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Extend Your Content’s Shelf Life and Increase ROI with Evergreen Content

What’s the shelf life of your blog content?

In other words, when your current or prospective customers visit your virtual library and scroll through your metaphorical shelves, do they quickly find outdated or irrelevant information? Or do they find pieces of content that are so useful and applicable that they can’t wait to pull them off of that metaphorical shelf, sit down in your virtual library aisle, and start reading them immediately—even bookmarking some ideas for later?

The latter would be ideal, right? So, while you’re writing up on the latest trends and breaking news in your industry, be sure you’re creating a healthy balance of evergreen content, too. This blog should help get you started.

What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content is the timeless treasure of inbound and content marketing, and its name comes from the resilient evergreen trees that can retain their leaves through any season. Therefore, this content should maintain value and relevance whether it was written a week or a year ago. It should also be representative of your brand and definitive on the topic. Write on topics that don’t change—or don’t change much—over time. Think: resource lists, FAQs, top tips, how-to guides, historical accounts, or your business’ viewpoint on a certain topic. If it's done well, evergreen content will continue drawing prospects and customers back to you naturally—the very essence of inbound strategy—and can help foster growth for your blog.

Tip: The most important thing evergreen content is not, is date- or time-specific information. Think: news reports, statistics, or trends.

What makes evergreen content successful?

  • Targeted keywords – Evergreen content is meant to be sustainable, not only in your blog, but in search results as well. Familiarize yourself with what your target audience is searching for, then use SEO optimization to create as many opportunities as you can for your content to be continuously found in search.
  • Links, lots of links – Increase the value of your evergreen content by linking to other relevant information, and vice versa; try to get noticed by others who will link their content to yours. This can be a great way to increase exposure and continue driving traffic from new sources.
  • Depth and breadth - While the content should be definitive on one subject, it should still be relatable to a wide audience—not just the experts. Aim to offer significant value on the topic to as many people as possible, including the beginners!
  • Original research – Including your own thoughts and research helps you generate authority and authenticity on the topic. Just be aware of the timeliness of the data you’re using.
  • Promotion – Social media is a great tool for driving engagement long after content is published. It will continually refresh your current audience while attracting new ones. Check out tools like HubSpot, Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social that help schedule, publish, and track social posts, so you can monitor how your posts are performing.

Tip: Don’t timestamp your evergreen blogs. If someone sees content that was published too long ago, they might assume it’s outdated before they even read it.

How long can evergreen content retain its value?
Don't let your evergreen blogs get dusty! After all, the goal is to keep your evergreen blogs bright and shining on that metaphorical shelf for as long as possible. Make sure the information remains relevant as time goes on by periodically revisiting your content and making adjustments as necessary. If you give it the ongoing attention it deserves, it could last several months or even years!

According to Orbit Media Studios, 55 percent of bloggers surveyed said they update old articles, and bloggers who update older content are 74 percent more likely to report strong results.

Pay attention to details like page visits, backlinks, and social engagement to uncover any trends. Was there a surge in page views after a certain tweet? When you linked to someone else’s content, did they return the favor? Whatever works, do more of it. Whatever doesn’t, find ways to improve. Analytics are your friend!

Tip: Consider creating a “Top Posts” section in your blog to highlight your best performing content and make it easily accessible to your readers.

The best library has a vast collection of useful information readers can return to again and again—but the best virtual library, your blog, should be generating just as much value for you, too. Increase your blog’s shelf life, value, and authority with evergreen content and achieve the ROI you’re looking for.

Erin Myers +