In this age of digital marketing, the success of your business is often connected to your ability to bring potential customers to your website.
As the latest content marketing statistics show, one of the best ways to do that is by offering relevant and helpful content.
If you plan to go down this route and you have your eyes set on the long-term results, here is some advice on how to increase organic traffic towards your website by creating and promoting evergreen content.
What is evergreen content
Evergreen content is any type of content you produce and publish that revolves around a subject area that will be relevant for a longer period of time.
The idea is to cover topics that will be interesting to your target audience in 5 years as much as they are now.
While big lists, how to guides, instructional videos, and other longer formats are more suited for covering evergreen topics, as long as you chose the right topic, you are good to go.
What type of content works best as evergreen content
Again, evergreen content isn’t really limited by the type of content – infographic, blog post, calculator, video – everything you can put on your website and build links to can eventually help you increase organic traffic.
What does matter, as it is a part of the definition of evergreen content, are the contents of your content 🙂
Simply put, you have to concentrate on topics that are not constrained by a certain year, a technology development, current trends, or anything else that can make them fail the test of time.
For example, writing an ultimate guide about the current Android OS can hardly classify as evergreen content when the new one is already on the horizon. By the time you rank your post, the search volume for your intended keyword will significantly drop as technology moves on.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about content depth.
If increasing your organic traffic is your ultimate goal, we recommend that you focus on creating in-depth evergreen content as the data shows it tends to rank better in search results. Disregarding the notion that Google somewhat favors in-depth content over short pieces, the fact is that people are more inclined to link and share comprehensive articles which means you will ultimately have an easier time promoting and ranking your content.
How can it help increase organic traffic
As something that stays relevant for a long time, evergreen content is an excellent way to boost your organic traffic.
There are a lot of small things that indirectly work in the favor of evergreen content.
By being relevant for a long period of time, you have plenty of opportunities to try and rank it high enough.
By being resource-intensive, it makes your competitors think twice before they decide to compete with you and try to steal your hard-earned traffic.
By being long, there is a higher chance that your content will start to rank for multiple keywords which will further increase your organic traffic. A good example is our in-depth review of best blogger outreach tools which ranks for all kind of keywords even when we mostly concentrated on “outreach tools”.
Lastly, you should never underestimate the value of steady traffic. Since overall traffic seems to be an important ranking signal, having pieces that bring you steady traffic give you more room to concentrate on creating new content that will bring additional traffic to your website.
How to choose a suitable subject area
A) Don’t skip keyword research
In the context of increasing organic traffic, keyword research is the most important part of the equation. Spending resources on creating and promoting content developed around the wrong keyword can have a detrimental effect on your ROI.
The trick is in concentrating on the keywords that have a decent search volume and YOU can realistically rank for. The focus is on YOU because this depends on your resources and your current position in the market.
For example, if you are already an established brand and have $10k you can spend on developing and promoting your content, then you can go for highly competitive keywords.
Smaller businesses, on the other hand, need to be aware of their limitations and adjust their strategy accordingly.
Here are some tips to get you going:
- avoid keywords with really low search volume (the only exception to that rule are money keywords, even though it is debatable if something can be considered a money keyword if it has almost no traffic)
- don’t get blinded by high search volumes and always examine Keyword Difficulty
- be careful about keywords with double meaning (e.g. “asset management” – a keyword with strong connotations in both maintenance and finance industries; what is the point of having high organic traffic if the website visitors are not interested in your business and are going to bounce as soon as the page loads)
B) Explore the web
Before you commit to a topic, it is a good idea to check the quality of content that covers the selected area.
You can do this by Googling or you can review top ranking content while doing a keyword research if you are using a tool like Ahrefs.
Inspecting competitor’s content is important because it lets you know at what level your content has to be, to exceed the value given in the content that is already out there.
If you don’t think you can make a better piece, you should consider searching for another topic or at least adjust your initial idea to focus on the specific area that you think could be covered in more depth. It is easier to “steal” someone’s audience and increase your organic traffic if you bring something better/unique to the table.
Here are some technical flaws a high ranking content could have that you could possibly exploit:
- Outdated content – even some evergreen topics need to be updated from time to time to stay relevant
- Shallow content – it is not that rare to come across high-ranking content that isn’t really bringing that much value because it has no real competition; this is your chance to change that
- Poor structure – longer pieces need to be well-structured if you want people to read through the whole thing
- Visually repellent content – goes hand in hand with structure; lack of screenshots, pictures, videos, custom graphics and other rich content is another area you could improve upon if you decide to create a piece on the same topic
C) Take advantage of personal experience
As niches get more and more saturated with content, saying something unique and creating an added value gets increasingly difficult.
One way to combat that problem is to focus on content where you can provide personal insights. That is not to say you should only cover topics you have personal experience with, but it is something to keep in mind.
Readers tend to recognize when something is just a rehashed version of thoughts that are floating around the internet and sharing something you’ve personally learned is always a big plus.
In the end, the quality of your content has a direct impact on its ability to bring in organic traffic.
Increase organic traffic through link building and promotion
As organic traffic is closely tied to your rankings, doing promotion and link building is unavoidable.
While link building should be your main focus, a research done by SEMrush suggest there are other important ranking signals (which ultimately impact your organic traffic) you need to be aware of.
Even though most of these signals refer to the on-page optimization of your content, for them to start working in your favor, you need to bring some people to your post.
Since it is going to take a while until people start finding it organically, here are some things you should do parallel with link building to raise awareness about your recently published evergreen content.
This one is a no-brainer. Push the content on all of you active social media networks. Share it on Facebook, pin it on Twitter, distribute it on Google+, throw it on LinkedIn – I’m running out of verbs here so I’m going to stop – but you get the point.
Paid promotion might be a problem if your budget is tight but it should not be overlooked. Facebook PPC (or any other network you are active on) aside, there are other paid promotion options.
We recently tried out QUUU. It is a content sharing platform that isn’t especially expensive but the results look promising so you might want to look into it.
Another way to bring some interested audience to your blog is to answer questions on relevant forums and Q&A sites.
The idea is to find questions related to the evergreen piece you just published and give a comprehensive answer which contains the link to your post.
Now, forums can be tricky because a lot of them will require you to have a certain number of (upvoted) answers before you can even give replies that can contain a link which means that if you are not already active on some of them, you will probably want to sit this one out.
Luckily, Q&A sites like Quora and Reddit don’t have that requirement. However, if you really want to get some referral traffic through these answers, you will have to take your time and give comprehensive answers.
Reddit users especially are annoyed by answers given for marketing purposes and if they feel you are there just to leave a link…
You have to admit that sending someone you have never been in touch before an 800-word piece to review and share just seems wrong. Which is why people rarely do it.
The reason why it seems wrong is because, deep-down, you know that a few thoughts you put into that article don’t bring enough value for a link or share from a cold audience.
Things completely change when it comes to long-form evergreen content. A guide with over 4 or 5 thousand words means you had to put a lot of effort into it so even the cold audience will be more inclined to give it a chance.
If you have enough resources, make a blogger outreach campaign and send your piece to the audience that might be interested in it. You can ask for shares, comments, insights you can add to the article and so on.
The more eyes your content gets, the stronger the signal to Google that you created something worth reading about.
Our example of evergreen content
Things are always best explained on an example so here goes a quick run of our most successful evergreen piece so far.
STEP #1 – Topic selection
We wanted to increase organic traffic in the area of link building and content marketing. We only had 2 conditions:
- it had to be an evergreen topic
- it had to cover something we had experience with
After some brainstorming and keyword research, we decided to create content around target audience analysis.
Now it was time to see what exactly should the article concentrate on. To our delightful surprise, all content revolving around target audience analysis only touched on specific parts and there was actually no comprehensive guide that describes the process from start to finish.
This made the decision really easy and the production of a Complete Guide To Target Audience Analysis could begin.
STEP #2 – Content development
We knew that the piece is going to be quite long so we tried to make sure it:
- Has a good flow so it is easy to read and follow
- Is well-structured with clear subheadings and a simple navigation through a content table that is at the beginning of the article
- Has lots of screenshots and custom images that break up the text and add additional value to the article
- Offers actionable advice readers can use in their campaigns
Did we succeed in doing that? Well, that is for you to decide. We didn’t receive any complaints so far 🙂
STEP #3 – Content Promotion & Link building
We did everything mentioned. Paid (FB PPC + QUUU) and regular content promotion through social media, answers on forums and Quora, even republished the piece on some content sharing sites like Medium.
All of that was followed up with some blogger outreach promotion. We sent the piece to different marketing agencies and editors at marketing publications with an invite to share the article if they like it and get back to us with any relevant comments we could use to make the piece even better.
STEP #4 – Success
A few months later we were able to get the article to rank as #1 for the keyword “target audience analysis” which was pretty nice. As I mentioned in the beginning, an added benefit of bigger pieces is that you organically get to rank for multiple keywords, which you can also see on the picture below where our piece ranks for over 350 keywords.
STEP #5 – Regular updates
The last thing you want to do is to get your piece ranking well and then forget about it. Even meticulously chosen evergreen topics will have certain areas that will become outdated.
So the last piece of advice I’m going to give you here is to schedule review and updates to your content at least 2 times a year to ensure you are not giving your audience outdated and incorrect information.
Off you go
Increasing organic traffic through evergreen content does require some patience and resources but it is one of the best decisions you can make if you are aiming for long-term results.
I hope we shed enough light on this topic that you are willing to give it a try since we are big believers in evergreen content.
Do you think we missed something important? Start the discussion in the comments below and let’s see if you are right 🙂