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Marketing Intelligence

How to Create Evergreen Content That Grows Your Traffic

by Limor Barenholtz , Director of SEO at Similarweb 8 Min.
December 28, 2021 | Updated September 18, 2022

I’ll let you in on a little secret when I started working in Content Marketing a few years ago. I had no idea what evergreen content was.

Was it about digital transformation and saving trees by writing online? Was it about creating a greener world? Or writing something that is somehow related to a tree? This is 100% where my mind went.

In actuality, the last guess wasn’t so far off.

Illustration of a women painting evergreen trees over plain content on a laptop representing evergreen content

What is evergreen content?

Evergreen content is SEO content that, like an evergreen tree, stays fresh (and relevant) for an extended period of time.

Evergreen content Definition

You may be thinking: But wait, don’t blogs live on the internet forever? You’re right, blogs don’t just disappear, but evergreen content is different because it stands the test of time. Some blogs are timely and have information that is relevant for a short time frame – like breaking news stories. Other data-driven blogs and reports have insights that offer value for a month or even a season, but not long term.

However, the true meaning of evergreen content is that it never goes out of style. Like most of the work you do with SEO in mind, it’s about the long game with the goal of growing organic traffic over time.

Common evergreen formats

When you think of evergreen content, the first thing that comes to mind is often blogs. While you aren’t wrong, evergreen content formats don’t fit snugly in that blog box.

The reason why is: Not all blogs are classified as evergreen content and not all evergreen content is classified as a blog. Let’s break it down.

8 Common Evergreen formats image with icons

Here are eight common evergreen formats:

  • What-is content (like this blog)
  • How-to content, guides, and tutorials  
  • Listicles
  • Glossaries and dictionaries
  • Top tips
  • “History of” articles
  • Product reviews
  • Videos (but not all videos)

Now I say common types because it’s not guaranteed to be an evergreen piece of content just because it’s a how-to or listicle, but it is more likely to fall under that category. For example, a how-to ride a bike article will stay relevant as long as flying bikes aren’t created in the near future. On the other hand, an article on how to watch the new Sex and The City reboot, And Just Like That, will lose interest in a few months, and the ways it’s watched will probably change, so it won’t remain evergreen. Videos follow the same format: how to braid hair equals evergreen, while an intro video to the iPhone 8 doesn’t qualify as evergreen, since it was outdated as soon as iPhone 9 came on the market.

Now that you’ve got the hang of the content formats and the dos and don’ts of what makes a specific piece of content evergreen, let’s see how it’s done.

How to create evergreen content that grows your impact

To be 100% honest, evergreen content creation doesn’t differ much from creating any other high-quality SEO content. The main difference is you need to double check that it will stay relevant for years to come, and always keep optimizing. Here’s a quick guide for curating powerhouse evergreen content.

Find the strongest ideas with keyword research

All good Content Marketers and SEOs know you start with some quality time finding keywords. My go-to tool is of course Similarweb Keyword Research tool.

They don’t just pay me to say that, I actually use the platform to find all the ripest keywords and use them to dig into specific topics to cultivate my content marketing strategy around each quarter.

If you execute keyword research properly, scaling your ongoing SEO efforts and growing your content will be fairly easy to do.

I start by searching for keywords by industry. We’ll use the travel and tourism industry as our example because I’m daydreaming about a vacation while writing this.

Below, you can see non-branded, question queries keywords for the last year in the U.S.

Keyword by Industry for the Travel and Tourism industry Dec 2020- Nov 2021 in the U.S. representing evergreen content

You can see that writing about San Diego, Seattle, or any of these top destinations might be a great place to start building evergreen content for a blog in this industry.

Check out the competition – Scan the content forest

You can dig in a bit deeper and see what your competitors are doing in the same space with Keyword Phrases.

Keyword Phrases for tripadvisor.com, lonelyplanet.com and the culturetrip.com from Sept 2021- Nov 2021 Worldwide as an example for evergreen content

Based on this, I would then include evergreen articles around restaurants, food, and hotels in the top locations.

Then you can:

  • Bring all your keyword data together
  • Categorize your keywords by user intent and semantic search
  • Differentiate between short-tail vs. long-tail keywords
  • Select the right mix of keywords to focus on

Choose your topics wisely

Your keyword research should help you narrow down the topics you want to write new content clusters around. Building a full-funnel strategy by choosing the strongest keyword and planning an evergreen pillar piece for it, then you add a few top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU) pieces.

Pro tip: Not all of your MOFU and BOFU pieces will be evergreen. That’s perfectly fine, a good combo is the way to go.

If you’re struggling with blog topic ideas that fit into the strategy you want to write about, go back to step one and do some more research.

Write and repurpose content

Seems so obvious, but it’s an essential step in churning out that fresh, succulent, evergreen content.

Once you have your keywords and evergreen topics, you can build out your wishlist of articles, videos, checklists, and whatever else you dream up. Then, create an outline and start typing.

Something important to think about as you get your creative juices flowing is how you can duplicate your work. Can you turn your blog into a checklist? Can that video work as an interactive quiz?

Give your content as much life as possible, so it lives on for countless years like the mighty evergreen trees it’s named for. Tweet this

Optimize for search engines

Put your SEO hat on and think Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo. Take out that on-page SEO best practices checklist.

Here are some top tips:

  • Weave keywords into the headers, URL, and body copy
  • Add alt text to all images and videos
  • Don’t stuff your keywords
  • Backlink related evergreen articles together
  • Add internal links from the keywords you are promoting
  • Implement meta tags with the main keywords

These will all help you improve your place on the search engine results page (SERPs) and maybe even end up with a featured snippet.

Pro tip: If you start seeing lower page views and if your ranking starts to slip, give your content a quick refresh to regain momentum.

Track and measure your stats

Keeping track of your content is one of the most important parts of the job. To ensure that your pages are actually “evergreen” and keep ranking high over time, you need to keep a close eye on key performance indicators (KPIs) for all assets.

The only way to do that effectively is by using a rank tracker tool. Set up the metrics that let you gauge the performance and benchmark against your competition on the tracking dashboard. An advanced tool allows you to analyze ranking performance in detail and at a large scale. 

Some common questions you might be asking yourself:

  • What if my content isn’t ranking? Climbing to an appreciable rank may take some time, so you need patience. But if your content staggers after a few months, reevaluate the data of the keywords that you target. Use the rank tracker tool to investigate SERP features, check the zero-click rate, and investigate industry trends. 
  • Why am I not getting as many page views as expected? See how you distribute your content and try new channels to drive traffic effectively.
  • How come I have little to no leads or conversion? Check which stage of the funnel you targeted. If it’s TOFU, check that your internal links are helpful and you provide valuable calls to action given your audience’s search intent. For MOFU and BOFU content, check that your calls to action make sense and offer value. You can also adjust your product messaging.

10 evergreen content examples

There are many examples of evergreen content, but these are the ones that have the potential to make the most impact and lend a hand to your brand in a google search.

  1. “How to” content is suitable for beginners and experts alike. (This blog is a perfect example of this one).
  2. Case studies, take a look at these success stories that are one example of these.
  3. Checklists have evergreen value. Here’s our SEO Strategy Checklist, which might be useful for you.
  4. Templates have serious staying power. Here’s a fresh one from our Marketing Tactics evergreen blog.
  5. History of content can be a powerful play. Check out this fun example for the history of blogging.
  6. Greatest of” and round-up pieces spark lasting interest. We just posted about the 10 Biggest Digital Trends of 2021 that gives you an idea of what these look like.
  7. Comprehensive glossary of ____ like our Digital Marketing Glossary. Similarweb’s digital marketing glossary as an example of evergreen content
  8. The complete guide to ____, like this SEO Strategy guide that comes to the rescue.
  9. Testimonials empower your business with words of wisdom from your loyal customers. gif of testimonials for similarweb as an example of evergreen content
  10. Top ____ list – To circle back to our travel industry here is a top 10 list of restaurants to try in Atlanta.

Keeping it fresh

Evergreen content is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a type of content that’s ever lasting and green AKA fresh.

To do it successfully, you’ll need to follow the same steps as the rest of your high-quality content, but give it the room to make just as much impact a year from when it’s published. That’s the key.

I want to leave you with a little tree humor from growingfamily.co.uk: How do trees access the internet? They log in.

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FAQs

What is evergreen content?

Evergreen content is SEO content that stays relevant for an extended period of time.

What is an example of evergreen content?

Some examples of evergreen content include ‘what-is’ content, ‘how to’ content, guides and tutorials, and listicles. 

How do you make evergreen content?

There are several steps in creating evergreen content:

  1. Utilize keyword research to find effective ideas
  2. See what your competitors are doing
  3. Choose topics wisely
  4. Write and repurpose content
  5. Optimize for search engines 
  6. Track and measure your stats
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