What is the main reason you use content marketing on your website? As per Content Marketing Institute survey for 2018, over 90% of brands use it, but less than a half believe they’re good at building a decent content strategy.
Content brings your website traffic, backlinks, leads, followers, and customers. And thus, it’s your way to get money. That’s why you should focus on making your content highly effective! If it’s hard for you to decide what type of content will work the best for your website – you should definitely read this article.
“Trending” (or seasonal) and “evergreen” are two the most general content types. They both are essential for a blog, and both bring traffic but in different ways.
When Do You Need Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is often compared to pine trees that never lose their foliage. In this light, evergreen content never comes out of fashion. Here are its benefits for a website:
- Evergreen content never expires. Trends are changing from year to year. But evergreen topics will always stay on demand.
- It brings a stable amount of traffic to your website. Since it almost never loses its positions, it will supply your website with a constant flow of visitors, leads, backlinks, shares and more.
- Evergreen content requires a hard and well-thought out work from your side. But your efforts are rewarded with stable traffic flow through the years.
When Do You Need Trending Content
Trending content may hit the traffic jackpot if done at the right time. But it loses its positions shortly and may not pay off in future.
- News, fads, seasonal events usually get more attention at first. Thus, if you post an article with Christmas freebies, you may expect a high spike in traffic during the holiday season.
- Attention to trends and seasonal events is a signal for users that your company is aware of what’s going on in its niche. It helps build trust and show to customers that you are ready to respond to their needs and requests.
- Seasonal content requires less time and effort to create. It can be a short piece of trending information or a list of tips/freebies. But you should pay high attention to keywords since you may spot a high competition with other brands that decided to use the same topic.
How to Balance Both
It’s essential to find a happy medium and fill out your website with both types of content: evergreen and trending.
Know Your Audience
You should examine what are your audience’s needs and always be ready to answer them. The content you post on your website should be relevant to your users. So, doesn’t matter if you post an evergreen guide or a list of free tools to replace Photoshop, you should make sure it is exactly what your audience needs at the moment.
- Explore your niche communities on social networks and find out what are the most common issues your potential customers report.
- Keep in touch with your users on your social media pages, support chats, comments to your previous content, etc.
Check Out the Search Demand
When you already know in what topics your readers are interested in, you should check out what keywords you may use to get your content in front of their eyes. You can use many tools to find out the best keywords for your articles. But always keep a ‘searcher’s intent’ in mind.
Google Trends are perfect for exploring keywords not only for trending topics. You can check out the topic for your guide or how-to post and see how it performed through the years. Evergreen topics will usually show a stable graph.
Of course, Google Trends are better to use for searching topics/ keywords for seasonal articles. Thus, seasonal/holiday related keywords will show a spike on a graph when the user’s interest is the highest.
When choosing the best keywords for seasonal topics, it’s important to check out their characteristics. Thus, a huge search volume also means that you will compete with many websites that also choose this keyword as their target one. So it’s important to check out the in advanced tools how difficult it may be to rank for this keyword in Google’s SERP.
Choose a Proper Topic
Topics for seasonal and evergreen content may be absolutely versatile. For evergreen content this may be:
- How-to guides. Universal topics that cover the most popular issues your users report in full are a perfect base for creating guides and how-to articles.
- Tips and tricks. Offer your users a collection of the most useful tips on a topic, list as many of them as possible.
- Checklists are perfect helpers that your users may often refer to. It fits almost any website – from travel blogs to dentist service websites.
- Case studies. It can also include success stories from users that share their experience on the use of your product or service.
Seasonal posts may include:
- Various lists of the ‘Best of the month’ like useful articles, videos, resources, tweets, etc.
- Company news and announcements. You can create regular posts with monthly updates about your company, new features of your product or events.
- Holiday-dedicated posts. Those may include seasonal freebies, tips, recipes, etc.
All posts, evergreen and seasonal, may come in different forms. Thus, you can create infographics, podcasts, videos and other forms of content.
Update Old Posts
Updating existing posts on your blog should become a common practice. Even your evergreen articles need some refresh from time to time to drive more traffic and new leads to your website.
- Rewrite and improve parts of the article from time to time. Add new tips and data but remove recommendations that are not relevant anymore.
- Update META-data and keywords. Run new keyword research to find more relevant keywords that you may target. Improve your title and description with these better keywords.
- Update the publishing date. It signals to Google that your content is ‘fresh.’ Google considers new content as more relevant to users, so your article may be ranked higher due to the date change alone.
A seasonal article may also be updated. Of course, news and announcements are one-time posts, and you shouldn’t focus on them. But you can always upgrade seasonal or holiday-related posts. Thus, cooking websites may easily update ‘Christmas recipes’ article with new recipes or cooking tips.
The Bottom Line
Finding the right balance between seasonal and evergreen content is one of the main tasks for marketers and bloggers. Evergreen content should prevail since it’s your primary source of targeted and high-quality leads. Experiment with the ratio of those two types and find the golden ratio for your website.
Remember: even seasonal content should be useful for your target audience. Don’t chase fads just for the sake of popularity. Attract users who will be interested in reading what you offer them and will return for more content.
About the Author
Helen Stark is a content marketer at Ahrefs. She explores new things every day to impress her readers with catchy stories. Apart from all that marketing stuff, Helen loves listening to rock music, reading and traveling. A lot! Feel free to follow Helen on Twitter and Facebook.