Evergreen content is timeless and continues to be relevant for readers for a long time, without a lot of effort. Like evergreen trees, it’s green all the year round. Its popularity doesn’t fluctuate with the seasons. People search for it, whatever the weather.
The best thing about evergreen content is that if the blog post is well optimised for the search engines, it can rank highly and bring a growing amount of traffic to a website, month in, month out. Years even. In other words, it’s the blogger’s equivalent of the Holy Grail.
- What is evergreen content?
- What is not evergreen website content?
- Can topical content become evergreen?
- 5 type of content that work well for evergreen topics
- Tips on how to write a successful evergreen blog post
- Checklist for creating high quality evergreen content that ranks
- How to keep evergreen content fresh and high ranking
- Final thoughts
Some of the links in this blog post are affiliate links. This means I may get a small commission if you buy something after clicking through.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen blog posts and pages are the most productive form of website content as they bring in steady traffic all year round. The blog posts and pages are on topics that are timeless, which people search for, regardless of the season.
Evergreen content won’t have the huge spike in popularity that something of the moment will. Conversely, the views won’t drop away shortly afterwards, as there’ll always be a steady stream of people searching on Google for advice on the topic.
These are blog posts that stand the test of time, staying “fresh” and relevant for readers, just like evergreen trees. As there’s always interest in the topic (assuming you choose the right topic!), they’re relatively easy way to bring organic traffic to a website. So long as content is high quality and the blog post is effectively optimised for the search engines, of course!
What is not evergreen website content?
Content won’t be evergreen if it’s topical, and doesn’t have a timeless quality.
What is topical content?
Topical content is the opposite of evergreen topic. It is of the moment, and discusses topics that are in the news or which are trending. It’s like catching a good wave and riding it to the beach.
Just as with surfing, timing is everything with topical content. There’s no point trying to ride a wave after it has gone.
If the timing of the publication content is right, it can catch the wave, and generate a lot of traffic and newsletter sign-ups. However, it tends to have an expiration date as people will soon stop searching for it (unless you repurpose or update the blog).
Content about something in the news will usually not be evergreen, unless it’s reporting on something that is or becomes permanent.
How to catch the wave of topical content
I often publish topical content on my blog The Independent Landlord, as the law is constantly changing and each month new statistics are published. It’s a great way of bringing in new subscribers.
17 May 2023 saw the publication of the Renters Reform Bill, which promises to make huge changes to the regulation of renting in England.
I’d figured out that people would be searching for information on when the Bill would become law. I didn’t use a tool for this; it was common sense. I had a topical page ready and waiting for this search.
As predicted, I had a huge uptick in traffic from people searching for “Renters Reform Bill Timetable” after 17 May. This topical post still generates a lot of traffic as I regularly update it with the latest news: Renters Reform Timetable: What Happens When. It will eventually die when the Bill comes into force. However, that’s probably not until 2026, and I’ll keep updating it for as long as it remains relevant.
Examples of topical v evergreen content
Let’s take the example of a knitting blog. The evergreen blog posts will be how to knit generally, and including how to knit certain stitches. Evergreen content would also include how to knit toys, socks and blankets for babies, and where to buy specialist wool and yarn.Topical content would be patterns for (say) winter jumpers, mittens and scarves, as they’re seasonal items.
Blog posts that are about something very current, aren’t evergreen as they’re about temporary topics. For instance, a new trend (eg jumpers with peplum sleeves) or something linked to Covid. Knitting patterns for Christmas gift ideas are also not evergreen, as they’re seasonal.
Food blogs tend to be very seasonal. That said, food-related content can be evergreen, and would include posts on basic techniques and recipes eg how to make pastry or a roux.
Can topical content become evergreen?
Yes, some topical content can become evergreen or be repurposed to become evergreen. Much like the grafting of fruit trees.
For instance, the topic of how to set up a lockdown home office. This was very topical in 2020 and 2021, and isn’t evergreen. However, working from home as a phenomenon has developed into something permanent since the pandemic. This means that it’s become an evergreen topic.
Consequently, bloggers can update old blog posts discussing how to work from home during the Covid lockdown to remove references to Covid, and repurpose it as evergreen content. You’d need to make sure you update the meta description and alt tags to remove references to Covid , ie how to work effectively from home, without limiting it to Covid.
In this way, you’re using the good solid rootstock of your well performing topical blog post, and drafting more evergreen content on it. To mix my metaphors! (AI couldn’t come up with that!)
Therefore, you can refresh an, repurpose topical content, to something new, just like this grafted apple tree.
>> Related Post: Is AI all it’s cracked up to be?
5 type of content that work well for evergreen topics
Successful evergreen content that generates a lot of traffic will often fall into one of the following three types of blog posts and pages:
1. Answering the “What is?” Question
” “What is” questions are very popular searches on Google, when people are looking to understand a concept or what a word means.
An example of one of my “What is?” evergreen blog posts is What is an Article 4 Direction?. (It’s is a planning rule that people research if they’re looking to convert a rental property into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), or co-living. If someone doesn’t know what an HMO is, I have another page entitled What is an HMO?
I regularly check Google Search Console to see what questions I can add to the “What is?” pages so I can answer the quesitons in the post or page, with either an FAQ section or the questions in an H2 or H3 heading.
2. The “How to” Answer
Provide a detailed explanation of “How to do something” – this type of content educates a reader about how to do something or solve a problem. For instance, one of my most popular evergreen blog posts on The Independent Landlord is How to Increase Rent. I added “in mid 2023” recently to make clear it’s up to date, but the underlying content is evergreen (although it does have recent rent data).
By way of example, I have a page on my landlord blog with the snappy title: How to terminate a tenancy with a Section 21 Notice using Form 6A. The page is specific, and includes many of the questions that appear in Google Search Console as either H2 or H3 headings and as 2 FAQs at the beginning.
You’ll see that I use the FAQ block from Spectra, a free plugin from the people who make the Astra theme. It can be used on any theme that uses the Gutenberg block editor. The FAQ block is brilliant for increasing the chances of a section of the page appearing as a snippet in Google search.
3. Comprehensive Guide
A comprehensive guide is another great choice for evergreen content.
Have it as a one stop shop where people can find answers to their key questions on the topic. This page should include links to other content on the website that discusses a sub-topic in more detail.
What is a listicle? They’re a list of things like 7 Ways to Screen Property Investments, with numbered headings and short paragraphs.
They’re very popular in magazines, newspapers and blog posts as they’re easy to write, and are popular for readers.
The length of the list tends to be odd-numbered, other than 10. This is because research shows that people are more likely to click on odd numbers or the number 10.
According to Venngage, the numbers 3, 4, 5 and 10 perform particularly well. The number 2 is the least shared, followed by the “teens”, especially 13, 14 and 18.
FAQs are a great way of covering a lot of ground for a topic. The Question and Answer format is very friendly for the search engines, especially if an FAQ schema is used, like the Spectra FAQ block. This is because they are effectively made for snippets on the search engine research page.
In order to avoid a long page of FAQs, you can divide them up into topics and include images. Images are really important in adding interest to a page, and breaking up a wall of text. Research from Orbit Media, says that bloggers who use at least 7 images per post are 2.3 times more likely to report “strong results”.
>> Related Post: How to get the best out of images on your website?
Tips on how to write a successful evergreen blog post
The first step in writing a successful evergreen blog post is to choose a topic that will interest people, come rain or shine. Then the work begins.
In order to rank on Google, the content needs to be high quality, specific, and genuinely useful to readers. The more comprehensive the better, so long as it’s useful content, and not waffle! A good approach is to do a comprehensive guide, providing authoritative advice on the topic, as discussed above.
It should be a subject you can write a lot about, and include links to other blog posts that might not be evergreen, or which develop the topic further. It should showcase your expertise on the topic.
Taking the example of a knitting blog again, a blog post could be about different ribbing techniques, their pros and cons, tips on how. to knit them. The post should then link to topical, non-evergreen knitting patterns for winter jumpers or light summer cardigans, and how to combine ribbing with (say) cable stitches.
This internal linking is very important as it helps to keep people on your site for longer, and shows the search engine algorithms that your content is useful.
Checklist for creating high quality evergreen content that ranks
In order to create evergreen content that has a chance of ranking in the search engines, it should be what Google calls “helpful, reliable, people-first content”.
Here’s a 7 part mini listicle checklist to help you to assess whether your evergreen content is of sufficient high quality to rank:
- Does the content give the reader a comprehensive description of the topic?
- Is the page something you’d want to save or forward, as it’s so useful? Will someone learn something? Or will they head back to Google as it didn’t answer their questions
- Is the content well-researched, with links to primary sources to improve the credibility of the material?
- Does the post demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge? Fo instance, on a “How to” guide, are there images that show the author has actually done what they’re explaining how to do?
- Will the reader be sufficiently impressed with the content that they’ll click on links in the post or and subscribe to your newsletter?
- How much of the content relies on AI? (AI content tends to be generic, as it’s a large language model’s take on the subject, drawn from the internet).
- Is the content well-structured, easy to read, well laid out, and easy on the eye?
>> Related Post: Is AI all it’s cracked up to be?
How to keep evergreen content fresh and high ranking
Although some bloggers post and run when it comes to evergreen content, I find it’s worth refreshing the content regularly.
For this I use Google Search Console to see what search queries leads to impressions and clicks. If there are no search queries for a section, I might well prune it out qs deqd wood.
Equally, if there are search queries that lead to impression but not clicks, that’s an area for me to focus on improving. It’s like adding mulch around a tree.
Another technique I use is to include some topical elements. For instance, my cornerstone, evergreen post How to Increase Rent is mostly evergreen. However, each quarter I update it with the latest rent statistics, as people often search for “how much should I increase rent by”.
By regularly refreshing content, and updating the publication date so it doesn’t look out of date, the evergreen tree can sprout fresh new leaves or needles, and keep growing.
It’s important to have a blend of topical and evergreen content on your website. Both can perform well in the search engines, and bring in different sorts traffic.
Evergreen content can attract a subscriber looking for a detailed explanation of a topic, but they’ll probably click through onto topical content in your newsletters.
The right blend will depend on your niche and may change over time.