Topical vs evergreen content
Both topical and evergreen content can be very valuable for driving traffic to your website, as well as providing users with the answers they’re looking for. But what is the difference between topical and evergreen content, and how can they affect your website?
What is topical content?
Topical content is often targeted around a time or season when the content would be most relevant. This could be festive posts around Christmas time, or football-focused content during the World Cup. While topical content is amazing for generating quick traffic, it can become outdated quickly. The traffic generated by topical content can die down quickly, unless you update your content regularly – which can be time consuming. However, it’s great for staying on top of popular news stories and generating more traffic to your website on the back of this. A recent example of topical content is our blog post about the most searched Christmas adverts of 2022.
What is evergreen content?
Evergreen content will cover a topic that’s timeless, for example, an Essential Guide to Google Shopping Ads. Although some features of Google Shopping Ads could change, it’s a post that’s relevant all year round, and is unlikely to need regular updates. Blog posts like these stay relevant for long periods of time, and are helpful for SEO purposes since the content provides more regular traffic.
Pros and cons of topical content
- More shares on social media and via journalists
- Can provide instant traffic to your website
- Less time spent researching and writing
- Can have a very short shelf life
- Lots of competition around the same topics
- Not as effective in building trust with readers
Pros and cons of evergreen content
- Drives steady traffic to your site
- Can stay relevant for years after writing
- Can improve your site’s SEO when using the right keywords
- Ideas can run dry after a while
- It can take a while to see positive results
- Still needs updating after a certain amount of time
How to write topical content
If there’s a big event coming up that you know will generate lots of searches, make sure to prepare. Having your topical content ready to publish at just the right time can give you an advantage over competitors. For example, it can help to start your research and planning in the months coming up to the World Cup. This means you can create a backlog of topical content to publicise when it becomes a dominating news topic.
Have an angle
Topical content surrounding a prominent news story will be jam-packed with competitor content. So, it’s essential that your content stands out from others, and doesn’t just regurgitate information that’s already out there. Instead of just writing about a topic, provide an analytical insight from your own specialist perspective. For example, when the Thursday dating app was taking off, we took our own spin on coverage of the app by focusing on the app’s marketing efforts. Our angle was to break down their marketing techniques, why it worked, and what can be learned – read all about it in Under the microscope: Thursday dating app. This sort of topical content is much more effective than a generic overview of a topic, as it provides unique and helpful information.
Update existing content
If you have content for certain annual occasions, such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day, this can be recycled at the relevant time of year. Using tools such as Google Analytics or Search Console can help you to understand how well your topical content has performed in past years. This information can be used to update content and improve its performance with search engines. Altering your keywords, editing header tags, or restructuring your content can all make a change. Not only this, be sure to make any updates surrounding things that have changed in the past year.
How to write evergreen content
Doing effective keyword research for your content helps you to find what your audience are searching for, which helps with brainstorming ideas. For example, if your company sells cars and you notice lots of searches for specific car queries, such as driving test advice, then you could create content which provides beginner driving test advice.
What’s more, keyword research means you can populate your content with keywords that have a high search volume and low keyword difficulty. This is one of the easiest SEO techniques for improving your content’s ranking on Google. Like with any content, you may need to go back and improve certain pieces if you find that other keywords may perform better a few months down the line.
Choose the right format
Evergreen content usually takes the format of guides, how-to’s, instructions, recipes, and more. These are great because they’re beginner-friendly and easy to structure – which is something Google appreciates. What’s more, an in-depth guide to a topic is unlikely to need frequent updating since these are usually more timeless. Create a detailed, well-structured guide to an evergreen topic for a long lasting and informative piece of content.
Go into detail
Unlike with topical content, writing evergreen content means you can spend as much time as you need to research your chosen topic in depth. You should ensure that your content goes into as much detail as necessary so that it can fulfil your reader’s purpose.
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