It’s that time of year again – spring is just around the corner and it’s time to open the windows and start spring cleaning. Just as “less is more” applies to spring cleaning old household item you no longer want or need, it’s also applicable to blog content on your website. In this blog we’ll walk through the benefits of “going evergreen” and how to identify content worth updating to keep your blog fresh and relevant.
What are the benefits of evergreen content?
Evergreen is defined as “retaining freshness or interest; universally and continually relevant.” When applied to blog content this means simply taking a piece of content that you’ve created, refreshing it with the latest information relevant to your industry and the topic, then re-posting it. There are a variety of benefits for updating your blog content.
No SEO penalty
First, there’s no SEO penalty. I’ve had some clients protest that taking “down” their three year old content will give them a rankings penalty. While it’s true Google does love long-standing websites, Google has the same love for content that’s original and fresh. By updating your existing blog content – but not creating a new page or modifying the original blog’s URL – you can transfer the ‘juice’ or page authority the original blog earned over time while getting the benefits of offering fresh content and relevant keywords. Win-win!
Secondly, you have more authority in your industry if you’re using the latest terms. In digital marketing, terminology change at a blistering rate. If you’re still referring to something by an outdated term it was called 5 years ago you’re not viewed as having the same credibility as someone who’s using more up-to-date terminology. More credibility builds trust which can lead to revenue.
Focuses on what customers care about
In any given industry there are a certain number of core pain points and solutions. By re-visiting an older blog that performed well and updating you’re focusing on what your prospects and customers care about. being more efficient with your existing content.
Of course, if you have to update the URL, be sure to setup a 301 beforehand to make sure readers go to the correct blog (we can assist with this).
How do you identify evergreen content?
When identifying ideal content to make evergreen, re-read the blog then ask yourself a few basic questions to see if it passes the fresh test. Is it still relevant to my customers and industry? Was it a popular blog at one time? Are the terms and keywords still used by customers today? Can it be easily updated without changing the URL?
Here are 4 time saving tips to help you decide which content to update and which to leave alone.
Avoid time-sensitive topics
For example, take care not to evergreen your time-sensitive content. Don’t bother updating a blog about that conference you attended 3 years ago or the major industry news that broke 2 years ago. While blogging in support of conference attendance or breaking news is part of a sound content marketing strategy, they are no longer fresh or relevant to your audience.
Choose content that your readers loved
Think of the most influential content you’ve made. A quick way to remember what resonated the most is to check Google Analytics on your prior blogs and short list topics that were well-received, shared often and read a lot over time. Remember that blog post you made about when that important regulation changed? What’s stopping you from going back and covering how that’s impacted your industry? You can always link to the older breaking new blog as a reference, but it’s not worth updating the original content as it’s no longer breaking news.
Update your terminology and search terms
In many industries, buzzwords and keywords change a lot. The keywords your old posts were optimized for could be outdated terms that aren’t being searched anymore. For example, in June 2018 Google’s paid search platform Adwords was refreshed and re-branded as Google Ads. The best performing search terms and meaning behind a lot of our own posts focused around pay per click marketing have changed. To stay relevant, we are running our own spring cleaning initiative to review old posts and update keywords as necessary.
Other content topics to consider are any how-to blogs you’ve written in the past. Your customers are always interested in learning how to do something whether it’s learning how to maximize their purchase or how to use it in conjunction with something else. Update your how-to to the latest and greatest version and readers will find value from your post. For example, we wrote a how-to for Google Ads to help our readers navigate their way around the new interface. Readers always need to get started or get better at things!
Need some helpful guidance around content marketing?
If you’ve read all this and are feeling a little overwhelmed around how to keep evergreen blog content fresh, don’t worry, we can help. Email me to set up a conversation about what state your site’s content is in, and we”ll share how we could help.
Ethan Dennett is an Account Manager at Stikky Media. Contact him at ethan[at]stikkymedia.com