In April, I called evergreen content a magical piece of content that continues to drive traffic to your site. My assumption was that every marketer or entrepreneur wants to write high-quality content that can converse readers into buyers and continues to do so. I was a little surprised to find some authors describing topical content as a great way of driving traffic to your website. I am ready to learn every day, so I want to explore the concept here.
In this blog, you will find explanations of what evergreen content and topical content are. You will also find ways in which topical content and evergreen content are useful.
What is evergreen content?
As described in my blog ‘How to Write Evergreen Content,’ evergreen content is high-quality, useful content that is relevant to readers for a long period of time, which means that this content means something to a visitor who found the post the day it was published and to a visitor who reads it six months later. It has continued, sustained success.
Kevan Lee explains: “Couple amazing content with timelessness, and you start to see the value of evergreen. Traffic, engagement, and conversions do not just peak once and then trail off. They grow over time. The timelessness of evergreen content ensures that it stays relevant. The high quality of evergreen content ensures that it gets traffic.”
Evergreen content is the foundation of evergreen marketing, which is, according to Marketing Artfully “implementing the marketing concepts and practices that transcend the latest fad and providing long lasting, duplicable expertise, which will work across a variety of marketing platforms and mediums.” The site lists four concepts of evergreen marketing: great branding, your logo, your keywords, and your products. My blog ‘The Ultimate Guide to Evergreen Marketing for Entrepreneurs’ explains the concept in detail and provides you with many, many tips, including 49 blogging ideas.
Requirements evergreen content
What are the requirements to make content evergreen? According to Studyweb.com, content is evergreen if:
- the content is highly ‘Google-able’; it should answer common questions that are constantly relevant to searchers
- the content is interesting long past its publication date
- the content can pull in traffic consistently over months or years
- the content lacks an expiry date
Studyweb.com highlights that evergreen content bolsters Search Engine Optimization (SEO), helps with link building and ensures Google sees your blog as a source of quality information. Why would you not want that?
What is topical content?
AtomicReach.com describes topical content as something related to the current developments in your industry. It is usually advanced, up-to-date, and relevant for the customers that are fairly experienced and well-versed with your industry. When you create topical content, it helps your savvy audiences make a better marketing or purchasing decision. They warn that topical content can seem complicated and hard to digest to new users though. Their examples of topical content include blog posts related to industry developments or news and blog posts related to current events.
Steve Conway uses harder words to describe topical content: “The best way of describing topical content is by saying it is more of a news topic about something that has happened recently. It is the content you will see getting shared around Facebook for a few days until there is updated news to be shared. It gives marketers instant exposure, but when users read it three months down the line, it is useless.” Hooray for instant exposure, but who wants to have useless content on their website?
AtomicReach.com tries to soften that last blow: “The benefits of topic content are that it drives seasonable traffic if your content pieces rank well for seasonable keywords. However, you need also keep in mind that the topics around seasonable content may not sustain the surge of traffic over a long period of time.”
By using the words seasonal, they make it sound as if the news comes back every year. I disagree with this description. One form of evergreen content is holiday posts: a blog about Christmas may not drive traffic in June, but it will continue to do so in December every year. A blog about current news will not have relevance at a regular interval.
Topical content is great for instant success
The main benefit of topical content is that the latest news posts on social media, for example, are instantly as popular as something that has been around for weeks. Conway claims that many marketers love topical content marketing because of this, but that others prefer evergreen content because they know it is going to be of value to readers for months or years. Some websites prowl the web for trending content and then publish their version of it with a social media optimized headline. They get the temporary instant traffic from all the social media shares but their long-term traffic from these posts is extremely low.
Topical content is bad for long-term success
Nathan Ellering of Co-Schedule claims that you can get up to 283% more results if you focus on evergreen content and urges you to create evergreen content instead of “newsy or seasonal stuff.” He published two blog posts around New Year that have little value now, and that reeled in 58% fewer page views and 88% fewer email subscribers than their average blog posts. I do not know what he bases the 283% on, but the other statistics sound bad enough.
Mix of topical content and evergreen content
AtomicReach.com thinks you should go for a mix between topical content and evergreen content. This ideal mix largely depends on your business goals and the types of audiences you want to attract to your website. Moreover, it depends on your marketing goals. Whom do you want to target? Do you want to educate them or convert them into buyers? Even though the results are tilted in favor of evergreen content, you should still cover seasonal content and cover industry developments every now and then. They find it ideal to publish at least one post about current topics and four articles around evergreen content.