Evergreen content & SEO: what’s the smart approach?

Evergreen content & SEO: what’s the smart approach?

A page on your site that continues to draw new visitors via Google. That sounds like the ideal solution for your SEO strategy. But creating evergreen content is harder than it seems. What is the smartest approach? And is it worth the effort? In this article, you’ll get an extensive introduction to an effective evergreen content strategy.

What is evergreen content?

Toto’s Africa can safely be considered an evergreen. These past years it’s even been on the rise in the streaming and download charts. But the band probably didn’t consider at the time of its release that it would become a timeless classic.

For evergreen content, that’s not quite how things work. The writer considers in advance the timeless character of any given piece. It doesn’t need to be terribly catchy, as long as it offers an answer to a frequently asked question. Type Africa into Google, and you’ll get the Wikipedia page about the continent: classic evergreen content.

Types of evergreen content

Wikipedia is the prime example of why you don’t want to write articles that are too generalized: in a Google ranking, you’ll never beat the online encyclopedia, unless…

Niche explainerWikipedia doesn’t cover every single subject. A search for “mint sauce recipe” brings up this page from 2001 (!) as one of the top results. In internet years that’s positively ancient.

How-to articles

How-to articles are super popular. Wikihow has illustrated examples of how to write that type of article. Multi-step plans or checklists also fit into that category.

Not every how-to piece has staying power, however. An article on how to bake bread will stay relevant for longer than an explainer on how to play your way through GTA IV.

An interesting variation on the how-to is the how-not-to: use examples from the past to lay out the worst way of tackling a problem.

Resourcepages

In some cases, you’ll be on the hunt for useful resources, like free stock photos. This 2014 article by Dustin Senos on Medium still pops up in 2018 Google searches for “find the best stock photos” – with now over 13,000 claps (likes) and countless views.

A proven strategy is to create an extensive (and frequently updated) article that includes links to free resources for beginners but also to offer information about your own service/product for anyone looking for more.

Start with your existing content

Reading through the examples above, perhaps you thought, “Hey, we’ve written this kind of article before.”

Anyone who’s been publishing online for years will most likely have a few articles that remain popular with readers. In those cases, you already have – possibly unintentionally – evergreen content on your website.

Other articles might offer an interesting starting point but aren’t quite complete. Think, for example, of listicles (“5 tips for…”). By expanding your highest scoring listicles to be a full explainer or how-to (something along the lines of 1600 or 2000 words, rather than 400), you can turn your existing content into valuable evergreens.

Even evergreen needs updates

No two evergreen posts are the same. An article about how Athens defeated Sparta (in 400 BC) probably won’t need to be updated.

The list we mentioned above, full of the best online stock photography, will need more frequent updates. In fact, Google quite likes it when you update your evergreens once in a while.

Focus on the content (and automate your SEO)

Whichever format you choose (explainer, how-to, resource page), evergreen content will take longer than an hour to write. Make sure you carve out enough time.

First, think about a logical structure and draw lessons from other successful evergreen pieces about other topics. Don’t forget to make the article scannable: every subtitle should explain what that chapter or paragraph is all about.

Most evergreen content should be aimed at a general audience (any experts will rather click through on your source links), so be sure to explain any jargon and spend extra attention on the readability of your article.

But what about SEO?

Of course, it helps the discoverability of your article to have a certain keyword density, to use enough internal links, and to use a number of relevant synonyms.

But in writing your evergreen article, it’s most important to focus on polished content. Online solutions like webtexttool will help ensure that your content is fully SEO-proof.

Does it make sense to focus on evergreen content?

Evergreen content can be a helpful addition to your marketing mix. But ask yourself honestly in which ways your subject matter can compete with existing articles on Wikipedia or news sites.

Either way, it’s a long-term strategy. Search engine advertising or social campaigns will draw visitors more quickly. But a few pieces of evergreen as an element of your SEO can ultimately deliver a steady stream of visitors to your website.

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9 dos and don’ts of content marketing

9 dos and don’ts of content marketing

Content marketing has become quite familiar in the land of marketing. Most companies are now using it in one way or another. Publishing a weekly blog or newsletter, for example. But that alone won’t cut it, of course. How do you keep reaching your target audience online and actually convert them into customers? In this blog, you’ll get a handy overview of recommendations and common mistakes.

#1 Make it all about yourself (don’t)

Hopefully, you know about this one if you’re working in content marketing: don’t talk constantly about your product or service. It won’t catch the attention of someone in your target audience randomly doing a Google search and as a reader it’s also annoying to read through a boring sales pitch.

#2 Call someone, ask critical questions (do)

So what is valuable content, then? Of course, that depends on the needs of your specific target audience. Generally, this is true, though: instead of copying or rewriting other articles on the internet, it’s smart to tap into your own resources.

That can simply be your own expertise, but it’s even better to call an expert in the field (like one of your suppliers or an external expert) to ask them some pressing questions about a topic of interest to your audience. Try to tackle that the way a journalist would.

#3 Publish wildly (don’t)

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work,” says bestselling author Stephen King.

The same thing goes for publishing your own content. Waiting for inspiration is always a bad idea. It’s much better to figure out which time of the week is most popular for your published content and then compile a content calendar in which you map out when you plan to share which content.

#4 Set measurable goals (do)

You’re not just doing content marketing for fun, so you need to set attainable goals. For example, in one year’s time, you aim to rank higher in Google searches than your competition. Our customers can use the Content Ranking Index (CRI) to continuously monitor how they are performing for a specific keyword in comparison to the competition, and how much site traffic it can lead to.

#5 Expect short-term results (don’t)

Content marketing isn’t something you just ‘try for a few months’ before deciding whether or not to continue. That time frame is much too short to find out whether your efforts are paying off. Even if you make a shift in intensity (from one weekly blog post to multiple posts, white papers, and newsletters), you need more time to measure your success. The road to quick results is to advertise on Google, but of course that will end up costing you much more in the long run.

#6 Content for every step of the customer journey (do)

Operators of online stores tend to push for content aimed at converting sales (“buy bike”). There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but it’s unlikely that every visitor will be ready to complete a purchase. Especially in the case of more costly items. If you’re in the service business, that’s even more strongly the case. That’s why you should aim to create content for future customers at every step of their journey.

#7 Write for everyone (don’t)

As the British public broadcaster, the BBC has the near-impossible task of catering its content and tone of voice to every single Brit (and even to viewers of its services worldwide). It’s a tricky balancing act to avoid any viewers with a more academic background feeling under-stimulated and for anyone with a lower level of education from feeling left out altogether.

For many other organizations, those kinds of limiting guidelines aren’t really an issue. You might be writing for men or women, for folks with higher or lower education levels, and you probably have an even more specific target audience than that. So keep that in mind! A great place to start is the Tekst Conversion Optimizer, which helps measure readability, credibility, target audience (men/women), and the required reading level of your text.

#8 Stay connected to your content (do)

Content marketing is about more than just sending, sending, sending. Engaging in conversations will eventually lead to more customers. Perhaps it’s not the person you’re communicating with, but rather someone witnessing the conversation online. That’s why it’s important to engage with every reaction on your (guest) blog. Research the answers to follow up questions and formulate responses to criticism. You can also choose to respond concisely on the blog, but continue the conversation in a longer email.

#9 Forget the call-to-action (don’t)

Every written article has a purpose. Decide what that is before you start writing.

Our primary goal for this post is to help our readers to publish online content more successfully. In passing, we can then bring up the functionality of Webtexttool, like the Conversion Optimizer and the Content Ranking Index. The call-to-action is a link to the practical SEO and conversion tool that our readers can try for free for 14 days.

How to factor voice search into your SEO?

How to factor voice search into your SEO?

In the past few years, the number of voice search queries has grown to be over 20 percent of all Google searches. In future years, that percentage will surely increase as people speak rather than type their searches. How can you optimize your website’s SEO for voice search?

Voice search has come of age

Why is voice search so popular? About 2 years ago, Siri, Apple’s digital voice assistant, was still frequently used as the punchline in the popular sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Mostly because her answers were often absurd and completely missed the point.

Today, Siri has matured and become more advanced. And it’s not just Siri: smartphones themselves have become “smarter.” We rely more and more on our phones and tend to carry them with us wherever we go. Whenever we need to search for anything, our phone is always within reach. That has led to an exponential increase in searches through our phones rather than on desktop. It’s safe to assume that that number of searches will only increase over time.

Using your phone, it’s much easier to launch a search query through Siri or Google, rather than type the search into your phone. But the growth of voice search won’t be limited to mobile phones. The rising popularity of smart home tools and the rise of the Internet of Things will also play their part in the growth of voice search statistics. In the near future, the Google Home speaker in your office will inform you that your home thermostat needs to be raised before you head home, after asking Google how cold it’s going to be tonight.

All these developments will lead to a significant increase in voice searches. As an online marketer, website administrator, or SEO-copywriter, it’s important that you prepare for those changes. Those updates will also help optimize your website for typed queries.

SEO optimization for spoken searches

Since spoken and typed searches are so different from one another, exactly how can you change your website in order to rank highly in voice search results? We’ll cover that with a few tips:

1) Long tail keywords
Voice searches are generally a bit longer than text searches. That’s why it’s important to use long tail search terms. For example, consider this search: “carpenter Birmingham” (typed) versus “Where can I find a good carpenter in Birmingham who is specialized in built-in custom closets?” (voice search). To score higher in the results for a spoken search query, it’s important to incorporate all the bold-type words as keywords on your website.

2) Reviews
“Where can I find a good carpenter in Birmingham?” For that question, local reviews are essential for a high ranking. Sure, you can think you are pretty great, but for any potential customer, what others say about you is key.

Make sure that your company’s information is available on relevant review sites and aggregate sites that are linked to your field of work. Encourage your existing customers to leave recommendations or feedback about your products or services on those websites. That also helps you develop inbound links. And those are important factors for Google. Read our blog post about link building for more tips on that topic.

3) Structure FAQ’s
The syntax for voice searches overlaps quite a bit with any FAQ’s on your website. That means it’s smart to add those to your site if they’re not already there. Take a critical look at your FAQ’s to make sure they are questions your customers are (frequently) searching for and ensure that the answers hold all the information you want to communicate to your customers.

4) Readability
Readability is one of the most important criteria for Google. If something is easy to read for a website visitor, the same goes for Google. Packing pages and titles with keywords is something that Google has been discouraging for a while. Focus on the kind of information your customers are looking for and the best way to present that info. Use short sentences and linking words. That works best for voice searches as well.

5) Everyday language
Voice searches use everyday language. As much as possible, consider the information on your website a conversation between yourself and your customer. Avoid formal or “written” language as much as possible. For example, in a text search, someone would search for “price of custom closet.” In a spoken voice search, you’d probably see something more like, “How much does it cost to build a custom closet?” By adjusting your use of language, you’ll improve readability for your visitors (see point 4). That’s because “spoken” language is easier to read than “written” language.

How do I test my content’s readability?

Readable content is essential to your Google results. That’s true for typed as well as spoken searches. But how can you test the readability of your content?

Of course, you can simply let someone read it and ask for feedback, but other readers aren’t always available (or suited to the task). That’s where webtexttool can be of help! The tool analyses your text for readability and offers suggestions on how to improve your writing. That way you can kill two birds with one stone: great, readable content for your customers that also ranks high in Google searches!

 

Reasons to improve the readability of your SEO content

Reasons to improve the readability of your SEO content

No one likes to read incomprehensible prose (or rather, almost no one does), but oversimplified baby talk is also annoying. In short, you want to write readable content that aligns with the wishes of your target audience. In this blog post, I’ll dig a little deeper into what readability is, how to measure it (with the Coleman-Liau Index and Flesch-Kincaid Index), why it’s important and how to write your own readable content.

What is readability?

Readability is a way of measuring how clear and understandable any piece of written text is. Language comprehension is a very important factor (are you using complex words or abstract sentence construction?), but layout, structure, and fonts also play their part.

Why is readability so important for SEO?

As far as we know (Google doesn’t always make this information public), readability is not a direct ranking factor in the compilation of search results. That means marketers would rather pay attention to technical SEO and the use of the right keywords

But readability is pretty important as an indirect factor: by writing in an easy-to-read way, your target audience is sure to spend more time on your website. They are also less likely to click on one of the other search results instead. That’s a signal to Google that you’re providing valuable content. In future searches, your page will rank higher because of it.

As an aside, copy that is easy to read will turn more website visitors into actual customers. That makes it an important element in your conversion optimization.

Take a look at: Higher conversion rate on your website? Here’s how to get started.

How do you measure readability?

This topic has been in play for much longer than search engine optimization or even the internet. In the 1940’s, Austrian-American Rudolf Flesch developed a formula to measure the readability of your writing.

The so-called Flesch Reading Ease Readability Formula:

You get a high score by writing short sentences with short words. Later on, the Coleman-Liau Index was developed to measure letters, rather than syllables, making things easier for computers.

Of course, the length of sentences and words aren’t the only factors to determine the readability of a text. The tips below will help you write readable content for your audience.

Tips for writing readable text

Writing should always be done with an audience in mind.

Know who you’re writing for

Determining your key audience is important. For the purposes of this article, I’ll limit that to your audience’s education level. The higher their education, the more complex text people are able to read.

However, that doesn’t mean that readers with a university education level are dying to read particularly complicated text content. Do you want to write for an audience that’s as broad as possible? Try to write at a B1 level:

Webtexttool checks readability

webtexttool checks readability and complexity of your content automatically 

Spoken language vs. written language

Writing in a conversational way is a huge help in the readability of your content. (Feel free to skip all the uhs and hmms, though.)

Imagine your blog post is a story you’re telling a friend. As you write, you can literally read it out loud to them, and you’ll easily be able to tell how it comes across.

Source: Unsplash

Typography & design

How your text is presented is also important to its readability. Choose a clear font like Arial or Helvetica. ‘Funny’ fonts, like the notorious Comic Sans, are to be avoided. (Or are they?)

According to experts, the ideal font size for desktop is 16 pixels, but the golden rule here is that you shouldn’t have to lean forward to be able to read the text on the screen properly.

Structure

Finally, a clear structure is essential for a readable piece of text, since many people will be scanning your blog post.

Using short paragraphs and subheadings will make larger pieces of text easier to process. Adding images and videos can be helpful as well.

Conclusion: this is how you write readable content

Easy-to-read text can indirectly land you higher in Google search results. Additionally, more people will purchase your product or service when they enjoy reading your blog.

Popular words, short sentences, and active verbs will give your content a high readability factor.

A scannable structure, easy-to-read font, and a conversational writing style will allow you to reach a larger audience.

Finding it hard to remember and implement all those guidelines on your own? webtexttool automatically keeps an eye on your writing to make sure it’s readable for your audience.

Higher conversion rate on your website? Here’s how to get started.

Higher conversion rate on your website? Here’s how to get started.

How do you ensure that your online visitors actually become customers and clients? That’s what conversion rate optimization (CRO) is all about. It’s a specialty that includes complex techniques and psychological concepts. But many companies haven’t even picked the low hanging fruit! That’s why you’ll read here about some simple steps that will help you increase conversions on your website in the upcoming quarter.

User-friendliness and great content as a solid foundation

Conversion optimization is closely connected to your website’s user experience (UX) and the added value of your content (SEO). If you have those two areas under control, you’ll already notice more visitors arriving from Google. High time to convert them into customers or leads.

Reading tips:

Writing understandable content for a large audience

Keep creating engaging content

5 reasons why User Experience (UX) is important for SEO

What should I do? (call-to-action)

A surprising number of companies forgets to add a clear call-to-action on the pages of their website. What do you want your visitors to do?

For example:

  • Try your service for free for 30 days
  • Download a whitepaper (including a free subscription to your newsletter)
  • Get a quote
  • Ask a question through the live chat

Experimenting is the best way to determine the ideal call-to-action for your specific product or service. Of course, there are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Create an attractive button

You can add a call-to-action to your text as a link, but creating a visually attractive button is another way to incorporate your message. That way, any visitor just scanning your website will see clearly at a glance what they should do.

Think like your visitors

Keep your visitors in mind when deciding which wording to use for your clickable button. What is the benefit you are offering them?

So not:

Newsletter sign-up

Request quote

Create trial account

But rather:

Free ****** tips in your inbox every month

How much will I save using ****** to do ******?

Try ****** free for 30 days

Experiment with placement and color

Conversions can really depend on where you place your actionable button and what it looks like. A distinctive color is definitely a must and consider including additional calls-to-action along the way in any longer articles (1000+ words).

A ‘softer’ alternative

Not every visitor wants to buy something right at this very moment. But it would be a shame just to let them click away. For those visitors, it’s a great idea to build in an alternative call-to-action when they decide not to click on that purchase button. Perhaps a discount code when they leave the website.

Why should I do it? (social proof, scarcity, ease)

Convincing people is an art. In many cases, it helps to have a clear outline of your unique selling points, but your visitors will often need an extra little push. Here are three well-known techniques:

Social proof

KFC is “Finger Lickin’ Good.” But why would anyone just take their word for it? For most brands, customer recommendations are key.

Showcasing reviews or testimonials on your website is a definite recommendation. It’s important that reviews are verifiable (full name, plus preferably a photo and contact information) and that they clearly convey how your product or service was helpful to them.

Scarcity

Have you ever browsed for hotel rooms on Booking.com? The company (that originated in The Netherlands) is very adept at suggesting scarcity. “In high demand – only 1 room left!” – “You missed it! We ran out of rooms at this property.” – “Just booked!”

You can try these same tactics (within reason) on your own website. Do keep in mind not to make far-fetched claims.

Ease

Finally, it’s always worth making things as easy as possible for your visitors. Is it strictly necessary to create an account in order to process an order? Does that form need to be quite so long?

Focus on those pages with the highest visitor count

Conversion rate optimization is a specialty that you can expand on indefinitely, but it’s unlikely that you have that much time to invest in it. That’s why it’s smart to focus on your website’s most important pages.

  1. Use Google Analytics to identify your key landing pages.
  2. Which pages have high traffic, but low conversion rates?
  3. At what point are you losing your visitors?
  4. How does your call-to-action tie into your keywords?

Next, experiment with the above tips to generate a higher click-through rate (CTR).

In conclusion: the first steps towards conversion optimization

With conversion optimization (CRO) you ensure that more visitors become customers or take the action you want them to take.

The basis for CRO lies in a user-friendly website with convincing and well-written content.

Tip: At webtexttool, you can use the Text Conversion Optimizer. This tool automatically measures the readability and credibility of your text.

A clear, enticing, and eye-catching call-to-action will help you convert visitors into clients or leads.

Three great tactics to employ are scarcity, ease, and social proof.

To get started, focus your conversion optimization on pages with a high visitor count, but a low number of leads.