How to create evergreen content
What is evergreen content?
‘Evergreen content’ is a term given to content that has longevity. Content that avoids seasonality and trends or any time limitations that will date it. Classic.
Evergreen content is a web page/article that has been produced with the expectation it will last for several (many) years. Usually an information resource and an in-depth piece of content that offers significant value.
An evergreen page would be How to learn to swim, as this is constant information that never changes and is rarely updated. Although evergreen pages can be (and should be updated) on a regular basis to keep them fresh.
Advice from how Michael Phelps learned to swim is not an evergreen page and would be a blog page that would support your main page in a topic cluster (see below).
What is a pillar page
A pillar page is the hub page that all pages link to in a topic cluster or hub and spoke model. If you imagine a topic cluster for a swimming site, the pillar pages might be, back crawl, front crawl, breaststroke, butterfly.
The page would contain in-depth details that comprehensively cover the swimming stroke of front crawl. It would include diagrams, video, explanations, benefits and maybe a resource of links to qualified back crawl instructors.
The cluster pages would be a collection of long tail keywords based around phrase searches that would all link back to the pillar page and supplement the topic. Titles such as, How to increase your stroke length, Using a pull buoy to improve your front crawl stroke, Drills to improve your front crawl speed. Etc.
What is 10x content
10x content is a phrase first used in 2015 by Rand Fishkin in a Whiteboard Friday about content creation in SEO. His obvious concept was to make your content ten times better than the best result in your keyword/niche.
Around the same time, Brian Dean termed the phrase ‘skyscraper technique’ that was pretty much the same thing.
Both theories/techniques were a result of the raised standard of competition as big brands poured big budgets into content creation. The ranking results that had once been easily achievable were now becoming much harder to gain. Good was just not good enough anymore. You had to be outstanding.
What’s the difference between evergreen content, pillar pages and 10x content?
There is a lot of crossover and similarity between the three content page types:
- An evergreen page can be a pillar page and 10x content.
- A pillar page should be 10x content, but doesn’t ‘have’ to be evergreen, but usually is.
- 10x content doesn’t have to be evergreen or a pillar page.
Why evergreen content is a better long-term strategy
Digital PR content is produced for links and will deliver a spike of traffic after it has been published and links have been seeded on media sites. Very quickly after this spike, the traffic flatlines and then has little value and fades into obscurity.
The investment is realised very quickly by the link count, but can be a gamble on the link uptake and doesn’t always achieve a return on the high cost.
Evergreen content is a long-term investment that avoids the spike and flatline that digital PR content and trending news topics bring. Evergreen content will build gradually and benefit from SERP traffic over a sustained period.
The real benefit of evergreen content is the relevant traffic it will deliver with a higher conversion rate. The topics of evergreen content will be much more relevant to a brand rather than a PR piece that is chasing links. Traffic can be tied into the buying funnel and a direct conversion measured.
We specialise in evergreen content creation. See how we can produce outstanding evergreen content – pillar pages, long-form articles and interactive tools…
How important is evergreen blog content?
Every site needs a content strategy and an architecture to reflect the strategy. In an ideal world, all brands would invest in their strategy before they produce a website because the site is the hub of their digital content efforts. As I said, ideal world. This rarely, if ever, happens.
What is essential for a site is to have pillar pages and topic clusters based around keywords. Those pages will be in-depth and are usually evergreen. Only information that quickly changes is not considered evergreen – such as TV Listings or sports fixtures and breaking news sites. News publishing sites being in a niche of their own. Although sites such as the Guardian and the Telegraph have invested in their topic clusters with evergreen pillar pages for head keywords and this is working out well for them. The Telegraph seems to rank for everything that I search for.
So, evergreen pillar pages are important to strengthen the site architecture but also as the hub in the spoke or topic cluster for internal linking – essential for ranking on competitive head terms.
The real benefit of an evergreen page is longevity – once you have invested in it, you would expect years of payback, with regular maintenance.
If you’re familiar with hero, hub and hygiene content model (originally developed by Google for Video content), your hub pages are your evergreen pages but you want a balance on your site:
- Hero pages are for big PR content campaigns to get brand awareness. You would perhaps produce one a quarter. Or, once a month if you have the budget.
- Hub pages are regular pages for engagement and to deliver information – evergreen pages. Again, once a month or, every week if you have big budgets.
- Hygiene (help) pages are the long tail phrase blog content and topical/seasonal content where you want volume. These are the bread and butter and published every week or day.
Evergreen pages are also useful to be used for lead generation and can be converted to downloads or used as they are promoted via paid ads across social media channels.
Evergreen content ideas
Examples of evergreen content and evergreen content topics for ideas and inspiration.
How to guides…
An award-winning piece of content we created for Rox Jewellers. A comprehensive guide to investing in luxury watches.
Topic deep dives …
Stats and Surveys (renewed every year)…
Best books/tools/whatever lists…
How to create evergreen content
Firstly, do your keyword research and then produce your strategy.
Map out your main topics for your clusters, as outlined above for the swimming blog, your topics would be the different strokes and your clusters would then be everything about each swimming stroke.
Your pillar page would be the main head term for each cluster, such as front crawl. This would be an evergreen page.
To produce an evergreen page not in a topic cluster, you would consider your keyword list and rate at what stage of the buying funnel each page is at – information, navigation and transaction. Your evergreen pages will be a keyword in the information pages.
Select a term that is not seasonal or news topical. A term that has a high number of searches and reasonable competition.
When it comes to creating your evergreen content, I recently wrote about the characteristics of a high-quality blog post here.
As a summary of how to create an evergreen page:
- Know why you are doing, the page needs purpose.
- Know your audience and what they are interested in.
- Don’t fake it, be an authority in your subject.
- Research like a journalist.
- Be original and bring fresh perspective to existing ideas.
- Be informative and answer questions.
- Be long enough to add value but condensed enough not to be waffle.
- Speak at the right level for your audience.
- Make sure your presentation is visually appealing and easy to read.
- Keep the information up to date and review on a regular basis.
Position your evergreen pages to be prominent on your site
Don’t bury your pages in the blog:
- Pin them as sticky pages
- Add to the footer
- Highlight on the home page
- Include in main menu.
Your strongest pages can be part of your email signature or promoted at the bottom of newsletters if they are relevant. For example, if your swim blog has an evergreen page that is a curated list of all the saltwater pools in the UK that could be of significant interest to anyone you might be in contact with. Tempt them to click through.
Make the pages central in your internal linking strategy. All your relevant pages should point back to the evergreen page.
How often to post evergreen content
This is not an easy question to answer as it will vary depending on your niche and the volume that competitors are posting or how frequently your audience is reading.
There are two ways to go – Brian Dean (Backlinko) only produces a post every few months but every post is an evergreen deep dive packed full of value. He lives by his own skyscraper technique.
However, a site such as Search Engine Journal (SEJ) is publishing several posts a day. All of a high standard but based on long tail searches rather than the big head terms that Brian goes for. SEJ tends to supplement it’s blog posts with head term in-depth guides and downloads periodically which could be considered as their pillar pages or evergreen pages.
Only by doing audience research, producing a content strategy and then testing velocity over time can you measure what the best volume for your content production is.
What is evergreen content summary:
- Evergreen content is content that has longevity and avoids and trends or seasonality.
- An investment in evergreen should last for many years and avoids the spike and flatline of digital PR content.
- An evergreen page can be a pillar page and 10x content.
- Your evergreen page would be the hub page/pillar page and main head term for a topic cluster.
- Evergreen pages strengthen the architecture of a site and help to rank for competitive terms.
Our proven track record shows we’re one of few agencies that can offer outstanding B2B content creation and get content marketing right. See examples of award winning content we’ve created for clients.