Evergreen content

The green thumb of content 👍

Evergreen content is a term used to describe content that stays continually relevant. It disregards topical events, trends, and seasonal differences in favor of being valuable to a reader in perpetuity.

Evergreen trees, such as pines and firs, are named such because their leaves are green all year round, never turning orange and falling off as other species do. Evergreen content is the same way: sustainable and lasting throughout the seasons.

Another defining characteristic of evergreen content is consistent growth over time. Because it’s always relevant and helpful, it avoids becoming dated or irrelevant, which would both cause a blog post or web page to lose traffic.

When planning and optimizing content, evergreen topics are essential, and should take precedence over topical and timely ones.

What kind of content is evergreen?

So, what does evergreen content look like? In truth, it’s not the type of content so much as the words and ideas they comprise that make something evergreen. It would be easier first to lay out what isn’t evergreen:

  • News articles: While up-to-the-minute and valuable to your reader when it’s published, the latest news in your brand’s niche will eventually become dated and irrelevant. 
  • Seasonal posts: Most people won’t look at a blog post about summer fun ideas in the dead of winter, so expect traffic to dip for content that relies heavily on a season or holiday. 
  • The latest trend or meme: while these can be interesting, attention-grabbing, and engaging at the moment, the latest craze will be ‘played out’ quickly. 
  • Statistics and numerical reports: Especially in the fields of science and technology, statistics change as new studies and developments emerge, rendering this type of content inaccurate with time. 

These content formats aren’t necessarily wrong, and they can all have a place on a brand’s blog or social media platform. While there are advantages to trending and timely content, it should be prioritized below evergreen content. 

 In general, there are a few formats that will tend to be evergreen: 

  • Tutorials 
  • Listicles 
  • Encyclopedic articles 
  • Case studies 
  • Expert interviews 
  • Resource libraries

Why is evergreen content important?

One of the ingredients of creating great, helpful content is answering a question or providing value to a visitor. Evergreen content is reliable, meaning that people will be interested in it regardless of the time of year, current events, or updated research. This type of post is always interesting.

Content that is optimized for search while being evergreen will earn clicks, visits, and conversions more steadily than topical, trending pieces.

Evergreen content is also sustainable. A team or individual creating content will only have to make it once. The blog post goes up, and then, as years pass, it continues to draw readers and even pick up backlinks. It can be considered safe from content pruning and may only need occasional updates or refreshes if it performs well.

This is opposed to non-evergreen content. There may be an initial burst of engagement, but it will taper off as time passes. Because of this decay, non-evergreen content must either be updated frequently or pruned, meaning something else must be posted to replace it.

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