Creating a solid foundation for your blog depends on the quality of the content you publish. Still, no matter how hard you try, you won’t get every blog post you write to show up on the first search engine results page (SERP) for your keyword. But just getting one post on that first SERP for your target keyword can substantially increase traffic to your site. And producing evergreen content will help you do that in spades.
What is Evergreen Content?
Depending on your niche, some of your content will have a short shelf-life. However, you also need to create evergreen content that continues to be relevant months or even years after initially published.
Why You Need Evergreen Content
We’re all trying to get more visitors to our websites. It takes a lot of work, but the right content attracts organic traffic without promoting it consistently. These evergreen posts can help you continuously drive traffic to your website. Plus, they act as the entry point to drive visitors through your sales funnel or respond to your calls to action.
Content Promotion vs. Organic Traffic
You want your articles to show up in search results, and it’s easy to get yourself into a tail-spin trying to get every single post optimized for SEO. Even if your blog covers a specific niche, there’s no way you’re going to dominate that first page with all of your content, especially if it’s a competitive niche.
After publishing your post, you likely move into content promotion. You share the post in your newsletter and on your social media networks. You may even schedule a few recurrences of that post in a social media scheduling tool. Possibly, you even “boost” a post by putting a little bit of advertising behind it on a site like Facebook or Instagram.
Yet, the most valuable way to increase your traffic through your site is through organic searches, which also requires less work post-publication. Organic traffic means visitors that land on your website as a result of unpaid search results. More simply said, these are the visitors who show up “organically” when searching for information on your topic.
Using Your Stats
Before you rush out and start writing new content, take a look at your visitor stats to see which articles have organically become evergreen. If you’ve been blogging for a while and tracking your visitor stats, you may have noticed a few posts keep appearing at the top of your list of most popular articles. These are the evergreen ones—even if you didn’t write them with that intention.
You can view your page stats by day, week, month, quarter, and year. The shorter time frames will reflect the popularity based on the short-term promotional activity you’ve been doing. But the longer-term stats will better reflect your organic traffic through search engines.
Let’s look at the top three posts from my personal travel blog and see what I did to optimize these.
- List: Here’s a 100+ Travel Websites accepting Guest Blog Posts from Travel Writers
- List: 24 Questions to ask before you begin your Pet Sitting Assignment
- Article: Memorable Boat Trip from Siem Reap to Battambang
Lists make great evergreen content. And if you have the time to create and maintain them, you’re saving your audience the time and effort of doing that themselves, and that’s the best approach with these. An excellent way to start is to offer valuable content compiled into a centralized location.
Both of my list posts started as short lists. The first included 20 travel websites and the second had ten pet-sitting questions. To be honest, both were throwaway content. They were self-serving. I was researching sites and questions for myself and figured I’d publish it to help others. Neither was intended to be evergreen content—back then, I didn’t know what evergreen content was.
I had so much success with my guest blog listing that I started a new version with various participants over on my Birds of a Feather Press website, where it’s also my #1 post.
Search travel blogs accepting guest posts, and both of my websites are Google’s first SERP. Type in pet sitting questions and my post is listed third, and when searching for the Siem Reap Battambang boat trip, my post is listed fifth.
I didn’t set out to create evergreen content from these posts, but when I monitored my stats, I saw they’d organically bubbled to the top of search results. Therefore, I started focusing on making the content as robust as possible, so it worked harder for me.
Boost Popular Posts to Evergreen Content
Here are the steps I took to boost my popular posts into evergreen content:
- Optimize your title for target keywords (but don’t change your permalink).
- Add and optimize images in the post. Use the Alt Text descriptions and make sure the images have captions.
- Add internal links to other relevant blog posts within your website.
- Add external links to reputable sites.
- Optimize your social sharing. Add custom tweets, and pinnable images to make it easy for your audience to spread the word about your post.
- Review your intro and outro to make sure they create effective bookends for your post.
- Streamline the layout with sub-headings.
- Make sure there’s a call to action.
In addition to these essential SEO elements, make sure you periodically refresh the content to keep it up to date and relevant. I maintain my lists and add new content quarterly.
Assess how you can increase your content’s value by adding additional links or embedding podcasts or videos on the same topic as well.
Writing Evergreen Content
Any type of content that saves your reader’s time is an excellent candidate for evergreen content. For example, “How-To Guides” save your audience time and negate their need to do their own research.
You could create a compilation post on a specific topic that includes unique content written by you and support it with excerpts and links that point to content from other influencers or experts within your niche. This approach helps your audience find a centralized source of information for a problem they are trying to solve.
Maintaining evergreen content takes additional time and a higher level of effort than a standard blog post. If you want to have your content rank higher in search engines and ensure it has long-tail appeal, it’s a powerful strategy for attracting audiences within your niche.
What questions do you have about creating evergreen content? Let me know with a comment below, and please share this post with your blogging circle to help them get noticed in organic search results.
About the Author
Jay Artale abandoned her corporate career to become a digital nomad and full-time writer. She’s an avid blogger and a nonfiction author helping travel writers and travel bloggers achieve their self-publishing goals. Join her at Birds of a Feather Press where she shares tips, advice, and inspiration to writers with an independent spirit.