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3 Simple Ways Email Can Drive SEO Results
While emails can't directly impact search engine rankings, smart marketers can use email campaigns to further their SEO initiatives.
The connection between email and SEO is not an obvious one. Of course, Google isn’t crawling and ranking your individual emails, and having a large list of subscribers in your MailChimp account doesn’t exactly make you rank any higher for your favorite terms.
However, email is a useful tool for keeping an audience engaged and “wielding” traffic in a way that no other marketing channel allows for. Using email as a tool to help or enhance a search engine optimization initiative can be extremely effective if done well; and today, we’ll explore three under-utilized strategies for turning email marketing into an SEO booster.
1. Encourage Engagement With Email
You can’t send out 30 emails about “marketing agency services in NYC” and hope to rank any higher for that term. However, if you have a campaign of helpful marketing resources, you might attract searchers for various marketing-related terms.
Email might not help you rank in and of itself, but an email incentivizing comments and sharing can help “move the needle” on the factors that Google wants to see in the first place.
You might, for example, have recently written a great article about lead generation from Facebook. Though your blog might get some organic traffic, an email to your list about how they can use these lead generation strategies in their business might bump the number of views (and therefore shares, tweets, and comments) that your article receives.
You might enhance this further by encouraging an explicit “engagement” call-to-action within your email:
- You could ask readers to leave a comment at the bottom of your blog about how they might use your insights in their business
- You could write about a non-profit project that your company is involved with, and encourage people to share the post in order to spread a good cause
- You could drive people explicitly to your social channels (like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube) to encourage them to comment on those channels, not just your blog
It might make sense to use surveys or past activity to segment your email list, singling out people who are active with comments and social sharing.
2. Drive To RSS & To Regular Content Consumption
While encouraging comments and engagement can certainly be fruitful for SEO, giving subscribers other ways to get “hooked” on your content is important, as well. You don’t want to have to rely on using your email list to drive your monthly page view count up.
The ideal would be for email to not only drive sales, but also — over time — encourage more and more subscribers to stay connected to your content in other ways that wean them off of needing email reminders. Here are some examples:
- You can link to blog posts in your email, but also make it clear that people who love your content should connect via RSS
- On your site, you might give people the ability to subscribe to a separate email list dedicated specifically to delivering weekly or daily updates from a particular section of your blog (for a great example of this, see HubSpot)
- You might tell your subscribers that if they love your videos, they should subscribe on YouTube, or that if they love your pictures, they should stay connected on Instagram
Having these other “content hooks” means that your regular email activity helps keep people connected to your fresh, rotating content time and time again, whether you explicitly drive your subscribers to that content or not.
How do you think your search rankings would improve if half of your email subscribers were also following you on Twitter and Facebook? How many more views and blog comments do you think you’d be getting now if you had ten times as many people subscribed via RSS or email to get your latest and greatest blog posts?
This strategy can be as serious booster to an SEO initiative.
3. Newsletter Content Can Be Saved
Lastly, email takes time to write. If you’re doing it well, you’re sending out thoughtful and useful content to your readers. It’s a bit of a shame that this wonderful newsletter content doesn’t “register” with Google or have any lasting impact on your rankings. Or does it?
Great email newsletter content can and should be reused and repurposed as blog content, and this can be done in a number of simple ways:
- If your newsletters are long, you can turn them into stand-alone blog posts by simply taking the same content, inserting relevant links, and getting it live on your blog… potentially allowing you to get that same message out via sharing on Facebook and other social media channels
- If your newsletters are short, you can send a number of related newsletters, and then “bundle” the content together, smooth it out, and turn over three or four emails together as one blog post
This is a win-win because it allows non-subscribers to glean your insights and read your messages, and also because it gives you more quality content to rank for, instead of leaving it tied up only in inboxes. We’ve actually done this with some of our own marketing news-related blogs posts, and it certainly beats having to do the “heavy lifting” of writing up the story a second time.
Who says that email can’t help drive SEO results?! All three of the strategies above can leverage your email list in a way that can help boost your search engine rankings.
A smart next step would involve determining what SEO initiatives are most important for your company, and determining a way that you could use email on a weekly or monthly basis to help bolster those SEO initiatives with some of the strategies laid out here.
Be well, and happy marketing!
(Stock images via Shutterstock.com. Used under license.)
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.