Tag Archive | "Evergreen"

Evergreen Googlebot with Chromium rendering engine: What technical SEOs need to know

Googlebot now supports many more features and will make it easier for developers to ensure their sites work with Googlebot.



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


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Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Search Update, Evergreen GoogleBot, Image Search Features & I/O

This week I covered the monthly Google Webmaster report, so catch up on the past month there. It was Google I/O this week, so a lot of new stuff came out. Google may have done an algorithm update around May 9th…


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20 Types of Evergreen Content that Produce Lasting Results for Your Business

man sitting and overlooking green mountain top

I’m sure you’ve heard this stat: more than two million blog posts go live every single day.

And that’s just talking about blogs. You don’t even want to start contemplating total online content including emails, landing pages, product pages, podcasts, and social media.

Standing out in the deluge is harder than ever. Even for established publishers it’s tough. For beginners … it’s a nightmare.

So, what’s the solution?

While there is no magic bullet for content marketers, there is one type of content that can cut through the noise and deliver long-term results.

It’s called evergreen content.

What is evergreen content?

Evergreen content — like the name implies — is timeless.

These special resources are in-depth examinations of a problem, solution, trend, or topic. They can help your audience find tons of information on a subject that interests them, which adds value to your blog.

For example, Copyblogger used their original evergreen content to create a content library that produced historic results for the site. Visitors can register for a free My Copyblogger membership to get easy access to all of these materials.

Creating evergreen content does require additional time and money, but it’s worth those investments … if you want to rank higher in search engines, drive traffic for years, and help your audience find exactly what they need.

So, do you want to discover what types of evergreen content you could create — with more examples detailing exactly what success looks like?

Well, that’s what this post contains: 20 different evergreen content types, tips on how to make yours stand out, and examples all along the way.

Evergreen data and case studies

Original research and data-driven posts are evergreen gold. Likewise, case studies help show off your expertise by promoting real-world results that attract new prospects.

1. Your own original research

Investing in your own original research is hard, but that’s why it’s at the top of this list. Primary research is unique, exclusive, and — therefore — powerful.

While you might not have the resources of Forrester or Mary Meeker, that doesn’t mean you can’t go mining on your own.

Andy Crestodina does this every year through a simple Google Form for his blogger research survey.

2. “Every flippin’ stat” collection

If you can’t create your own research, the next best thing is to collect stats. This can’t be an exercise in brevity though.

Instead, get exhaustive by assembling 100 or more data points from across your industry. Then either add original commentary that helps your audience make use of the stats or design an infographic to accompany and simplify the content.

3. “Deep dive for success” case study

Case studies are a great two-for-one:

  1. You get to show off your expertise.
  2. You get to tell a story. And everybody loves a good story.

Neil Patel’s How to Write a Perfect Case Study That Attracts High Paying Clients does both brilliantly. On top of that, it gets pretty meta: it’s a case-study guide that is a case study itself.

4. “What went wrong” case study

Even more than success, failure is an effective teacher.

In fact, people often connect with our failures far more than our successes. Failure humanizes us. It evokes empathy and builds trust.

So, muster up the courage to get honest about your biggest flop. In Case Study: 18 Tips to Destroy Your Own Webinar, Emily Hunt takes this track, revealing mistakes and pointing out lessons at every turn.

5. One shocking stat and its consequences

Another creative way to present data is to go small … really, really, really small.

Pick one shocking stat and build an entire article or ebook around it. Explain the stat’s backstory and draw out all the applications you can.

For instance, this article is essentially a response to the problem of content overload and how to overcome those two million blog posts that get published day after day … after day.

Evergreen how-to guides

By breaking down a timeless issue into bite-sized steps, you educate your visitors and provide genuine value. The key is to solve a real problem with a real solution.

For evergreen content, ask yourself:

What hell am I saving my reader from and what heaven will I deliver them unto?

6. How-to for beginners

According to Chip and Dan Heath: “Once we know something … it becomes difficult for us to share our knowledge with others.” Because of this, true beginner guides are few and far between.

For a model, check out How to Write First Blog Post (16,000-word Guide +63 Expert Tips) by Michael Pozdnev. It combines emotion, a free ebook, and advice all centered around taking your very first step into the world of blogging.

7. How-to for advanced users

In many ways, advanced guides are easier to write than beginner guides. Why? Because you and your reader already share expertise and a common, technical language.

But how do you say something genuinely unique and deliver on your promise?

Jason Quey’s The Ultimate Guide to Influencer Marketing starts with data and a bit of groundwork. Then the content reveals Jason’s own templates along with high-level insights from other thought leaders in the space.

8. How-to checklist

The challenge of producing both beginner and advanced guides is how to present a lot of information. Three thousand or more words on any topic is hard to take in.

Enter the checklist. Checklists can stand alone or be added to how-to posts as downloads or content upgrades.

Whichever method you choose, the non-negotiable principle is this: boil it down.

Copyblogger’s Ultimate Copy Checklist ends with a black-and-white poster that helps you easily work through all 51 questions from the article itself.

9. How to do something over time

In addition to “do this now” advice, showing your reader how to accomplish long-term goals is vital. You can do this by breaking down your steps into days, weeks, months, or even an entire year.

How to Create a Social Media Content Calendar for a Year walks visitors through five steps to persevere at social media marketing by moving from the big picture — complete with spreadsheet examples — right down to individual posts.

10. How to pick the best product

Explaining how to pick the best product is a dangerous evergreen gambit. Most guides come across as transparently self-promotional.

To avoid that, make your product tutorial about teaching: provide definitions, collect advice from industry experts, and present impartial reviews from third-party sites.

While they certainly sell their own security software, Heimdal Security’s How to Find the Best Antivirus, the Ultimate Guide nails this tight-rope walk on every front.

Evergreen lists

To help readers navigate through all the content on the web, compile the very best information on a topic and create a list that’s easy to follow. Include detailed commentary that serves your specific niche.

11. Ideas and resources

Creativity is a fickle thing. Sometimes the muse strikes without warning, but rarely does she arrive exactly when we need her most.

Bringing ideas and resources together turns the creative lights back on. Check out Henneke’s 35 Blogging Tips to Woo Readers and Win Business.

12. Best free and paid tools

Regardless of your niche, there are plenty of tools that help people be more productive and profitable.

But to be evergreen, you have to do more than just list them.

To make tool lists shine, try tutorials with screenshots, videos, tips on how to get started, usage hacks, and insightful commentary detailing pros and cons.

Set a periodic reminder in your editorial calendar to keep these posts up-to-date.

13. Top influencers in a specific niche

Most influencer lists are pretty superficial. Even on well-known media sites, they often aren’t more than surface-level comments taken directly from each name’s most prominent social media profile.

To stand out, connect your influencer list to practical applications and get original contributions. At the risk of sounding self-serving, that’s exactly what I did in 50 Best Social Media Tools From 50 Most Influential Marketers Online, which combines this approach with a tool list.

14. Best books for a specific goal or niche

I love books. And I love lists. Turns out, so does the internet. Best-book lists are always a popular topic.

However, just like many of the other examples in this post, you can’t throw together blurbs from the back cover and call it good.

Dig in. Summarize each book. Call attention to its best lessons. Drop outstanding quotes into Click to Tweet boxes. Or even ask industry experts to share their favorite choices like The 10 Top Copywriting Books from the Top 10 Online Copywriters does with names like Brian Clark, Joanna Wiebe, and Demian Farnworth.

15. Common mistakes in a specific niche

Every industry has its seven deadly sins. Some have more like 10 or 20. Outlining these common mistakes — and providing tips on avoiding and overcoming them — is evergreen paydirt.

As a model, consider Henneke’s 11 Common Blogging Mistakes that Waste Your Audience’s Time. True to her engaging and winsome form, Henneke presents a bite-sized breakdown of each issue and easy-to-follow corrections.

For an even more exhaustive example, check out Shanelle Mullin’s post on ConversionXL, Google Analytics Health Check: Is Your Configuration Broken?

Evergreen encyclopedic content

You can create evergreen content around the history of your niche or product by building a glossary or producing an exhaustive “everything you need to know” post.

16. History of a topic or product

History doesn’t have to be boring. And it doesn’t just attract the “nerds” of your industry. However, it does have to be either visually or pragmatically engaging.

Beth Hayden and Rafal Tomal’s A History of Social Media [Infographic] has both of those two ingredients.

They kick things off with a secret — “There’s nothing new about ‘social media’ …” — and proceed to dispel that myth with a beautifully illustrated timeline.

17. Single-greatest tip roundup

It might seem like the old-school “what’s the best tip for blogging?” roundup has been done to death, but that doesn’t mean single-tip roundups can’t shine.

Ask an original, niche-specific question and present the answers creatively.

Case in point, Venngage’s 46 Expert Tips For Creating Addictive Content. “Addictive” content is far more enticing than “good” content, and it’s packaged as a post, ebook, and infographic.

As if that wasn’t enough, each and every tip is boiled down to a memorable and Tweetable nugget for easy sharing and retention.

18. Best or worst practices for a specific goal

Similar to the how-to guides above, best-or-worst-practice lists aim to add value by solving problems. Think of them as catch-alls, built on data and backed by examples.

While best-practice lists are low-hanging evergreen fruit, worst-practice lists give you the opportunity to be just as valuable — and have a lot more fun.

Beth Hayden combines both ideas in 7 Deadly Sins and 7 Virtues of Email Marketing.

19. Complete glossary of a niche or topic

Dictionary entries aren’t the sexiest type of content, but they are link-building dynamite.

Check out Copyblogger’s epic Content Marketing Glossary. The downloadable PDF, extensive cross-linking, and videos throughout make it compelling.

Complement your own glossary likewise to bring it to life.

20. Everything you need to know about a niche or topic

Our final example is easily the most daunting.

Words like “definitive” and “ultimate” get tossed around a lot. And while the luster is wearing off, the need for all-in-one content hasn’t gone anywhere.

Lawn Care: The Ultimate Guide should be in the content marketing hall of fame.

After an opening quote from Michael Pollan — “A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule” — the rest of the article works through the complete history of lawn care, definitions of key terms, best and worst practices, and a host of visuals.

Oh, and how perfect is it to end a post on evergreen content with a lawn care guide? That’s just icing on the cake.

It’s not easy being green

Now that you’re equipped with more types of evergreen content than you’d ever need, the temptation will be to start growing an entire nursery … all at once.

Don’t.

Evergreen content is powerful, insanely so. But remember creating it requires an investment. Pick one of the above templates and dig deep.

Above all, aim for originality and value. Being genuinely helpful never goes out of season.

The post 20 Types of Evergreen Content that Produce Lasting Results for Your Business appeared first on Copyblogger.


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An Evergreen Content Case Study

Posted by ChristopherFielden

Creating timeless content is something all SEOs should aspire to do. Why? When placed in front of the right audience, amazing content is highly likely to generate ongoing interest, engagement, links, and traffic, leading to increased sales/conversions and brand awareness. These results tend to make all but the most difficult client quite happy.

Image by Dominic Alves

In 2012, I decided to undertake an evergreen content experiment. I created a piece of content that I planned to update regularly over an extended period of time. I was in this for the long haul — I wanted to keep working on this content for at least a year. The aim was to see if putting ongoing effort into one page on a website would prove more efficient than spending time planning and creating multiple pieces of fresh content.

Common content performance patterns

Many creative content campaigns produce spikes of interest when they’re released and then dwindle in popularity. If you’re nodding your head in agreement, this might look familiar:

Creative campaign referral traffic spike, taken from Google Analytics

When shared, you see a brief spike in traffic, and then visits decline. This example is taken from the release of a well-received infographic that saw a lot of visits when it was shared on Reddit.

A spike isn’t always a bad thing. At the last count, this example generated over 35 decent quality links (ranging from DA 30 to DA 82) and thousands of social shares. This is a good result, but I wanted to try and create something that saw continued growth in traffic, engagement, and links over time rather than a spike.

Evergreen experiment

So I could share the results openly without contravening any client confidentiality agreements, I decided to conduct the test on my personal website. I write fiction, and I originally created my website to showcase my short stories. I launched the site in October 2011.

Image by Rose Craft

I’m not famous. No one knows who I am. No one found my writing, because no one was searching for it. Aside from friends and family, few people read my stories. Boo hoo.

In an attempt to gain an audience, I decided to try and make my website useful to the short story-writing community (people who write short stories also like to read them). I’d spent a LOT of time researching short story competitions to enter. I’d found a few decent resources, like Booktrust, that listed some writing competitions, but none of the lists or calendars were exhaustive or kept very up to date, and many of them didn’t list the full range of details I was interested in (closing dates, prize money, word count limits, genres, publishing opportunities etc).

So I decided to create an extensive short story competition list on my website.

Research

I was fairly certain, given the amount of competition lists in print magazines and the amount of writing websites I’d found, that there would be an audience for this type of content. To be certain, I did some keyword research.

There was an audience. Further research showed there was a large amount of long-tail keyword opportunities.

So I created the page, initially listing details of approximately 50 writing contents. The list went live during April 2012.

Page content

The page format is fairly simple. I started out with two tables, one listing regular writing competitions (monthly, quarterly, triannual and biannual) and another listing annual contests. Over time, I’ve added more tables so the resource is as easy to use as possible.

At the top of the page I openly invite users to contact me to have writing competitions listed. I also invite users to let me know if any of my details are incorrect, out of date, or if they find any broken links.

Use of outbound links

Again, to make the resource easy for writers to use, I’ve linked to all the competitions I’ve listed. I’ve read all sorts of discussions regarding outbound links and whether it’s best for them to be follow or no-follow, as well as discussions about how many links you should have on a page alongside concerns about the quality of the sites you link to and whether that has any impact on SEO.

As there doesn’t seem to be a definitive right or wrong way to do this, I decided to ignore all these concerns and just link to the most useful page on the different competition websites for the user. The only exception is when I link to a competition website that updates its URLs each time it updates the competition details. In this instance I link to the homepage to avoid excessive administration and maintenance of the page.

All links are followed.

Page maintenance

Image by Abhisek Sarda

From the day the page went live, I decided that I was going to display the date the content was last updated prominently at the top of the page. I wanted users and search engines to be able to see that the page was cared for and updated regularly.

I’ve read many arguments against using dates. This is usually because time constraints mean webmasters can’t update content regularly and the date often has the opposite effect, showing how out of date the content has become. But as I knew I’d be updating the page regularly, this wasn’t a concern.

I update the page at least twice a month, sometimes as frequently as twice a week, depending on how much time I have available.

On average, one competition contacts me a week, asking to be added to the list.

I respond to the vast majority of comments, either privately via email or as a comment, depending on what seems most appropriate given the subject matter.

Technical notes

My website is pretty basic. From a technical standpoint, I have ensured that the menu structures and URLs made sense and that my authorship has been setup correctly. Aside from that, all I’ve done is generate content. I’ve purposely kept the amount of pages on the site low, only adding new pages when I have to. At the time of writing, the site has 36 pages.

No linkbuilding

While undertaking this experiment I haven’t done any active link building at all. Any links the website has gained have been natural. Likewise, I haven’t undertaken any outreach. I have only engaged with writers and competition administrators that have approached me directly.

I did this to see how well the page could perform naturally, with internet users initially finding the content via organic search. Over time, this has led to natural interaction through comments, social sharing and links (and the unavoidable plethora of spam comments in my inbox). But I haven’t actively pushed the content. The results have come from natural content discovery and users outreaching to me.

Results

Traffic

This first graph shows the growth in traffic to the entire site from all mediums since launch in October 2011:

Traffic from all mediums to entire site from October 2011 to May 2013

Below is a breakdown of the figures from the different mediums:

The second graph shows the visits from all mediums to the short story competition page from its launch in 2012:

Traffic from all mediums to short story competition page from April 2012 to May 2013

Since its launch, the short story competition list has accounted for 67% of all the visits landing on my website (total entries to all pages are 77,374 — page entries to the competition page are 51,861). Full details of growth in visits to the page from all mediums can be seen below:

Visits have increased substantially since the competition list was launched. The dip we can see in April and May seems to be due to seasonality. The page still ranks well for a wide variety of long-tail phrases, and the New Year and autumn are seasonal peaks in writing-relating searches — admittedly, this is a generalisation, but as the site only launched in 2011 I don’t have a great deal of data to work with.

If patterns follow those of last year, I’d expect to see a rise in traffic in September.

Amount of search terms

10,728 search phrases have been used to find the page through organic search.

Most popular search terms used to find the short story competition page

Given that ‘(not provided)’ accounts for 30% of these searches, it’s safe to assume that the figure is actually substantially higher, so there is a lot of long-tail search involved here.

The large word count of the page copy contributes to this. At the time of writing this post, there were 11,632 words of copy on the page, of which user comments account for 3,463. At the time of writing this post, there are 66 comments on the page, some of them replies from me.

Social shares

The total amount of social shares to date is 127:

Details generated using Shared Count

I find that writers will often share the page on Facebook and Twitter, as will administrators of the competitions I list, if they run social profiles. Since the beginning of 2013, I have seen the share counts rising more rapidly, which I would expect given the large increases in traffic the page has seen when compared to last year.

Links

You can see details of the links that have been attracted below:

Data taken from Majestic SEO

Results from Moz’s Open Site Explorer

The volume of links isn’t huge. But this project is aimed at slow growth, and I haven’t actively asked anyone for a link. I want links to be entirely natural, only coming from those who think the content is worth linking to of their own volition. The only exception I can think of is me writing about the experiment.

As the resource becomes more widely recognised, I would expect the amount of links to increase accordingly. Recently, I have received my first university (.ac.uk) link, and started to receive correspondence from university lecturers who are involved with creative writing courses, asking about writing opportunities for their students (which led to me adding the ‘Writing Competitions for Young Writers & Children’ table to the page). This bodes really well for the future, as relevant university website links are likely to help the site’s performance greatly. And this kind of natural link building should make my backlink profile Penguin-proof long into the future.

I guess the key point here is that it’s taken almost a year of developing this content to start gaining links of this quality. Now that a handful of lecturers have found the site and started using it, it’ll be very interesting to see how the link results fare over the next twelve months.

Hmm, I feel another blog post coming on in the not so distant future…

There are a couple of other points to bear in mind:

  1. I’ve done this work in my spare time, around work and other commitments. If you had the time to focus fully on projects of this nature you could probably generate these types of results far more quickly.
  2. The links generated have been entirely natural as I haven’t actively asked anyone for a link.

Point 2 proves that detailed, focused content can work in its own right. You don’t have to outreach and link build to see some level of success.

Does this type of content help conversions?

Due to the growth in traffic to my website, I have increased my audience and engagement with my site. I’m beginning to be recognised as a thought leader (and a brand, I guess) in my niche area. Users have started to approach me with all manner of queries. I also receive frequent requests to proofread other writers’ work. If I had more time, this is a paid service I could consider offering in the future. So producing the content has revealed business areas I could expand into.

Ultimately, all the extra traffic has led to a rise in the number of people buying the book I sell through Amazon and Lulu. I now sell a few a week, compared to one every couple of months.

So, in answer to the title above, ‘Yes.’ I am getting what I wanted — a wider audience for my writing.

Amount of referrals other sites receive

Below you can see the amount of referral visits my page generates to other websites:

Referral traffic received from my competition page between January 2013 and May 2013

One of the writing competitions I list was kind enough to share this data with me. They were first listed on my site in January 2013.

A breakdown of figures can be seen below:

The highly relevant traffic I can offer writing websites makes being listed appealing to most competitions. From speaking with the administrators of the competition in the example above, I know that the traffic also converts well into competition entries, so they are very happy with the results related to me listing them.

This means that when I receive enquiries I can be confident in the value my list offers.

Summary

So far, this experiment has proved that investing time in creating content that is updated regularly can bring excellent results. In 2013, the page attracts between 6,000 and 9,000 visits a month, 22% of which return to the page time and again.

All you need to emulate this is some vision and common sense:

  • Find something your target audience wants
  • Give it to them
  • Keep the content fresh with regular updates and improvements
  • Listen to user suggestions and make changes accordingly
  • Listen to user suggestions about other resources they might find useful, and create them

That’s a content strategy that is likely to keep me busy for the next few months and generate excellent results.

Keep it simple

One of the more common mistakes I’ve seen SEOs make is developing content no one is interested in. You might end up creating something sexy based on an amazing concept, but will it actually gain you the result you or your client wants to see? Sometimes the more mundane ideas, like generating a useful list, can work far more effectively. It might not be sexy, it might not look awesome, but it is useful and can appeal to a community.

Keep it simple.

I believe you can learn more from those three words than you’d like to believe. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments.

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The True Power of Evergreen Content – A Case Study

Posted by NickEubanks

Th True Power of Evergreen Content - A Case Study

There is a very good chance anyone reading this is already familiar with the concept of evergreen content; or content that is perpetually relevant. Most of us have experienced at least one piece of content that holds timeless in the usefulness of its information.

Creating content that is just as useful five years down the road as it was the day it was published is not easy, but it’s possible.

Think of content that is more or less the opposite of news, from a pure informational standpoint this content offers value that will not diminish… at least, not much.

What Makes Content Evergreen?

Evergreen Content GrowsIt needs to provide information that is not likely to change in the near future, a reference point if you will. When thinking of examples, immediately I think of some ‘How To’ posts:

Certainly these may be very different in 50 years (perhaps even 10 years?), but they offer long term value in terms of information.

These opportunities do not exist within every niche; however, evergreen content doesn’t need to be timeless to be evergreen, at least not in my opinion; it simply needs to stand the tests of time.

I believe if a piece of content is created that is still useful 1+ years later, even if not completely accurate anymore, it can be deemed evergreen – especially if it's related to technology.

Part of building evergreen content is updating it so it stays current and relevant for as long as possible.

Think of:

Now think of a pine tree with no sun or water — the needles turn brown, become brittle, and eventually fall off and the tree dies. Sustainable content is no different; it requires maintenance to stay alive, to remain useful.

Each of the posts above are updated as soon as new relevant information becomes available to allow the content to better serve its purpose.

When the information starts to grow old (or weak) spend the time, put in the research, and update what is outdated… this is not always possible, but in many cases you can repurpose your content to still serve a valid need.

In this post I hope to provide you with a close look at the true impact of creating evergreen content. We will explore an evergreen library from someone who has put creating evergreen content into practice.

Putting Content to Work For You

Jason Acidre continually leverages his library of evergreen content to consistently acquire new traffic to his website. He has been able to continually send new traffic to his posts years after their initial publication through a combination of inbound marketing channels. The information is researched, accurate, and relevant to his target audience.

This is also a two-way street.

In return for providing value to his audience, Jason gets to reap the benefits of continuous traffic and brand authority growth.

Similar to the above examples, here are some of my favorite pieces of evergreen content:

If you look at Jason’s posts you will notice a plethora of comments, high social share counts, and a natural profile of inbound links. This is due to the specific set of benefits factors offered from his content:

  1. Life-cycle: Pre-established content so all new visitors after initial publication are greeted with existing authority signals: comments, social shares, and high search engine rankings.
  2. Links build on themselves; evergreen content is a source for continued reference and will continually be linked to.
  3. Larger citation potential from press channels if content is in under-served or under-saturated industry
  4. Reference point for future citation on additional articles on same topic or closely related context
  5. Brand establishment and awareness

To consistently drive traffic to evergreen content depends on:

  • The amount and quality of referring links (particularly linking pages that are also ranking for keywords that have substantial monthly search volume).
  • If the content/page is ranking for keywords that are generally searched by your target audience.
  • The page’s ability to attract new traffic through social shares (which mostly involves the title and the body of the content – if it’s compelling, relevant and up to date – as well as the visibility of the social sharing buttons).

Here's an example of one of Jason's posts from last year about eCommerce SEO strategies (first published on March 15, 2011) which has generated 4,556 unique pageviews in the first year:

eCommerce SEO traffic

The content is still continuously attracting natural links to it even after a year… in large part due to

  1. the visibility from readers who have shared the content via social networks and
  2. blogs that have linked to it (even a recent link from SEOmoz).
  3. Google has continually sent search traffic to it as its PA has grown over time.

The traffic to this post nearly doubled in the first 18 months (from March 15, 2011 to August 15, 2012) reaching 8,527 unique pageviews; primarily due to the three factors mentioned above…

eCommerce SEO Strategies Post Traffic 18 months

Whether your traffic is search or referral driven, true evergreen content will continue to organically attract links as it continues to provide value to new readers.

New Traffic to Old Content from Social Shares

Depending on the authority and influence of the people sharing your content, a simple social media share can send large spikes in traffic.

Look at the traffic to this post published a year ago (August 30, 2011) that came six months later when someone shared the link on Pinterest:

Pinterest Traffic Spike

In the above case the largest acquisition of traffic came six months after the post was first published, showing that evergreen content can continue to drive massive amounts of new traffic months or years after they are published.

For instance, another one of Jason's older posts, which also ranked well earlier in 2012 for the search phrase "link prospecting," hit the wire with some momentum; generating 1,796 unique pageviews in its first 30 days.

Traffic First 30 Days

In the following 60 days the post continued to generate impressions at about a 50% reduction, but maintained some momentum, creating another 1,259 unique pageviews:

90 Day post traffic

Continued Ranking Improvements Mean More Traffic

Sometimes when a piece of content adds enough value it will snowball, so as the word spreads, it gains links and popularity and in return increases in search rankings, and traffic continues to build…

In the case below unique pageviews to the post increased by 41.74% in the period from three to six months after publication over the first three months:

Second quarter traffic increase

Link Momentum & Scrapers

Link velocity depends greatly on exposure, as Jason puts it:

"The initial wave of links usually depends on the impact on different social media networks. I have posts that receive 20+ natural, earned links within their first week of publication, like this, this, and this.

I believe the amplification of natural links depends on the exposure received through different traffic channels like social networks, communities and forums, blog/newsletter mentions, and organic rankings."

Here is a chart (extracted with the help of Ahrefs) that shows the link graph for the eCommerce post mentioned earlier:

Link velocity chart

One important item to note on this chart is that the link spike in May 2012 was due to content farms scraping a post from SEOmoz that linked to Jason's post from March 2011. 

He believes that "the key" to evergreen content "is to make sure you can continue to satisfy visitor's expectations."

What About Comment Velocity

Comments are often used as a measure of audience engagement, so how do evergreen posts fair in continuing to generate comments?

In Jason's case, they do pretty well.

The majority of comments are received within the first 30 days, but his posts tend to continue to attract comments for the life of the post. Here is an example where the ratio of comments from the first 30 days compared to the next six months is 43:22. Still pretty good…

Social Share Velocity

Share velocity depends greatly on the type of post and the channels it is distributed across.

Using the two posts mentioned before as examples, the 'SEO for eCommerce' post out-performed the 'Link Prospecting' post receiving over 200 retweets in the first two months, since this post was able to gain links that sent traffic from a large number of sources (including SEOmoz).

The link prospecting post still did well, receiving over 100 tweets in the first month, but only around 60 in the second month.

*Rough estimates based on data from Topsy

Evergreen Content for Conversion

Evergreen content has not only helped Jason build his traffic and his brand, it has had a direct impact on his SEO consulting business.

For instance, the eCommerce SEO post assisted with the generation of approximately 14 new service leads, converting readers into prospects at a rate of 1.35%

Evergreen content conversion rate

In Conclusion

Evergreen content is powerful for building a brand, building an audience, and building a business.

Looking at the big picture, evergreen content can be used as a foundation for an overall content strategy to create sustainable traffic, brand growth, and increase the authority of your website.

A big thank you to Jason Acidre for being my study subject and sharing so much of his time and data with me.

Thank you for reading and please share your thoughts in the comments.

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