Think SEO happens all in Google and on-site? Think again.
SEO is about three things:
- Appealing to users, which in turn…
- Appeals to Google, which allows you to…
- Control the traffic and conversions on your website in a predictable, scalable way.
Interestingly enough, email is one of the most tried and true weapons in your digital marketing arsenal that can help you carry out number 1 and number 3, which then helps you appeal to number 2.
Further, email is one of the most controlled platforms you have. You can actively segment your subscribers by interest, behavior, source, and more.
So, having an email list not only affords you an extra traffic resource to boost your site, but also a massive level of control over:
- Making sure quality traffic is hitting the right pages.
- Reducing bounce rate.
- Increasing social shares.
- Driving users to your offers.
Let’s get specific and talk about the six ways you can use email marketing to rapidly boost your SEO results.
1. Discover What’s Behind the Query (& Use It)
If you’ve ever seen one of your competitors run surveys through email, they’re likely using them to help their SEO efforts.
As much as Google has developed its algorithm over the years to force creators to be more mindful about the quality of the content they’re creating, it makes one wonder:
What if there’s a faster way that requires less guesswork to figure out exactly what we need to say in order to completely wow visitors?
There is – and it is all about discovering the intention behind the query.
Google has been doing this already, but it’s not being too open about what it finds. *OK, Google. Keep your secrets*
Fortunately, you can take matters into your own hands and start running market research surveys.
When you know you want to attack a certain keyword to rank, you can shoot out a quick survey to your list to ask them what their biggest challenges, desires, fears, etc. are on the topic.
Then, turn right around and plug those trending answers into the post.
Why Does This Work?
This email tactic works because it allows you to hear straight from the horse’s mouth exactly what’s going on in visitors’ minds when that query comes to mind.
With this info in hand, your content will automatically become much more intuitive to the reader.
It’s like knowing how to answer a child’s question before they even ask. They’ll think you’re magic (right before they start asking if they’re going to get their acceptance letter to Hogwarts soon so they can be just like you).
The best part is, it doesn’t stop at grabbing their answers. Then you get to move onto the next tip.
2. Lower Bounce Rates with Quality Email Traffic
Once you get those complaints, questions, and desires straight from your audience, you not only get to go write a post that’s sure to make Google happy, but you also get to shoot that post right out to that same email list to give it an initial high-quality boost.
Basically, you’re asking them what they really want (getting the intention behind the query), and then sending them exactly that.
These visitors are highly qualified – you know that the content will make them happy, thereby lowering your bounce rate and encouraging them to stay on your website for longer.
Instead of just doing the keyword research, writing the post, and hoping for it to perform, you can give yourself a boost all with one simple survey, post, and email.
Higher Engagement, More Time on Site
Keep in mind that you can shoot a lot of traffic to your site from a relatively small list, too.
Check this out:
This email was sent out to just over 3,000 people, but almost 400 of them were instantly driven to a single page in a single 24 hour period – all based on an email that delivered on their market research responses.
What would this kind of supplemental, qualified, and highly engaged traffic source do for you or your clients’ websites and businesses?
3. Supplement Evergreen Post Traffic on Autopilot
Email isn’t just powerful for shooting blast content to your subscribers.
It also allows you to “set and forget” automated sequences so that every new subscriber who enters your list can see your highest performing pages and posts on autopilot.
Whether this is your “Contact” page, a specific blog post, or your Services page, it’s really powerful to have an automated traffic source from your own growing list so Google will see the traffic you’re getting and want to help amplify it.
On that note, you can also refresh an old post that performed well by shooting it out to a new segment of your list that may not have read it yet.
This has the same effect: Google sees that the page is getting engaged traffic and considers that in judgment. In fact, we often see a strong correlation between high ranking and time on site/low bounce rate.
Check out this graph from Moz.
4. Use CTAs for Traffic, Sharing & Engagement
One of the most powerful pieces of any email is a well-crafted CTA (call-to-action).
Meaning, if your email calls your subscribers into action by effectively directing them to click a link, you’re going to get more people taking that action than if you just let them decide for themselves.
The same goes for social media sharing.
In your email process – especially when emailing blog posts to your list – you can multiply the number of shares you get on any given post by adding a CTA to each email for your readers to do so. (Same for your actual blog posts, actually).
You can also direct your subscribers to forward the email to their peers, friends, families, colleagues or anyone they know who might be interested in the content it offers.
Doing this while adding social sharing buttons in the footer of your email template will also support the cause of getting more shares, more backlinks, and more eyes on your site.
5. Give Emails One Extra (High-Quality) Life
Just like you can do customer research to figure out what your list is really looking for behind the query – and shoot them relevant content that way – you can also repurpose any high-performing email as a blog post.
Now, you don’t need to write your emails blog post style.
In fact, it often helps to keep emails shorter if there’s a CTA and link you want them to make their way to. But, you do want to pay attention to what topics your subscribers are highly interested in.
A high number of opens or a high CTR (clicking the link within an email, in this case) often means that you can repurpose that email as a blog post.
This is where you take that same subject that got a high volume of interest from your targeted list and optimize it.
You can apply the right keywords to it, fully expound on each concept mentioned in the email, and add relevant images with proper tags.
After you convert the email to a blog post, you’ll know it will win because email marketing gave you a good indication with hard data.
Then you can still turn around and shoot that blog post back to your email list so they can get the more thorough version of the value you already know they’re interested in.
6. Raise Conversions with a More Targeted Content Strategy
If you really want to use email to your advantage, you’d be remiss to leave conversions on the table. After all, the reason email is still in the digital marketing game is that it’s a conversion machine.
Let’s say your client is a law firm:
Segmentation helps you guide their audience from point A (needing a lawyer) to point B (hiring your client as their lawyer) by walking them through each question, objection, and breaking any myths they carry about the industry email by email.
And you can do this based on their exact needs at that moment.
For instance: let’s say half of the list is searching for help with their divorce and the other half is searching for help with getting their license reinstated.
Each of these segments of the audience is going to have different questions, have gone through different experiences, and overall need different types of content and help.
Now, if you needed help with your own divorce but every other blog post and email you saw from a lawyer talked about a different topic, you’d probably feel a little put off.
At a minimum, you’d disengage because it’s not relevant to you. This sets firms who have a more personalized content approach ahead of your client in the game.
That’s OK, though. Email will help you get your client a win.
If you set their list up to segment each group and send them highly relevant emails to their personal experience, as well as drive them to the right blog posts and pages on the site, not only will it help your clients’ SEO to have higher quality traffic engaging with their site, but it will drive up the conversion rates overall.
Ultimately, the more targeted your content strategy, the higher your conversion rates.
Less traffic = more money, while still pleasing Google to scale.
Email is the best way to take control and drive highly targeted traffic to each page of any website you lay your hands on.
When done right, that means you’re driving traffic that you know will be interested in the page or content, will share it, and will ultimately give each page an advantage right as it’s published. This gives the entire site a significant boost, SEO-wise.
If you have an additional focus on conversions, you can boost those by making sure your emails are highly targeted with customer journeys in line.
- 4 Ideas to Combine Email Marketing & SEO for Stellar Results
- 5 Ways Email Marketing Can Help Your SEO Efforts
- 5 Types of Stories Brands & Marketers Should Be Using
Featured Image: Shutterstock, modified by author, April 2019
All screenshots taken by author, April 2019