As you probably know, one of the best ways to earn organic links and improve SEO is to publish content that’s relevant, timely, and valuable for audiences.
Unfortunately though, what this content looks like can vary dramatically based on emerging trends in an industry, the changing preferences of any given target market, and other dynamic factors.
As marketers, we understand that content never sits still and the race to the top of search is ever evolving based on user intent and algorithm updates.
Focusing your efforts on curating content that provides value to audiences and can stand the test of time will help to secure long term authority and competitive rankings.
If you’re looking to implement evergreen content link building for the first time, or you’re reviewing your current approach to a client’s inbound content marketing strategy and want to kick things up a notch, this guide is for you.
This evergreen content and link building guide will provide answers to the following questions:
- What is evergreen content?
- What are the benefits of creating evergreen content?
- How to create evergreen content for link building?
What is evergreen content?
To put it simply, evergreen content is content that’s designed to remain relevant indefinitely, as opposed to posts that cover emerging news or try to latch onto passing trends.
The idea behind evergreen content is to create an appreciating asset that continues to bring in traffic over time and compounds its value as an inbound marketing asset.
Examples of evergreen content can take many forms, including:
- Product Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- “How To” guides
- A glossary of key terms and phrases
- eBooks (like the following examples from Hive19!)
There’s no one formula for highly linkable content. Sticking to these content formats when planning evergreen content is a smart first step towards ensuring your content returns the most value possible, and ensures all that hard work will pay off.
Three benefits of evergreen content
Creating evergreen content isn’t nearly as easy as writing a shorter, simpler blog post to capitalise on a surge in traffic around a certain hot news item.
Before you baulk at the idea of evergreen content in favour of more quick-and-easy methods of inbound marketing, let’s take a look at a few key benefits of evergreen content to bear in mind…
1. Higher search rankings
The primary reason why brands invest time and resources into evergreen content is that it often leads to higher search rankings, and therefore, easier inbound marketing.
For years now, Google has been rewarding content that offers a higher degree of value to web users in accordance with its E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) principle and a continued commitment to serve up search results that best resolve a searcher’s query.
Evergreen content, by definition, needs to be well-aligned with an intention to offer value to the target audience long-term. This is the kind of content that’s consistently referenced on third-party websites and re-visited over an extended period of time.
When this commitment to value is combined with well-executed keyword research and targeted link building, it will maximise your chances of ranking the content through both keyword optimisation and user engagement signals.
2. Improved website traffic
As an effect of offering your target audience some tangible, long-term value and achieving higher rankings, well-crafted evergreen content will also improve your site traffic through both organic clicks and shares.
This is a particularly important benefit to note as quality evergreen content will often act as a permanent inbound marketing asset, garnering more and more attention over time.
Comparatively, timely content such as news updates and emerging trends (although have their place in a well-rounded marketing strategy) will produce ‘flash in the pan’ levels of traffic for a domain.
Industry professionals that are considered thought leaders have shown time and time again the long-term benefits of sharing sustainable, evergreen content that provides value regardless of how much time has passed.
For example, let’s take a look at the following resource from Ahref on how to get started with affiliate marketing:
First published back in 2020 and according to Ahref’s Content Explorer data, it receives over 42,000 visits every month from organic search. This a great example of how evergreen content can provide long-lasting value to audiences and attract consistent levels of traffic to your domain for years to come.
With enough evergreen content under your domain, you can sit back and enjoy a self-sustaining pipeline of engaged, qualified traffic to your site, without having to constantly worry about returning to address outdated information.
3. Targets for evergreen content link building
Aside from acting as a magnet for inbound marketing traffic, evergreen content is also a great way to support your link building efforts. Giving you a naturally sharable and linkable asset that will make a great focal point for strategies such as guest post link building and resource link building.
Evergreen content link building is especially powerful for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, because evergreen content tends to take the form of longer, more complex pieces, it lends itself naturally to higher topical relevance for the referring publication. This leads Google’s algorithm to give more credence to backlinks as a citation of authority and increases the chances that you’ll see a significant ranking increase for the keywords you’re targeting.
Secondly, well-crafted evergreen content is of a higher calibre than more basic, mass-produced timely content. Hosting it on your client’s website can open up your inbound marketing efforts to a much higher calibre of referring domains. This, in turn, will give you a stronger starting point when executing future blogger outreach and make it significantly easier to develop a quality backlink profile for the target domain.
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How to create evergreen content
Now that we’ve gone over what evergreen content is and the benefits that it can offer your inbound marketing, here’s a few of our best recommendations for creating evergreen content.
The below considerations will act as the building blocks for your evergreen link building campaign and will help you to deliver long-term value and return for your wider marketing strategy.
Build content around pain points
As we established earlier, evergreen content should provide tangible value to your client’s target audience over time, and one of the best ways to ensure it does this is to build content around a particular pain point.
The pain points that your customers care about aren’t fully fleshed-out content topics, but they can be a great starting point for you to figure out an angle on a topic that will generate a lot of traction.
Let’s say, for example, that a client sells B2B martech, and you’ve noticed a lot of buzz in the industry about the role of AI in content marketing. In this scenario, a good pain point to focus on might be not being able to use AI content creation tools in a way that’s efficient and effective.
By creating a piece of content that explores this in detail, and giving the relevant audience an authoritative source they can use to clear the confusion and address this pain point, you’ll maximise your chances of sustainable traffic and backlinks from the start of your planning process.
Beat the competition
The best kind of evergreen content requires much more effort to produce and brings in a higher return on investment (ROI) by being highly engaging and shareable long-term.
One of the best ways to reach this calibre of evergreen content is to research content which is outperforming its competitors in the way of rankings and traffic. Identify how you can expand upon the existing topic in your own content and provide advice and actionable takeaways that won’t decay over time to guarantee long-term ROI.
Acquiring new primary research, getting quotes from industry experts, and presenting methodologies through engaging visuals and frameworks are all common ways you can use to distinguish your content from what’s currently occupying the top spots in the SERPs.
Remember though that this list is by no means exhaustive, and there’s a whole host of other angles you can use to approach putting your own spin on the evergreen topics that are gaining traction online.
Try to approach the current top-ranking content from the point of view of your target audience, think hard about what else the content could be doing for you, and you’ll quickly find an angle which will supercharge your content’s value.
Evergreen content audit
Like many things in the world of inbound marketing, evergreen content is near impossible to get right the first time. Even though the content you produce will be designed to last, it still needs to be well-maintained through periodical reviews and updates.
How often do you need to update evergreen content? Well, that depends on the particulars of each piece.
For content that pertains to a B2B audience, a good rule of thumb is to review the information in it once every six months, checking it against any authoritative sources or new, emerging reports and using these to make sure all content is up to scratch.
When you come to auditing evergreen content for freshness and value, it’s important to go in with a methodology in order to avoid focusing on the wrong aspects or doing a quick-and-easy job that doesn’t do much to reinforce the value of the piece.
Here’s an 5-point checklist of content elements to look at when you’re reviewing and refreshing evergreen content:
- Are you using timed hooks like “the best … of 2022” that now look a little dated?
- Do your facts and figures still hold up, or is there more recent information that makes them look questionable?
- Are the opinions or sources you’re citing still relevant to the industry or topic?
- Are the case studies or examples you’re citing easily relatable for your target audience?
- Are your images accurate, high-quality, and in line with modern design conventions?
Creating high quality content that’s built to last isn’t the easiest thing you can do in the course of an inbound marketing campaign. However, the long term positive impact of evergreen content on organic visibility, link building strategy and overall value as a brand can be huge.
If you’d like more support in creating your own evergreen link building strategy, or to understand its place in a broader digital marketing strategy, talk to our content marketing experts today!