Want to improve SEO? Try email.
It seems unlikely, but email – the oft-maligned “old school” digital marketing standby – is perhaps the most effective tool you have to improve SEO. By segmenting subscribers, personalizing messages, sending emails at opportune times in response to specific actions, and directing email clicks to the content most relevant to recipients, you’re guaranteed to improve all page metrics that matter.
What’s that got to do with SEO performance? Plenty!
People who receive relevant emails sent in response to their actions are far more likely to move along the purchasing path because they perceive you understand their intent. This makes them less likely to bounce from a landing page, more likely to share content on social platforms and ultimately make a purchase or complete another goal. All of these indicators tell Google a page is relevant and useful, and Google ranks it accordingly. Popular pages get higher SEO marks, and email-generated traffic directly makes your pages more popular.
Indeed, you should use email to boost page ranking while simultaneously boosting other success metrics. Take, for example, an email campaign focused on increasing conversions. By segmenting the audience by interests and behaviors, you can map each recipient’s position on the path to purchase.
An email campaign that includes messages to educate customers about why they need your product, another that answers questions and debunk myths about it, and yet another that shows how to obtain and use your product offers a relevant communication to recipients anywhere along that path. Which email they initially receive depends on where they are. Because such email messages are targeted, timely and relevant, they spur engagement, increase conversions and improve search engine ranking in one fell swoop.
They can also increase traffic to evergreen content in the same manner. Automated, sequential emails can introduce new visitors to your company and products by guiding them to high performing posts and pages. Google, in turn, sees higher traffic, lower bounce rates and more time on page – all of which indicate a page should be ranked higher.
Ask Customers What They Want
Email is also a great way to get actionable feedback from your best customers to help drive your SEO efforts. Ask customers what factors they consider most important about your product or service, and use their responses to inspire your keyword research. You can even ask what search queries they use to find your company, and what questions they have about your products and services.
Armed with relevant keywords and these insightful questions, post content to your blog that answers the questions your customers have using the keywords in both the questions and answers. This is a great technique to enhance relevance to voice searches, which often take the form of a question. The resulting blog posts also create a reason to email your list again – this time, answering the questions they shared with you.
Such an email is likely to have a high open and click-through rate, and the pages it links to will enjoy higher traffic, longer session duration and lower bounce rates due to the highly-qualified nature of email recipients. The email itself can often be repurposed; indeed, any particularly effective email should be considered as a potential blog post. In this way, it takes on a second, longer life driving people toward your desired goals.
You may have to modify it a bit, of course – but a demonstrated interest in the email’s subject makes creating a blog post from its salient points a worthwhile task. Simply note emails that have high open and click-through rates, and create your blog posts accordingly using optimal keywords, relevant images and engaging media such as video whenever possible. This “enhanced” content can then, in turn, be the inspiration for another high-performance email on the same topic.
It’s Nice to Share
Of course, the basic rules still apply: provide clear, visible calls to action in emails and blog posts to ensure customers complete your established goals. One such goal should be the sharing of emails and blog posts via social media.
In the case of email, encourage forwarding with an easy-to-access CTA. In addition, be sure to add social sharing buttons to the email footer. With blog posts, include social sharing buttons on each post.
Using email is one of the best ways to drive highly qualified, engaged visitors to the pages of your web site they’ll find most relevant. These are the same visitors most likely to share content, remain engaged, move closer to conversion and in doing all these things, improve your SEO.
Email Your Way to Better SEO
was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.