How To Use E-mail To Benefit SEO

Most of you reading this headline will probably think I’m crazy. We all know that search engines do not crawl or index e-mail. What we forget is that you do have the option to view a copy of the e-mail you receive in a browser. Usually this is reserved for e-mails that are sent from brands to people that have registered for a newsletter, etc. This copy of the e-mail is usually just a simple HTML page that can be crawled and indexed by the search engines, and, if you play your cards right, could benefit your SEO efforts.

If you’re a Marketer, most of the E-mail you send out to your audience will provide the option to view the e-mail in a browser, usually identified at the top of the email with something like “If this message is not displaying properly, click here to launch your browser.” When clicked, your browser opens up the same version of the e-mail as a static HTML page. Typically this e-mail has links back to your web site for additional information or other calls to action, which can be used to pass link equity for SEO purposes.

There may be certain content or emails that you don’t want to have crawled and indexed by the engines. In this case, simply format your robot.txt file accordingly. Here’s some tips & examples on how to go about this:

  • Put all of the HTML versions of the e-mail that you do want to have crawled into a directory. In this example, I’ve named the directory “Google_Email”.
  • Put all of the HTML versions of the e-mail that you don’t want to have crawled (due to sensitive content) into a directory. In this example, I’ve named the directory “No_Email”.
  • Update your robot.txt file to disallow the “No_Email” directory:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /No_Email

  • Make sure that all of the HTML versions in the “Google_Email” directory are utilizing SEO Best Practices – Optimized Headlines, Body Copy, Links Using Keywords and pointing to your site’s targeted SEO pages.
  • To further increase links and traffic to your targeted SEO pages, add a “Share” option to the e-Mail that links to your site’s targeted SEO pages, thereby creating the opportunity to increase link equity naturally.
  • If you cannot add body text links in the e-mail, create a “Quick Links” area in the right panel to offer links to your site’s targeted SEO pages.
  • Add these E-Mails (the actual URLs) to your XML Sitemap.
  • If possible, setup your web metrics to see what impact these e-mails have on your SEO performance.

It’s that simple!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: All Things SEO Column | Channel: SEO | How To: SEO


About The Author: is Regional Director of Client Strategy at Global Strategies International, an Enterprise Search Marketing Agency.

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  • Badams

    Seeing how search engine crawlers will not see any links pointing to these pages and will only discover them through the sitemap, won’t that automatically mean these pages are seen as extremely low value?


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