I’m not a hip, up-to-date-with-the-latest-marketing-jargon type of person. I’ve learnt to ignore much of what goes on online simply because much of it’s fad-driven, which distracts from getting things done.
But sometimes words or phrases appear that are worth spending time on.
Some of these words or phrases are used to explain concepts that have been around for a long time. But sometimes a savvy marketer comes along and dresses it up in a new jacket and kicks it into main street, proclaiming it as some newfangled invention.
One word doing the rounds worth spending time on is “evergreen”.
Admittedly, “evergreen content” is not a new phrase. And the inspiration for my post did not arise from the abuse of it.
But the use of the term in connection to online marketing might be unfamiliar to you, so I thought I’d share with you how evergreen content can make your traffic grow and send you more business.
What is evergreen content?
It comes down to this: evergreen content doesn’t come with an expiration date. It’s content able to draw traffic for a long time to come.
For the purpose of explaining evergreen content I’ll contrast it to transient content, which is content with an expiration date. This is the sort of content that might serve an immediate purpose (hot current affair) but becomes meaningless in a day, month, year, decade or aeon.
SEO, the evergreen topic
The SEO industry is burdened with examples of evergreen content VS transient content. SEO is a hot topic always burning on someone’s tongue.
Along with the topic of SEO you’ll find concomitant subjects like Google.
You’ll often see SEO “gurus” flinging around phrases like “Google penalty” or “Google search update” in a bid to get people to trust their solution to “hardening” your content against a possible Google scoff.
To get website visitors hooked on their content they’ll write lengthy articles, blathering on about this or that thing Google’s latest update is causing or doing, in order to look like experts in the SEO field.
With every Google update you’ll find claims and counter-claims about the effects of Google’s latest update and how you can prevent your website from falling victim to Google’s “ruthless” bots and, while you’re at it, how their service will help you claim the top spot in the search engine ranking pages.
It’s a GREAT topic to capitalise on. It’s also a breeding ground for terrible theories and ill-conceived marketing plans. And that’s why people love writing about it endlessly.
So one could see it like this: SEO is an evergreen topic but many of the ideas floating around the SEO space are as ephemeral as an ice cube in lava.
An SEO warning
While I’m on the subject of SEO, here’s a tip…
Navigate SEO waters carefully to see what’s evergreen and what’s transient. If you read an article by some long gone SEO “guru” that’s based on something Google did in 2003, be careful to not apply what you think is an evergreen solution when it’s actually fleeting.
How do you know if SEO advice is evergreen? Ask Google what they think of it. If it ranks well in Google and lines up with Google’s own SEO guide, it’s safe to classify as evergreen.
Let’s get on with how you can make evergreen content work in your favour.
Where to place evergreen content
There are two main places to stick your content on a WordPress website: pages and posts. (I use WordPress exclusively for building customer websites.)
Pages are known as containers for static content. They’re used for About and Contact type pages. They’re not news driven pages, but rather share general info that won’t require regular updating.
They’re great for placing evergreen content about you and your company.
Your About page should be evergreen. Use it to give readers your background, why you started your venture and how people can benefit from working with you and your company.
You should capitalise big time on your About page. Pad it with relevant content so people will see you’re not afraid to show them who you are.
Posts are a different thing. In a WordPress environment posts are placed inside a category by default. You can create an infinite number of categories and every category is assigned a news feed.
With posts and categories we’re not dealing with static content. A category is a dynamic page that updates the moment a new post is added.
Some people (mistakenly) claim that blog posts are dynamic, but this is not necessarily the case. WordPress categories (and other custom taxonomies, but that’s for another day), not posts, are the actual dynamic portion of a WordPress website.
You can add dynamic elements to a static page. For instance, I often build a client’s About page to contain a list of the latest blog posts displayed in a fancy box below his main content. The blog posts (from a category, which is dynamic) displays on the About page (which is static).
But how should you approach creating evergreen content? Should you use pages (which are inherently static) for it exclusively? Or can you use posts to create evergreen content?
Pages or posts
Depending on what your evergreen content’s about, you could add it to a page or a post.
For instance, the bulk of an About page will consist of your background details. This is evergreen info that won’t change often, if ever. A company’s history and background information isn’t typically added to a blog post.
But a blog post can also be made evergreen. You just need to ensure that you write about something that’ll remain relevant for a long time to come.
It also helps to write long blog posts. The longer your blog posts, the better, if they’re well written.
What’s your evergreen angle?
So how do you ensure you cover all your bases, both evergreen and transient?
Let’s look at some examples…
Say for instance you run a fitment centre.
You’re in a game where you’re constantly stocking new products. A new line of tyres comes out every six months and you need to tell people about it.
But just because you’re forever getting new products, doesn’t mean you don’t have constants in your company.
For instance, the subject of “tyres” is evergreen. Tyres have been around for a long time. You might stock the latest double walled, Kevlar reinforced tyre from Dunlop, but it’s still a tyre.
So you could ensure your website contains a well written page about why your brand of tyres is superior, whether it’s the entry-level model or top-of-the-range. This qualifies as evergreen content.
Include some tyre company background, like how long the tyre company’s been around and the impact it’s made in communities and you’ve got great evergreen content.
When a new range of tyres comes in, write a blog post about it explaining the benefits to the reader. Now you’ve got transient content too. With a website from me, the transient content is automatically sent to your social media channels.
What if you’re a civil engineer?
You could add a page explaining why your company is a trusted supplier of civil engineering services. After all, civil engineering principles don’t change.
You could explain how your company applies the principles of engineering rigidly in order to ensure the highest quality work and the safest working environment for your employees. This could act as an evergreen piece of content on your website.
You’ll find transient content for your civil engineering company in that new tool you’ve bought that expedites your work by 20% or by adding every completed project as a blog post to your website.
How to choose evergreen topics
There are some topics that lend themselves better to being evergreen content than other topics.
For instance, you’ll have a tough time writing an evergreen piece of news content about an iPhone. Apple brings out a new phone so often your article will depreciate in no time.
Of course, that’s a broad generalisation. It’s quite possible to find an evergreen angle on the iPhone. You just have to look at an aspect of the product that’s inherent to every model. A typical headline could read, “Here’s one thing every iPhone model has, and you think you know what it is, but you don’t.”
But if you don’t have an army of writers at your disposal it’s better to write about low-tech items.
For instance, if you write an article about the AeroPress coffee maker you can expect to stretch it for years to come. That’s because it’s an uncomplicated, popular product with a proven track record. It won’t go through a million design changes in the next four years. That’s an evergreen article because the product is inherently evergreen.
Can you create evergreen content around volatile subjects?
Yes, you can!
All you need is a slight change of strategy.
Instead of focusing on creating a single evergreen article, create an evergreen category. Then keep adding new blog posts to that category. If you’re creating quality content you’ll be shaping a formidable evergreen category worth paying attention to.
In other words, you can have an evergreen website about Samsung phones even if they bring out ten new models every week.
Absolute VS relative time
This is a small issue, but worth touching on.
There are two ways to use dates in your content: absolute or relative.
When you use absolute dating, you mention the specific minute, hour, day, month or year the event you’re talking of took place. When you’re speaking in relative terms, you mention the amount of minutes, hours, days, months or years since the event happened.
As a time stamp for an article, relative dating looks snazzy.
But where you’re sharing your history with website visitors, use absolute dating to help keep your writing evergreen.
Let’s create an example.
“I started my online marketing career in 2006” is timeless, while “I started my online marketing career four years ago” was only relevant in 2010.
The one makes you look good; the other makes you look silly.
Use your own website
This is something I can’t stress enough: DO NOT BUILD SOMEONE ELSE’S WEBSITE. Build your own.
Get your own domain name, get a professional website and add evergreen content to your own website.
Don’t use Facebook; don’t use Medium; don’t use a free sub-domain. All of these might have their place in your marketing strategy, but don’t make them the base of your operations.
Pay a little extra and get a professional website up and running. This is where you’ll post your evergreen content AND your transient content.
My website package gives you serious benefits. Here are just a few:
- A FREE blog to which you can post as many (unique) articles as you wish.
- Your blog automatically sends a link to your social media accounts. In other words, whenever you add new content to your website (in the form of a blog post), your Facebook business page is updated with a link to that blog post.
- An email newsletter setup to which up to 500 subscribers can sign up for FREE. Whenever you post a new blog it’s sent out in a good-looking email to those who sign up for your newsletter.
- A FREE weekly analytics report showing you how many people visited your site, which keywords brought them there, how long they stayed and your most popular pages, as well as some social media metrics.
Those are just some of the advantages of getting a website from me.
Best of all? The content remains yours. It’s up to you to make it evergreen, but then it’s your evergreen content built on your website.
If you rely solely on social media for your marketing, who know what might happen. You could get banned.
One of the main reasons for posting evergreen content to your own website is so that you’ll have your reader’s full attention.
You’re kidding yourself if you think you’ve got someone’s (business) attention on Facebook. You must get them away from Facebook and onto your own website, where you can get them to take an action of your choice.
Don’t try to compete against typical social media distractions. Rather get readers away from there to where your content and call to action are the only things they see.
That way you win all the way.
But post to Facebook or Medium directly and you’ll be competing against masters of attention theft.
That’s when your sales go flying out the window.
Evergreen content is one of the best ways to drive free traffic to your product or service.
But don’t post evergreen content to a social media page or a forum. Post evergreen content to your own website to really make the most of it.
It’ll make you look like an authority in your field.
It also makes you look professional and competent when you use your own website. That’s one of the best ways to get people to buy from you.
Book a consultation and start building an evergreen online presence people will find irresistible.