Posted on 11 Jan '22

Don’t Forget About Your Evergreen Content (or Google Will!)

We know it’s important to regularly update content on our websites, whether it’s adding the latest rankings, notifying changes in services or fixing old information on there that’s just wrong. In the midst of the pandemic, there was a need to update content on almost a daily basis to keep up with the latest government guidelines.

But there are sections that we tend to leave alone because they remain relevant and unchanged each cycle. This could be your student support services or researcher development pages for example, which do the job you need them to without maintenance. That’s great, but there’s a problem… Google’s everchanging algorithms and ranking signals.

The algorithm conundrum

Algorithms can make or break content as they hit your SEO rankings hard if you’re not careful. You could be in the top three search results one minute, and the next, you’re halfway down page two and losing traffic.

Last autumn, we realised that an important piece of evergreen content on (our guide to applying for a Masters) was losing traffic year on year. We knew this was a key piece of content which answered a lot of the questions we receive from students, so its relevance hadn’t changed… but where it was appearing in Google’s search rankings had.

What we did

We immediately got on the case and implemented some simple strategies to solve the issue. We wanted to share them with you so you could do your own pruning of your evergreen content:

  • Continuously review keyword data and refresh your copy in line with the trends (don’t assume that keywords remain the same)
  • Use software such as SEMrush or Moz to see where your keyword gap is (check out what your competitors are ranking for that you’re not)
  • Use software such as Search Console (provided by Google) to see what keywords are driving traffic to particular pages and take a look at the difference year on year so you can rethink your content
  • Do some horizon-scanning and check out what your competition is doing, and then see where you’re not plugging the gaps (never copy but recognise that your competitors can be good sources of information)

Give it time

Give it time It’s worth remembering that you won’t see an instant change in your rankings or visitor numbers, it will take time for Google to re-index and reward you for your changes. Give your content around a month and then check in and see if it’s performing better. It is a bit of trial and error but the changes that we implemented resulted in an improvement in traffic of over 20% in just one month.

And if you’re serious about SEO, consider creating a Google Analytics and Data Studio dashboard so you can easily see what pages might need attention. Pick up a handful of pages every couple of weeks to attend to and grow and you’ll soon have flourishing pages again.

Remember that postgrads value useful content

…so you should too!

Our Postgraduate Pulse data shows that the majority of people spend six months or more thinking about doing a Masters or PhD. Meanwhile, the most recent report from our 2021 Future Student Surveys reveals that there’s a lot they don’t know about postgraduate study – from fees and finance to visas and applications. Accurate, up-to-date evergreen content can really make the difference for them (and for you) so make sure they can find it.

FindAUniversity take pride in being experts in postgraduate education. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regular insight, comment and case studies.

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