What is evergreen content? Instead, here’s what you want the traffic for a blog post to look like in Google Analytics: In other words, your traffic should grow and get better over time. The typical features of evergreen content that I’ve found to be most successful are: Being relevant despite the publish date Usually comes in the form of listicles, tips, or long-form guided content Focused on basic strategy and principles The reason evergreen content stays evergreen is that it doesn’t rely on tools or services that might drastically change in the next year. Check trends over time. For example, if we search a basic term like “SEO,” we can tell by the monthly searches how relevant the topic is today. The trick is to identify prospects to refresh, improve the content with new images, update the structure, and then update the publish dates. If not, you can add that to the list of things to eventually bring it back to life. Check out the data: You may already have a case study listed in an old piece. Give actionable tips on how to replicate it for potential visitors. Changing the published date on your old blog posts makes them appear new and relevant again.
It takes over 3 hours to write the average blog post
And those blog posts are barely over 1,000 words.
Unfortunately, 1,000 words of content just won’t cut it today.
The average post on the bottom of the first page of Google is nearly 2,000 words.
Based on the initial time estimate, that means you’re looking at a minimum of six hours to write a single post to get it ranked.
Honestly, who has time for that?
Especially when your to-do list is already overflowing.
Time and competition aren’t on your side. The deck is stacked against you.
And the worst part is that you have no choice. You need high-quality content to rank in search engines.
There is one solution, though.
What if I told you that you could boost traffic simply by repurposing and updating old content?
What if you could create new content with the intention of promoting it again later?
Thankfully, you can.
Here’s how to revive your old content and use it to skyrocket traffic.
What is evergreen content?
The name for evergreen content comes from evergreen trees, believe it or not.
Evergreen trees keep their leaves year-round.
They don’t lose or shed leaves in the fall. Seasons mean nothing to them.
The same applies to evergreen content.
The information is timeless. It’s always relevant and never goes out of style.
Here’s what Google says:
Evergreen content isn’t news, the latest trends, major stories, or articles based on the latest Google-algorithm update.
It’s how-tos, lists, tips, and content that will always be helpful.
News-related blog posts, for comparison, will spike in traffic initially.
But over time, that traffic will slowly go away because no one is continuing to look for that information.
Instead, here’s what you want the traffic for a blog post to look like in Google Analytics:
In other words, your traffic should grow and get better over time.
Then you know you that it’s evergreen!
Another good thing about evergreen content is that it’s always shareable.
You can promote it through social media year-round. You never have to worry if it will be irrelevant or out-of-date.
Plus social sharing can add to the quality of your evergreen posts.
In fact, just resharing content two additional times on social media can get you double the clicks.
It might seem like a daunting task to create evergreen content.
Where do you start? What topics are evergreen and how do you know?
It starts with selecting a topic you know people won’t stop caring about. For example, headline tips remain a constant source of information.
The typical features of evergreen content that I’ve found to be most successful are:
- Being relevant despite the publish date
- Usually comes in the form of listicles, tips, or long-form guided content
- Focused on basic strategy and principles
The reason evergreen content stays evergreen is that it doesn’t rely on tools or services that might drastically change in the next year.
It relies on strategy and guiding people, as opposed to shifting tool sets or a changing technological landscape.
Here’s a prime example from HubSpot:
This HubSpot post isn’t going out of style anytime soon.
It provides a list of actionable tips that talk more about strategy than tools or tricks.
The fact of the matter is that this post will be relevant even five years from now.
Do you want to know how I know this?
Because it was originally published back in April 2014! HubSpot continues to update it, though, to make sure it remains relevant.
You need to produce content that will stand the test of time.
Otherwise, you’re going to be swamped trying to keep up with the onslaught of blogging that it takes to be successful.
News-related topics might get high traffic for a few days.
However, eventually, that story breaks and that traffic fades into oblivion.
Evergreen traffic is exactly the opposite.
How to turn old content into evergreen content
You don’t have to be a thought leader or industry big-shot to make evergreen content.
And now you’ve learned that you don’t need to write new content necessarily, either!
You can actually turn old content into evergreen content with a few simple changes.
Here’s how to get started.
Tip #1. Check trends over time.
Crafting quality evergreen content is easier than you think.
Just make sure to steer clear of topics that are seasonal or that will fade with time.
For example, don’t write a detailed article on how to adapt to a Google update and expect the traffic to be relevant five years from now.
There are tons of different ways to find out if a basic topic has potential.
I like to start off with Google Trends.
It allows you to type in any keyword and see the history of its searches over time.
For example, if you wanted to write an article about content marketing with the intention of developing it into an evergreen post, you’d want to know if people still care about that topic.
Search for “content marketing” and you’ll see something that looks like this:
“Content marketing” looks like an excellent choice.
But if you search for a term and find a negative trend, don’t waste your time:
Start with trending data to see if it’s heading in the right direction.
That way, you won’t have to do in-depth keyword research if it’s a bad fit right out of the gates.
Once validated, you can use SEMrush or Moz’s Keyword Explorer to identify the keyword’s potential.
For example, if we search a basic term like “SEO,” we can tell by the monthly searches how relevant the topic is today.
Here’s why it’s important to start with a big, broad topic that’s trending in the right direction.
The base keyword should give way to long-tail keyword suggestions. These related ideas can feature in your big resource, or be spun off into their own content pieces down the road.
Similarly, SEMRush can provide you with tons of useful data on trends. Simply search for your keyword in the top bar and get detailed results: