Evergreen content can be defined as content that doesn\u2019t have an expiration date. It stays fresh, useful and relevant no matter when someone reads it, with minimal to no updates. An evergreen tree keeps all their leaves year after year, through all seasons. For content to be considered evergreen, it should maintain relevance regardless of its publication date.\r\n\r\nContent that is not evergreen quickly becomes outdated and irrelevant. Most of the content published by the news media is not evergreen content. A story on the 2016 US Presidential Election, however well written and memorable, it\u2019s outdated as soon as the election finishes. David Foster Wallace wrote a fantastic piece for Rolling Stone on the 2000 Republican Primary campaign of John McCain. It\u2019s an outstanding piece of journalism that\u2019s delightful to read, but people hardly do anymore, because it\u2019s outdated.\r\n\r\nSome topics are easier to turn into evergreen content than others. Most cooking recipes are a good example of evergreen content, and probably one of the reasons the Cooking section of the NYT was able to launch their own subscription service with great success. People will search for a good recipe for pasta all'Amatriciana at any point in time. But beware: a Thanksgiving recipe won\u2019t be considered evergreen content, as it\u2019ll only have relevance in the days before Thanksgiving.\r\n\r\nOther topics rich in evergreen content opportunities could be healthcare, wellness, fitness, or parenting.\r\n\r\nIn contrast, topics like sports are dominated by current events content that becomes quickly outdated. But you still can produce evergreen content on those topics. An article on the different basketball positions or explaining the NBA drafting process would be examples of evergreen content in sports.\r\n\r\nContent that is seasonal, focuses on holidays or on repeating events is not evergreen, as interest will increase and decrease over time, depending on the time of the year. The same happens with reports and statistics, which become outdated as time passes and more data becomes available.\r\n\r\nFashion, politics, technology or TV shows and pop culture are topics that are difficult to turn into evergreen content.\r\n\r\nEvergreen content has distinct benefits over content whose relevance fades after time:\r\n\r\n \tWorkload efficiency: From a content management point of view, evergreen content can be reused and re-run in the future, with minimal updates. You can still provide relevant content to your readers while keeping workload to a minimum.\r\n \tIntroduce new readers to your expertise: Basic and introductory content makes great evergreen content that can be used as a reference for new readers to get up to speed with the topics you usually cover.\r\n \tSteady source of traffic: If the topic is chosen carefully, you\u2019ll get a steady source of traffic to your website long after the article has been published.\r\n \tHigh search engine rankings: Evergreen content usually satisfies informational queries very well, so it tends to rank higher than other types of content for this type of search intent.\r\n\r\nWhy evergreen content is important for SEO?\r\nFor most websites, evergreen content should be one of the pillars (but not the only one) of any successful SEO strategy. They key resides in finding a balance between producing evergreen content that provides a long-term steady source of traffic and taking advantage of short-term trends and fresh keywords with explosive search volume.\r\n\r\nWhen thinking specifically about SEO, evergreen content has several key benefits that have a positive impact on your SEO.\r\nLink building\r\nEvergreen content has long term value. It\u2019s reference content which will be generating new links for a long time after it has been published. And as this content never or hardly ever goes out of date, it maintains the links it generates over time. This makes evergreen content a link magnet that will dominate search rankings for the keywords you\u2019re targeting and benefit your whole website.\r\nAuthority\r\nHigh-quality content on topics related to your area of expertise will help you establish your authority and develop trust with your audience. This authority will help you increase your click-through rates and will help improve the rankings of your whole site.\r\nContent architecture\r\nYour evergreen content can become your cornerstone content. You can grow your site around that cornerstone content in a hierarchical way that is easily understood by both search engines and users.\u00a0\r\nDrives search traffic from core keywords\r\nThe main benefit, of course, is the steady flow of traffic and high-rankings you can achieve in your core keywords. You can dominate the keywords more closely linked to your business by developing evergreen content that answers informational queries.\r\n\r\nTo get a sense of the benefits of evergreen content for SEO, look at the results from these two different pieces. The first is an article on the site of the Spanish newspaper El Mundo about the results of Spanish municipal elections in March 2019:\r\n\r\nAs you can see in the graph from Ahrefs\u2019 Site Explorer, organic traffic peaked just when the article was published, and then started to go downwards. This content, being related to the results of political elections, is not evergreen content. The content is only relevant in the days just after the election. As time passes, the content is slowly forgotten in search engines, because it\u2019s usefulness is depleted.\r\n\r\nNow look at this graph:\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s the same graph from Ahref\u2019s Site Explorer, plotting organic traffic for a post in the wellness blog of the New York Times about a 7-minute workout. It was published in 2013, but it continues to generate organic traffic years after its publication.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf we look at its backlink profile, we can see that this particular post has been amassing and retaining an amazing number of incoming links. This is because the content is still fresh, relevant and useful, even years after its initial publication.\u00a0\r\nFind evergreen topics through keyword research\r\nHow can you leverage evergreen content in your editorial strategy? The first step is to find the topics and keywords that are best suited to produce evergreen content. For that, you need to to keyword research.\r\n\r\nWhen looking for evergreen topics you need to find keywords related to your business or expertise area.\r\n\r\nThe first step is to brainstorm keyword ideas. Think about topics that are related to your business objectives, informational and not seasonal. Once you have that, you should validate your assumptions based on three criteria:\r\n\r\n \tHigh search volume\r\n \tStable or upward search trend\r\n \tConsistent, informational search intent\r\n\r\nHigh search volume\r\nEvergreen content is costly to produce. It requires significant resources in research and writing time that must be justified by targeting a keyword that can potentially deliver a high amount of organic traffic.\u00a0\r\n\r\nTo do that, you need to use a tool that can provide you with the search estimates for each keyword. You can use Ahrefs for that, or if you want a free alternative, you can use Google Trends or Keywords Everywhere.\r\n\r\nFor example, for the \u201cwhat is meditation\u201d keyword, here\u2019s the result from Keywords Everywhere:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nYou\u2019d have to decide, based on your experience, what constitutes an appropriate high search volume for your content.\r\nStable or upward search trend\r\nEven if your keyword has a high search volume, you need to look at the bigger picture, to see how that search volume is evolving over time. If it\u2019s trending downwards, even if you are able to position your content in the top positions of the SERP, you will get less and less traffic over time. It\u2019s not a good investment of your time and resources to produce content for such a keyword.\u00a0\r\n\r\nWhen looking at Google Trends for the keyword \u201cwhat is meditation\u201d, we see that it has a stable search trend. People tend to search for that keyword at any point in time, independent of seasons or current events. This makes it a good candidate for an evergreen content piece.\r\n\r\nIf we look at keyword variations from the same theme, we can see different trends. For example, if we wanted to target the keyword \u201cmeditation tips\u201d, we could see it has a downward trend:\r\n\r\nFrom the outset it could look like a good evergreen content candidate, with a healthy search volume, but the trend tells us that the return we\u2019ll get in organic traffic will only diminish with time, so it\u2019s probably not worth the effort.\r\n\r\nConsider this instead:\r\n\r\n\r\nThe keyword \u201cmindfulness for kids\u201d not only has a search pattern that is free from seasonal influence (almost: see those drops? Christmas holidays), but it has an upward trend which tells us that getting a content piece in the top search results will generate more and more traffic each year. It\u2019s a big opportunity for evergreen content.\r\nConsistent, informational search intent\r\nThe last thing you need to consider is the search intent behind that keyword. For that you would need to analyze the search results for the keyword. An SEO tool that gives you search traffic for each URL in the SERP would be useful as well.\r\n\r\nAnalyze the search results for the keyword you\u2019re evaluating and see if the top results are:\r\n\r\n \tInformational. The search results are articles or any other types of informational content, as opposed to products or brands.\r\n \tNot related to current events or seasons or any other specific timeframe.\r\n \tStable. You\u2019d need a specialized tool like Ahrefs for that, but if the SERP changes frequently over a short period of time, it means the search intent for that keyword is unclear, and the SERP varies to try to accommodate different search intents.\r\n \tHigh click-through rate. Again, with a specialized tool, you\u2019d be able to see how much traffic the pages in the SERP are getting. High CTR implies a stable SERP.\r\n\r\nEvergreen content formats and examples\r\nSome article formats are better suited for evergreen content than others. Here you can find a list of evergreen article formats, with examples:\r\nHow-to\u2019s and tutorials\r\n\r\n \tHow to bullet journal\r\n \tStep by step guide to writing a book\r\n \tHow to write a short business plan\r\n\r\nHistorical information\r\n\r\n \tA short history of musical notation\r\n \tThe history of flamenco dance\r\n \tThe Origin Of The Word \u2018Meme\u2019\r\n\r\nLists of tips, ideas, resources\u00a0\r\n\r\n \tPitching Articles: 5 Tips for a Successful Freelance Writing Pitch\r\n \tSteal these 5 tricks reporters use for fresh article ideas\r\n \t16 Incredibly Useful Resources for Aspiring Authors\r\n\r\nChecklists\r\n\r\n \tHow to Start Your Blog \u2013 23 Point Checklist\r\n \tUltimate Testing Checklist for eCommerce Websites\r\n \tA Checklist For Designing Data Collection Regimes\r\n\r\nAnswers to industry questions\r\n\r\n \tWhat\u2019s the difference between content strategy and content marketing?\r\n \tWill Journalists Be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence?\r\n \tFreelance life: what to do when the work dries up\r\n\r\nCase studies\r\n\r\n \tRedesigning the New York Times app \u2014 a UX case study\r\n \tHow GE Healthcare Is Operationalizing Content at Scale\r\n \tZara: A Usability Case Study\r\n\r\nGlossaries\r\n\r\n \tContent Marketing Glossary\r\n \tTechnical SEO glossary\r\n \tFinancial Terms Glossary\r\n\r\nBeginner\u2019s guide to\r\n\r\n \tThe Beginner's Guide to SEO\r\n \tA Beginner\u2019s Guide to AI\/ML\r\n \tBeginner\u2019s Guide to Blockchain\u200a\u2014\u200aExplaining it to a 5 Year Old\r\n\r\nUltimate guide to\r\n\r\n \tThe Complete Guide to Chatbots\r\n \tFacebook Ads: The Ultimate Guide For Businesses\r\n \tThe Ultimate Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization\r\n\r\nWhat to avoid in evergreen content\r\nThe purpose of evergreen content is to remain fresh and relevant years after it was published, so people can read it and digest it as if it was published yesterday. So the main thing to look for when writing this type of content is to avoid any references that may become easily outdated.\r\nAvoid references to pop culture and current events\r\nChildren\u2019s stories and fairy tales should be one big example of evergreen content, right? No matter when you read them, they remain relevant and timely. But just the other night I was reading stories to my children at night from a book published a few years ago. I had to constantly skip paragraphs or change names because the stories were plagued with pop culture references from when the book was originally published. What could be a great book of evergreen content looks now dated and not relevant.\r\n\r\nThe same happens when you insert pop culture references in your articles, or references to current events, like the Olympics or the World Cup.\r\nAvoid time-related language\r\nIt doesn\u2019t matter how well written and relevant your content is. If you start your article by saying \u201cToday in 20XX we\u2026\u201d, the content will be instantly outdated as soon as the year changes. Be sure to avoid any language that refers to concrete timeframes. For example:\r\n\r\n \tThis year, month, week\r\n \tLast year, month, week\r\n \tYesterday, tomorrow\r\n \tEarlier in the year\r\n\r\nYou get the idea. When you anchor your content to a specific timeframe, you\u2019re essentially adding an expiration date.\r\nData and statistics\r\nWe all love content that is grounded in facts and data. Being able to go beyond opinion and speculative content and backing up your assertions with data goes a long way to establish authority and trust with your audience.\u00a0\r\n\r\nBut when developing evergreen content data has to be used with caution. If your content is using data anchored to a specific timeframe, like labor productivity in the past 10 years, it\u2019ll become outdated as soon as new report or data point is released.\r\n\r\nIn this case, it\u2019s recommended to establish a periodical reminder to update the content with new data to maintain the content fresh and relevant.\r\nEvergreen content should be memorable\r\nIt\u2019s not enough that your evergreen content remains relevant and fresh years after it has been published. It also has to be memorable and high-quality to achieve and maintain a high ranking position in the SERP.\u00a0\r\n\r\nFocus on content quality first, but ask yourself these questions as well:\r\nIs it the most complete article on the topic?\r\nIn-depth, longform articles tend to perform well in search results. Your evergreen content should aim to be the definitive resource for the topic you\u2019re targeting, so be thorough and complete. Don\u2019t leave anything on the table. Your content should demonstrate your authority in the field.\r\nIs it accessible to beginners?\r\nAvoid overly complex or specialized language and jargon. Your writing should be clear, but that doesn\u2019t mean you can\u2019t go deep inside a topic. The idea is that someone without expertise should be able to read and understand your article. Experts, after all, won\u2019t go looking for help.\u00a0\r\nIs the topic narrow enough?\r\nChoosing a specific topic will give the writer a needed focus to deliver interesting content. It\u2019ll also likely have less competition.\r\nHow to promote evergreen content\r\nThink about how your evergreen article fits your content architecture\r\nEvergreen content is usually ideal for beginners. Think about how could you feature your content to new readers so they can then be able to access and read more complex content. Or perhaps your evergreeen content can be part of a bigger series. You could create a hub for your evergreen content. It can take many shapes: a \u201cstart here\u201d section or a widget with highlighted posts on a sidebar. Perhaps a resource library. In any case, make it easy for visitors to discover your cornerstone content.\r\n\r\nThink as well on how you link to your evergreen content from other posts on the site. Your internal linking strategy should promote your evergreen content to support their ranking in the SERPs.\r\nPromote (and re-promote) on social media\r\nWhen your content is first published, you\u2019ll likely share it on all your social media platforms. But your evergreen content is likely to remain fresh in the future. There\u2019s no reason you shouldn\u2019t share your content again months and years after it has been published. If it remains relevant, it\u2019ll still engage and generate reactions from your social audience in the future.\r\n\r\nYou can do more than just share the link too. You can repurpose parts of your evergreen content to be shared as social content:\r\n\r\n \tKey points of the content as Instagram stories or images on Twitter.\r\n \tCreate short videos for Facebook. You could use tools like Animoto for that.\r\n \tShare stats, images or key takeaways from the text.\r\n \tRepublish your content in Medium to take advantage of the audience discovery there, but keep in mind to maintain a canonical link back to your content.\r\n\r\nRepublish as new\r\nYou can relaunch evergreen content that was previously published as if it was new content on your site. Here\u2019s how you can do it:\r\n\r\n \tFind evergreen content in your blog that hasn\u2019t been updated in a while\r\n \tUpdate content, screenshots, images and remove or add new content if necessary\r\n \tYou can update the headline, but leave the URL exactly the same\r\n \tChange the post date and update the post\r\n\r\nYour post will now be on the top of your blog feed and archives. This will improve the discovery of your evergreen content in navigation and internal search.\u00a0\r\nRepurpose your content\r\nYour evergreen content is costly to produce. But once it\u2019s done, it can be repurposed in other formats with a little bit of work. You can adapt your evergreen content to produce:\r\n\r\n \tVideos\r\n \tEbooks and reports\r\n \tPresentations and slide decks\r\n \tPodcast episodes\r\n \tInfographics\r\n\r\nThis extra content can be used to feed other content channels or create lead magnets, and can be linked back to your evergreen content. But remember that the content probably can\u2019t be used as-is. You need to put some extra effort to adapt the content to the new format.\r\nSearch engine and social media advertising\r\nIf your content has a transactional objective with a call to action and you have the budget, you can also take advantage of social media advertising to boost traffic to your evergreen content.\u00a0\r\n\r\nThe recommended approach is to find content that already has a high engagement rate in social media. Then create a custom audience (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have audience targeting options) that will likely interact with that content.\r\nContent governance on evergreen topics\r\nWhen you write evergreen content you want it to stay as timeless and relevant as possible. You want that content to be fresh forever. But it will likely not be the case. At some point you\u2019ll have to revisit your evergreen content, update it and polish it. The recommendation is to audit your evergreen content 1-2 times a year. Critical content should be revisited more frequently, maybe once per quarter or per month.\r\nIdentify evergreen content\r\nThere\u2019s a chance you have evergreen content on your site already. To identify it, use a web analytics tool and a SEO audit tool to identify content that:\r\n\r\n \tHas a steady flow of visitors.\r\n \tMaintains high ranking for certain keywords.\r\n \tIt hasn\u2019t been published recently.\r\n\r\nUpdate and optimize content\r\nOnce you have a list of evergreen content pieces you should establish a process to audit these content pieces periodically. You should look for:\r\n\r\n \tChanges or new developments in the topic.\r\n \tExamples or statistics that need to be updated.\r\n \tWhat no longer applies or is outdated.\r\n \tVerify that all the internal and external links are still valid. See if there are better resources to link to.\r\n \tUpdate any CTAs in your content (if you don\u2019t have dynamic CTAs already).\r\n \tReview the search rankings and take steps to re-optimize your content\r\n \tMake sure your content is still useful and your writing is clear.\r\n\r\nConclusion\r\nEvergreen content should be a key part of any SEO strategy. It requires effort in finding the topics and keywords best suited to this type of content. And you\u2019ll need to invest time and resources to create content that remains fresh and relevant long after it has been published. But the benefits of evergreen content in developing authority and trust, providing a steady flow of search traffic, dominating certain keywords and generating an impressive amount of backlinks will affect the SEO of the entire website.