Aligning your SEO strategy with your email marketing campaigns will not only save you time—you’ll see some great results. Birmingham-based Digital Marketing agency, Ricemedia, has come up with some tips and tricks.
There are a plethora of exercises and marketing methods in the digital marketing world that act as jigsaw pieces in a company’s overall marketing strategy. Whatever the niche, every industry will have certain marketing tactics that work for them, but every single business should understand how their SEO (search engine optimization) efforts can work in harmony with their email marketing strategy, in order to further drive results, therefore enhancing both their lead-nurturing and sale funnel.
Organic SEO is a great way to build your business’s long-term prospects—it helps people find your website through their search intent. But, to go to the next level, you need to ensure your email marketing campaigns and SEO strategy are unified.
How can SEO and email marketing benefit each other?
SEO and email marketing share the same end goal—lead generation.
Both methods drive people to a website, with the aim of getting them to convert, but are often used as separate marketing strategies. Making sure that whatever is written is able to be used within emails and for on-site content is essential to a unified email marketing and content strategy.
This is all easily achievable by anyone looking to grow their online presence—read on and find out the best ways to use your email marketing campaign and SEO strategy in order to drive results!
1. Align your keywords and phrases
Keywords and the readability of your onsite content plays a critical part in any successful SEO campaign—after all, you’re trying to target the phrases people are searching for, with the aim of scoring that golden first position on Google’s Search Engine Results Page.
You need to make sure you’re using relevant keywords in a natural way, all while catering to both search engines and readers. This practice should also feed into how you write your emails—you should use relevant industry-related keywords in the main body of the email, and create an attractive, readable layout.
The power of long-tail keywords
When you’re undertaking keyword research, do not underestimate the power of long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords tend to be much more descriptive and deliver a more concise, targeted level of traffic.
Someone who is searching for ‘cheap train tickets’ is at the start of the conversion journey—they’re still at the research level, whereas someone searching ‘cheap train tickets from Manchester to Edinburgh’ is much further down the buying funnel. They know exactly where they want to go, and they’ve probably consumed a lot of content in the process.
You want to make sure that both your content calendars for email marketing and onsite content are aligned and catering to consumers who are researching your products and are at the start of the conversion funnel.
According to Google, the average online shopper consumes 10.4 pieces of content before they make a purchasing decision online—this cycle is known as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). Let’s apply this to an allegorical scenario.
The “Zero Moment of Truth” and long-tail keywords
Business owners Tim and Tommy want to buy a caravan, but there are a lot of caravans to choose from. Do they want a static caravan? Or are they after an ex-demo caravan? To help them make a decision, they embark on the ‘Zero Moment of Truth;
- Tim sees a PPC ad on Google for a shiny new caravan. This ad is the stimulus in this scenario as it piques his interest enough for him to think about buying a caravan again.
- Tim decides to do a little research. This is the zero moment of truth, where he chooses the first few results on Google’s SERPs and looks at product reviews and some guides to find out who he should buy his caravan from. He also signs up to some newsletters for some caravan deals.
- A few days later, an email lands in his inbox with some deals on a caravan, with the long-tail keywords acting as some headings. It’s easily recognizable. This is where the first moment of truth comes in. Tim decides that he’s going to buy that caravan.
2. Add UTM parameters to links in your emails
If you want to find out how effective your online marketing campaigns are and track link clicks, then you should implement Urchin Tracking Module (UTM). UTM is a module that helps you track the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns by sending information about link clicks to Google Analytics.
This means that you can monitor where traffic is coming from, include email clicks in your Google Analytics reports, track Month-over-Month improvements and understand exactly what type of email marketing campaign works for you. What makes UTM parameters so much better is that they’re really easy to implement!
How to add UTM Parameters
Adding UTM Parameters is super simple—we use Google’s Dev Tool – Campaign URL Builder.
- Add the link you’re using in the email in the field marked ‘Website URL’.
- Add the source of the campaign in the field named ‘Campaign Source’—for a monthly newsletter, it would be ‘newsletter’.
- Add the marketing medium in the field marked ‘Campaign Medium’—in this instance the medium is email.
- Add the name of the campaign name in the field called ‘Campaign Name’—as it is for the August installment of the newsletter, we’ve called it August.
You’ll end up with a URL that looks like this:
Tracking UTM Parameters in Google Analytics
To track the links your subscribers are clicking;
- Log in to Google Analytics
- Click on Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
- You should see ‘Newsletter’—click on that and you’ll find out all the metrics you need!
3. Recycle your emails into blogs
Writing and creating an email takes time, and if you’re doing it properly then you’ll be sending insightful, actionable content to your readers. So, why not make the most of the awesome content your creating and repurpose it?
This way, Google can index it, and your email campaign will have a positive impact on your website’s rankings. Repurposing your email content can be done in a number of easy ways:
- For longer newsletters, turn them into blog posts – you can use the same content, implement the relevant links and then share the blog on social media.
- For shorter email campaigns, why not find a recurring theme and group them all together in a singular blog post?
When you recycle your newsletters into blog posts, you’re giving people who don’t subscribe to your email an insight into what they’re missing. You’re also creating even more great quality content for Google to crawl! It’s a win-win situation!
4. Archive and canonicalize your emails
For those who run newsletters and regular email marketing campaigns, they probably want to archive older issues to their website in order to decrease attrition rate and gain new subscribers.
While archiving your newsletters means that search engines have something to crawl, you have to update it every time you send out another issue. A super easy way to combat this is to add a canonical tag to your newsletters that points towards your blog page. Simply insert the canonical tag into the <head> of your newsletter archive page, with the link to your blog page.
The benefits of canonical tags
When you canonicalize a URL, you’re telling search engine crawlers which URL they should index when there are multiple pages with similar content.
Canonicalisation makes it much easier for search engines to get the right URL, as any duplicate content is being managed because you’re telling Google to index the preferred URL. This will also prevent your archive page and blog page from getting mixed up due to the similarities in content.
We get it—canonical tags are difficult to get your head around – if you want to do some more exploring, then check out Yoast’s super handy guide to the rel=canonical tag!
5. Encourage engagement (and links)
While the main goal of any email marketing campaign is ensuring people click through to your site, you need to think about how you encourage further engagement (which can help you get links back to your site).
By having some standout offer, exciting news piece or some actionable information that is linked back to on your site, there is potential for others to engage with the content and then link to those resources in question.
While the email in question won’t directly help you rank on Google’s SERPs, the activity generated from the email will. Comments with links back to the content within your email will tick some of the ranking factors that Google looks for. You can explicitly encourage engagement with calls to action in your email by doing the following:
- Ask your email subscribers to leave a comment at the bottom of your blog with their opinion and any tips/tricks surrounding the topic.
- Implement buttons to your social channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and encourage them to like, share and comment on those channels as well.
Even better than this, you may find that some of your subscribers run their own blog. By making sure your email marketing campaign is eye-catching and one that grabs the reader’s attention, you are increasing the potential for more influencers to include inbound links back to your site. You can either outrightly ask your email list to share and write about the topic of your email, or just hope that they do it anyway!
Here are five simple ways in which you can undertake a combined SEO and Email Marketing strategy. If you can get twice the amount of coverage, as well as increasing your chances of ranking higher in Google, for the same amount of investment and working hours, then what are you waiting for?