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  • Writer's pictureLyn Cruickshank

It's time to harvest your evergreen content

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

Nothing beats the thrill of seeing a carefully honed content idea start to bear fruit, which is why evergreen should be an essential part of every content strategy. In many ways it’s the perfect marketing tool for health and medical brands. It taps into health information seeking behaviours and allows you to connect with patients at the point of need.

Here’s how to make it work.

What is evergreen content?

Evergreen is often called ‘always on’ for that very reason. It’s content that isn’t timebound to a particular event or trending theme. Instead, evergreen topics have a steady search interest all year round, year in year out, and stay relevant. This is the case with most health conditions, where interest is driven by individual symptoms not the public agenda.

How does it work?

Unlike PR and advertising, evergreen content starts slowly and keeps working long after it’s published. Over time a well-researched and planned piece of evergreen content will show up in search engine results pages. Once this has been achieved, you can look forward to a steady flow of clicks over the weeks and months with little or no effort.

Deciding on evergreen article topics

When searching for evergreen content ideas, look for topics that address problems or challenges. Even allowing for regulatory and ethical considerations, the list of potential themes for most health conditions is likely to be long. Don’t overthink or spend too long ruminating, this isn’t your ad spend so you can afford a bit of trial and error when searching for the content sweet spots.

In health, the big brands tend to dominate the search engine results and it can be difficult to compete with their authority on core topics. Our advice is to go niche and not be afraid of small volumes. The important thing with keyword research is to find an unmet need.

There are several tools you can use to help you do this. These include SEMrush, Google Trends, Keyword Tools and AnswerThePublic. It’s unlikely that you’ll find a topic no one else is covering but aim for a good match with your own brand expertise. When you’ve narrowed down your list, take a look at what’s already out there and try and do it better.

Here’s an example of how to do this

A case study: Researching evergreen content in health and medical

This hypothetical client sells an over-the-counter antihistamine topical cream. They want to build awareness and make the most of impulse purchases. A quick search on Google trends showed a small interest for antihistamine, but a much higher volume of searches for allergy rash, which seems to be all year round – in other words evergreen.

Digging deeper, a look at the search queries and volumes for allergy rash using AnswerthePublic highlighted allergy rash vs viral rash amongst several other topics attracting interest.

A further search on Google showed that very few pages were directly answering this question – allergy rash vs viral rash. And, the three top ranking pages did not show any photographs or illustrations, even though skin conditions lend themselves really well to visual content. This feels like a good starting point to build out some great evergreen content.

TIP: Remember ethnicity when developing content. Rashes don’t present in the same way all skin types. Colours like ‘pinky-red’ don’t translate to darker skin for example. Evergreen content is an opportunity to create relevant content for every individual.

Finally, consider context. Keywords can be misleading without medical knowledge of the subject in hand and may need to link to more information to give a full picture. Good health content that gives safe, relevant advice from an authoritative source will fare better in search engines.

Choosing formats and tone of voice

Formats are important. Evergreen content is about looking for answers and education so long-form content such as blog posts, e-books, explainer and how-to pages all work well. Infographics, illustrations and photographs are also helpful when describing complex topics. Most importantly, make sure that your piece is well structured and includes all SEO elements.

Try to resist the urge to shoehorn in brand names and product features. Add something if you think it adds value to the article, but evergreen content isn’t advertising. If you’re giving useful information or advice that someone needed – often in a time of distress – then they will already be left with a positive impression of your brand. The lightest touch is needed here, and clear navigation if they want take the next step.

How can you improve the success of your evergreen content?

Kick-start your content with some short-form content, such as social media or email, to drive traffic to your long-form content.

You can also plan to get more from each piece by seeding your content. This is when you develop and distribute the content across a diverse range of channels. Building out themes and assets in this way will ensure you reach the widest possible audience. In doing so, you can increase the impact in terms of web traffic and brand awareness, as well getting better value from your efforts.

How often do you need to update it?

At Wallace we recommend you weed out your old evergreen content every 18 months to 2 years. Keep the good bits that are still serving you well, but with strong competition it’s important to keep sowing new ideas to keep it fresh and exciting.

And in the health and pharma sector especially, it’s important to conduct medical reviews every couple of years to ensure your content is still accurate and follows the latest advice. Adding a publication date and review date and, if you can, a medical author or reviewer credit, will help make this clear to readers, increasing your expertise, authority and trustworthiness (EAT) and your SEO.

How much evergreen content do you need?

There is no rule and this depends on your business goals and content strategy. Although some brands claim to run as much as 80% of their content as evergreen, at Wallace we say you need to consider it in the context of the overall customer funnel, although 25-30% is a good starting point. Whatever you decide, while your main campaigns are doing the heavy lifting it’s good to know that your ‘always on’ evergreen content is filling in the gaps, month in month out.

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