Although primarily created to improve user experience, evergreen content has, in fact, other thrilling benefits as well. There’s a vicious circle here – a kind we like. The more hands-on your content is and the more it addresses a need, the more it becomes relevant in terms of ranking, following the exigence of Google’s guidelines and algorithmic updates. In turn, the better it ranks, the more it forces you to keep it relevant in order not to lose audience.
Content marketing and search engine optimization work best hand in hand – their primary focus is your concern for quality over anything else. Once you follow this general rule, your website’s performance can have a sustainable boost in image.
We agree, it’s a little easier to write something that’s clickbait. And not in that tabloid and cheap way, but in a perishable one. We spend at least one hour a day reading news and getting informed on whatever changes have happened during the 7 hours we slept. And yet, we scarcely ever read the same piece of news twice in a lifetime – because it’s perishable. It was of interest today, but starting tomorrow it will value nothing.
Evergreen Content Generates Constant Traffic that Boosts Your SEO Visibility
Focusing your strategic planning on delivering valuable information that outsmarts your competitors’ content marketing involves a lot of evergreen content – especially during the first months of your new website.
However, writing comprehensive articles based on solid research can massively contribute to your SEO visibility even if you’ve been active on the web for a long time.
Let’s take for example this blog post on How Will Google “Read” & Rank Your Images in the Near Future, published on the 2nd of October 2014.
The article is about the search engine’s way of indexing images and brought us a great traffic spike, and a constant flow of traffic (although diminished) ever since. Part of the generated visibility was due to its Reddit exposure. The immediate effect that we saw on a closer analysis was the impressive spike in traffic around the day it was picked up by Reddit (January 5th). Within 1 day, the traffic on our blog hit 20 000 visits, an impressive feat by any standards, but also a quite singular one in our recent history.
Judging by the screenshot below, we could make a correlation between the events mentioned above and the increased SEO visibility in the near period. Moreover, as the article was all about Google images and talked about this a lot, we had a truly impressive visibility spike for what is undoubtedly a very competitive phrase (“google images”), getting from the 74th position to the 8th in only one day!
Yet, being an evergreen content it generated constant traffic over a long period of time, because people never lose interest in a long term useful analysis. With this in mind, the topic choice should have some ground rules in order to ensure that the piece of content you’re about to write is actually evergreen.
This is free market at its finest – what makes a piece of content evergreen is addressing an important need that is going to be in for the long haul. A fascinating topic doesn’t guarantee its success over time, but a necessity has a better shot at succeeding.
If you’re planning to develop your website and improve its performance, evergreen content is a great strategy to follow, on the condition that your articles are relevant and treat the problems in-depth.
Here’s a quick mechanism that served as a starting point for this post: high interest in a topic helps your traffic a great deal, and – in its turn – traffic helps getting links. The exposure you get because of the links will get you even more traffic and so on. The spike you’ll get at first will diminish in time, but there will still be dozens of new domains linking to your content monthly. Now this is only from one blogpost – but you’ll write maybe 5 to 10 a month.
Take the example of our article about bookmarklets that supercharge your Internet marketing. Written in 2014, it then hit a thousand unique page views a day. This article is still visited by dozens today. We made a serious documentation and looked for the most useful bookmarklets for SEO purposes. The list is long and exhaustive, and because of this people loved it.
However, in the screenshot above you’ll see that the huge spike from the beginning doesn’t seem to continue like that in time. This means the article doesn’t bring us a thousand page views per day anymore, but it does bring dozens. You’ll be tempted to think there’s nothing spectacular about it – it may not be, but it’s clearly a sustainable strategy. The post doesn’t have the exposure it had when it was published, but it organically generates dozens of views every day.
Although the traffic we’re getting doesn’t have the same boost it did when it was first published, here are some of the reasons why people are still interested in it:
- the content didn’t date – it’s still applicable today and useful to people in the industry;
- the relevance of the topic hasn’t diminished – the difference from the first point lies in being not only still essential, but equally important as it was when we published it;
- it’s in-depth – all possible questions one can have on the topic are answered;
- it’s well structured and easy to read – a content table to synthesize the essential points helps readers to browse the information easily;
- it involves a list – exhaustive and to the point, while also treating all the possible implications of the topic, a list is a great instrument to organize your in-depth content.
Focusing on writing quality articles that don’t date is a great way for new sites to get the snowball rolling towards high rankings. And traffic generated by links from high authority domains are incredibly useful when you’re trying to build a reputation online.
The metric during the last 90 days shows a number of over 89k impressions, including days when over 1,500 impressions were reported. This is a great success for our bookmarklets article.
In terms of traffic-related metrics, it’s essential to increase the number of impressions, and it’s impossible to do it without good ranks on the SERPs. However, keeping the topics and the approach reader-centric instead of artificially trying to please the search engines gives you a lot more credibility on the long run.
While Google’s guidelines suggest that it’s best if the links have a natural growth, you cannot control some spikes that can appear in time but, if your website’s general profile is natural, with information-rich content, the organic link numbers you’ll get are not going to be a problem.
Get More SEO Traction with Earned High-Authority Links
The quality of your backlinks is crucial and just reporting quantitatively doesn’t bring you any long-term success. As you can see in the screenshot below, the better part of their pages are high authority, partly due to the article’s quality. However, in-depth pieces of content have a much higher chance of being linked to by authoritative sources.
Another great evergreen example is Backlinko’s article about white hat SEO practices. While the search engine’s algorithms may change in time, the outline of the guidelines remains the same.
Thus, exploiting the spirit of the values according to which the search engines are ranking, Brian Dean created a case study based on a real example, throughout which he extensively explained the practices that generated over 41 k page views and a #1 ranking for the business.
The screenshot below shows the evolution of Backlinko’s article over the years, from when it was published until today. A total number of 280 referring domains organically gained in time is what a natural link profile should look like. It means the content is evergreen and well written – as it interests the audience years after being published, and it’s also worth talking about on the web, which also explains the organic link juice over the years.
The monthly link velocity is a metric that gives you perspective on how your page is performing and how it has evolved the past months/years. It’s crucial to have an extensive view of your backlinks – from the domains that link to your content to the anchor texts they’re using, there’s no piece of the puzzle you can afford to lose.
You’ll say that on-page SEO also matters a great deal in providing high-quality content. And it does. Interlinking your pages, for instance, is also a relevant part of the image building process. However, evergreen content works as a boost for your website’s profile – it’s a forceful lift in the SEO mechanism that, from a blog management standpoint, magnifies your efforts and encourages progress.
The Link Building strategy you’re implementing is a milestone of the content marketing mechanism and involves a solid perspective on the relevance of your domain authority and most effective techniques of achieving it. One of the sources that have a major impact on the long run for your domain authority are the other websites linking to your content.
Aside from your domain authority, the page authority also weighs a lot in the SEO building management. For the search engine, the more inbound links a page has, the more relevant it is in terms of displaying a result for a search query. Natural backlinks are built slowly over time, with consistent effort and evergreen content sets the playground for this pursuit.
For instance, our article mentioned above regarding the bookmarklets still has a constant number of new referring domains every month. Although the huge spike ended with publishing the post, as you can see in the screenshot below taken from the Site Explorer, its organic profile makes the link juice steady and the domains linking to our content relevant for the industry.
With a total of 60 referring domains and 191 links, this post we wrote about the Google Panda update managed to bring new viewers on our website months after publishing it, and it’s not stopping. This isn’t just happening because it’s dernier cri, but because it’s a preoccupation every SEO professional or digital marketer has and it’s in our best interest to keep informed on the topic.
The new links we’re getting weekly make us believe that a rule of thumb in content marketing is publishing continuously relevant content for the industry.
The graphic below analyzes the number of monthly links and referring domains during the last year. For our blogpost, the relatively constant backlinks we earned organically are highly relevant because, complementary with other SEO strategies, they help boosting the website’s overall performance.
And ours are not the only examples we could analyze. Technium’s blog post mentioned earlier has another benefiting profile in terms of link velocity, for instance. With a high page authority and a number of 368 referring domains (at the moment of speaking), their monthly link velocity graphic looks pretty robust as well.
Increase Social Media Engagement Through the Right Platforms & Topics
It’s impossible to succeed without thinking of the most appropriate social media platform for your article – an essential asset is knowing which platform is more friendly for the topic and the content type you’ve just published.
Take this article for instance, about unmasking the strategies of 9 increasingly powerful start-ups. While it got less than 300 shares on Google Plus, it managed to gather almost 800 Facebook likes and over 3 k Buffers.
This can give you an idea of how distinct platforms value content differently, and your exceptional evergreen piece may lose a huge visibility spike because you didn’t focus your marketing efforts on being platform-appropriate.
The large number of buffers, for instance, can speak a lot about the audience who was interested in this article. It says they’re highly competitive individuals, devoted to their professional goals, and who have got little time to spend managing social media platforms on the go, which is why they chose a planner to help with their social media strategy. The over 60 tweets were counted after 20th November 2015, when Twitter took out the counter, although the article was published in October 2014. Very successful at that time (over 4k tweets), the post still gets engagement on social media.
Content-wise, it tells me a lot about my personas. My article was read by skillful, knowledgeable people who value quality more than anything and I should insist on writing this kind of articles to gain exposure, social media shareability and – why not – links from high authority sources.
Picking up social media signs is a great way of anticipating the following piece of evergreen article that interests your audience. This article about increasing dramatically the number of readers and email subscribers performed greatly on social media, gathering a total number of approximately 1k shares from Facebook and Twitter.
It was then that Brian Dean knew his audience was interested in this kind of information-rich techniques and created another piece of content – a better, more extensive one.
What followed was another case study, on white hat SEO, going through the example of one of his blog’s readers, who had read the previous article, took it as a start point, and achieved great results following the techniques he learned about. The result? Over half above the social media shares of the previous article – 1,5 k.
Knowing when to follow an opportunity and how to monetize the audience’s interests in order to make your content remarkable is something you’ll learn in time. However, trying to address issues that are of tremendous importance for your own interests helps you weigh the quality of your content better.
It’s not enough to find a topic that you’ve read about. You have to document it thoroughly and make it self-sustainable. Try to be exhaustive, to give your readers all the information they could possibly need when following a strategy you’re proposing. Being extensive and not losing relevance on the topic are two of the rules of thumb that help your SEO. Evergreen content creates the context for you to give your outstanding strategies a solid voice.
Learn from your mistakes. Search for the least shared and linked to content and try not to invest too much in that type of articles for your industry. Create added value to your customers and partners, and approach topics that professionals in your niche will always be interested in.