The Relationship Between Email Marketing & SEO
Email marketing is one of the many ways you can not only get in front of potential customers which makes it a potentially lucrative digital marketing strategy to consider.
Recently, a client asked if sending out a newsletter helped with his search engine optimization.
The answer is… kind of.
On the surface, SEO and emailing a monthly newsletter seem to have nothing to do with each other. The truth is that there is a relationship to explore there. It all starts with a common goal- to bring more customers through your digital front door.
The Direct Benefits Of Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most important and valuable forms of digital marketing used today. Some research suggests that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you’ll get, on average, $32 back in ROI. Email marketing is a type of art form that you’ll need to master and put some time into it to get results. However, there’s real value in doing so.
Just to clarify, we’re not talking about sending out boatloads of spam emails to total strangers. We would never recommend doing that. Instead, we’re talking about building an email list and sending it out to people who are already familiar with you and your work. We often refer to it as “building a tribe”.
How Does Email Marketing Impact SEO?
It may surprise you but there are a few ways that email marketing can help support your SEO efforts. Here are a few specific ways:
Email marketing will reduce your bounce rate
Your bounce rate is the number of people who visit your website and then leave. It often happens when a person reaches a website that does not really offer what they want or need or, in some way, does not function as it should. Visitors arrive on your site, check it out for a few precious seconds, and leave (i.e. “bounce” away).
Google used to see your site’s bounce rate as a valuable indicator of the value of the website, they’ve reversed things a bit more recently. A high bounce rate used to mean that people are not satisfied with where they’ve landed. That will impact your ranking on the SERPs.
These days, Google has reversed its stance on bounce rates. Given that around 25% of all searches result in “zero” clicks (i.e. the person searching gets his or her answer right away without going to a specific website), Google has eased up on using the bounce rate as a vital metric on how well your website provides what searchers are looking for.
Email marketing drives highly targeted, very valuable leads to your website. These visitors know what your website has to offer when they arrive and want to stick around. That’s done well if your email marketing campaign uses proper CTAs to bring in visitors.
You’re getting highly valuable traffic to your site
It’s quite important to invest in email marketing for this reason on its own – those who visit are going to be highly motivated and more likely to buy from you. This helps drive quality traffic to your site that buys from you.
To do this, invest in personalization which is the ability to really customize the message you are sending people in email to reach the ideal audience in the right manner. Personalized experiences get more people to your website, and those people stick around to take the action you want. That drives up conversions.
When you create highly creative but very effective email marketing campaigns, you can personalize the content using segmentation to really drive the message home to that group of people in a way that is likely to reach them more and be well received.
Remember that the overall goal of all digital marketing is to get people to your website to grow your brand and increase revenue, and the best way to do that is to drive more motivated visitors to your site.
You can use email content as an onsite SEO tool
When you invest in high-quality email marketing campaigns, you’re providing your readers with valuable information. Incorporate good SEO practices into that content. Then, use that content in multiple ways.
For many, emails are newsletters, which could contain company information, insights into new products or services, or maybe even industry insight. That’s all valuable content you can use on your website, blog, and social media. You can create exclusive content for your newsletter but then provide some teasing on social media about this, encouraging people to sign up for the email to get the full scoop.
The bottom line is that you can use your email campaigns to help drive more SEO traffic to your website. Quality content ranks well.
Strong email marketing campaigns drive social media engagement
Another way to utilize email marketing is to build a relationship with your target audience. Well-crafted emails help build your brand as well as help people to get to know who you are and what you have to offer. They also keep people informed about the business. When you interact on social media, they have a better level of interest and can engage more fully.
The second benefit here is that when you include social media sharing buttons in your email, you can get more people to your social media pages, increasing your following. Encourage your readers to share their opinions or get more information by following your content on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other pages.
By directing people to social media, you’re engaging them more fully, and that means they are likely to end up on your website more often. Solid social media engagement drives very high-quality, highly targeted people to your website. The higher this engagement level is, the better it helps to boost your ranking in search engines and SEO in general.
Remember, too, that social media itself provides a nice brand lift. When people see your content on social media, they want to learn more. They Google your brand and find your website. That helps SEO, too.
Subscribers are more likely to engage onsite
When you create effective email marketing campaigns, you’ll drive quality traffic to your website. In return, you’ll also keep people there, looking around, interacting with your content, and eventually making a purchase.
Traffic to your site is a major ranking factor that Google uses to display your site more often. Simply put, traffic to your site matters to Google because they see that your site is active and sought after.
The bottom line is that these email subscribers spend more time using your website, and that can indirectly benefit your SEO efforts by showing Google how valuable the site is.
Create a better strategy for results
One of the nice things about email is that people have a tendency to engage with a brand they know, and they respond to it. Your email campaign can help you better craft your customer messages. Simply pay attention to the emails that have better metrics to give you more insight into what your potential customers find appealing.
Using your email analytics, you can also see what really gets people to visit your website. For some companies, this may be a few pieces of thought leadership from your CEO that shares insights on the industry. For other lists, it may be offering valuable how-to information or simply talking about the latest product launch.
What you can do is learn what gets your audience to open, read, and click on your email to get them to your website. Then, you can use that information to better tailor your SEO strategy, so you are getting more high-quality, targeted visitors to your site using SEO as well.
It is important to look at the big picture, which often means focusing on factors like subject line open rates, and design. The call to action you use, the messaging, and the landing page all play a role in the outcome. Yet, testing and analyzing the results from your campaign can better enable you to create an SEO strategy that gets the attention you need.
How to Get the Best SEO Boost from Your Email Campaigns
The big question is, then, how do you make it happen? If you have created a few emails for your readers in the past, but didn’t really get a lot of response, mix things up a bit to see if you can find a design or content that seems to resonate with your target market.
How do you get these benefits of SEO for your website? Here are a few steps to do this with every email marketing campaign you create.
Ensure your content is personalized
Personalized email content is critical to getting people to your website (which ultimately drives more traffic to your site and proves to Google that your site is worth moving up the rankings). People who receive customized content – content that is specifically interesting to them – are more likely to read it and engage with it.
More so, personalized content can actually build better relationships with your customers. That means more visits to your site.
To personalize content, consider email segmentation, where you’re sending out specific emails and topics to various people based on the information you have from them.
Use effective CTAs
You also need to ensure the call to action used within your email campaign is always directly on point. This takes some work to get just right, but it is that CTA that is going to encourage someone to click or not to do so.
You’ll need to do some testing to determine what type of CTA gets the most response from your customers and readers. The key here is to focus on quality content that interests your readers and then hook them with a few words that encourage them to head to your website.
Use email to ask for reviews
Another nice little email marketing tip can help to encourage engagement, build relationships, and help with SEO. Just ask your newsletter subscribers and previous customers to leave you a review (be sure to include a link to where they can do this directly).
Reviews are super valuable because:
- People want to give them
- They provide feedback on how you can improve
- They help both Google and prospective customers see the value of your business
- They help other customers make the decision to buy (conversion)
- It can provide you with a way to create more content for your newsletter and blog by getting more information
Reviews are a valuable ranking factor for your Google Business Profile, and you’ll want to incorporate your profile into your SEO strategy. Email can just help to give you the boost you need in that way.
Does Email Marketing Really Impact Your SEO?
Search engine optimization is more than the use of just keywords. It is a method for improving the way your website functions and how it meets the needs of your viewers. Email marketing does not have a direct impact on your rankings, but it does play a role over time and certainly will help you with the following:
- Building the number of people who come to your site – increasing traffic
- Reducing your bounce rate and increasing conversions
- Building your brand awareness
- Encouraging people to interact with you on social media
- Providing better content for your site and an improved SEO strategy
Ultimately, email marketing creates more traffic to your website, and that traffic is very important to SEO. It is high-quality traffic of people who are already engaging with you. That helps to show Google that your website is relevant and valuable. And that’s the point of all digital marketing – to show valuable so that Google ranks you and to meet the needs of your most likely customers.
Let Us Help You
Make It Loud can help you with your email marketing and SEO efforts. Contact our digital marketing firm to learn how at 678-325-4007 and talk to one of our consultants today.
Cliff Tillery, MBA is the Chief Operating Officer at Make It Loud which is a digital marketing firm located outside of Atlanta Georgia. He is also the Director of SEO. More than 14 years ago, he started search engine optimization at this agency and has taught digital marketing skills to business owners at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, the Gwinnett Entrepreneur Center and other groups.