How We Utilized Evergreen Content to Increase Our Traffic 1,300% in 18 Months

SEO Has Been The Single Largest Driver of Business for Wallaroo Since Our Inception

Last updated: March 13, 2017.

Through our evergreen content strategy we’ve grown our traffic over 1,300% in 18 months. The first half of this article will show you how we did it. The second half will teach you how to do it for your company.

Wallaroo Media was founded in mid-2012. When we formed our company, we wanted a name that was unique, fun, and brand-able. We also wanted it to have a word in it that got a lot of monthly searches that we felt we could rank for fairly quickly. So we chose Wallaroo. Soon enough, we got to #1 for the word “Wallaroo” and could tell all our prospective clients that we knew how to do SEO  :). This keyword targeting strategy also reflected the types of clients we were going after. With a resume like this, and with no case studies and little experience, we could really only get local clients like restaurants, dentists, auto repair shops, etc. And when we did get those types of companies as clients, we hustled hard to do everything we could to help them succeed.

how to use SEO to grow business

That was back in the early days. We don’t care about ranking for “Wallaroo” anymore (although we’re still on page one); we moved on to bigger and better things. Like most SEO companies, we started by targeting localized keyword phrases related to “SEO”, or “Utah SEO company“, or “Provo Utah SEO”. This keyword strategy also reflected the types of clients we were able to get. If someone Googled “Utah SEO Company” and found us, chances were that they were interested in SEO, maybe some content marketing, and not much else. We got a lot of great clients this way, and still do, but we wanted to level up as a company. Once we achieved amazing rankings for those keywords, we continued to set our sights on higher revenue-generating keywords and bigger clients…

Enter: The “Evergreen Content” Strategy

With a firm hold on SEO-related keywords in our market, we wanted to expand our services and offerings at our company. We wanted to diversify. We wanted to get more into social media advertising management and PR. So we created a content marketing plan.

There were three key steps in our approach to our Evergreen Content Strategy:

Step 1: Evergreen Content 

evergreen content seo strategy

We wanted evergreen content to be the backbone of our strategy. What is evergreen content you ask? We define it as timeless content that continually stays fresh for readers. We felt that this was an under-utilized tactic with the keywords we wanted to rank for. We wanted to get more clients who wanted to hire us to manage Facebook Ads. So we took a page out of Moz’s book (with their Google Algorithm Change History piece) and decided to create the Facebook Algorithm Change History with the purpose of using it as a Trojan horse to get social ads clients. We created the Facebook Algorithm piece over 2 years ago, and have been updating it every month or so since. That content ranks #1 for “Facebook algorithm change”, #3 for “Facebook algorithm”, #4 for “Facebook changes”, and #5 for “New Facebook update”. It also ranks on page one of Google for another ~100 keyword phrases! The content piece has had almost 60,000 visits since its launch with an average time on page of about 4 minutes.

Step 2: Consistent Updates

As I briefly mentioned in Step 1, we have been updating that Facebook Algorithm piece every month or so for over two years now. Every time we update it, we do three things: Change the publish date in WordPress, change the “Last updated” phrase at the beginning of the piece, and share it on Google Plus (and other social networks as well). Correlation does not equal causation, but we have found this sequence to be crucial in our rankings.

A little more on “evergreen content”: I would highly recommend that unless you are writing on a topic that is time-sensitive or newsworthy in nature, that all your content is evergreen. We update our Facebook piece all the time (because it needs to be updated constantly). But if you publish a piece titled, “How to do SEO for B2B Companies,” update it all the time! Seek out ways to do so. Update the case studies you cite. If you figure out new, applicable strategies, add those. Did Google or Facebook or something else change since you first wrote the piece that now changes things? Add that and update it! Be creative, it shouldn’t be difficult to add to a piece every couple months and thus make it evergreen.

Step 3: Being The First-Mover Helps

Being the first-mover to go after a keyword helps with future ranking ability. It is by no means a requirement, though. But in our experience, being the first to publish an in-depth, well-optimized piece on the subject can do wonders. And if you are consistently updating it, you can stay ahead of the competition. There isn’t any more secret sauce here.

utah seo growth at wallaroo media

Note: Some here may bring up the “Skypscraper Technique” from Brian Dean (who is awesome and whom I greatly respect). Yes, that strategy works very well, and yes, the Skyscraper Technique is designed to overtake first-movers. But if you follow steps 1 and 2 well enough, then being the first-mover will obviously help you. And if you’re always working to build links to your content, then you should be immune to competitors. Theoretically, they wouldn’t want to compete. Who would want to compete with amazing content that’s always being added to and has a consistent flow of quality backlinks pouring in?

Case Study: “Snapchat Advertising”

We shared a mini case study in Step 1 with our Facebook piece. Now we’ll spill the beans on what we’ve been up to lately: targeting all keyword phrases related to Snapchat Advertising, and using the Evergreen SEO strategy to do so.

We were early adopters internally of all things Snapchat. We have a team that skews toward the younger side, and many of us have thoroughly enjoyed the popular social network since its inception.

When Snapchat started rolling out ads last year, we began thinking about offering ads management for the social app as a service. One problem though: Snapchat wasn’t letting anyone in. No agencies, no public access, nothing. They were working directly with brands to create and run the ad campaigns. So we dragged our feet.

snap ads campaign management

But in November of 2016 we published version 1.0 of “Snapchat Advertising Costs” on our website. From there, we continued to update that piece according to steps 1-3 outlined above. We also wrote a lot about Snapchat marketing strategies in general. What are the results you ask? Here they are:

  • “Snapchat advertising” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • “Snapchat ads” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • “Snapchat cost” – #1
  • “Advertise on Snapchat” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • “Ads on Snapchat” – #3 (after Snapchat.com and Snap.com)
  • “Advertising on Snapchat” – #2 (after Snapchat.com)
  • And over 200 more keyword phrases

If you pull up the search volume for those phrases, you will see that none are huge (each phrase ranges from a few hundred to the low thousands in monthly searches). But, as you can imagine, they convert to actual business for us very well. And with SEO, the true measure of success is conversion (at least in our minds). Does your SEO strategy get your website the right traffic and interested users/customers/clients in the target demographic? This is a key component for any effective SEO campaign. For most of our website visitors that come to our site through these keywords, we’re the first agency they come in contact with that does Snapchat advertising. Our content, combined with some retargeting ads every now and then (we spend less than $100/month in paid advertising for ourselves), helps convert these visitors into paying clients.

Take a look at our website traffic in the screenshot below. In an 18-month period, we’ve increased our traffic from under 400 visitors per week to over 5,000 visitors per week. That’s an increase of over 1,300%! Evergreen content works very well  :).

evergreen content case study

Evergreen Content Strategy in Action

 

Each time we wanted to “level up” as an agency, we leveled up the keywords we targeted. Consequently, our client roster has evolved from local clients to larger, but largely unknown, nationwide clients, to publicly-traded companies and household brands.

At Wallaroo, we absolutely love SEO. It was the first service we ever offered, and it will always be part of our core. It has helped grow our business immensely. If you do it right, SEO can do the same for your brand. Want to grow your business through SEO? Contact us today!

Step by Step Process for Creating Evergreen Content

Now that you see how we used the evergreen content strategy to grow our business, let us show you how to do the same for yours.

First, you need to decide which type of evergreen content you want to create. There are many different types of evergreen content. Here’s a quick list:

  • Original research
  • Statistic collection
  • In-depth case study
  • Checklist
  • Resource content (see our content marketing resource)
  • List of free/paid tools
  • Top influencers/experts in a niche
  • Best books for X
  • Glossary of terms in a niche
  • “Everything you need to know” style
  • History of a topic/product (see our Facebook algorithm history)
  • How to do something over time
  • How-to article or tutorial

Keep in mind for whichever type you choose – it either needs to be written in a way to where it will never go out of date, or you need to be consistently updating the piece over time.

Another key component of successful evergreen content is constant promotion. Many forget to do this. Once your content is live, you need to be promoting it on a consistent basis. Not every day, but at least a couple times a month. And for sure every time you update it. Promote it on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Depending on the purpose of the content, paid advertising can be a good solution as well.

Do you have any questions about this strategy? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

304 Content Marketing Resources: Tips, Strategies, Examples, Tools, & More!

Last updated: February 22, 2017.

Below is a conglomeration of content marketing resources. We have compiled what has become a fantastic resource for our company. We hope you can use it for your own. We have content marketing articles, tips, resources, examples, case studies, tools, inspiration, and more. This post starts with the tips, but don’t forget to scroll down to see the other amazing resources and tools!

We will constantly be adding to this list. Enjoy!

CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGIES:

DATA GATHERING TOOLS:

DATA VISUALIZATION TOOLS:

MISCELLANEOUS TOOLS & RESOURCES FOR CONTENT IDEA GENERATION, CREATION, AND MAKING YOUR CONTENT BETTER:

PAID CONTENT DISCOVERY & MARKETING TOOLS:

EXAMPLES OF GREAT CONTENT:

“BORING” PAGES ON YOUR SITE – MAKE THEM FUN!

WEBSITES FOR INSPIRATION:

If you have any suggestions that should be added, please email us at info [at] wallaroomedia [dot] com

Post by Brandon Doyle

Some Quick SEO Hits

Google is up to something…

Last week, around February 6-8, the temperatures were scorching according to Moz’s tool “Mozcast”. Mozcast is a tool that tracks turbulence in Google’s algorithm. The hotter and stormier the weather, the more Google’s rankings have changed. Take a look at last week, which is the peak to the right of the image below.

google algo update february 7 2017

Google has not confirmed the update, but rankings have been in flux, both good and bad. Take a look at the rankings for the popular social network Reddit…

reddit seo google penalty

We are still looking into what this could be. We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.

Also, a fun “Did You Know” reminder from Gary Illyes at Google yesterday: “DYK if you read out loud the text on your page and it doesn’t sound natural, that piece of text may weigh much less during ranking.”

So, when writing content on your site, don’t “write for SEO”. Make it natural.

Tool Marketing – How to Effectively Use Interactive Tools to Build Your Business

Updated: October 20, 2016

Content marketing is all the rage these days. And for good reason. Creating high quality content and coupling it with a solid link building and/or social outreach strategy can be very effective. It’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd. There are millions of blog posts written every day. 2-3 million in fact. Look at this site – worldometers.info/blogs – it has a live counter to prove it! That’s not to say that you should never write blog posts. But if that’s the core of your content marketing strategy, you need to switch it up. There are many different types of content forms that can be utilized (i.e. tutorials, guides, eBooks, images, case studies, slide decks, infographics, etc.). We think that “tool marketing” is an avenue that should be pursued. Tool marketing can be the most effective and evergreen content of all.

not tool marketing

Not this type of tool 🙂

First off, some of the leading companies in the digital marketing industry have created tools themselves. These have undoubtedly had great success in building their respective brands. Some highlights (data pulled from OSE):

http://www.opensiteexplorer.org/ – Open Site Explorer from Moz – 5600 Linking Root Domains and 3500 social shares
http://marketing.grader.com/ – Marketing Grader from HubSpot – 5100 LRDs and 5900 shares
http://www.socialsiteexplorer.com/ – Social Site Explorer from 97th Floor – 9 LRDs and 81 shares
http://www.seerinteractive.com/seo-toolbox/ – the SEO Toolbox from SEER Interactive – 90 LRDs and 334 shares
http://www.greenlaneseo.com/outdated-content-finder/ – Outdated Content Finder from Green Lane SEO – 52 LRDs and 82 shares
http://www.siegemedia.com/embed-code-generator – Embed Code Generator from Siege Media – 42 LRDs and 54 shares
http://www.quicksprout.com/ – Website Analyzer from QuickSprout (data is skewed because the tool now resides as the homepage) – 2300 LRDs and 3300 shares
http://mozcast.com/ – The Google Algorithm Weather Report – 729 LRDs and 6600 shares
http://www.portent.com/tools/title-maker/ – Content Idea Generator from Portent – 551 LRDs and 4100 shares

Those are some great numbers! Let’s see how other websites do it…

tool marketing

Examples of Tools on Other Websites:

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/income-upshot – What does your income say about you?
http://www.thistothat.com/ – Because people have a need to glue things to other things.
http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/ereaders/speed-reader/ – Speed read tool.
http://www.forrent.com/blog/tv-size/ – What TV is best for my apartment?
http://search-by-drawing.fullstackoptimization.com – Search Google by drawing.
http://forecast.baremetrics.com/ – A SAAS revenue forecaster tool.
http://www.disruptiveadvertising.com/customer-lifetime-value/ – A customer lifetime value calculator.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-15391515 – Where do you fit in the world population?
http://namify.com/target-social-media/ – How to find your demographic on social media.
http://www.budgetdirect.com.au/packinglist/ – Ultimate travel packing list tool.
http://mwranches.com/choose-adventure/ – Tool for finding outdoor adventures near you.
http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ – Tool to check to see if a website is down.
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/upshot/buy-rent-calculator.html?_r=1 – Is it better to rent or buy?
http://netflixroulette.net/ – Find Netflix movies to watch.
http://growth.tlb.org/# – Startup growth calculator.
http://rcs.seerinteractive.com/destination-layover/where-you-at – Find things to do on your layovers.
http://chronicle.nytlabs.com/ – Visualizing language usage in NYT news coverage throughout its history.
http://www.solarwinds.com/npm-roi-calculator.aspx – Network ROI calculator.
http://ad-spend-calculator.qwilr.com/ – Should my startup pay to advertise?
https://www.defensivedriving.com/road-trip-planner/ – Road trip planner.
http://getdatadriven.com/ab-significance-test – Tool to see if your A/B tests are significant.
http://www.twofoods.com/ – Instantly compare two foods’ nutritional value.

http://salaryorequity.com/ – Salary or equity calculator.

https://photofunia.com/effects/retro-wave – 80’s style picture maker.

Some of the tools above were made by my agency. Some are beautiful, some are not. Perhaps the most underwhelming example above is http://www.thistothat.com/. But that site has 660 linking root domains and 6,000 social shares! So the tools don’t need to be pretty or perfect to achieve success.

How can you create a tool for your business? 6 steps.

Now that you have (hopefully) been inspired by the awesome examples above, let’s go through the process of how you can create your own tool. Below are the steps that we use at our agency.

  1. Define the goal for the tool. Do you want to drive revenue? Do you want to build your brand? Are you trying to build links? These answers should be clearly defined before you begin the content ideation process. Different types of tools are created for different reasons.
  2. Comb through your existing content/resources. Depending on your previous content marketing initiatives, you may already have some piece of valuable content or resource that could be repurposed into a tool. DO NOT skip this step. You may save yourself a lot of time.
  3. Look for successful content in your niche. Search over what your competitors have been producing. Look at niche subreddits on Reddit. Check out relevant Google Plus communities and LinkedIn groups. Find what is working well and decide if it’s something you can improve upon. You’d be surprised at what you might find.
  4. Talk to your clients/customers. Don’t be afraid to ask your current clients or customers! Ask them if there are things they’ve been looking for recently that you could make.
  5. Create the content. After doing your research and deciding on what you want to make, make it! If your tool involves a lot of programming, consider using resources like omniref.com or codepen.io patterns or github.com to save you time and money.
  6. Promote the content. This is arguably the most important part of the entire process. There are many posts here on Moz that provide tips for outreach. But you should consider mapping out links and shares of similar content (using tools like BuzzSumo or Moz) and reaching out to all of those opportunities. This step CANNOT be overlooked.

Now that you have the steps, I hope you can get started on making a tool of your own! Please let me know if you have any questions along the way, just tweet me here. I’d love to chat with you! And if you know any tools that you think are awesome, please let me know! Good luck!

50 Social Media Stats

This data is taken from an article on Ad Age. There are some fantastic statistics here! Great information for slide decks!

1. eMarketer estimates there will be nearly 21 million Twitter users in the U.S. by the end of this year, and a sizable minority of those will use the service at least in part to follow brands. (eMarketer)

2. Forty percent of bloggers consider themselves professionals. (MediaBistro/State of the Blogosphere 2011)

3. There are now more than 800 million active Facebook users, with more than 200 million added in 2011. (Social Media Examiner)

4. B2C Facebook results are 30% above average on Sundays. (Convince & Convert)

5. Tweets last up to 67 times longer for users with higher Klout scores. (Mashable)

6. Nearly every large charity and university in America is on Facebook. Less than 60% of the Fortune 500 are. (Grow)

7. B2B marketers are spending millions of dollars annually on social-marketing programs, though nearly 30% are not tracking the impact of social-media programs on lead generation and sales. (TechJournal/Pardot)

8. Thirty-four percent of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals using Twitter (AllTwitter)

9. Roughly two-thirds of social-media users say that staying in touch with current friends and family members is a major reason they use these sites, while half say that connecting with old friends they’ve lost touch with is a major reason behind their use of these technologies. (PEW Research)

10. The vast majority (95%) of the parents of 10-year-olds on Facebook were aware when their child signed up for the site, and 78% of those parents helped create the child’s account [despite rules that prohibit children under 13 from joining the social-networking site]. (CNN Tech)

11. One in three respondents (33%) said that they would prioritize social-media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility over salary in accepting a job offer. (GigaOm)

12. One in three texters would rather text than talk. (NYTimes: Bits)

13. Seventy-seven percent of consumers said they interact with brands on Facebook primarily through reading posts and updates from the brands [….] 17% of respondents said they interact with brands by sharing experiences and news stories with others about the brand, and only 13% of respondents said they post updates about brands that they like. (Mashable)

14. The average Facebook user has 130 friends and is connected to 80 pages, events and groups. (Social Media Examiner)

15. Seventy-three percent of people think employees overshare on social-media. (Marketing Pilgrim)

16. Forty-three percent of all online consumers are social media fans or followers. (HubSpot)

17. Netflix’s price hike caused 805,000 paid subscribers to jump ship in the most-recent quarter. (Mashable)

18. Sixty-four percent of Americans stream mobile video at work. (Tubefilter)

19. The Mobile Marketing Association of Asia stated that out of the 6 billion people on the planet, 4.8 billion have a mobile phone while only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush. (60 Second Marketer)

20. According to ThreatMetrix survey of 722 active internet using consumers, 37% intend to make a purchase using their smartphone, nearly three times as many as those who plan to use their tablet. (Get Elastic)

21. A 2011 study by the National Restaurant Association confirms that consumers who use social media, including apps, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, UrbanSpoon and more, not only dine out more, but are more likely to become return customers. (ReadWriteWeb)

22. Ninety-five percent of Facebook Wall posts are not answered by brands. (All Facebook)

43. Twenty percent of searches on Google each day have never been searched for before. (HubSpot)

24. Tablet owners tend to consume a greater variety and volume of news on their devices, and tablets’ visual, interactive features encourage in-depth exploration, according to a joint study from Starcom MediaVest and the online division of the BBC. (Mashable)

25. Auto-posting to Facebook decreases likes and comments by 70%. (Inside Facebook)

26. LinkedIn has 64 million users in North America alone. (All Twitter)

27. Twitter updates that include verbs have a 2% higher shareability than the average tweet. (HubSpot)

28. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are now considered cornerstones of most social-media strategies in larger companies. Ninety-four percent of respondents said Facebook is one of their top three social media platform priorities. Twitter was second with 77%, and YouTube trailed with 42%. (Search Engine Watch)

29. SEO still dominates for marketers, with both B2B (57%) and B2C (41%) businesses stating it makes the biggest impact on their lead generation goals. (AllTwitter)

30. Overall, 57% of comments about U.S. airlines on social media in the past year were negative. But American Airlines — the world’s fourth-largest airline — stood out with only 12% of social-media opinions about the airline being positive. (The Realtime Report)

31. Fifty-six percent of consumers said they are more likely to recommend a brand to a friend after becoming a fan on Facebook. (Mashable)

32. Fifty-six percent of college students said that if they encountered a company that banned access to social media, they would either not accept a job offer or would join and find a way to circumvent corporate policy.  (GigaOm)

33. Johns Hopkins, Facebook’s birthplace Harvard, and Notre Dame are the top schools for social media. (Boston.com)

34. Only 15% of the average local business’s fans are in the city where the business is located. (WSJ)

35. More smartphone and tablet owners are researching products than purchasing them — 80.8% compared to 41.4%, according to BIGresearch — but attitudes vary quite a bit among different age groups. (eMarketer)

36. When you’re cruising around the internet, how much of your time is spent on a social network or blog? According to a new study published by Nielsen, those two categories eat up 23% of internet usage overall. This is double online gaming, which comes in at number two and after that, it takes 75 different categories to account for the remaining 35% of time spent. (Marketing Pilgrim)

37, When it comes to liking brands on Facebook, the reasons are varied, but for the most part, respondents said they “Like” a brand on Facebook because they are a customer (58%) or because they want to receive discounts and promotions (57%). (Mashable)

38. There are 245 million internet users in the US, according to Internet World Statistics. Nielsen estimates that social media sites and blogs reach 80% of all active U.S. internet users. (PR Week)

39. IT professionals see serious risks associated with enterprise social network use — and only 29% say they have adequate protection. (InformationWeek: The BrainYard)

40. There are now 100 million active [Twitter] users — users who log in at least once a month — with half of those users signing in at least once a day. Fifty-five percent of them access Twitter via mobile; 40% actually don’t Tweet but simply dip into their Timelines to keep tabs on what people are saying. (CNN/Fortune)

41. Fully 65% of adult internet users now say they use a social-networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago. This marks the first time in Pew Internet surveys that 50% of all adults use social-networking sites. (Wired PR Works)

42. The mean half life of a link on Twitter is 2.8 hours, on Facebook it’s 3.2 hours and via “direct” sources (like email or IM clients) it’s 3.4 hours. So you can expect, on average, an extra 24 minutes of attention if you post on Facebook than if you post on Twitter. (bitly blog)

43. Social media is responsible for one-third the web traffic in Malaysia. (ReadWriteWeb)

44. There are more than 3.5 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, etc.) shared each week on Facebook. (HubSpot)

45. According to a survey of 1,897 senior executives conducted by Weber Shandwick in partnership with Forbes Insights, 84% of the execs believe their brand’s sociability is not up to world-class standards. (Mashable)

46. Beyonce’s pregnancy news at MTV’s VMAs birthed a new Twitter record of 8,868 Tweets per second. (TechCrunch)

47. Forty-four percent of companies track employees’ social-media use in and out of the office (TheNextWeb).

48. What makes people retweet? 92% interesting content. 84% humor. 66% personal connection. 21% celebrity status. 32% offered incentive (tangible or virtual). 26% “Please RT!” (WhiteFireSEO)

49. Among college students and young professionals, 24% experience three to five interruptions in a given hour, while 84% get interrupted at least once while trying to complete a project. (GigaOm)

50. All but 7% of social-media campaigns used Facebook. (All Facebook)