How to use SEO and email marketing together to drive results

Posted by Lilach Bullock on 20 Feb, 2017
View comments SEO
Search engine optimisation and email marketing are some of the best forms of generating leads and a higher ROI, but these marketing forms are rarely talked about together.

In this blog post, I aim to show you how you can use SEO and email marketing together to drive more results for your business.

Both SEO and email marketing have the ability to drive targeted traffic to your website and help you generate more leads and ROI. But what if you could use SEO to improve your email marketing and vice-versa?

These two channels actually have a lot in common, even though at first glance it may not seem that way. They’re both constantly evolving and changing to adapt to new user trends (such as the increased use of mobile devices for reading emails and for accessing websites and reading blogs). They require similar techniques for creating headlines/subject lines. They’re both used for content promotion and for generating leads.

Another interesting thing that these two channels share? Every year, it is claimed they are a dying breed – and yet, year by year, they continue to be the most effective marketing channels available.

So, even though your email marketing strategy, the emails you send or the subscribers you gather aren’t crawled by search engine bots and don’t affect your search engine ranking directly, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use them together. In fact, email marketing and SEO can work  hand in hand to help you generate better results for your business. Here’s how:

The subject line

The science behind email subject lines is very similar to that used to create the titles and headlines you would use on your website and blog. Try to use your SEO knowledge when writing up the subject line, as that is a big factor in determining how many people will open your email, just like a headline is a big deciding factor when seeing a blog post.

The most important rules here are to keep your subject lines short and sweet and to use the most important and relevant keywords, preferably as close to the beginning of your subject line as possible.

In fact, think of how people would search for your business online and try to use those keywords in your subject lines as well. The way people decide whether or not to open an email is not very different to how they decide whether to open one link over another when they perform a Google search. The more you use relevant keywords in your subject lines, the more likely it is your recipients will actually open the emails you send them.

Use relevant keywords throughout your emails

Search engines usually care more about the readability of your content; it’s about using relevant keywords in an organic way so that it shows that your content is designed specifically for readers, and not in a clinical way, clearly made for the benefit of search engines.

This is how you should craft your emails as well. Try to use relevant keywords throughout the email and create a layout that is easy to read. Don’t forget about the power of long-tail keywords as well, even though you’re not actually ranking for them directly.

Not only will adding keywords and long-tail keywords make your emails more readable and more relevant, but it will also help with this next point:

Make your emails searchable online to boost your SEO

What if you could have your emails work towards boosting your search engine ranking directly?

The way that you can do this is very simple: archive your emails online. Publishing your emails online means you should strive to use relevant keywords and generally, use the same principles as you would when writing up a blog post.

You will also need to pay attention to the hyperlinks you’re using in the emails. They need to be good links, going to top sources to ensure the email doesn’t have a negative effect on your ranking.

Turn your emails into blog posts

Another way that you can use your emails to boost your search ranking is to convert them into blog posts.

Ideally, your emails should provide value to your subscribers. Sure, they’ll also get the occasional offer or discount but in many cases, your emails are most likely full of tips and tricks, advice and so on. That’s content that your other readers could benefit from as well, so why not turn those emails into blog posts that will help boost your search engine ranking?

If you do this, make sure you’re using enough keywords, images and sub-headlines where necessary and that you’re also editing it so that it’s appropriate as a blog post.

If you have a series of shorter emails that are related to each other, you can also choose to bundle them together to create a longer, more detailed blog post.

Use email to get more inbound links

Inbound links are the bread and butter of a good SEO campaign. The more inbound links you get from top sources and websites, the more likely it is that your ranking will also grow. So, why not use your email and your subscribers to get more inbound links?

Whenever you write an extensive guide or list, for example, share it with your subscribers and explain what makes it such a valuable resource. This way, they can link to it on their own website.

Better yet, take the opportunity to encourage or ask your subscribers directly to share that link. As an example of how you can do this, I received an email a while back from a company publishing a new, extensive study and asking its subscribers to either share it on social media, or, even better, write up a short blog post about a section of that study. By doing this, they were not only increasing their chances of getting more inbound links, but they also gave any bloggers in their list a great idea for a new blog post; basically, they turned it into a win-win situation for both parties involved.

You can do this as well, or you can directly ask your subscribers if they want to link to your article, guide or whitepaper on their blog or website.


As you can see, email marketing and search engine optimisation, two practices that seem so fundamentally different at first sight, can actually work together towards increasing your results, by improving your search engine ranking and by improving your emails' open and click-through rate.

Are you using email marketing and SEO together? And how? Let us know in the comments section below!


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