Email doesn’t directly impact search engines. That’s pretty obvious.
But most people just assume email isn’t connected to SEO in any way whatsoever. So they ignore the massive impact it could have.
In this article, I want to show you how I use email to improve traffic to my site, and thereby increase SEO and organic traffic. These techniques work; I’ve seen it happen.
Starting Point: Collect Emails
The starting point for using email to boost organic traffic is to collect email addresses. Email marketing still ranks as the number one method of sharing content online. People still use feed readers, but they’re not as popular, especially since the demise of Google Reader.
At several points in my blog, I use a call to action for newsletter subscription:
Email Brings Return Visitors
Sending out emails keeps site visitors coming back. Many of my readers sign up to be on my mailing list, and this serves as a reminder for them to read my blog. Whenever they get an email from me, they go to my blog to read it. It’s that simple.
I don’t reproduce my entire article in the email. Instead, I do this:
Return visitors are satisfied visitors. And, as Cyrus Shepard explained in an Advanced SEO topic on Moz, “SEO Ranking Factor #1 is Satisfaction.” As he explains in his excellent article, “Satisfaction is an actual ranking factor” based on algorithmic features and data collection.
I focus on email visitors, because they are most likely to be satisfied. Their satisfaction increases the overall SEO value of my blog.
Email Helps My Brand Remain Central in People’s Minds
My email subscribers get more than one email from me each week. When those emails come in, it does something. It reminds them about me. They can’t help but think of the brand quicksprout and Neil Patel.
These continual reminders create an increase in the way that these users conduct Google searches. Maybe they remember an email that I sent about “7 Marketing Tactics That Increased My Growth by 679%”
Instead of searching the dozens of emails they’ve received from me, they instead search Google for “marketing techniques increased growth by %.”
Boom. They find it, they click it, they read it.
My brand and content are front of mind for this user. So they search for things that they remember, even if they can’t remember each detail.
A lot of people also find my site through branded searches like this one:
Much of that branded searching likely comes from people who know about my brand, trust my content, and search for it.
Email Increases Onsite Engagement
Return visitors are the most engaged visitors. My email visitors are nearly four times as likely to share my content. They are responsible for writing 41% of the comments on my blog. But they only make up 13.91% of my overall traffic.
What’s going on here? Obviously, my email subscribers are highly engaged. That’s the point. People who sign up to get my email reminders are the ones who want to get my content. They’re going to interact with my content, and they are likely to share my content.
All that onsite engagement increases the authority and value of my site in the eyes of Google. My website is a hub where people visit, talk, read, scroll, click around (internal linking), and dwell (dwell time). Each one of those features improves the algorithmic factors that drive organic traffic.
One thing I do that I probably don’t have to (but do anyway) is respond to emails. I get a ton of email — too much, really. But I make a huge effort to respond to those emails, even though it takes an enormous amount of time. It doesn’t necessarily improve my organic traffic, but it does show I want to help them, and that I’m interested in their success.
Email Improves the Number of Linkbacks to My Site
I recently read about a guy who launched a website, and was able to snag a ton of linkbacks by informing people about his site through email alone.
The people who heard about the site from his email then linked to his site from their sites.
I don’t brush this off as just hype, because I’ve seen the same thing happen on my blog. When I send out an email about my latest blog post, I get an uptick in linkbacks. That helps my SEO.
My emails are a marketing channel, and they drive other marketing advantages. When I send out an email, I know that people will read it, think “Hey, that’s good.” and link to it from their own blog or website.
Emails Drive Up Social Engagement
Here’s how this works. When I send out an email update about a new post, I get more traffic to my blog. When I get more traffic to my blog, I improve the amount of social sharing. That social sharing helps my blog article spread farther, and may even increase the way Google ranks my content.
Social sharing is one of the extra ways that I gain additional traffic. Every visitor is valuable, regardless of where they come from. A visitor who clicks to my site from a Twitter share or a Google+ link may, in turn, become a subscriber and a sharer.
It all builds up, and organic traffic gradually increases.
Every method of bringing visitors to your site is a method of increasing your organic traffic. Why? Because Google analyzes each feature of your site to determine where you should rank in the SERPs. The better these features are, the higher you’ll rank, and the more organic traffic you’ll get.
Not everything in the digital marketing world can be connected by straight lines. But there’s still a connection. As I’ve shown you, I can increase my organic traffic by the power of emails.
What techniques do you use for boosting your organic traffic?
Featured Image: Gajus via Shutterstock, screenshots taken in 2014
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