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Ask An SEO Expert – SEO & Email Newsletters

September 24th, 2012

by Emily Burgett

One of the biggest challenges in marketing is bridging the gaps between separate activities so they all become cohesive and support the same goal. The same goes with SEO. It is important for marketers and webmasters to identify those gaps and actively work to integrate all those efforts.

One example of two seemingly separate activities that are actually highly related is email and SEO. If you’re wondering how to bridge that gap and form a cohesive relationship, you are not alone. There are many interactions from email that can affect SEO and vice versa. Email helps SEO and SEO helps email.

In the Ask An SEO Expert video below, Jesse Laffen identifies the four synergies between email and SEO and how you can implement those four synergies into your overall SEO strategies.

Do you have an SEO question that you would like to have answered? Simply submit your question on our website or via Twitter by using the hashtag #AskAnSEOExpert.


This question comes from somebody asking about email newsletters and SEO, and maybe what are some synergies in between those things. There are many actually, just between email, in general, your email marketing efforts, and SEO. So, we wanted to kind of highlight some of those synergies today.

The first one relates to the browsing history. This is a way that email kind of helps SEO. Google and Bing both store certain amounts of data about users. So, if I visit a website and Google or Bing knows that, they might be a little more likely – in Google they say that they are actually more likely – to return that website to my search results in the future.

So, for the next six months if I’m looking for a product or something that you’ve sold – and I’ve gotten to your site and landed on your domain while I was logged in to a Google account from my Gmail, maybe – it’s pretty probable that your website is going to return up in my results. Maybe a little bit higher or maybe even at all, versus another one of your competitors. So, that’s one really, really good way.

Another really good way is A/B copy testing. On your website there are lots of great ways to kind of test certain things. Like, “Oh, does this orange button work better? Does this purple button work better?” Among those things that you can test are copy. Email is another great test bed to see what your users responding to. Do they like this word versus that one? Is this value proposition stronger than another one? Email is a fantastic way to kind of test some of those things and gain even more data faster, as far as things like “what are people clicking on?”

Another thing that we really, really like to test, kind of along the same lines as A/B copy testing, are the user signals, right? When I make a certain value prop and I give people a certain conversion funnel, right? Did they bail three steps down? Using a different piece of copy, can I get them further down in the funnel? Or does this even convert better? There’s lots of things with graphics, copy, certain headlines that work really, really well in email that do translate into the web.

Just be a little careful because not everything works perfectly, but this is a great way to get a broad data set about what your clients, or your customers, your visitors like to see in here. So, those are all kind of ways that email helps SEO, but there is one way that SEO can help email, too. That’s list growth.

When you are setting up a website, there are multiple ways that a person might show interest. Maybe they don’t want to buy today, but maybe they will leave an email address. Maybe they will sign up for a newsletter. Figuring out how much that is worth to you and your website and then valuing that and attributing those actions back to SEO or whatever other lead source it came from – it could be PPC, could be display, whatever – is a really, really mature, good way to actually value kind of where your SEO or your PPC, or whatever other efforts are going towards.

It’s not always just about the final click transaction. There are some of these things along the way that people do that are still worth something to you and your website. So, I hope that kind of shows a few of the synergies between email and SEO.

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