Evergreen content is any piece of search engine optimized writing, graphic design, video or audio on a topic of durably high interest to readers. By being so long-lived, evergreen content can generate considerable backlinks, organic traffic and potential customers for websites.
What are examples of evergreen content and topics?
Content marketers use evergreen content to drive lead generation, build brand awareness and boost Domain Authority. Readers will come back to evergreen content time and again, often many years after its initial publication.
Indeed, even though an evergreen piece may be relatively old content, it can continue to rank highly by providing answers and guidance that are continually relevant and by being a key node within a company’s link building strategy. Along with more topical and seasonal content, evergreen content is a staple of content marketing.
Let’s look at a high-ranking evergreen content example to see the logic of an evergreen content strategy. If you ask Google “How to clean a cast-iron skillet,” one of the top results is from The Kitchn.
Click through and you get a guide with a list of the materials you’ll need and steps to take. Whether you were reading this article in 1995 or 2025, the guidance within this evergreen piece would still be relevant, hence the name — like a bristlecone pine, evergreen content is designed to last.
Elsewhere within TheKitchn.com domain, this piece is frequently linked to, since it’s germane to basically any discussion of cast-iron skillets and doesn’t become dated. The following more recent story evaluating 5 different cast-iron cleaning methods links back to the older evergreen article.
This type of internal linking helps this evergreen content example stay high up in search engine positioning. But more importantly, people will always be asking what’s the best way to clean a cast-iron pan, and so the organic traffic should keep flowing as long as there aren’t any broken links.
Some other examples of evergreen content ideas include:
- How to cook [basically anything]: Food and cooking techniques don’t change all that much over time, making these how-to posts a prime type of evergreen content.
- How to do [exercise technique]: Similarly, exercise is literally an ancient art and science, and the correct way to do a pull up won’t change in the long run.
- Common mistakes in [niche area of expertise or industry]: Lists of mistakes — or conversely, tips — are great fits for evergreen content.
Similarly, an evergreen strategy could also try:
- What is drywall made of?: Questions like this one have a single clear, right answer, making them ideal topics for evergreen articles.
- Reasons to implement cloud-based HR software: Longer-form evergreen content, like white papers and eBooks, can target these types of topics for consistent traffic generation.
Not all topics can be evergreen, though. Here are some examples:
- What is Google Panda?: Panda was all the rage for what felt like two days in 2011. Today, a post on this subject is basically a look at a trending topic from another era. There have been multiple search engine algorithm updates for ranking content since, and so knowing the answer is no longer pressing.
- What’s the Gonzaga-UCLA score?: Sports scores are only of high search engine interest in the moment. The people who really care won’t be looking them up later on.
- When is the 2024 U.S. presidential election?: This is a specific date and won’t be of interest even a day after the election occurs. Search engine interest will plummet.
To visualize the difference between evergreen and topical content – e.g., stories on trending topics), look at this Google Trends chart on “how to clean a cast iron pan” vs. “gonzaga ucla score” going all the way back to 2004:
Two things stand out:
- The consistency of interest in cast-iron cleaning, with a slight progression starting in the early 2010s.
- The surge in the score interest in 2021, the date of the most famous Gonzaga-UCLA meeting.
Why is evergreen content important?
Evergreen content’s value appreciates over time, in direct contrast to more topical content. It will likely generate cumulatively more organic traffic, since it won’t plummet to zero and never recover.
Think of it like this: Whereas evergreen content is akin to shelf-stable goods that can be stored for years at a time, topical content — like a blog post recapping a recent industry talk — has a quick sell-by date, sort of like soft cheeses.
Looking at our Google Trends chart, you might ask: Why invest in niche, cast-iron-centric content when being able to hit a gold mine like “Gonzaga-UCLA score and recap” will get way more peak interest?
Because evergreen articles are built to last. Every time someone reads through or creates a backlink to your how-to evergreen piece, it gains credibility with search engines. Gradually, that evergreen content becomes a trusted source of information that begins ranking higher for its keywords.
Evergreen marketing content can take numerous forms, but it most commonly manifests as one of the following content types:
- Blog posts.
- White papers.
- Case studies.
- Instructional videos.
- Landing pages.
Across these forms, content creators aim to create something that will have ongoing relevance. Evergreen articles and other kinds of collateral support an overall content marketing strategy by:
- Maintaining prominent search engine positioning: Great content on evergreen topics gets indexed and ranked highly by search engines, with relatively low risk of falling in the rankings due to being outdated, a major risk for all topical content.
- Being linkable and shareable: An evergreen piece is also easier to backlink or share on social media than almost any other post, since it’s always timely. Evergreen articles are perfect for internal backlinks, responses to questions on social media and references within email newsletters, among other use cases.
- Requiring less new work or ongoing maintenance: Instead of churning out lots of new content all the time, creating evergreen pieces lets teams do more with less. That existing content will generate the organic traffic that is so valuable for attracting potential customers and scaling content marketing campaigns accordingly. Evergreen content has high ROI.
For one last visualization of why evergreen content is important, consider the following Google Trends chart comparing the search terms “drywall” and “Tax Day.” The latter is clearly seasonal content and ultimately won’t drive as much organic traffic as the former, which is relevant all the time — i.e., evergreen.
How to develop an evergreen content strategy
Let’s say someone has a gardening blog and wants to pursue a beginner-friendly content strategy. Although they likely have some good evergreen content ideas in their head already, they’ll want to be systematic in choosing and developing topics as part of a content marketing strategy.
The following process works pretty reliably for evergreen content ideation:
1. Find the right keywords and keyphrases
What are people trying to learn about gardening? Search engine results pages are a good starting point.
All of these queries are evergreen-friendly and may be worth targeting through keywords. Going deeper, a marketer may choose to use a content marketing tool like SEMrush to gauge search volume, competition, cost per click and other metrics.
For example, the image below was taken within the SEMrush Topic Research tool. The search term is “gardening for beginners” and the results show some of the evergreen articles driving organic traffic.
Notice “green beans” at the top left corner has a search volume of 60,500. Beneath that is a list of topics performing well for that particular term.
2. Look for positive or stable search trends
Evergreen content is not seasonal content or targeted at trending topics. Accordingly, it should have a flat or, preferably, positive trend in its search traffic over time, without a bunch of huge spikes and drops.
Here’s “green beans” vs. “pumpkins.” It’s clear which one is evergreen and which one is seasonal.
3. Get input on evergreen ideas from sales teams
Because sales professionals talk to prospects all the time, they can be useful resources when developing ideas for an evergreen content strategy. They might offer concrete examples of specific pain points and questions that can be converted into topics.
For example, if an evergreen piece will discuss gardening tools, sales teams could provide input on what type of knowledge the prospective audience would already have, if any. This evergreen article from Garden Design is well-optimized for beginners, but content creators might also go after an expert audience in other circumstances.
On the other end of the spectrum, here’s an explainer on how to enable WPA3 security on different types of routers. This article expects readers to already know basics such as, “how to log in to a router via a web browser” but even as a more advanced topic, it’s still evergreen. Router interfaces and WPA standards are both long-lived.
4. Choose appropriate visuals, audio and graphics
Evergreen pieces aren’t just written content. Videos, webinars, podcasts and other formats can have long shelf lives, too. Visual content like infographics and videos in particular are often easier to recall than a written equivalent, making them well-suited to evergreen topics.
This YouTube video on long division is still one of the top-ranking results for the evergreen topic “how to do long division,” even though it was published in 2013.
Moreover, written content can benefit from adding pictures or illustrations, as these visuals can help boost recall and in turn elevate the evergreen article’s number of backlinks and shares.
This blog post that ranks highly for “why to recycle” includes a helpful illustration that becomes the thumbnail when shared on Twitter. It is also prominent in Google Images search results.
5. Update evergreen articles as needed
Just because evergreen content is meant to last doesn’t mean you won’t ever have to touch it again. Other content may begin outranking it. Its tips might need to be expanded or its imagery redone for higher-resolution displays. The above recycling image might benefit from an update to make it less pixelated.
When updating evergreen articles, fixing any broken links is paramount. Even if the piece itself hasn’t changed much, the rest of the website might have in the meantime. Similarly, replacing low-traffic keyword targets with ones seeing more activity is important during re-optimization.
How to use evergreen pieces in content marketing
Evergreen content can be used at the top of the funnel for traffic and lead generation. It may also support sales enablement during the consideration or intent phase, or it could be integral to advocacy marketing.
For instance, an FAQ-style eBook or an evergreen blog post on a specific question could work either as a top-of-funnel asset or as an ongoing resource for sales teams. It might also become a powerful tool for existing customers to advocate for a business on social media.
Look at this tweet from 2018, where a Twitter account shares a picture of an eBook about deploying to OpenShift:
— RyanJ 🤲💉🦾 (@ryanj) August 29, 2018
This same eBook is a fixture of Red Hat OpenShift’s content marketing strategy. Note the inclusion of the link to this eBook on the landing page below:
Across these two locations, we can see how evergreen content creates a virtuous cycle of reaching potential customers who in turn re-share the asset to reach additional people. Overall, a powerful symbiosis exists between evergreen content and brand advocacy.
Evergreen content types like eBooks, case studies and customer testimonials are especially useful here. Even when they become old content, they serve as something akin to reference material for the audience, and the re-sharing of them is good for both social media prominence and search engine positioning of the pages they live on.
For blog posts, backlinking is similarly beneficial. Google PageRank, in fact, has always given backlinks importance in determining how to position search results and establish a page’s credibility. Planning a blog post before writing it can help improve its relevance and its position in a link building strategy.
Customer service interactions are another major forum for evergreen content distribution, such as linking to an FAQ page. Apple does this all the time by linking to knowledge base pages about how to reinstall an operating system or adjust a setting.
Sharing evergreen content on social media
As we’ve seen with the Twitter examples already, social media plays a key role in evergreen content distribution. According to Social Media Hat contributor Mike Allton, there is a content marketing strategy called “forever sharing” in which an organization continually posts its evergreen content in a repeating cycle across all social media channels. This is easy to do with a social media scheduler.
Here’s a simple example from DuckDuckGo’s official Twitter account. The profile frequently links to this evergreen piece on privacy, whether in its own threads or in response to other accounts:
Google embedded a new tracking method called FLoC in Chrome & is turning it on by default.
Consequently, we’ve enhanced the tracker blocking in our Chrome extension to block FLoC (update pending store approval).
— DuckDuckGo (@DuckDuckGo) April 9, 2021
This quick Twitter search surfaces other instances in which the account has reposted this evergreen piece.
Done properly, this type of sharing gives evergreen pieces the exposure they need to continue performing for years to come. And that’s the whole point of evergreen content — to stay fresh all the time and not fade with the news cycle.
Editor’s Note: Updated April 2021.