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!

6 Design Tips for Non-Designers

6 Design Tips for Non-Designers || Wallaroo MediaWe’re all designers in some way, whether it’s designing with our words, our outfits, or our morning commutes. And occasionally, the average person gets to design with pixels.

Bake-sale flyers, lost dog posters, personal blogs, personal brands — the purpose of all of these functions better if they are well designed.

Contrary to popular belief, design isn’t just about aesthetics; good design revolves around functionality. So for those who don’t attend design school, this post is for you. Rather than a technical how-to, the following tips are some principles to keep in mind.

Before we begin, let’s learn this overarching idea:

GOOD DESIGN IS INVISIBLE.

Invisible doesn’t mean boring, but good design doesn’t need to be flashy; it just needs to work for its intent. Everything we talk about here will relate to this concept.

1. Typefaces (fonts) give us signals
We often underestimate the power of typefaces. Just like each of us has a different voice, we read each typeface in a different tone. Just like people, all fonts have a “personality and purpose” (source) and subconsciously communicate more than just the words they spell out.


Typefaces can be fun, but you should generally limit your use of them in any given space. Too many different typefaces can be distracting. Good typefaces have multiple weights, or thicknesses. If you find a good typeface, it generally comes in a “font-family”. A font family is:

“A collection of typefaces in different weights and classifications, but having the same point size, and designed to work together. For example, a Times Roman font family may include Times Roman Bold, Times Roman Extra Bold, Times Roman Italic, Times Roman Bold Italic, Times Roman Condensed, etc., all in the same size.” (source)

Font families are great to use because they are designed to work together, and therefore won’t distract from each other.

Google fonts has a variety of font families that you can download for free.

2. Don’t be scared of whitespace
Whitespace is simply the negative space in any design. It’s the space without text or other elements. While it’s tempting to fill all the space we have with wonderful designs, whitespace is crucial because it allows room for the eyes to travel and the mind to absorb the information presented. It can also frame information in a way that drives the eyes of the audience to focus on it.

Importance of Whitespace

image via here

Read more about whitespace here.

3. Hierarchy is a big deal
Hierarchy is incredibly important in design. While it’s tempting to cram every cool element you want to show off on your homepage, or every little detail into a logo, people can only focus on one thing at a time. It’s a designer’s job to move people’s eyes around the space they are designing to have them focus on specific things at specific times. This comes from having an intentional hierarchy and good layout.

And speaking of general layout, design on a grid. Grids are helpful because they organize information in logical ways that the brain can quickly process. Design is communication; we want to clearly communicate messages to our audiences.

Hierarchy

image via here

In the above image, which do you read first? Probably the word “hierarchy.” After that, which information do you read next? You’ll likely read the elements of hierarchy from top to bottom, because the only thing differentiating any of them are their placement. They’re the same size and weight, spaced evenly apart — but our eyes are trained to read left to right, top to bottom.

This is my favorite case study about hierarchy and design elements, and here’s a fun example of the importance of grids.

4. Content and design work hand in hand
Content, or the specific copy, images, and ideas that are to be designed, are crucial to the actual design. Typography is the art and technique of arranging type (definition here).

Designers are very specific with typography; we even make sure each letter looks good in between the letters on either side (this is a real thing! It’s called kerning). While these micro-details seem to be unimportant to many, they are the details that can take a design from average to incredible.

Learn more about design and content here, and remember that you want to prevent awkward mishaps!

Content precedes design. Design in the abcense of content is not design, it's decoration. -Jeffrey Zeldaman, || Wallaroo Media

5. Design should be people-focused
Interestingly, it’s a common belief that design simply entails making things pretty.

While aesthetics should absolutely be a result of the design process, designers actually create with the purpose of functionality; they design with the user in mind.

The interesting reality is that when engaging with brands, people are generally self-centered. In this context, I’m not talking greed; people are just very practical. No one will care about your brand until that very specific moment they need you, so make it about them, not you. No one thinks about Pepsi until they’re thirsty; no one thinks about eyewear companies until their glasses break.

When designing a website, we often talk with our clients about engaging their audience with a story. No one will care about a new product, but they can be convinced that the product can fill a need that the audience has.

6. “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand”
The late designer Paul Rand once said this, and it is absolutely true as a proclamation and a warning.

Anything you put online connected with your brand becomes part of your brand. Content, imagery, typefaces, anything — is your brand. It is what people relate with your brand, which is why good design is so important.

Design is the silent ambassador of your brand -Paul Rand

image via here

Allowing a valuable design process to take place at the beginning of a project is crucial for brand consistency. Every image, typeface, and color, coupled with every piece of copy written should sound like the same person. Your brand should take shape and sound cohesive.

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So that’s it! That’s all you ever need to know about design. Well, at least that’s enough to make your next bake-sale flyer the best thing that’s ever hit your neighborhood bulletin.

What are some tips that you’ve found to be helpful?

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)