The Missing Link Between SEO and Email Marketing
Juggling the many pieces of modern marketing leaves plenty of room for error.
Think about it. Creating content. Sending emails. Analytics. Boosting your posts.
The list goes on, right?
Yet without acknowledging how these elements complement each other, it’s pretty easy to botch your marketing campaigns. In short, you can’t treat the pieces of your marketing like they are islands: they should all be connected in some way, shape or form.
Perhaps the two most notable aspects of marketing that most novices and veterans alike fail to connect are email marketing and SEO.
After all, SEO is all about driving traffic on-site, right? Meanwhile, shouldn’t email be laser-focused on nurturing leads off the page?
Finding the Link Between SEO and Email Marketing
Connecting the dots between SEO and email requires you to rethink how you approach your marketing messages. Thankfully, this doesn’t mean a complete overhaul of your site or a whole new automation strategy, but rather a combination of simple tweaks and testing.
These following fixes represent a win-win situation for brands looking to get the most out of their email marketing budget and ensure that their search engine presence is up to snuff.
1. Optimized Emails May Not Be What You Think
Comparing email copy and SEO content is like comparing apples and oranges: you can’t expect to gain much traction if your messages are filled with fluff or stuffed with keywords. In fact, many marketing emails are much more in line with traditional sales letters versus blog posts (see the following example from Russell Brunson of ClickFunnels):
While it may seem like an email is “just an email” at a glance, every piece you send out should be carefully crafted and not treated like just another SEO blog post.
For starters, consider the elements of a well-crafted email that encourage your prospects to actually take action. This includes enticing subject lines and clear calls-to-action which encourage your readers to click through. Since email has insane conversion rates versus social media, your emails can represent a steady stream of direct traffic if you’re consistent and pay attention to your CTAs.
But don’t make the mistake of ignoring metrics. Just as you’re expected to slave over your numbers in Google Analytics, you can’t afford to assess your ROI without clear metrics in mind. Measuring click-throughs, conversions and bounce rate are all required to make sure messages are meeting your respective expectations and goals.
Simply put, you can’t treat email copy the same as you would SEO content.
“But what about keywords?”
2.Funnel Subscribers to Your On-Site Content
Don’t stress out about optimizing for emails for keywords, but instead focus on actions that will drive readers back to your website.
For example, you can encourage your email subscribers to take any actions to reap the SEO benefits of your email campaigns such as checking out your on-site content. In the case of your most valuable posts (think: case studies and white papers), you have more potential for inbound links if your content is truly remarkable.
Listicles and pillar posts are especially buzzworthy these days (check out this example from CoSchedule):
Traffic via email can be a powerful ranking factor, so don’t ignore the need to bring your subscribers back on-site.
3. Generating and Nurturing Leads Simultaneously
When it comes to lead generation, email marketing and SEO go hand in hand.
Let’s say you have some pieces of content that are receiving steady streams of organic traffic. By coupling that content with a strong lead magnet offer (think: free ebook, webinar or report), such traffic can quickly transform into an opt-in.
On the flip side, your newsletters and offer emails can be used to send traffic back to your on-site content, which is a positive search signal to Google.
Neil Patel does a great job of this with his webinars, requiring opt-ins to access content and conversely use replays of that same very content to encourage returning visitors (note the urgency achieved using the countdown clock):
Simply put, your off-site messages should drive your readers back to the page and vice-versa.
4. Fine-Tuning Your Content Strategy
By paying close attention to your analytics, you can use your email and SEO metrics to plug up any potential holes in your content strategy. Likewise, you can identify your highest-performing pieces and learn how to craft similar content in the future.
For example, let’s say you have a fear-based headline that absolutely kills it in terms of opens and click-throughs (“This mistake almost killed my business…”). Wouldn’t it make sense to explore such marketing language in future emails and throughout your company blog to see if your readers respond to similar messages?
Conversely, let’s say the most popular post on your blog is a case-study about marketing secrets from influencers in your niche. You could then repackage that post into an email (“These seven secrets will blow you away”) to re-engage your readers. By repeating this process and paying attention to responses, comments and reactions, you can continuously fine-tune your content over time.
We live in an era where “always be testing” is the mantra to live by. By actually testing and paying attention to the metrics of your marketing language both on-site and off, you can uncover new messages and content ideas that resonate with your audience.
The Bottom Line
Remember: all pieces of your marketing strategy should be interconnected. SEO and email marketing are no different, especially when it comes to generating leads and keeping your audience engaged with what you’re saying and selling. Don’t treat each strategy as a separate beast, but rather cogs in a well-oiled machine.