Evergeen vs Deciduous Content

February 24, 2022

We talk to website owners every day about managing their website, and see the evolution of sites over many years. Here are some of the pros and cons of evergreen vs "deciduous" (or one-off / seasonal / fresh) content.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content stays relevant year after year. This can include:

  • ‘Static’ pages like About Us, your services, your organization and so on
  • Guides
  • FAQs
  • Videos
  • Typically any content in your primary navigation or footer

The difference between evergreen and deciduous content can get somewhat blurry when you consider that videos, FAQs, guides etc. can become outdated after many years. 

When creating pages it is useful to consider whether you or your staff will want to update it periodically, or whether it will remain relevant without further edits. It can be beneficial to omit specific references to timely topics, years, dates, etc, in order to avoid having to update the content later on.  Writing content with an eye towards longevity will free up staff time to focus on other things, like deciduous content.

Evergreen content is beneficial for SEO. Lengthy, detailed online resources will be linked to over time, and will bring link authority to your site, resulting in improved rankings over time.

Deciduous Content

Fresh content requires labor, and that can be tough for growing businesses. Ideally you will assign someone to the task of creating and managing fresh content. Examples of this include;

  • News
  • Blog posts
  • Press releases
  • Documentation
  • Data sheets
  • Podcasts
  • Videos
  • Typically any kind of time-sensitive or periodic content

Deciduous content is also great for SEO. It keeps search engines coming back for more, especially if your site has an XML sitemap that indexes this content and tells Google and other search engines about new content.

Creating deciduous content is easier than creating evergreen content, because it’s usually shorter in nature, and could be as simple as a few paragraphs, whereas evergreen content tends to be lengthier and is placed more prominently on the site. 

Deciding Between Evergreen and Deciduous Content

If your goal is to bring traffic via organic search (e.g. Google), you should do some competitive SEO analysis to find out what kind of content does better for your topic. Perform some searches that you would want your content to be found under, and figure out what sort of content is doing well; is it evergreen or deciduous? Which type does better in the search results?

You do not have to choose. In fact, it is often advisable to use a hybrid approach with fresh, periodic deciduous content reinforcing longer-lived evergreen content.

For example, let’s consider a website for a government IT contractor. The site has an evergreen page (linked from the main menu) about their capabilities (in broad terms), but the site also has a news page (or blog) that shares more timely information, for example recent government IT regulations, cybercurity issues that affect government, and so on. The evergreen and deciduous content reinforce each in terms of how the site visitor perceives the company’s brand while simultaneously improving the site’s SEO, assuming attention has been paid to using relevant keywords and phrases.