Email marketing has helped form the backbone of our relationship with the Internet. It provides the main communication infrastructure for most businesses worldwide (with projections estimating we’ll reach 246 billion emails sent per day by 2019), and remains one of the most efficient online marketing strategies available to entrepreneurs.
Its utility extends beyond advertising special discounts and offers as well; if harnessed properly, it can even improve your SEO campaign.
Let’s explore how email affects your SEO campaign, and why the relationship between email and SEO is more complex than you might suspect.
5 Benefits of Email Marketing for SEO
Let’s start by detailing some of the benefits that an email campaign could have for your SEO campaign:
- Content visibility. The biggest effect to consider is email marketing’s ability to improve the visibility of your content. Assuming you’re able to produce high-quality content, your biggest challenge in attracting visitors and links is going to be attracting an initial audience, and email marketing can play a huge role in doing that. Through email, you can distribute your content to your most loyal followers, and get some early clicks and visitors, which can then lead to inbound links, social buzz, and shares.
- Content shareability. If you structure your email correctly, you’ll also make your content inherently more shareable. Whether you’re broadcasting a round-up of some of your “greatest hits” articles or advertising a new promotion, you can include share icons that allow your email recipients to quickly and easily share that content with their followers. Assuming this increases shares by even a handful of instances, this could be a new gateway to expand your audience reach significantly.
- Audience building. Consistent email marketing is also a good way to build and grow your relationship with your audience. You can attract more subscribers on your main site, and encourage all your email recipients to follow you on social media. This won’t directly improve your search rankings, but it will give you a bigger distribution network when it’s time to push your best content out into the world.
- Financial investment. Email marketing is popular largely because of its high return on investment (ROI). It costs practically nothing to set up an account with a service like MailChimp, where everything is free until you reach 2,000 subscribers. Accordingly, this makes it an attractive alternative for content promotion, compared to paid advertising. Because content promotion is so important for an effective SEO campaign, email provides a cost-effective method for doing so — as long as you have a list with enough subscribers already.
- Internal communication efficiency. Don’t forget, email is about more than just marketing. Most companies who are sending emails to their customers are probably also exchanging many internal emails. If you can monitor your internal email communication trends, such as with a tool like EmailAnalytics, you can identify and improve habits, enabling you to work more efficiently with your team, accomplish more tasks, and improve productivity. As such, improving email efficiency stands to benefit not just your SEO campaign, but all areas of your business.
That all sounds good, but email isn’t exactly the perfect tool to improve your SEO campaign if that’s your main goal.
Consider these points:
- Indirect effects. Email marketing has no direct bearing on your search rankings. The content in your emails won’t be indexed by search engines, nor will Google consider your email traffic when calculating your authority. All the effects granted by email are indirect.
- Time investment. Even though email doesn’t cost much money to manage, it can take a significant portion of your time. If you plan on taking your email marketing campaign seriously, you’ll need to dedicate time to writing content, coming up with copy, building your campaigns, then testing and monitoring results.
- Inconsistent value. There’s no guarantee that email marketing is going to work for your business. It holds different value and applications for different industries, and its potential returns aren’t always predictable.
So is email a good investment to complement and improve your SEO efforts? That depends on how you intend to use it.
Email is unlikely to independently improve your search rankings, and it can’t give you direct SEO benefits. But if you plan on using email as a standalone marketing strategy, there are some pleasant side effects to reap for your SEO campaign.
It’s not a get-ranked-quick scheme, nor is it the missing ingredient you need to find success, but it is another valuable tool you can use to support your existing SEO efforts.