The term evergreen content is nothing new, but it can get confusing. One thing to keep in mind is that dealership websites are filled with what’s known as temporal content, since they contain mostly changing inventory results and time-sensitive ads. By creating a strategy that focuses on content which will stay relevant for months or even years, the value of those pages or article can actually increase over time. This article from Distilled breaks it down and provided practical application.
Building an Evergreen Machine: How to Write Evergreen Content
Evergreen content; it just sounds calming. You can solve all your problems by simply saying: “Don’t worry, we’ll just create some evergreen content and then sit back and watch the traffic roll in forever.” Done.
Except, obviously, nothing is that simple in practice. How do you ensure the content you create will be evergreen and that it will generate enough interest to be worth your time? After all, a piece of content that gets one view a week, every week, is technically evergreen, but I wouldn’t recommend writing it.
This piece aims to get a concrete handle on the vague idea of evergreen content, including how to recognise it, how to plan your content strategy around it, and how to compound your success into an ever-growing traffic level.
What makes content evergreen?
Evergreen content, just like trees that never lose their leaves, is content that never loses a residual level of traffic. It will consistently generate interest over time, and people will still come looking for it for a long time to come. Here at Distilled, we’ve had success from this in the past. One piece that stands out, simply because of its age and the volume of traffic it receives, is our Omniture guide. Since it was published in March 2015, over two years ago, it has received a total of 144,000 page views, with every month since it was published receiving between 6,800 and 2,700 views:
But what makes this evergreen? Well, the obvious answer is that the topic isn’t something time sensitive. However, there’s also the simple matter that it’s not something specific to our company. It’s not an update, or pat-on-the-back blog post. It’s a resource for many people working in digital marketing. However, most important, is that it’s really, really good. Without wanting to sound biased, no other resource we can find comes close*, and for your content to be truly evergreen, you need to be confident that a competitor won’t come along and make something better. I’ll come back to that problem later.
*Omniture has been renamed Adobe Analytics, Which means we’ll have to do some updating to the post to keep it evergreen. More on how to do that later on…
The ‘other’ kind of content
Content that isn’t evergreen can be classed as temporal content, in that it is time-related. Newspapers are a classic example of publishers creating temporal content; you want the most up-to-date content when you’re reading the news at your desk in the morning. There’s also plenty of other brands that rely on temporal content, such as fashion brands. A piece on the best summer fashion trends is a staple piece of fashion content, but there is no way to make that relevant more than three months from its publish date.
However, for most brands, temporal content is not a sustainable strategy for your content. The main problem is the strain on resources. The kind of newsworthy content that will gain attention is also the most likely to be covered extensively. There’s no allowance for your content calendar and other pressing tasks when a breaking news story hits, as the first-mover advantage will be gone very quickly, and the value of what you’re writing very suddenly diminishes. Even if this works, to grow traffic to your website, you need to create content at an increasing rate.
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About the author
Andrew joined Distilled in March 2015 as a Junior Marketing Manager. His main responsibility is to get the word out about our great products and services, meaning he’s pretty much glued to TweetDeck and MailChimp. Away from his desk Andrew is a… read more
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