In a marketing world of rapid change, evolution and growth, eternality can be a strange notion.
The essayist William Hazlitt would probably disagree. Hazlitt, known for his saying, "Words are the only things that last forever," might look at content marketing today as a series of vapors--words that are read in a blog today and gone tomorrow.
You might be surprised to find out that a lot of content marketing is here to stay. In fact, many content writers write for future readers to be impacted as much as present ones. Enter evergreen content.
Evergreen content is lasting content writing that remains true and relevant for decades to come. In a digital marketing world evolving so quickly, writing content that will provide real, tangible value to the generations of your children and grandchildren is a focal point of content marketing.
Producing ever-relevant, evergreen content is an end goal of content writing for good reason. But what are the means to achieving it?
Do Your Homework: Keyword Research for Topics
When brainstorming topic ideas, sifting through keywords through Google's Keyword Planner is a perfect start.
For a maximum SEO boost, hand-pick keywords (especially long-tailed keywords that include at least three words) that are searched frequently but not too frequently. Integrating these keywords strategically in your written content is perhaps your strongest effort in getting your piece to climb the ranks of Google.
As Google combs and crawls your piece of content, your keywords that contain high search volume and low-to-medium search competition will pay you the most dividends in the long run. Why? Because more people are more likely to see your content pop up in their google search.
It's also important to select a few keywords that have staying power. Industry buzzwords hot off the culture stove are typically bound to last a few years, if that. Marketing keywords like actionable insights, growth hacking, scalable, repurpose, and sticky content are a few examples.
Instead, zero-in on keywords that are both relevant to your content piece and avoid ones that are current industry buzzwords. Keywords with staying power will maximize your content writing's ability to impact a reader and provide value five, six and seven years down the road.
Select Your Topic
This is the stage that will determine whether your piece of evergreen content falls into the eternal or sustainable category.
Eternal evergreen content are pieces with timeless shelf lives. It remains pertinent regardless of changing technology, cultural morays or industry standards.
On the other hand, sustainable evergreen content is different because it is slightly dependent; if it is not updated or tended to in line with changing times and cultures, it will lose relevance.
Like a botanist tends to a plant, sustainable evergreen content is dependent on writers tending to their content with occasional updates to backlinks, titles and subheads, and even the content itself. This will provide value to readers years down the line.
The natural next question: as a content writer, how do you select a topic with an evergreen shelf life? Consider the real estate industry. People will always need homes to buy. Homes will always need to be sold. Real estate agents will always need to be involved in a formal selling and buying process.
But while the real estate industry processes might remain the same for all time, the ways in which people buy and sell will evolve over time!
Placester, an IDX website developer that includes home listings for real estate agents, is a perfect example. The Placester blog is filled with evergreen content, some of which requires frequent updates ("SEO best practices for real estate agents", "Digital marketing tactics in real estate", etc.) while other content on the Placester blog consists of fine-tuned strategies that don't require updates.
Once you decide to go with either an eternal or sustainable evergreen content piece, select a relevant topic that leaves plenty of room to integrate your keywords wisely. This means avoid keyword stuffing your paragraphs and use your keywords in a way so that your article reads naturally and does not sound forced.
Title Structure of an Evergreen Article
The title of any piece of content writing functions as both a billboard and a backbone.
Your title is arguably your single best advertisement and the most important summarization of what someone is about to take away from your writing.
Your title is your thesis before the thesis. It can single-handedly draw someone in or push someone away. Your title matters.
That's why your title needs to include at least one of the main keywords you've decided to use for your piece of content. More importantly, keeping your title consistent with inbound marketing strategy can add value to your content.
What does this mean? Instead of talking at readers and hand-delivering your content to them, structure your title so that your content will draw them to you.
Traditional marketing might call foul on this newer approach to content marketing, but structuring your title in a way that tells readers "I am about to offer you value-oozing content that will directly provide you something" should leave them salivating before even skimming your intro paragraph.
No matter your industry, providing long-standing value to readers is an evergreen approach! Since the search for novel and original content will never pass away, structure your title in a way that reflects that.
Determine the "What" and "How Long"
If you want your content to rank, research who is already ranking in similar searches. Your piece needs to be longer and more substantial than anything that is currently ranking in Google.
What is the takeaway for content writers? More research. More digging. More writing. Less copying. Less repurposing content and tailoring it for yourself.
Just like those who will read your content piece, Google wants the most original ideas and search-driven pieces to climb atop the ranks. How come? This will guarantee that the people who entered the search will read what they are looking for and also read what they didn't realize they wanted.
Don't zero-in on the length of your content writing. Instead, focus more on what it is filled with. The create problem → deliver solution formula is just as relevant to content writing as it is to iPhone sales. Determine what will fill your piece, how it will still impact readers down the line and how long the piece will be.
Producing a well-written evergreen article will usually end up with a higher word count than you originally anticipated. And that's more than OK. Evergreen content is supposed to last, so provide as much useful information as you can.
Growing Legs (and Links) of Its Own
One of the best ways to increase your content writing credibility is to loop in influencers and thought leaders on a particular subject.
Before publishing your piece, reach out to an influencer. They may be able to provide you a killer quote to give your piece the integrity boost in needs. Buzzstream is a helpful tool for locating and contacting industry influencers willing to share their insight.
While you likely will not hear back from everyone you contact, reach out to multiple influencers in your industry niche to increase your chances of a yes.
In addition, for your piece of evergreen content to grow its own legs over time, remember to provide data that is easy to re-use so you can link back to it in the future. This will make it easier for the reader to keep in step with what you're writing, and it will be much easier for you to deliver and update evergreen content that will stand the test of time.
With your content ideas ready at the helm and a customer-centered, value-driven mindset as your guiding compass, get to writing! The first page of Google is calling your name.