How SEO and Email Marketing Compliment Each Other
I’m often asked where marketers should be putting in most of their marketing efforts. A lot of them make it sound like it has to be one or the other. That’s definitely not true. A lot of them also want some percentage-type breakdown, which is hard to provide as it really should vary based on a wide range of factors.
I’m a bigger fan of looking at the content strategy as a whole. You curate the content, publish it and broadcast it. Your website, marketing lists, social media handles and other channels all play a role in this. Call it “multi-channel”, “cross-channel” or whatever other marketing buzzword they designated for 2016/2017. Really, when it’s all said and done, it’s “Content Marketing”.
Here’s how SEO and email marketing both fit into the content marketing strategy, and how both channels compliment themselves.
SEO / Website Traffic Drives Email Opt-In
This is probably the most important reason why email marketers should be concerned about SEO. Search engine traffic drives email opt-ins. If you’ve got content ranked for relevant keywords, that content will drive a continuous stream of traffic interested in your products or services. That will provide a steady flow of new opt-ins from people discovering your business for the first time.
If you’re a real pro, you’ll figure out how to segment these opt-ins based on the content they’re accessing your site from. This can lead to some really fun segmentations and more relevant entry campaigns. There’s even products such as LeadPages that makes this incredibly easy to do.
Take it one step further, and you might be able to determine where the recipient is in the purchasing cycle, based on the type of content they’re viewing. If they’re Googling for pricing information, obviously they’re ready to buy. Once again, if you’re able to segment these SEO leads based on the content they’re accessing, this can lead to some awesome relevancy.
Email Newsletter Content Can Also Be Blog Content
As an SEO, I HATE watching people not publish blog-worthy content. This happens all the time in direct marketing. The designers / marketing department will come up with copy for a campaign, launch the campaign and that content never gets published to the blog.
Fact of the Day: If it’s good enough for an email newsletter, it’s definitely good enough for the blog!
Not only that, but simply by publishing it to the blog, you can target longtail search traffic and drive traffic to your site from that campaign, long after it’s been launched and forgotten.
Outside of targeting longtail traffic, converting your direct-marketing campaigns into blog posts can help boost the SEO of the rest of your site. Google looks at the highlighted text on any internal links to determine what your other pages are about. This will help their search engine rankings. Just creating that page will also give your entire site a very minor PageRank boost, which is the main metric Google used for search rankings.
Even with your email archive, you should consider hosting it on your own domain instead of having it hosted on the ESPs servers. If you’re copy/pasting the email, make sure to change out the links to make sure they’re direct links. That will provide an SEO boost to any of the pages linked-to within the email newsletter.
Blog Content Could Make Great Email Content
This also works vise-versa. If you’ve got an amazing blog post, is it amazing enough to convert into an email newsletter? If it’s not epic enough of a blog post to become it’s own newsletter, is it good enough to get a plug and a link in the next email newsletter?
Many email marketers will provide summarized information with links to more information. Using the blog to provide more in-depth information is a great strategy.
Hell, look at the entire news industry. If you look at every news site as a “blog” instead of a “news site” (many are built on WordPress, by the way) then this is what all the news sites are doing for email marketing.
User-Metrics: Website Visits, Social Signals and More
Hypothetical / experimental SEOs have proven that Google does look at user metrics and uses it as a ranking factor. Therefore, more page-views, time on site and other positive factors in theory has a positive impact on SEO.
You already know that your list of email recipients are interested in your brand, products or services. This is especially true if you maintain a clean and responsive list and use segmentation, personalization and all that other fun stuff to increase relevancy. Therefore, your email recipients are very qualified candidates to provide you with some very valuable user metrics.
Possible To Get Backlinks From Email Marketing
I’m going to sound like a really corny SEO preaching whitehat linkbuilding here; there’s also the chance of getting backlinks from your email marketing efforts.
Backlinks are links to your site. All search engines look at backlinks as “internet votes”. In theory, people will only link to good content. Therefore, the sites and pages with more links are the more credible websites and businesses.
So how do you get backlinks from email marketing?
If you’ve got subscribers that run blogs, there’s a chance they see what you’re sharing and plugs your brand, products or information in a blog post.
I told you I was going to sound like one of those corny whitehat SEOs.
Seriously though, as a blogger myself, I can tell you that I’ve done this. You get that newsworthy email, draft a blog post, backlinks or affiliate links based on who/what I’m linking for, hit publish and do your own sharing of your own content.
So claiming this works isn’t far-fetched. You have to have bloggers in your vertical subscribed to you though, and you have to be hitting them with that thing they’re going to want to blog about.
Assisted Conversions Through SEO / Email
If you’ve got conversion rules set up in Google Analytics, you’re probably familiar with assisted conversions and know they happen frequently. An email recipient might interact with your content through a campaign and not convert instantly. They might be Googling the next day, find your content and convert during the second interaction.
Likewise, it’s possible that someone finds you through search, subscribes to the newsletter and converts from the direct marketing campaign.
This is one of the importance of leveraging all the different marketing channels. More touch-points means more conversions. Knowing how your traffic is converting is also very important.
SEO and Email Marketing Go Hand-In-Hand
If the points above don’t illustrate how SEO and email marketing work together, I don’t know what will. They both play key roles in the content strategy, and can easily compliment each other. SEO will bring email marketing new leads and all the content you’redeveloping for your marketing efforts can easily be used for blogging and direct marketing. You don’t have to pick and choose between the two channels.