What Is Evergreen Content?
Evergreen content is one of those creative tasks that you have to make time for.
The evergreen piece is where it’s going to resonate for people and bring them in.
Evergreen content is written once, rarely changes, and keeps working. And, as time goes by, it generates more return on investment (ROI). The point of evergreen content is that you can create something and it keeps on working. That way your time is most effectively used.
Otherwise, you are chipping away, time after time with a post, with a piece of content that gets a tiny bit of attention. Then it goes into the ether, vanishes and goes into the streams of the internet, never to be seen again.
Jeff Bond has an evergreen piece for Inspect.net that brings people to his site, mobile home pieces. Because mobile homes are problematic, they are constantly something that people constantly are looking for. So writing a piece to talk directly to that and solving their problems has turned out to be really nice. People contact me about that because they find it very relevant. I wrote that seven years ago, and it still gets tons of attention.
I live in the Bay Area. We have earthquakes. I write articles related to earthquake preparedness, making your house structurally sound in advance with small things like anchor bolts. Earthquakes are dot the i’s, cross the t’s, and the problem never happens. The little things can make huge differences. So earthquake preparedness is another evergreen content topic.
Content that changes rarely, once written, keeps working which is important. And it gets more ROI with time. I’ve had people contact me about the article and then, because it didn’t turn out that I was the proper person to serve them, I referred them to another person. But then, later on, they’re referring business back to me from other people because they appreciated the value they got from the evergreen content I wrote like six years ago.
You can easily collaborate with other inspectors. There are an awful lot of people who you may view as competition that are not. So you are giving out information and then everybody’s going to refer each other.
We’ve had that with our inspectors on Inspect.com. Erast from Bay Area Inspections is listed on Inspect.com. He contacted me to say thanks for getting a couple referrals. It was my pleasure because he does a great job in San Francisco. It’s a little too far for me. As we mentioned earlier about being clear, San Francisco is 36 miles away and if your circle is 35 miles, don’t do it . You scatter yourself. I’m glad to send him business because he’s an excellent inspector.
All of your content has to be written. It’s all got a writing time. It’s not like any content has zero investment of your time. So making sure that you get the most back out of it is a really important part. Whenever you can make content that’s evergreen, make content that is going to last. Build it for the long haul.
Outsource content if you can’t produce it, if you can’t every week be thinking about what comes out. It doesn’t mean you have to create something new every week. But you have to be thinking about it every week. Put aside time because a really good article may take you several weeks to put together, especially if you’ve only got a few hours a week.
Timeliness could be misleading to some people, because usually it is something that is timing related. It’s probably not going to be evergreen if it’s something that can expire. By nature it’s not going to be evergreen content.
On the other hand, if you wait six months to produce content, you waited six months that it could have been bringing in business and building up links and building up traffic and building up reputation. It is like a flywheel. Each piece of content has to build on the momentum you’ve built up already with your site, with the last pieces of content.
Also, pay attention to seasons. For example, Inspect.net is writing holiday content in August. It’s forward thinking to make it relevant. And that seasonal content is recurring evergreen content.
What we’ve got there is recurring evergreen, content relevant during different seasons of the year. For example, right now, Fall is coming. For homeowners that brings up topics like: What kind of maintenance, are you going to do for your home? How are you going to make it safer for winter? For Pool Inspectors to get their closing up. You’re getting into that season. The ROI will come around quarterly for seasonal content.
Once you’ve created that piece of content. It can sit there, all year round. It won’t get traffic, when it’s not on people’s minds, because people aren’t searching for it. When the season starts, people start searching for it again. Up it pops. It’s still there. It’s still got the old links that it built. It’s not a piece of content you refresh every time. Just make sure it’s still valid.
Return on Investment (ROI)
If you create a post and it gets some attention and then it’s gone with the stream, as it was on Facebook or it Twitter. It’s gone. You still spent that time writing it, you got whatever you got back from it. You obviously thought it was worthwhile. It gave you certain return on investment that time. But if you put that same investment into a page, and every year that page pops up again, and it gets that same traffic, without any further investment because it just sat there. Every single time that happens, you’re doubling, tripling, quadrupling your investment.
As an example, Mia wrote blog piece for Inspect.com, about a punch list inspection a while back and that got engagement yesterday. People like it and they like that list. That’s actually a piece of valuable content that generates both interest for Inspect.com as well as for TMC Services. And that is truly evergreen, because that’s not seasonal.
You’ve got things that are specific to inspectors like bad weather preparedness, especially storms for hurricane season or tornado season. If those occur in your region, then those are important things that people are going to be searching for year after year after year.
And, the same with findings. Doing an inspection you find a piece of mold and you think, Oh I know this, I see a lot of this around here. And it took me ages to find out what it was. There is a piece of evergreen content: how to identify mold and how to treat it. How to do it. A lot of people still want to do it themselves. They still want to call in a professional, but they’d rather get you to check that they’re right in identifying it.
If it took you a while as an expert to smooth that out and determine it, chances are good that’s lurking below the radar for a lot of people and they’re not even aware of it. And so drawing awareness and discovery to it is valuable in itself. You may be helping someone out that didn’t even realize they had a problem.
There was something in social media this week that I noticed which was somebody talking about their basement keeps flooding. And they’ve tried to solve this for over a year, and they’ve had inspections here and they’ve had trouble identifying exactly what it is. It doesn’t seem to be ground water at all. It doesn’t seem to be this. Those kind of things are the kinds of things people are going to be searching for time and again. If you have groundwater in your area, then all the problems that are associated with that, are things that people in your area are likely to be searching for.
As an expert, that’s really one of the value adds that you can serve to your community with valuable information. Do it from a non-business perspective, just straight altruism. But then you get the business because people are appreciative of that. So it has immediate as well as larger social value. It’s useful content and problem solving or problem prevention.
Why You Need Evergreen Content
The long-term benefits are those recurring visits. Visits are great. Visits are where your business comes from.
But even more than that, those links that this thing can build up over time as people find it. People say that was useful. That was really helpful to me. Somebody who finds your post on mold and it’s solved a problem that they’ve had for a while, and they link to it. Maybe it’s just social media at first. Maybe it’s on Twitter, maybe it’s on their own blog or whatever it is. Those links build up over time, and they are a major signal to Google, about the importance of this and how it should rank it. So, the links are so important. And the longer that content is around, the more likely it is to pick up decent links.
And for brand value, even if this is something that doesn’t directly drive business, like we’re saying with community altruism, you solve somebody’s problem. Every time they’re telling the story of how they had this problem with their home. Years and years ago, they’re still going to remember. You become a part of that story forever.
Mold is an issue in the Bay Area. We have a lot of moisture problems and we have a lot of heavily wooded areas. So the mold issue is very real. I had an insurance agent that served the whole Bay Area call up and ask about it. They really liked the piece, and so they put the link for that article directly into their website. They got tons of clients coming through and it all of a sudden is just feeding through as well. This insurance broker has multiple offices is doing light advertising for me. You see my logo right there from his website. They find value in it. The key point is make it epic. If it really is a value, it’s going to be appreciated for what it is. It’s a valuable piece of content that delivers, always, for everybody.
It’s a little bit more work to make evergreen content, to make content that has that extra value, that extra longevity. It’s not just something you flip off the cuff. But that investment is always worth it. It’s always worth spending that little bit of extra time to make it just that bit better, just that bit more memorable, just that bit more likely for somebody to link to it. Because the payoff is huge.
For another two hours, what would you have done with that two hours? Watch two episodes of something on Netflix or write one more throwaway piece and share it to various social media channels that’s gone tomorrow?
This is a time investment to create it. It’s not just going to be an easy fluff piece, but a long-term investment so create something that has some good meat to it.
As a business owner, you should be doing that with everything you do. If you want to run a business, you should make everything epic. The website Inspect.com, is a consequence of thinking, a long time ago about making content that would have long term value and seeing the transition from the yellow pages to the internet. Website development itself back then was evergreen. You should be always thinking that way.
Cumulative Flywheel Effect
When you’ve built a piece of content, it’s lasting. That momentum keeps going from it. Unlike social media where to keep my views, just static, I’ve got to keep producing content. If I don’t, I’m not there. Vanished. Just stay in place, I’m having to build content, and I’m having to build more and more and hope people share it.
With content, it lasts. Everything it does, lasts. It’s still going to be getting X number of visits per month. It’s still going to be getting so many links building up. Time after time after time, even though the work on it is done. So your next piece is additive. It’s not keeping a level, this is on top of that, you’re building up layer upon layer upon layer with each piece of evergreen content.
Even your followers on Facebook, three days after you’ve posted something is the last time it’s probably going to be seen. After that it’s gone. It’s gone forever, lost in time. So, you’ve got to get that content.
The content should reside on your website and then you should refer back to your website from social. Because it’s your domain, it’s the part you have complete control over. Nobody controls that except you. Facebook can change its policy tomorrow. Everything you’ve ever done is gone, and all your fans. Platforms are good for drawing people in for a while but as a long term home, there is no alternative to your own website.
There is no inspector out there who sat around going, I’ve got a lot of spare time, I’ve got much too much time on my hands. Not until retirement. And even then it’s not that he’s got too much time on his hands, it’s that his wife is going to kill him if he doesn’t get out of there.
You’ve only got so many hours in a day. We are always short on time. So, every time, make sure that the time you spend is where it has the most value to you. Long term, content is always the most valuable thing, it lasts and lasts.
Time is money. Consider how much time you would personally spend to write a piece of evergreen content. Let’s say you spend two hours and you get it done in two hours. Congratulations. That’s good. It tends to be longer than that to research and find out and make sure that you’re thoroughly complete. And you have to be good with grammar and punctuation and syntax. So I don’t mess around with this.
(Jeff Bond) I have a writer. She’s amazing. She’s versed in homes and home ownership and inspections. The conversations we’ve had have helped educate her and made her more important about inspections. Now she writes wonderful blog articles. I consider half hour an hour of time that I would do inspections, is a very reasonable investment to generate a piece of content that generates repeat business over time. I use a writer because I write good, but she just writes so much better, and more just talks right to the points and in a written way that reflects well with people reading it.
What number of inspectors and other people in business that say, Oh, we don’t have the time to create content. And you say, well, make the time. And also, that 10 minutes a day you’re spending on social media, three times in a day. Even though it seems like that was only 10 minutes in the morning, 10 minutes in the afternoon, and another 10 minutes. That’s 30 minutes in the whole day. If you save that up, if you spend that doing other stuff that needed doing. And then the time that you’ve saved for the weekend into having a couple of hours for your content. You will get a lot more out of that content. The content you can create in two hours is going to have more long term value. More importantly, if you work on something over a course of weeks, you can create a good piece of content that really lasts. When I’m writing articles about SEO, they often take 20 hours plus all the research, really getting everything in there to make it really useful, really informative all backed up and cross-referenced, that takes a bit of time, but the results are so worth it.
How to Create Evergreen Content
Start with the basics. You’ve got certain pages on your site that are already going to be turning up again and again and again. The base that you expect to come up for inspectors in the area and what you do. That’s a bit of evergreen content, it’s going to turn up again and again and again. So make sure you put the time into it to make it really effective. Your about page, you’d be surprised how often that is going to be a part of people’s decision making. And again, make sure you’ve put the time to really make it as good as it can be. Because, it’s a long-term page.
(Jeff Bond) I had just a mess of an About Us page. Ammon cleaned it up. The About Us page is a huge part of the decision-making process for people picking an inspector. They want to vet you and they want to find out who you are. So the about page is your chance to close the deal.
The FAQ pages are useful in many different ways. These are frequently asked questions. Think about the things that people often ask you. Think about the things that people ask you as customers. Think about the things that people ask that draw or don’t draw business. Having an FAQ page can help stop wasting your time. So having an FAQ page is something that, again, is going to last, is going to have a long-term effect. Often it matches the questions that people are asking on the search engine. You may not know that they asked that because, up until now, you didn’t have a base of a FAQ page.
(Jeff Bond) A lot of times when people call me as an inspector, they’re calling me because they were not happy with their inspector. One of the most common things they say is, he didn’t really do a thorough job. I talked directly to the fact, I’m going to go everywhere. I crawl in the attic. I crawl in the basement, in the crawlspace. I’m everywhere in that whole house. In talking to that one issue in an FAQ, it automatically has people just being satisfied. I’m their guy because I’m going to be everywhere that the other guy wasn’t. Talk to those tough issues.
Once you’ve answered the question it’s done. When you have to do the same thing over and over again, save time with FAQs.
Collated, Condensed Posts
A really good way of getting content is look for stuff you’ve shared on social media that had some traction. Look for blog posts you’ve done. Look at which ones can be reused, turned into a piece of long term content, possibly combining lots of different ones together into a bigger piece. It’s half already been written in various places. You can put it all together, collate, condense, and you’ve got a piece of evergreen content.
These are the content pieces you spend time on. You think ahead, because the long term value is there. This is a billboard you’re able to put up, that is going to be there forever. People see it, year after year after year. So you put the time into those or you invest in having somebody who can write for you, taking the time to really learn your business, to understand your market, to understand your customers, talk in the right time, all of that kind of stuff.
If you really write a nice piece like that, then by all means go get it published. Take that up to the next level. Republish it with someone who is a major player. Now you’ve written a piece and now someone upstream from you is using it.
Inspect.com is always looking for good articles from our listed inspectors. Get in touch at email@example.com to submit your piece.
The seventh in a 10-part series of marketing with Ammon Johns dedicated to property inspectors in the United States. He has been variously described by others as a veteran, pioneer, and expert in the field of SEO and search marketing. He has spent over 20 years in all aspects of Internet marketing, working with several leading SEO agencies, helping to launch several of them to industry-leader status. Ammon is best known for innovation, pioneering many of the common strategies of today, and he continues to innovate strategies.