How SEO Can Drive Your Email Results
Where Email Marketing Meets SEO
Organic Search Engine Optimization and Email Marketing are two traditional channels used to build online businesses. This HubSpot’s Research has shown that they are the two methods with the highest ROI:
1) Inbound Marketers who have prioritized blogging are 13x more likely to enjoy positive ROI
2) 59% of B2B marketers say email is the most effective channel for generating revenue.
It makes sense that all online businesses should endeavor to implement SEO & Email Marketing strategies for their sites. While Email Marketing and SEO are significantly well matched, they have rarely been analyzed in combination; they are often pitted against each other like it should be one or the other. This article delves into the benefits of combining email marketing and SEO.
Where to begin: Your digital marketing budget
It’s hard to decide just how much you should allocate to what, especially since online marketing resources are typically limited for all SMBs and many larger enterprises. If you haven’t identified the competition yet, a good place to start is with the marketing reports. If you’re after new traffic and leads, PPC, organic SEO, and email marketing are the ones to start with.
DMA National Client Email Report describes the use and results of the email channel. It has shown that organic search is the primary method through which users discover new sites, followed by email, social media and finally PPC. DMA determined that:
– email marketing has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent which is a big increase over the 24.93 reported in 2013.
– over half of all respondents anticipate their company’s spend on email to increase during 2015.
SEO & email marketing are complementary to each other
Email marketing, just like SEO, is in a process of constant evolution. Being the first digital marketing channel, email marketing has adapted over the years, complementing most strategies that have come after it, and shifted to new areas provided with technological advancements.
SEO and email marketing are not at all similar, but they do have many aspects in common. Below are a few such aspects, and how they can be used together for an overall, better marketing campaign online.
1. Pre-header and subject line
The pre-header and subject line help a lot make a good initial impression on the audience, much like the title and META tags in SEO. Use these elements to give a brief description of your marketing offer, and how to fit it into your email subscriber’s needs. Capture your audience’s interest and stimulate them into delving deeper into the content.
Whether or not they become loyal customers or readers often depends on the impression created in those first few seconds. If they aren’t convinced, it’s unlikely that any future content you will be well received. They’re the make or break: the pre-header and subject line.
2. Images, alternate text and searchable content
Did you know that content sent on email can outlive the span it takes for a subscriber to skim through it and move on to the next message? Like landing pages on individual websites, your newsletters should be found on organic search in response to searches related to your target keywords. Companies like searchenginejournal.com, socialmediaexaminer.com, and many others do it. So, set up an online email archive, where emails sent to subscribers are stored too.
Also, fashion your email marketing content according to the established rules of SEO i.e. inserting keywords in appropriate places in the content body and adding optimized alternate text for images so that search engine bots know the images meaning without having to download the graphics. To accomplish this, set up an online email archive where emails sent to subscribers are stored.
Just like regular content for your website, have hyperlinks in the content, providing additional resources that would benefit users and also link back to appropriate pages within your site in case the user wants further information or to complete some action, like making a purchase. Choose your calls to action and websites to which you’re linking carefully, as these will be judged by search engines when serving up results for related queries to get your content to new audiences.
3. Generating new leads
Most marketers think of SEO as the primary channel through which leads are generated, while the truth is that email marketing is responsible for driving conversions in the first place (SEO is in the second). It’s not false, but it is rather narrow-minded. Your email subscribers and existing clients are the most likely to know other like-minded prospects, and they are more likely to make an impression and influence their decisions.
The simple action of providing social media sharing in your newsletters can go [a long way] in promoting your brand to new audiences online. However, you have to give your existing audience a reason to share the content you have, whether it’s about a promotional offer or just regular informational content.
Social sharing icons enable users who have similar interests to your clients to gain access to your content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other networks. If they like what you have, they can easily opt into your email list and eventually purchase your products or services. And it’s easy because these are things you’re already doing for SEO on your website.
Moving ahead: this is only a start
From the above examples, you can see why email marketing and SEO mesh, even with their differences. More importantly, you now know how SEO can be used to support email marketing efforts, just like the reverse is done. This, in turn, makes your overall marketing campaign more effective for the same budgetary allocations.
Moreover, SEO is hugely useful in building up your mailing list. This includes techniques such as website layout optimization for search engine robots, realigning content to audience intent as well as buyer behavior analysis and targeting. For instance, where you place your email opt-in widget influences how many new subscribers you are going to get from your traffic. This, however, is the subject of an altogether different discussion.
Where the rubber meets the road, different online marketing strategies are not supposed to be pitted against each other like it’s a war. By applying principles that are true across the board, you can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all strategies in which you are involved, thereby positively affecting your bottom line and ROI.