How We Utilized Evergreen Content to Increase Our Traffic 1,800% in 14 Months

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

Last updated: April 27, 2017.

Through our evergreen content strategy we’ve grown our traffic over 1,800% in 14 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 14-month period, we’ve increased our traffic from under 400 visitors per week to over 8,000 visitors per week. That’s an increase of over 1,800%! Evergreen content works very well  :).

evergreen content example

Evergreen content marketing 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 the evergreen content 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.

//

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?