American analytics service BuzzSumo and SEO blog Backlinko analyzed 3.6 billion evergreen pages using algorithms similar to Google Analytics.The goal of the study was to find out how to create content that will bring traffic from search engines and social media for years to come. The result was a set of recommendations on which formats to use, which words to include in headlines, and which topics to write about.
Research Results: Best Formats, Headlines, and Topics
BuzzSumo and Backlinko developed the "evergreen score" scale, which they used to evaluate 3.6 billion pages. The score depended on search engine rankings, reposts, and backlinks. This allowed the analysts to see what unites leaders and outsiders. Here are their findings.
Lists and "How to" articles are the most evergreen formats.
The list of the best formats for long-term promotion is presented below. At the top are lists, such as "10 best ways to..." and "15 fuel-efficient cars..." In second place are "How to" articles. Material that answers the questions "what" and "why" also made it to the top.
The average results were for reviews. Podcasts, interviews, infographics, press releases, and presentations.
Evergreen headlines contain the words "best," "guide," and "data."
BuzzSumo analysts selected 18 keywords that appear in the headlines of materials with the highest positions on the evergreen content scale.
The title of the material will depend on the format. For example, the word "best" is likely to appear in the title of a list. However, even materials of the same format can have different names. For example: "The best economy class cars," "Statistics on the passage of cars up to 1 million rubles," or "Facts about inexpensive cars." Headlines have different accents. Knowing evergreen keywords will help you come up with a suitable title and format.
Evergreen content is about facts, research, and reports. BuzzSumo notes that data-based content has a better chance of becoming evergreen. These are materials that contain the words "data," "reports," "research," and "facts" in their titles.
"Data," "reports," "research," show that the text can be trusted, even though there is often no real evidence. But it is not always easy to verify this, so the audience may believe it by default.
The most evergreen topics are technology, marketing, and health. The potential of long-term content depends on the topic. Here is a ranking of the most popular evergreen topics.
Marketing was at the top. For mass readership, the most popular topics were travel, health, fashion, beauty, and entertainment.
The key indicator for evergreen content is the demand for the topic. An article about “Where to buy simple-dimple” will become irrelevant in 3-4 months. Right now it will help to generate traffic, but when the hype subsides, the visitors will stop coming.
If you want to turn it into evergreen content, look at it from a different angle. Write about why toys like simple-dimple, spinners, and yo-yos periodically "shoot" up in popularity. What is the secret, what is their promotion mechanism, and who is behind it? In such an article, we are not tied to a specific event. We are tied to a broad topic and do research. This is the basis of evergreen content.
Podcasts and Infographics: Can They Be Evergreen?
If we look at the above diagrams, we can see that podcasts and infographics were at the bottom of the evergreen format list. The study showed that presentations, press releases, and infographics usually get responses shortly after publication and then quickly lose popularity.
Podcasts also rarely become evergreen. BuzzSumo considers them to be situational content that is in demand for a short time. Then the feed is updated, and old episodes give way to new ones.
However, the surveyed experts do not completely agree with the study's conclusions.
Video podcasts can be evergreen. They have visual elements that are absent in texts, for example, and interesting guests whose appearance positively affects traffic.
Podcasts provide quoting, and the success of any media depends on it. For example, podcasts are actively quoted. This is the basis for long-term presence in the info field.
Much depends on the topic - whether the podcast will become evergreen. For a personal brand, podcasts can be such. However, for content podcasts, it is not so obvious. He gives an example: the podcast "What is a database" can be evergreen.