If you wake up to numerous friends and colleagues sharing news articles on Facebook every morning, you may have already noticed the powerful ability of news to spread (and fast). However, the downside of news is its tendency to age or ‘die’ in a matter of days.

Evergreen Content Can Provide A Base Traffic Source You Can Rely On

‘Evergreen’ content is called evergreen because it attracts a sustained influx of visitors for years (reminiscent of how evergreen trees are able to retain their leaves throughout the seasons). News posts are more likely to provide a large burst of traffic that dies down in a few days, while evergreen articles may take a longer time to gain a footing in search results.

This is why you might write a long form how-to guide and find that it only get 50 views in 2 months! After seeing results such as that and finding that a news post can bring in higher traffic on the first day, intuition would suggest writing more news posts as many do.

The best things in life require the most patience, and I wrote several long form how-to guides on Kompulsa, each of which experienced that same disappointing traffic after a couple of months. Traffic going to those articles really started to pick up after 3-6 months, but didn’t peak until about 12 months after they were published.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you must wait a year. Results vary with the type of article written, but it does mean that you should give articles time and share them often to help speed up the process of raising their search engine rankings. Those articles are now my greatest traffic sources, competing at the level of news posts.

The increase in search engine ranking is helped by social media activity because of a key correlation: Shareable content (content that people want to share, such as exciting news or something that readers think may be useful to their peers). Websites are more likely to link to shareable content, and inbound links to your article are a ranking factor. Other writers may also link to your article as their source if they are covering the same story.

What Constitutes An Evergreen Article?

Examples of evergreen articles include (and these are not guaranteed to last long, but are likely to):

  • Instructional/how-to guides that will be useful for years to come (For example: “How to beat today’s traffic on the way to Walmart’s Black Friday sale” is not evergreen).
  • Opinion editorials on issues that will remain relevant for years to come, For example: “The Economic Impact Of Raising Taxes On The Rich” could last years. On the other hand, something like “The Economic Impact Of Tax Bill X If It Passes” could die out in a matter of months (or worse).
  • Reference material. So a guide explaining how to remove rust from a car battery’s terminals could last longer than a guide explaining how to replace the screen on a Samsung Galaxy J2 Pro. The rust guide applies to virtually all cars, and for years to come.
  • Reference material that is likely to be more useful a little later on. This one requires patience and the ROI may take longer. For example: A 2019 car is going to need maintenance when it gets older. If you write a guide explaining how to replace a certain part, people may need that a few years from now. You also risk getting no traffic for that article for years until that model gets old.

While we mentioned earlier that news posts aren’t a form of evergreen content, they can make a great addition to your website and should definitely be a part of your content strategy. They can generate a social media buzz that will help your search engine ranking and gain you followers on social media. This will in turn help you to garner inbound links from websites with a higher page rank and that will help your evergreen articles grow over the long term. Good luck!

And as always:

Stay hungry, stay foolish!