Evergreen content is now – thankfully – a part of most content portfolios: We all have those pieces that are designed to stick around in the years to come, talking about perennial issues that never get very old. The problem is that this content isn’t always exciting. It doesn’t cover the latest trends that everyone is talking about…which is why it’s important to remind ourselves exactly why evergreen marketing is so important to organic search traffic for our sites.
Because evergreen pieces stay up for a long time and focus on substantive information, their traffic history tends to look very different from “trendy” pieces. They may see lower levels of traffic during their first weeks, but the dropoff is also lower, and the long trail continues for many months into the future, bringing in new traffic. That’s not only good for your organic search numbers: It’s also very good for your page ranking. Google is very interested in rewarding sites that have content to which people keep on returning to use as a resource or answer a popular question.
When people visit this content type, they are much more likely to spend time on your site reading it. Trend pieces can often be summed up in the headline or with a quick glance through the paragraphs. Evergreen pieces tend to offer more substance as well as more complicated details, which take more time to read. That leads to more seconds spent on your website: This metric is beneficial for page ranking and general boasting about your stats, which we all enjoy.
Evergreen content doesn’t just help readers – it’s also a great training tool for content creators. Because of the deeper research required and the details involved, content creators tend to walk away from evergreen content with a better grasp on their subject matter and a more thorough understanding of what’s at work in an industry. That leads to better-written trend pieces, better social posting, and overall more effective work.
By this, we mean that a group of evergreen pieces tends to be greater than the sum of its parts. Long story short, when a website begins to have a reputation as a source of dependable evergreen information, it tends to see improve traffic and page ranking – not only because of the content itself, but because the site has been recognized by Google and by searchers as great place to go. This Search Engine Watch piece has an excellent examination of how sites get treated differently because of this phenomenon, and how it really can lead to higher traffic numbers.
Because evergreen pieces have actionable and useful information, they often see a lot of long-term reposts and shares. A trend piece may only have a week or two to shine in social media. You may find, however, that your evergreen pieces see shares and reposts many months after they were created (you can also help this out with an occasional repost yourself if you want).
Evergreen pieces don’t have to stay unchanged forever. In fact, they benefit from occasional updates to include new facts, pricing info, changes to regulation and so on. This also allows you to update the posting date so the content continues to look like it’s on top of things. Google’s algorithm likes to see this, and so do organic search visitors who want dependable pieces.
Evergreen pieces are easy to link to each with high-value links used to explain side topics or deal with subjects in greater details. Not only are these links perennially useful to new visitors, they are also a lot easier to maintain from a developer perspective, since evergreen articles don’t change much and tend to stay in the same spot for long periods of time. Who doesn’t like a little help managing links?
When we say “safer” we mean safer from future changes to search engines. The pieces that get hit hardest by Google’s algorithm updates tend to be shorter, trendier pieces that include less useful information – all flash and no substance pieces. It’s hard to say how Google will crack down on these pieces in the future, but quality evergreen content has proven largely immune.