seasons, pop culture, and time-sensitive events
As a general rule, any seasonal or trendy topics aren’t evergreen. Topics aren’t considered evergreen if they require constant updates or if they generate viral interest for a brief period of time.
For example, a holiday like Thanksgiving generates a lot of seasonal content. As you can see in the Google Trends graph below, interest over the past five years briefly spiked every November.
Here’s another example, this time showing a time-sensitive event. The 2020 presidential election generated viral interest around November 2020, but it hasn’t prompted many searches since.
Evergreen content ideas
Need some ideas to start brainstorming your own evergreen content? Use these as inspiration:
- How to write a thank you note: This is a timeless how-to topic that responds to a query with year-round search volume. While new approaches or methods for writing thank you notes may emerge over time, an article on this topic won’t require frequent updates.
- 10 high-protein foods to eat every day: This is a listicle that helps readers plan their daily diets and provides actionable advice. Similar to the topic above, this one will remain relevant over time without requiring frequent additions.
- Essential guide to kitchen renovation: This is an ultimate guide that provides readers with clear steps to follow. While more technical topics or fast-moving industries may need updates to reflect new developments, a topic like this one will remain relevant over time.
Above, the Google Trends graph for “kitchen renovation” shows continued interest over time. While the topic has certainly experienced some dips and spikes, it doesn’t have any seasonal patterns.
Evergreen content examples that work
Curious to see real-life examples of evergreen content? Take a look at these articles:
“Evergreen content is immensely powerful for driving growth for us,” shares Zachary Murray, Founder at Foreplay. “For example, two of our blog posts — Saving Ads From Facebook Ad Library and How to Use the Facebook Ad Library — generated over 100,000 visits per month and hundreds of leads for us. This is successful for us because of how high-intent the topic is in relation to our product.”
Help Desk Migration
Comparing evergreen to seasonal content can be helpful for gauging its success. For example, “when comparing the evergreen article Service Gap Analysis 101 to a seasonal topic over the last three months, it received 43% more clicks despite having only 11% more impressions,” shares Nataliia Tomchyshyn, Marketing Manager at Help Desk Migration.
“One of the evergreen posts that has driven the most traffic to RecurPost is How To Use Social Media Automation To Grow Your Business,” shares Debbie Moran, Marketing Manager at RecurPost. “The guide highlights the basic ideas of the advantages of social media automation and how it works using RecurPost. This guide continues to retain readers since it offers up-to-date info that is unaffected by the constant shifts that keep on happening in the world of social media.”
Why is evergreen content so important?
For many businesses, evergreen topics are a critical content strategy component. Here’s why.
Increased organic search traffic
The biggest benefit of evergreen content is the increased search traffic. On the one hand, this type of content answers real search queries and provides genuine value to readers and potential customers.
Yet, it also aligns with queries that generate reasonable search volume. As a result, this type of content can attract more clicks and impressions, driving traffic to your site.
Improved visibility and brand recognition
One piece of evergreen content may attract a decent amount of organic clicks. However, the real benefits of content marketing come when you invest in an evergreen strategy and the traffic grows exponentially.
As you produce more high-quality evergreen content that ranks for popular searches, the more visible your brand will become. An expanded keyword portfolio, better domain authority, and improved brand awareness typically follow.
For example, “HawkSEM helped Easly increase their relevant keyword portfolio by 1500% by helping create evergreen content for their target audience,” explains Rambod Yadegar, President of HawkSEM.
Better backlink portfolio
When you publish content on more niche topics with lower search volume, you may have to build backlinks manually. But because evergreen content answers common search queries and remains relevant over time, it often attracts backlinks naturally.
If your evergreen pieces are genuinely helpful, they’re more likely to land high-quality backlinks from other authoritative sites. Since high-quality backlinks are a ranking factor for SEO, getting more of them can help all your content rank better on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Easier to share and distribute
Ideally, your evergreen content will rank for relevant keywords and drive organic traffic. But that isn’t the only way to attract traffic.
Evergreen content tends to be easy to distribute and share across other digital marketing channels. For example, you can easily share or repurpose evergreen articles across social media marketing channels to improve visibility.
Optimized sales funnel
Evergreen topics can address every part of the sales funnel, which can positively impact the return on investment (ROI) given your SEO budget:
- Topics with high search volume tend to focus on the top of the funnel queries, which are geared toward people who are starting to learn about a topic and seeking basic information.
- Long-tail and high-intent queries typically address the middle and bottom of the funnel, which appeal to people who are planning to make a purchase and are closer to making a decision.
By creating evergreen content for queries that align with these different stages, you can successfully add prospects to your sales funnel. Because the content continues to provide value without needing significant maintenance, it can help fill your sales funnel automatically.
How to create an evergreen content strategy
A successful evergreen content SEO strategy uses a combination of keyword research, trend analysis, and strategic updates. Follow the steps below to get started creating high-performing evergreen pieces.
1. Perform keyword research
To find evergreen topics that are relevant to your business, start by making a list of potential keywords or search queries. For each one, make sure it passes the “evergreen” test:
- Is it likely to generate consistent (rather than seasonally spiky) search traffic?
- Will it matter to readers in six months or a year?
- Will it remain relevant without frequent updates?
As you build this list, plug each keyword into a keyword research tool. You can use either your all-in-one SEO platform (e.g., Semrush or Ahrefs) or a dedicated tool. For this example, we’ll use RankAtom, a standalone keyword research tool.
With a tool like RankAtom, you can easily see how difficult it would be to rank for the keyword. The tool shows the domain authority range for top-ranking pages and highlights potential ranking opportunities.
At first glance, “how to create a skincare routine” appears relatively competitive, as it has attracted a lot of authoritative sites. However, the low end of the range (12) is quite low, which means this keyword could be worth pursuing.
One of the biggest benefits of using a keyword research tool for this step is that it automatically suggests other ideas. So if your first evergreen idea doesn’t seem feasible, you can get more ideas efficiently.
For example, “how to build a skincare routine for beginners” is more of a niche query with lower search volume. However, it has far more ranking opportunities, which could make it a better choice.
2. Analyze search trends
Once you have at least one idea for a topic, confirm that it’s actually evergreen. Again, you can use an all-in-one SEO platform like Semrush, which has trend analyses built into the dashboard.
But you can also use a free tool like Google Trends. Input your keyword idea into Google Trends and extend the timeframe to either 12 months or 5 years.
Confirm that the topic has relatively consistent search volume over a year or more, like in the example above. If the trend graph shows seasonal spikes at the same time every year or a complete dropoff after a certain date, remove it from your list.
3. Review the competition
Next, take a look at your competition by reviewing the top-ranking articles. Your keyword research tool can give you a quick glance at the SERP and the domain authority for each top-ranking result.
But what really matters is what the articles say — and how your site can contribute to the conversation with new content. Click to read each top-ranking piece of content to learn:
- How does the article or video cover the topic?
- Is it missing important steps or contextual information?
- How could your business or brand add a unique point of view?
Compile your notes as you go. When you’re finished reviewing the competition, you should have a good starting point for framing your evergreen content.
4. Publish evergreen content
Finally, choose the best evergreen content format by referring to the SERP. For example, if most top-ranking results are YouTube videos, you’ll want to prioritize video content. The same goes for how-to guides, listicles, and other formats.
Why should you use SERP results as guides? The top-ranking results reflect the content that drives the most organic search traffic, which indicates that they align with search intent.
But that doesn’t mean there’s no room to experiment with different formats or add your own spin on a topic. Make your company’s content stand out by including:
- Visuals like step-by-step images and YouTube videos
- Infographics that summarize complex information
- Case studies that highlight the results you’ve achieved
- Podcasts that share a conversation on the topic
- Quotes from your own in-house subject matter experts
How to measure evergreen content performance
Once you’ve published new content, you need to know if it’s meeting SEO goals. Measure the results of your evergreen content over time to track outcomes and make improvements as necessary.
Track SEO metrics
Many of the most important indicators of evergreen content success focus on search traffic and keywords. Most SEO professionals consider metrics like:
- Keyword rankings
In addition to search traffic, it’s also important to track SEO conversions. After all, you want potential customers to do more than read your evergreen content. Ideally, you also want them to take next steps.
At HawkSEM, we use ConversionIQ to track each step of an SEO campaign. We developed this tool to better understand our target audience’s customer journey and the channels and content that drive results.
We also use ConversionIQ to optimize ROI over time. It shows us what isn’t working so we know what to cut and we can continue to improve results year over year.
Update evergreen content
The appeal of evergreen content is that it remains relevant over long periods of time. However, that doesn’t mean this type of content never requires updating.
In most cases, the initial content creation is just the first step. To keep evergreen content fresh, make a plan to review and update it periodically.
How often should you update evergreen articles? For Help Desk Migration, “every three months, we conduct a checkup to assess industry-related updates and relevant research. If we uncover any useful or relevant information, we add another text block to ensure comprehensive coverage of the main topic in our evergreen articles,” explains Tomchyshyn.
For RecurPost, Moran shares, “I revise statistics, refresh examples, and include fresh thoughts so as to keep my content up to date and relevant. Moreover, I consider users’ comments or complaints in order to answer questions or problems that could have emerged during the last time the material was uploaded.”
Evergreen updates don’t always have to focus on written content. Another way to refresh is adding more images, videos, and podcasts, as Foreplay does. “When it comes to refreshing evergreen content, we have recently been adding our own in-house videos for each topic and using a specialized embed feature, which is a free tool,” shares Murray.
3 Mistakes to avoid when creating evergreen content
With the wrong approach, evergreen content can result in low ROI. Beware of some common mistakes and use these content marketing tips so you get the outcomes and value you expect from investing in this type of content.
1. Avoid topics that don’t relate to your business
Evergreen content can create tons of value for your business. But that doesn’t mean just any evergreen topic is a good fit for your website.
Keep in mind that evergreen content only provides value to your website if it covers topics that matter for your business. For example, a law firm website won’t get much value from evergreen posts like “how to change a tire,” no matter how well the article is optimized for search.
Rather than searching for high-volume topics in general, make sure any topics you choose relate to your niche. For example, an ecommerce site in the beauty space could focus on topics like:
- How to plan the perfect skincare routine for your skin type
- 10 drugstore makeup brands that give you the best bang for your buck
2. Think beyond overdone topics
Because evergreen content is hardly a new concept, many topics with the highest search volume have already been covered. No matter how thoughtful or optimized your content is, you’ll probably struggle to rank for saturated queries like “how to tie a tie.”
Keep in mind that search volume alone shouldn’t be a deciding factor for evergreen topics. It’s also important to consider the competitive landscape. Rather than investing resources into content that’s unlikely to rank or drive traffic, think beyond overdone topics. For example:
- Write for long-tail keywords that have less competition. Many long-tail keywords have decent search volume, so they can still drive traffic.
- Add your company’s unique point of view to a tired topic. Make your content stand out on the SERP by taking a different approach or an unusual POV.
- Focus on a niche you can own rather than a more general topic. Niches may have lower search volume, but they’re much easier to own, which can build brand recognition.
3. Make evergreen content part (not all) of your strategy
As valuable as evergreen content is, it shouldn’t be the only type of content you create. In addition to evergreen articles, your content marketing strategy should include timely content that addresses industry trends and current information.
Content marketing best practices suggest a balance between evergreen content vs. timely topics. Both can provide positive SEO ROI, as they appeal to readers with different types of intent. By tackling both, you can create maximum value.
Evergreen content is a critical part of many successful SEO campaigns. With helpful, high-quality evergreen content, you can attract organic clicks and scale organic traffic over time.
Curious how evergreen articles could fit into your content marketing strategy? We’re here to walk you through it. Contact our SEO experts for a free consultation today.