It’s a word coveted by every content creator in some way or another. Content that transcends the typical news cycle. Content that perpetually delivers value to your audience.
Content that organically remains high on the search engine results page, even long after publication.
There’s something that you need to understand about this type of content, however. Publishing an evergreen piece doesn’t mean you can simply fire and forget. Even evergreen content needs to be evaluated and revisited on occasion.
The trick is figuring out when you should do that and when it’s better to simply leave something alone.
If you have the bandwidth for it, it’s generally advisable to evaluate the performance of each page on your site every six months. Examine historical data, and focus on pages that appear to be struggling, particularly those that were performing well immediately after publication.
A downturn in traffic or a slipping PageRank indicates that a page is due for reoptimization. This could involve anything from fixing broken links and images to improving page performance. With that said, it’s important to understand that a slight decline in traffic isn’t unusual — given enough time, traffic to older pages will inevitably begin to trend downward.
It’s also important to understand that declining performance or traffic may not be a search engine optimization issue but rather a problem with the content itself.
Your content, after all, does not exist in a vacuum. As a content creator, you need to pay attention to emerging trends in your niche as well as the wider world. Consider, for instance, how much things have changed as a direct result of COVID-19.
A blog post published prior to the pandemic may well contain outdated information or factual inaccuracies. It’s advisable to always keep an ear to the ground so that you can update old content accordingly. How extensive these changes should be largely depends on the nature of the content.
In some cases, you might need to completely rewrite or revise an old piece, as it’s no longer relevant or accurate. In other cases, it could be as simple as adding a sentence about quarantine to an article on remote work or mentioning travel restrictions when giving advice on business trips. It’s something you’ll need to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
Beyond the two scenarios described above, the old adage applies — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There’s no need to fiddle with the SEO of a page that’s performing well. Trying to revise a piece without good reason is not only a waste of time and effort, but could actually end up being an act of self-sabotage.
Ultimately, just use your best judgment, and you should be fine.