Use “Evergreen” Content to Anchor Your Small Business Website
What is Evergreen Content?
It’s a lofty-sounding phrase for a simple concept. Like the evergreen trees that don’t have to exert the energy to shed their leaves in the fall and grow them back in the summer, there is a category of content on your site that won’t become outdated or obsolete very often – so it won’t need frequent updates.
It’s some of the most important content on your website, for two reasons:
- It will likely be as relevant a year from now as it is today
- Its ongoing relevance is tied closely with its usefulness to the customer
Are there aspects of your business that will always be relevant, informative, or just highly interesting to your customers?
This article will teach you how to turn it into rich, evergreen content that will become among the most visited pages on your website.
The Many Roles of Evergreen Content
Keeping fresh content on your site is an ongoing business challenge. You need fresh content for a couple of reasons:
- To satisfy return visitors
- To satisfy search engines
- To provide highly linkable content
- To provide high-value content that becomes part of the infrastructure of the site
- To establish authority in your area of expertise
If you’re a big enough brand that you need constantly changing content so return visitors won’t be bored, congratulations! You have many return visitors! We’re all working toward that.
But the average small business needs fresh content for more simple reasons.
They need to be found and indexed by search engines. The game with search engines is to have your site pages rank high enough to appear on the first page of an organic search – ideally in the top 3 results. This is called OSR – Organic Search Results. That means people searching the web for your service are most likely to see your company. Most searchers never click past page 1. Ranking high is essential.
Then there are social media posts, where businesses place content on platforms like Facebook and Instagram to attract, hook, and back people back to their websites – where they can then sell them something.
If they are playing in the big leagues and investing in a content marketing strategy, they need search engine-optimized (SEO) content to place on websites built for this type of marketing. And they need loads of it: content to keep their website active, for ads and landing pages, and for things like giveaways and free downloads.
With this heavy demand for content, the average marketing manager begins to treasure the content that is evergreen.
Evergreen content also aims to provide information people find useful enough to bookmark, link to, or share. These links from other sites demonstrate that the website is a player, a valuable contributor to the common conversation in their subject area.
A well-optimized site will also have internal links, looping back to other pages of its own. In order to link internally, the site must be content-rich, with related pages that create a web of knowledge.
Search engines will begin to recognize the page as a body of knowledge, linking together related bits of knowledge – and will reward it with higher rankings. This is the aforementioned high-value content that becomes part of the infrastructure of the site.
Evergreen content plays a significant part in establishing a site as an authoritative source for the kind of information it provides. Evergreen content is often long-form, more in-depth articles, case studies, and writing that’s highly instructive.
Serving Your Potential Customer
If you’re a plumber, the evergreen content on your site might be an article telling homeowners what to do if they come home to find two feet of water in the basement. Another article might alert them to act quickly if they smell a gas leak.
The basic information in these articles will never change (Quick! Turn off the main water valve and call your plumber!) These are problems that ordinary people will be seeking guidance on every day of the year.
Turn them into evergreen content that serves your customer.
Saving you Time
These kinds of articles don’t have to be scheduled into your content planning calendar for review more than once a year, if that. You’d go crazy if you had to update every single word on your web page on a regular basis. Thank goodness you don’t!
Details like external links – links to other sites – will have to be checked at review time. And if you’re tracking your analytics, as you should be, you will verify that the page is still active: attracting regular visitors, being bookmarked and shared.
Other than that, evergreen content won’t need much tending.
Our Evergreen Content
For us at The Allyson Group, our article that defines branding — What is a Brand? – is evergreen content. As copywriters, we represent brands, and our work always begins with an assessment of the potential client’s brand strength. We talk about it all the time. But not everybody knows what branding is. We explain it in that article. That’s evergreen content.
From that article, we can link to other articles on branding. For example, Brand Voice – the personality of your company reflected in the tone and tenor of your content, Workplace Culture – the organizational culture, as experienced by the people who work for you, and Brand Equity – the value that builds in a brand as it becomes more successful.
Providing links both internal to your site and external to other authorities is a secondary function of evergreen content.
The best evergreen content can be sited by other websites, which shows the search engines its value. It can even be recycled and repurposed for blog material and video scripting over the course of your content calendar year.
How to Create Evergreen Content to Stand the Test of Time
To create great evergreen content simply put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Aim to serve them with your content.
How to Work With You
Before they do business with you, would it serve them to know more about things like…
- The problem you solve with your product or service
- The conditions surrounding the problem you solve
- the evolution of the problem
- The evolution of the solution
- Your company’s approach to the problem (UVP)
- In discussing the problem, expand your customer’s body of knowledge. Tell them something about your industry, and the evolution of the solutions your industry provides today.
Your Company Story
The story of your company – the founders, the inventions or patents, a timeline of your accomplishments. History doesn’t change: it is excellent evergreen content. Let them know when, how and why you got into the business, and how long you’ve been around. People like to know who they’re doing business with.
Your Mission, Vision, and Values
While these elements of your brand do change over time, they don’t change with the seasons.
Therefore, it’s good material for an evergreen article. The “About Us” page is one of the most read pages on websites, as customers attempt to understand you before they choose you. About Us is not content that needs frequent updates.
Share who you are in the community and the world. What organizations or charities do you or your employees throw your weight behind? And why? All that corporate identity data helps the reader understand you. It can be evergreen content.
An Evergreen Content Library
There are lots of other subjects that can be evergreen.
While seasonal messages may seem fleeting, they do come around every year. As such, businesses can recognize holidays and national days of recognition that communicate a message about their values. What does your company stand for, want to recognize, or choose to shine a light on?
Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October)? Veteran’s Day? Earth Day?
You can choose to celebrate National Small Business Week in the spring and build some annually recyclable content around it. And Small Business Saturday is the weekend after Thanksgiving. All are events around which you can develop evergreen content.
By building content around the stuff your company cares about – or that connects you to your ideal customer – you will eventually have a robust library of evergreen content.
Evergreen content is workhorse content. It will fulfill its function today, tomorrow, and hopefully well into the future. And it’s helpful to people!
What Kind of Evergreen Content Could Fit into Your Digital Marketing Plan?
At the Allyson Group, we help companies plan content calendars that take the guesswork out of content creation.
Give us a call to discuss how we can build a library of rich, evergreen content for your website or blog.