Evergreen and Fresh Content: A Key Balance For Website Performance

When you think of “evergreen” you typically think of a pine tree, or a coniferous tree if you want to get technical. It never drops its needles, so it is prickly all year round. On the other hand, you have those non-evergreens, the deciduous trees that drop their leaves in fall and are left bare until Spring. Now this is all pretty basic stuff, we learned it somewhere in middle school, but these terms gain a whole new meaning in the marketing world. Content can be both evergreen or fresh, so we must remain aware of what type of content we are producing and how the two types fit together.

What is Evergreen Content?

So, let’s explain evergreen content in less “tree” terms and more content terms. Evergreen content is content that is relevant all year round and for years on end, but it is also consistent so it does not require updates. Consequently, evergreen content is based on an evergreen topic. Some examples of evergreen content would be “how to check your oil in your car” or “how to make a pie crust.” Both of these processes are always relevant and the process is not changing, so the content continues to be relevant for years after it is published. Also, these topics are not seasonal and are relevant at any time of the year so there is no cap on their relevance.

Why is Evergreen Content important?

We already touched on this, but evergreen content is valuable because it does not require constant updates and it can just continue to drive traffic. You can just create it and let it be. You don’t need to keep checking up on it, updating it, changing it, adding to it, etc. because it should remain relevant for a long time. So instead of having to spend time checking up on your past content, you can use that valuable time for something else.

Evergreen content can also generate a steady flow of page visits and interest. Because evergreen content does not become outdated, that means that evergreen content can generate more traffic and popularity over time. It is content that will continue to promote your company and create value for consumers, even long after you create it. It can help develop loyal followers of your content. It may not be breaking news, but it is content that will continue to deliver value for a lot of people for a long time. It can also help earn credibility and help you to be seen as an expert in your field.

What is Fresh Content?

So, while evergreen content will remain relevant for the long-term, fresh content is frequently changing. Fresh content can be seasonal, so it is only relevant for part of the year (e.g. best activities to do at Christmas) or it could have a natural timestamp on it (e.g. best cars of 2019). Fresh content might also just be very innovative, for example, the topic is a new process or software that is only being introduced, so it will continue to change and advance, which means that your content will need to be updated. Some more examples of fresh content would be “the most popular toys for Christmas 2019” or “the best locations for spring break.” Both of these topics may generate a lot of views right before Spring Break or Christmas, but they will only be relevant for a short amount of time before they are obsolete or need to be updated.

Why is Fresh Content important?

Seasonal content may just sound inconvenient compared to evergreen content, but it also has value because it is up to date. Seasonal content stays with the times and hops on trends. With seasonal content, you have to go back to update or change the content, but it tells about breaking news or new products. Having fresh content also helps companies look more up-to-date and trendy because they deliver current news. Instead of looking out-of-date, fresh content makes companies look innovative.

Fresh content is also valuable for social media. New, real-time data is more likely to be shared or posted on social media platforms. This helps to generate more views and can introduce more new consumers to the company. It also encourages greater consumer engagement with your brand. That current and changing content is very valuable in drawing in readers and keeping them interested.

Evergreen vs. Fresh Content

As you can see, both of these types of content are important. Seasonal content may require more upkeep, but it can attract new people and get people engaged in a short amount of time, while evergreen content is pretty self-sustaining, but it does not have quite the draw that fresh content does. Evergreen content is always there like old faithful, reliable, while fresh content has a shorter lifespan, unless you are putting in the time to make changes and updates. Drawing on the examples from before, directions on how to make a pie crust is not going to suddenly peak everyone’s interest because it’s the same old, same old, but a guide to the best Christmas toys for that year will get people’s attention for a short amount of time.

It is also important to fit these two types together. A website should not just rely on one or the other, instead it should use both types of content to draw in and attract consumers. Each type of content has a unique purpose, but when they are joined together, they are much more effective. Using only fresh content would require lots of updating and time to work on it. While using only evergreen content would not require many man-hours, but the content would not be up to date on the latest events or trends.

Finding the Balance Between Evergreen & Fresh Content

As with most things, balance is key. Use fresh content to attract more people in a short amount of time and use evergreen content to continue to bring in people for the long run. Evergreen content can draw in people repeatedly over time, while fresh content can draw in new and returning users in a short amount of time. However, one important overarching rule is that the content must be relevant to the site and the brand. Both the fresh and evergreen content must be on topics that fit into the site so that both types of content remain relevant to each other. The overall goal is to bring in more people to help generate more conversions, so both evergreen and fresh content can do that. While fresh and evergreen content can also help introduce a user to the other type. A consumer might go onto the site to see their fresh content, but then they find valuable evergreen content along the way. A consumer may even read the evergreen content on a site and then find their fresh content.

The Takeaways

Let’s boil this down to a few key points…

  • Evergreen content is always relevant, so it does not need updating and will continue to generate interest
  • Fresh content is only relevant for a short amount of time, so it will generate more interest in a short amount of time before it is irrelevant or requires an update.
  • You must find a balance of fresh and evergreen content because the use of both will achieve optimum results by attracting new consumers and then retaining them.

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