"Evergreen" content, as the term would suggest, is made up of topics that will be relevant for weeks, months, and years to come. This might seem obvious to some people. Why shouldn't your website have content that readers now and in the future will find valuable? While it's probably a good idea to have both hot topic posts and evergreen content, it is the opinion of this content marketer that the latter is far more important in not only establishing a longer-lasting impact in optimizing for the search engines, but for thought leadership purposes.
We deliver the news…
Anyone pretty much can go out and write a post about something on a news site. There's nothing wrong with having up-to-the-minute updates on particular topics on your website. The only trouble is that those posts become quite dated very quickly. If you're looking for the most traffic in the shortest amount of time, it is true that news posts can be extremely good at doing this. However, there is one major issue: hot topics usually are written about by many online writers. It's very likely you'll write seven news posts in a week and only two of them get substantial views because your article was lost in the noise, and probably buried by those who got to the news first.
Of course, there are ways to make sure that news posts don't get lost in the shuffle. If you happen to be the first, or among the first few, to cover a given developing story, that can be very important. If you're the only one really talking about a recent development, that's also a good thing. Before you write anything, make sure that you're going to get seen on the front page of Google or be the first among those to tweet or social share any particular topic. If you’re not the first to cover something, don’t have a unique twist on it, or don’t get the word out to enough people, you’re most likely going to be writing for the crickets.
Essentially, it is easy to write news posts, and depending on your industry, it can be very quickly rewarding from a traffic standpoint. However, the ranking benefits only hold if you can be consistent with major hits on these sorts of posts. To maintain SEO for the long-term, you must either be an amazing journalist on top whatever else that you do or write a good solid amount of "evergreen" content. Of course, if you have a journalist on your payroll, that’s also nice to have. But most people don’t have that. The “evergreen” content, on the other hand, will remain in search engine results for years to come, answering questions that people will always have.
Let your website be an “Evergreen Forest of Content!”
Good "evergreen" content is just that: content that will answer questions many months and years down the road. I'm sure you've seen plenty of examples of what make long-lasting relevant content that will trickle down traffic for years to come. Specifics aside, the general benefit that makes particular pieces of content “evergreen” is that it's something that someone can refer to multiple times and is highly shareable. Any content that develops inbound links over a period of time and consistently gets traffic interested in a very specific topic can fall into this category. It's fine to have the big short-term draws, but you need the evergreen sorts of content to keep people coming back again and again. Something big doesn’t happen every day in most industries – that’s simply a fact of life. You just have to know the questions that the people you want to visit you are most likely asking, and write to those. That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s easier said than done, of course, but the long-term benefit is far greater.
News posts may bring you a lot of traffic, and perhaps, return visitors on occasion if they feel you are a go-to source for news of that variety. However, content that brings more than simple instant gratification for news information is typically far more effective in bringing potential fans, clients or customers back for more of your fantastic content in the future. News posts most likely won’t keep people on your site for long, but if you become a long-term resource for people, you’ll gain a following for years to come.
Richard on Twitter: @richardarowell & @thewriterrich
Richard on Facebook: Richard Rowell