How To Use Email Marketing and SEO Together?

How To Use Email Marketing and SEO Together?
13 February, 2024 • ... • 75 views
Ana Balashova
by Ana Balashova

At first glance, the link between email marketing and SEO optimization may not seem so obvious. One is about engaging directly with your audience through their inboxes, while the other aims at enhancing your visibility on search engines. But there’s a connection between the two that can really help with online visibility. We’re here to show you how email marketing and SEO can join forces to boost your strategy.

What are email marketing and SEO?

What is marketing if not the art of connecting with your audience at the right time and place? By weaving together email marketing and SEO, probably the most important tools of a digital marketer, you make sure your message is seen by those who matter most. Let’s start with brushing up on why those two are so important.

Email marketing explained

These days 93% of surveyed consumers and business buyers consider email their primary mode of interaction with businesses, according to the report by Salesforce. This method has evolved, embracing automation and personalization that speak directly to the user’s interests. It’s not just about sending messages now, it’s creating a dialogue. 

With classic data on ROI hitting heights of 42:1 in sectors like marketing and advertising, it’s clear why 33% of marketers leaned into email marketing as their preferred tool in 2023 (only second to the first most popular, with 34% of respondents choosing it). As we look ahead, the daily email volume is expected to surge to 361.6 billion in 2024, which means that email marketing relevance is most likely to keep growing in the digital age.

Defining SEO

SEO stands as one of the most important tools for digital visibility. In many cases online presence equals first-page Google rankings. SEO isn’t just about keywords and articles anymore. It’s about making your whole website better: from how it looks and works to getting good links from other sites. This is called optimization. It’s also about being recognized as an authoritative and trustworthy source. 

With over 90% of search traffic coming from the first page of Google results and organic clicks accounting for 45.1% of all search result clicks in 2022, the significance of SEO can’t be argued. At its core, SEO involves optimizing various elements of your website — from keywords and content to site architecture and mobile-friendliness — to signal relevance and authority to search engines. 

Effective SEO strategies lead to higher organic rankings, driving more traffic and, ultimately, conversions. At the same time, SEO is not just about catering to algorithms but providing value that meets the searcher’s intent, making it a critical component of modern marketing.

The connection between SEO and email marketing

At first glance, SEO, which focuses on enhancing website visibility and traffic through organic search engine results, seems worlds apart from email marketing’s direct and personalized approach to reaching inboxes. However, when these strategies align, the results can be transformative. Here’s how they influence each other in more ways than you can imagine on the top of your head. 

Consider a hypothetical example of a boutique tea company. They use SEO to rank for niche keywords like “artisanal green tea blends”. As tea enthusiasts land on their blog to learn about brewing the perfect cup, they encounter a sign-up offer for a free e-book on tea ceremonies. This seamless integration of SEO and email marketing not only builds subscriber lists but also establishes a deeper connection with the audience.

But let’s analyze a real-world example:

Village Cricket Co., a company passionate about cricket, leveraged both to hit a marketing home run. The aim was to enhance website traffic through SEO and to nurture this traffic into a loyal subscriber base and customers via email marketing.

The company focused on crafting high-volume, low-competition content that appealed to cricket enthusiasts. They introduced a monthly giveaway pop-up on their website to entice visitors to subscribe to their email list. Subsequent welcome emails educated new subscribers about Village Cricket Co.’s ethos and offerings, ending in a tempting discount offer.

The synergy between SEO and email marketing paid off, resulting in 16,614 website visitors and 355 new email sign-ups, approximately a 2% sign-up rate. More impressively, 41 sales were directly attributed to email subscribers, generating £3772 in revenue with a profit of £1800, showcasing a significant return on investment.

This case study showcases how integrating SEO with email marketing can create a profitable sales funnel. The journey from a website visitor to a paying customer is facilitated by a strategic blend of attracting through SEO and engaging through email marketing. But keep reading for more tips and strategies.

How can email marketing help SEO?

In a nutshell, email marketing can do wonders for your SEO by getting more people to visit your site, keeping them interested in your content, and even helping you get more links back to your site. By sharing your blog posts, videos, and images through emails, you can reach more people who are interested in what you have to say. This can make your site more popular and trusted by search engines, leading to better search rankings. Now let’s dissect every way email marketing can be helpful for SEO. 

Boosting onsite engagement

Email marketing can be your way of drawing in people who are interested in your offerings. Picture this: you run a culinary blog and send out emails packed with mouth-watering recipes directly to food lovers. These are precisely the audience you want — engaged, interested, and ready to explore what you have to offer.

Example of a newsletter driving traffic to the most resonating pages of the company’s website
Source: Email Love

By reaching out to the right audience, you lower your site’s bounce rates and keep people engaged longer. Better engagement is like a thumbs-up to search engines, potentially improving your SEO rankings. It’s all about creating emails that resonate so deeply with your audience that they’re compelled to seek out more of your content, fostering a cycle of engagement that benefits both your email marketing and your SEO strategy.

Establishing expertise, authority, and trustworthiness

Regularly sending out informative and high-quality emails does more than just share information. It solidifies your status as an authority in your field. Each valuable email you send helps to build trust and establish your brand as a go-to source for reliable information. This trust and authority are gold in the SEO world, especially for search engines like Google that prioritize content known for its expertise and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

Email marketing abuse can backfire on SEO results too. For instance, using a purchased email list can tarnish a domain’s reputation due to a surge in unsubscribe rates and spam complaints. And the other way around, growing an engaged email list through honest and informative content and its benefits for SEO. Shortcut tactics not only damage your email marketing results but can also negatively impact your SEO by undermining your site’s credibility.

Getting backlinks

By leveraging email, you can increase the number of natural backlinks to your website, which is crucial for improving your search engine rankings. Here’s how:

  • Start by identifying your most valuable content – the pieces that are informative, engaging, and useful to your audience. 
  • Make it easy to share your content by including high-quality images, infographics, or snippets that can be easily embedded in their own posts or social media.
  • Then, craft personalized email campaigns aimed at industry influencers, bloggers, and websites that share a synergy with your content’s topic. The goal here is not to ask for a backlink directly but to share your content with them, hoping they find it valuable enough to reference in their work.
  • Go further and segment your email list. Find influencers or active sharers within your subscriber base. Offer them a sneak peek of your content to encourage early sharing.
  • Personalize your message, and explain why your content is relevant to receivers’ interests or how it could benefit their followers. Personal touches can make a big difference.
  • After sharing your content, don’t forget to follow up and remind influencers of your shared interests without being pushy. It shows you value their input and feedback.

Consider a case study where over 6,000 relevant backlinks were built in 1.5 years through cold email outreach. This campaign utilized tools like Hunter for email finding and Ahrefs for SEO data, focusing on personalization and targeting. The outcome was not just a substantial increase in backlinks but also a 2.3 times increase in organic traffic. The success of this campaign underscores the effectiveness of well-executed email outreach strategies in building a robust backlink profile.

Getting new content ideas

Asking your newsletter subscribers for reviews and testimonials isn’t just for making you feel good — it’s a savvy strategy to boost your SEO and content strategy. Real feedback from your audience gives you insight into what they appreciate about your offerings.

Think about transforming a positive testimonial into a detailed blog post that explores the praised features further. Or, create a case study highlighting a customer’s success story with your product using their own words. This not only strengthens your brand’s trustworthiness but also produces share-worthy content. When your content gets shared by the people featured in it, Google takes notice. It sees your website as credible and authoritative, which improves your SEO.

Sending better social signals

Despite Google playing its cards close to its chest regarding social signals’ direct impact on search rankings, the indirect effects are often considered a fact amongst SEO experts. Enhanced visibility, more website traffic, and better engagement rates are all results of a strong social presence, which, in turn, boosts your SEO performance.

How do you get there? Start by embedding social sharing buttons and engaging snippets within your emails. This simple action encourages your readers to share your content on their networks, increasing your brand’s reach. Imagine sending an email that showcases an engaging article from your blog. By adding a clear call-to-action (CTA) that prompts readers to share this article on social media, you’re not just extending your content’s lifespan, you’re also amplifying its visibility.

When email recipients share your content, they endorse your brand to their followers. This organic content spread can lead to a significant uptick in website traffic. More importantly, as social engagement increases, so does your content’s relevance in the eyes of search engines, leading to better search engine rankings.

Improving brand awareness and reputation

Imagine your brand as a familiar face in the crowd of inboxes: with each email, you’re not just sharing information; you’re reinforcing your brand’s identity, values, and unique selling points. This consistency builds a brand image that’s not just recognizable but also trusted and valued by your subscribers. It’s the kind of relationship that turns casual readers into loyal followers — and, eventually, vocal brand advocates.

However, the benefits of a robust email marketing strategy extend beyond the inbox. As your brand becomes more recognizable, you’ll likely see an uptick in search volume as curious subscribers turn to search engines to learn more about your offerings or latest updates. This increased brand search volume sends positive signals to search engines, suggesting that your brand is not only relevant but also sought after by users. Over time, this improves search engine rankings, making your website more visible to potential customers and further amplifying your online presence.

Getting feedback

Example of an email campaign requesting feedback
Source: Email Love

Why is feedback through email marketing so crucial for SEO? Here’s a breakdown:

  • Discovering new keywords

Every business knows the importance of keywords in SEO. They’re the beacon that guides users to your website. Despite thorough keyword research, there’s always room for discovery. Feedback from customers can reveal how they describe your products or services, shedding light on new, relevant keywords you hadn’t considered. This insight is invaluable, allowing you to align your content more closely with your audience’s language and search habits.

  • Enhancing user experience

The backbone of any successful website is a stellar user experience. If visitors find your site difficult to navigate or slow to load, they’re likely to leave, negatively impacting your SEO. Feedback emails can pinpoint exactly where users are facing problems, from confusing navigation to slow loading times. This direct input from your audience allows you to make targeted improvements, enhancing the overall user experience and your site’s SEO performance.

Best practices for combining SEO and email marketing

Combining SEO and email marketing might sound like you’re mixing oil and water, but it’s more like peanut butter and jelly – they complement each other perfectly. Here are some easy-to-follow steps and best email marketing tips to help you blend the two, whether you’re just starting out or looking to enhance your existing strategies.

  • Optimize email content for SEO

Start with your emails. Use keywords strategically in your subject lines, body content, and even CTAs. Think about what your subscribers might be searching for online, and use those terms naturally in your emails. This doesn’t just help with SEO; it makes your emails more relevant to your readers.

  • Make your emails shareable

Include social sharing buttons or “Forward to a Friend” links in your email newsletters. Encourage your readers to share your content with their own networks. This can indirectly boost your SEO by increasing your content’s reach and bringing more visitors to your site.

  • Link to your website

Whenever it makes sense, include links back to your website in your emails. This can be through direct links to your products, services, or blog posts. The key here is relevance — make sure you’re linking to content that adds value to your reader’s experience.

  • Personalize your email campaigns

Segment your email list and personalize your messages based on user behavior and preferences. This increases engagement, which is a signal to search engines that your site is delivering value, thereby improving your SEO rankings.

  • Use analytics to refine both strategies

Dive into your email analytics to see what content is resonating with your audience. Use these insights to inform your content strategy on your website. Conversely, use SEO tools to identify which topics are driving traffic to your site, and then tailor your email content to reflect those topics.

  • Create special landing pages for email campaigns

For specific campaigns, create custom landing pages that you link to from your email messages. These pages should be optimized for both conversion and search engines, with clear, keyword-rich content that aligns with the messages in your emails.

  • Monitor and adapt

The digital landscape is always changing, and what works today might not work tomorrow. Keep an eye on your performance metrics for both email and SEO, and be ready to adapt your strategies as needed.

By following these steps, you’re not just sending out better emails or optimizing for search engines.  But rather creating a cohesive digital marketing strategy that leverages the best of both worlds.

How to measure success across channels?

Measuring success across these channels doesn’t have to be a shot in the dark. With the right tools and techniques, you can get a clear picture of how your combined strategies are performing, and yes, this approach is right on trend with the latest in marketing trends.

Tracking conversions

Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, making a purchase, or filling out a contact form, conversions are the gold standard for measuring success. Tools like Google Analytics are handy here, allowing you to track users’ paths from email clicks to website actions. Setting up goals in Google Analytics can give you direct insights into how well your email campaigns drive users to complete desired actions on your site.

Email metrics

While open and click-through rates are essential metrics for any email marketer, diving deeper can provide more insights. Look at the behavior of users after they click through: How long do they stay on your site? Which pages do they visit? Do they bounce or engage? Email marketing platforms provide these analytics, but integrating with web analytics tools like Google Analytics can offer a fuller picture of the customer journey.

SEO performance

For SEO, it’s all about visibility in search rankings and engagement on your site. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can show you how your pages rank for target keywords and how your organic search traffic trends over time. Pairing this data with your email analytics can help you understand if your email content effectively complements your SEO strategy by driving interested visitors to your high-ranking pages.

Staying ahead with marketing trends

Integrating email marketing with SEO is also about aligning with current marketing trends toward personalization, automation, and data-driven decision-making. 

The key to measuring success across channels is consistency in tracking and a willingness to adapt based on what the data tells you. By keeping an eye on both the micro (individual email and SEO metrics) and macro (overall campaign performance) aspects of your strategy, you’ll not only see where you’re succeeding but also where there’s room for improvement.

Final thoughts

Merging email marketing with SEO goes beyond just increasing visibility, it creates a cohesive journey that guides potential customers from their inbox to your website. It fosters a relationship built on value and trust in any industry. 

This means diving into the analytics, fine-tuning your campaigns, and always aiming for that personal touch that resonates with your audience. Remember, the goal is not just to capture attention, but to keep it, turning visitors into loyal subscribers and customers. As you implement these practices, watch your brand’s online presence and reputation grow, proving that when email meets SEO, the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.

13 February, 2024
Article by
Ana Balashova
I'm a seasoned PR and marketing pro turned tech writer, with a decade of experience working with big names like DuPont, Avon, Evernote, TradingView, and SAP. I've also dived into the world of crypto startups, contributing to several blockchain publications. Now, I'm bringing my passion for technology, entrepreneurship, and marketing to Selzy. Here, I combine my love for writing and excitement about contributing to the growth of a great product.
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