Fresh content can initially drive a lot of traffic, but as it gets old, it can lose its relevance, become stale, and drop down in search results. This makes it less likely to be found—and even if it is, it may have little or no usefulness to those looking for fresh information.
Well, online content is not meant to last forever, but that does not mean that its relevance lies only in the short term. Web content that is properly optimized will continue to attract search traffic and users long after it has been published.
So how do you make your web content last longer to drive traffic and better serve users? Developing evergreen content seems tough, but there are a couple of things that can be done to make web pages perform better.
Content needs to be created not only for readers, but also for search engines to index it, else it will not show up in search results for people to find. Content cannot last long if search engines are not indexing it and displaying it in their results.
Content that was published over a year ago may not have the same relevance today. When new topics are trending, look at where your content can fit into current trends and revise accordingly.
Content does not mean only published articles. It can be of any form, and in fact, videos, PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, and infographics are good ways to make content last longer.
It’s also a good idea to periodically optimize content meta tags such as the title of the asset, its meta description and meta keywords. If published content is still relevant after a long period of time, meta tags can be updated to suit the best trending searches related to the content.
For published articles and blogs, it is wise to display when it was published and let users know how old the content is. Without a publishing date, readers may not be certain if the content is still useful.
Not displaying the date of publication may put readers at risk if the provided information is stale or no longer applicable. Displaying the date lets readers decide whether or not to use the content. Otherwise, readers may be confronted with a dilemma, and abandon otherwise useful content only to avoid the risk of using outdated information.
Content that deals with particular subjects is likely to change frequently. If you update time-sensitive content to keep it relevant, it’s good practice to let readers know about such changes by mentioning it at the beginning.
Sometimes it may not be possible to change published content to keep it fresh or relevant to current requirements. In such cases, let readers know that the content deals with old information, and then provide a link to a new page. This will help readers get the fresh information they are looking for, and is an excellent method to drive user engagement.
Creating durable content for users and search engine requires continuous effort. It is not a one-time activity, and it requires regular updates to published content. To do this, you may also want to monitor your ranking results and traffic to know how your content is holding up over time.