Recently Google announced an improvement to their ranking algorithm that was implemented to better determine when to provide more up-to-date relevant results. They estimate that this update should affect approximately 35% of searches (where at least one result on the page was affected).
Now some website owners may take this as a call to start pumping out content at an hourly rate to get a “freshness” ranking boost. To those website owners, our own Grant Simmons said “not so fast” and forced the issue that the content produced should still be relevant, of high quality and easily found within your website. I couldn’t agree with him more.
However, since Google has made freshness a factor, content freshness and timeliness is something to significantly consider. This poses a new challenge for website owners and operators. Anyone can generate new content on a daily basis, but when you start creating content just so you have fresh content, you often lose sight of the quality of that content.
So how do you balance freshness with quality? By segmenting your content production into three categories: 1) Evergreen Content, 2) Brand/Industry Specific Content; 3) Fun Content
Evergreen content is the core content of your website. It consists of the basic categories, sub-categories and general information that relates to what it is your company does and offers. These pages typically contain the content/topics that also align with your core SEO keyword targets and should be optimized as such.
EXAMPLE: Let’s say you’re an online marketing agency that offers Search Engine Optimization services. So, you obviously need a page that discusses the specific SEO services you offer. Unless you’re constantly changing what it is you offer in regards to SEO, this page will remain virtually unchanged. Also, it’s a natural fit to be optimized around keywords like SEO and Search Engine Optimization, so you have a great and natural opportunity to gain traffic from people searching for SEO-related terms.
To summarize, your evergreen content is the foundation of your website. It reflects the core products/services you offer and are typically the core pages you want to ensure are aligned with how people typically search for said products/services online. So unless you’re constantly changing your products/service offering, those pages will naturally remain unchanged as well as be naturally optimized from a keyword perspective.
Brand/industry-specific content consists of press releases, POVs on industry events and other articles relating to your company. This content is expected to be fresh and added at a regular pace. This is also the type of content that not all companies produce at an on-going pace. It’s true that companies typically create press releases when big company events occur, but what about the larger space you’re in? Do you create company POV articles on large industry changes/events? Do you limit press releases to enormous company news or do you create ones when you get positive reviews on relevant blogs/websites?
EXAMPLE: Let’s say you’re still that online marketing agency that offers Search Engine Optimization services. You already have your SEO page that’s aligned with SEO-related keywords that will remain unchanged, but what about the recent Panda Updates? This is a big opportunity to create an agency POV on the update. The result is a new and relevant piece of content specific to the SEO industry as a whole. Now that’s some valuable fresh content.
To summarize, there’s always an opportunity to talk about yourself and the industry, so don’t be shy. Adding brand/industry-specific content into the mix will allow you to create topical, relevant and timely content that will be seen as “fresh” content on your website. And don’t get hung up on what keywords to target with this content. Just make sure the content can be found within your site, doesn’t cause any content duplication and has real value and insight.
Fun content consists of articles that are…well…FUN! They don’t necessarily need to talk about your company. They don’t even need to be directly tied to industry news or keywords. In fact, doing keyword research could hinder your creativity. These don’t need necessarily need to be articles. They could be infographics, videos, photo galleries, etc. It just needs to be related to your larger industry and have a fun topic.
EXAMPLE: Let’s say you’re still that online marketing agency. You already have your SEO services page (Evergreen content) and a POV on the recent Panda updates (Brand/industry-specific content). The next step is to create that fun content! Having trouble thinking up fun content ideas? How about these:
- 10 Ways to Ensure Google NEVER Finds your Content
- The Rise and Fall of the Meta Keywords Tag
- Horoscopes for SEO Specialists
- Photo Gallery of Matt Cutts Hairstyles Over the Years
- Halloween Costume Ideas for SEO Specialists
- How to Optimize Your Dating Life – Using SEO Best Practices
So as you can see, by aligning your content within these categories, you’ll have an easier time creating fresh, quality content on a regular basis. The key is to know what content to focus on keywords (Evergreen content), what content to focus on the industry (brand/industry-specific content), and what content to focus on your creativity (fun content).