How to Use Email Marketing to Boost Your SEO
There are two main components of search engine optimization (SEO): on-site and off-site optimization. With on-site optimization, you’ll be improving your site’s layout and performance, producing high-quality content, and targeting specific keywords that are relevant to your business and your audience. With off-site optimization, you’ll be posting content on external publications and building inbound links to your website.
However, there are peripheral ways to complement and enhance these efforts; for example, you can use social media to increase the popularity of your content and earn more links as a result of that increased visibility. Similarly, you can harness the power of email marketing to support and improve your campaign.
These primary goals are ways for your email marketing campaign to directly influence factors that have significant bearing on your rankings in search engines:
· Inbound links. The more links you have pointing to your site, and the more diverse and high-authority sources that are hosting them, the higher your domain authority will be. Domain authority, according to Moz, “is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.” As such, acquiring strong inbound links is a crucial factor in improving your SEO.
You can use your email marketing campaign to specifically encourage other users to link to your latest posts, or specific pages of your site. For example, let’s say you’ve recently published a whitepaper with a truckload of important statistics you’ve gained from conducting original research. Getting this information in the hands of other users will make them more likely to link to it in the future.
· Content promotion. You can also user your email marketing campaign to increase the visibility and performance of your content in general. For example, you can send a weekly or monthly newsletter that recaps some of your blog’s most popular posts. This increases both the visibility of these posts (potentially leading to more inbound links) as well as general traffic to your site.
· On-site engagement. Google uses a plethora of individual traffic and engagement metrics to determine the relative “value” of a given webpage. Though the exact significance and influence of these metrics is often debated, it’s clear that having more active, engaged users (with lower bounce rates, higher time spent on page, etc.) is better for your search rankings. Keeping your email audience engaged and coming back to your site with valuable offers can help you maintain a more engaged overall audience.
These secondary goals are ways for your campaign to influence secondary factors, which can indirectly influence your search ranking:
· Social media engagement. Social media activity doesn’t have much — if any — direct impact on your SEO campaign. Simply having more followers, likes, or shares won’t increase your rankings. However, having a bigger, more engaged following has secondary advantages for SEO; it means when you distribute content and make posts, your brand can reach further, increasing the visibility of your content, and thereby, its potential to attract inbound links. Including social media share icons and links to your profiles (or maybe even some of your latest posts) can help keep your social audience aware and engaged.
· Reputation building. Email marketing is ideal for building brand recognition and retaining existing customers. These are valuable for reasons independent of SEO, but also play into your brand’s overall reputation. The better reputation your brand has, the easier it will be for you to get featured on high-profile publishers and engage with popular influencers, giving you a major leg up in the SEO game.
· Long-term development. Email marketing can also give you vital engagement statistics that can help you develop your SEO campaign for the long term. For example, you can determine how your choice in subject lines or provided material affects your open rates, or use an email newsletter as a means of determining which of your articles are most popular. You can then use this information to better target your ideal audience and develop better content to appeal to them.
Tips for Success
In addition to the advice above, consider the following tips for success in email marketing as a supportive platform for SEO:
· Focus on value. Don’t try to sell your readers too hard or force them to take a specific action. Instead, focus on providing them with material and opportunities that they would genuinely find valuable.
· Never buy subscribers. This should go without saying, but build your email lists organically; never buy subscribers.
· Don’t spam. On the surface, it may seem like sending out more emails means even more opportunities for development. However, spamming your subscribers may cause them to unsubscribe. Limit yourself. According to the Database Marketing Institute, open rates are highest when companies send two emails per month.
· Measure everything. Make sure you’re using an email platform that gives you ample insights into how your audience behaves and interacts with your content. At a minimum, you should be able to track opens and click-throughs.
Email alone can’t do anything for your SEO campaign; Google doesn’t crawl emails in the context of SEO, nor will your email marketing campaign directly affect your website’s rankings in any way. However, email marketing can affect the behaviors of your users (such as getting them to share your content, engage with it, comment on it, or link to it), which can affect your website’s search rankings.