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Kiera Wiatrak

Evergreen Content: A Framework for Building Content that Lasts

Remember that old blog post still driving conversions? It’s no accident. While most content fades quickly, “evergreen” content continually attracts readers and leads for years thanks to its lasting value. The secret to content that stands the test of time isn’t luck or magic – it’s strategy that, when implemented properly, pays dividends.

In this post, we’ll take you through a researched framework of four pillars for developing relevant, high-quality content with an extraordinarily long shelf life. Follow these pillars – identifying needs, delivering value, optimizing for discovery, maintaining relevance – to create blog posts, guides and more that resonate with audiences for the long haul.

Pillar #1: Identifying Customer Needs and Intent

The foundation of resonant evergreen content is understanding exactly what your audience wants to know. This makes your content a magnet when visitors enter their questions into search engines. To keep your content coming up, apply these three core techniques to gather intel on what your audience is looking for:

  • Conduct keyword research using Google’s keyword planner or other SEO tools like SEM Rush or Ubersuggest to reveal high-volume searches. This will help you uncover common questions around problems people want solved. You should also compile keyword lists for overall top industry terms as well as vocabulary specific to your product/solution.
  • Analyze existing top-ranking evergreen content from authoritative sites and thought leaders. Take note of the universal themes, writing tones, and content formats/styles that get the most traction. Analyzing your competitors shows not just what ranks in SERPs, but also what visitors actively engage with once they land.
  • Map your target customer journey highlighting friction points potential buyers hit. Catalog their goals, questions, objections and roadblocks at each stage from awareness to purchase and beyond. Learn where they fall short trying self-service methods to address concerns. This intelligence informs helpful evergreen content.
  • Example: The Kitchen Glossary from Land O Lakes is a clever example of leveraging keywords and appealing to the queries of new bakers. The easily navigable glossary offers simple definitions of common cooking and baking words, providing a helpful guide that someone finding their footing in the kitchen would return to time and time again.

Pillar #2: Providing True Value

Now that you have a good grasp of reader intent, you have to deliver content addressing explicit needs and providing concrete value. This includes:

  • Solving burning questions and offering solutions for common pain points that readers experience. It’s more important to serve their goals than it is yours.
  • Sharing little-known insights and busting myths and misconceptions that hold them back from progress. By bringing them some much-needed clarity, you can be the one to relieve them of their stressors.
  • Teaching highly sought-after skills that readers are excited to learn. Break down complex multi-step processes into simple how-tos.
  • Lean on proven evergreen content formats like step-by-step guides, list posts of tips, and comprehensive reviews of useful technology, tools or techniques. Striking the right balance between an educational tone and conversational style will help to keep your writing accessible.
  • Example: Take a look at this article that we published earlier this year to see how step-by-step guides that offer helpful tips and tools can be structured. The article is approachable yet comprehensive and offers solutions to a common pain point, giving readers useful information that they would come back to.

Pillar #3: Optimizing for Findability & Shareability

Creating top-notch evergreen content is a great start, but it only satisfies step one. To maximize your content’s reach and impact, take these steps to optimize:

  • Boost your content’s rankings by applying SEO best practices. Make sure to include meta descriptions, strategic internal linking, and naturally-seeded keywords.
  • Encourage social media shares with aesthetic visuals and natively shareable formats that people can’t resist passing along (think charts, quizzes, assessments and slides).
  • Example: This mood-matching quiz from Spotify is a great example of interactive content that’ll bring readers back when they need a playlist to match their current vibe. Plus, it offers easy share buttons!

Pillar #4: Maintaining Relevance Over Time

The final pillar for long-lasting content is establishing an update protocol that’ll keep content relevant year after year. This includes:

  • Proactively connecting content to broader universal challenges and themes with staying power as opposed fleeting trends of-the-moment.
  • Regularly reviewing statistics, supporting links and any references that may grow dated over months. You should also refresh any quotes and add or upgrade visual elements.
  • Setting a quarterly reminder to scan evergreen content on your site. Identify which pages are top priority based on traffic and reader signals, then update them to keep the traffic flowing in.
  • Example: Blog posts, like this one we published earlier this year, cover topics that are always relevant. They can be refreshed, reworked, or updated with new tools and tips to stay top-of-mind (and top-of-search-engine).

Reap Lasting Rewards

Committing to an evergreen methodology is a great tactic for continually attracting valuable, engaged visitors to your site. Not only will you garner customer loyalty by providing ever-useful content, but you’ll also save time by updating content rather than creating for fleeting trends.

You work hard to craft content that viewers will love. By following these four pillars, the time and effort you devote to your content will pay off for longer.

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