The Delicate Dance of SEO and Email Marketing in Four Steps

The Delicate Dance of SEO and Email Marketing in Four Steps

As popular television dance shows have demonstrated, if you’re going to dance, you’ve got to know the steps. But, did you also know that, if you want to shake the bottom line of your online business, your SEO and email marketing should dance together? You don’t have to know how to tango, two-step or even twerk. Instead, you just have to put your best foot forward and follow these four simple steps:

Step 1: Find the SEO Keywords to Partner With Your Business

Think of SEO keywords as the beat to this dance. If you want your online business to generate traffic, it’s critical to have a solid grasp of search terms specific to your business offering. Sometimes called pay per click (PPC) terms, when you’re defining these keywords for your business, think of the terms that people are going to search for when they’re ready to buy. If you want your business to score a high SEO rank, choose your keywords with care.

Just as every dance has a different beat, keywords are going to be different for every business. Think about those words people are going to search for, or will click on in an ad, when they’re ready to buy what you have to offer. To illustrate, let’s look at my regular dance partner, CLV Boost. My primary keywords and terms would likely be:

  • Email Marketing Consultants Boston
  • Marketing Automation Agency
  • Landing Page Copywriting Consultants
  • Experienced InfusionSoft Consultants

Now, think about comparable terms for your business. When someone is ready to buy what you have to offer, do you know what search terms they use or what words make them click on your ad? When you know the beat that gets feet tapping to your business, you’re ready to learn the next step.

Step 2: Add Terms of Related but Indirect Interest to Your Repertoire

If the terms above are for prospects who are ready to dance, think of these secondary terms as targeting those prospects who are just thinking of stepping onto the dance floor. I refer to these search terms, that are almost secondary to my primary keywords, as “top-of-the-funnel.” That is, terms that will be more likely to generate an email opt-in rather than a purchase. The prospect using these terms may not be ready to buy, but they’re putting on their dancing shoes. They’re looking for information right now, and that may lead to a purchase down the road.

To determine these top-of-the-funnel terms, start by finding major categories of your PPC terms and keywords and step out from there. Consider what your prospects are thinking as they begin to gather information and start their buying process. Develop 6-12 related, indirect interests areas that apply to each category of your direct PPC terms. To once again use my business for illustration purposes, some of these related, top-of-funnel terms might be:

  • How to make a better email newsletter
  • How to set up InfusionSoft
  • Compare InfusionSoft to HubSpot
  • How to create profitable autoresponder sequences
  • How to test my email marketing
  • Case studies of ecommerce email marketing

(Note that those are just a few terms related to each of my PPC categories. As noted above, the ideal number is 6-12 per category.)

If you’re wondering why you should take the time to market to someone who’s not ready to buy, consider that there’s less competition for these terms than the primary keywords we listed above. However, while these terms likely aren’t worth PPC advertising, they can be used to create content to enhance lead generation. And, now that you’ve got the beat and the dancers, you’re ready to start dancing.

Step 3: Create Relevant Blog Topics and Opt-in Resources

In this dance, you want to let your SEO take the lead. You can do that by creating content such as blogs and opt-in resources based around those 6-12 indirectly related keywords for each PPC category. That’s the content that will draw those early-in-the buying-process searchers to your website. As you’re creating this content, remember that it’s best to keep this material within the realm of your business. In addition, apply more weight to relevant blog topics and less to opt-in resources.

Your content can include white papers, video blogs, blog entries, webinars or anything that requires an opt-in. Using CLV Boost as my example again, the content I might create around my secondary keywords would include:

  • A Double Your Profits From Autoresponders white paper
  • A white paper titled Email Marketing Software Buyer’s Guide
  • Webinar titled Action-Based Email for eCommerce
  • A video series titled 4 Great Landing Page Case Studies

The benefits you’ll derive from this content are twofold. First, now that you have a more specific handle on what people are looking for from your business, you can more effectively tailor your autoresponders. Secondly, you can use that additional information to better segment your database marketing. And now that your SEO content is leading, you’re ready for the final step in this dance.

Step 4: Let Your Marketing Automation and Database Marketing Dance With Your SEO

With your keywords defined, your secondary and related terms in hand and relevant content ready, it’s time to let your email marketing out on the dance floor. How? As an example, let’s say an interested, information-seeking customer lands on my website following a search for “What makes a good landing page.” If he or she opts-in for my video series showing 4 Great Landing Page Case Studies, I can create an autoresponder tailored to their interests (rather than just sending out a generic, all-encompassing autoresponder).

Using that tailored autoresponder sequence will increase the chances that your prospect will hire you or purchase your product, since you’ve provided them information that directly addresses the problems they may have or the goals they’re pursuing. For instance, you might set up a 12-email autoresponder sequence, with the first 11 offering plenty of content related to their initial inquiry and wait until the final, last dance email to ask for a purchase. Customize your sequence to the beat of your business, as that will allow your keywords, related terms and relevant content to work into a rhythm of sales.

While this is a dance with SEO leading to enhanced email marketing, don’t forget that one can also use email marketing to lead to greater SEO. Though you’re still dancing to the beat of email as your marketing vehicle, this is where you show off the related content you created in your email, whether it’s a blog, video blog or webinar. Adding those blog links in your email sequence can generate visits to your page, Facebook Likes and even comments.  And that’s where the SEO/email marketing dance turns into a rhythmic waltz (Kissmetrics gives a similar perspective in how SEO and content marketing go together). You now have an automated sequence that not only encourages a prospect to become a customer but one that also leads to engagement and enhanced SEO based on the articles the’’re interested in. Your prospect gets information on topics they care about and you get a few steps closer to making a sale while also kicking up your SEO rankings.

Granted, since every business dances to its own beat, I’ve simplified the SEO/email marketing dance process somewhat. However, to make the most of your email marketing and boost your SEO, put the two out on the dance floor together! Define the keywords for your company’s beat. Add those related, indirect terms to your repertoire. Lead with SEO content that relates to those terms. And then introduce your SEO to marketing automation and database marketing and let them start dancing together. Practice those steps and you’ll be shaking your bottom line’s booty to the sound of more sales in no time!

Daniel HeadshotDaniel Faggella is an email marketing and marketing automation expert with an obsession for customer lifetime value. He runs CLVboost, a boutique email marketing consultancy, and regularly speaks on email marketing strategy. His clients range from venture backed startup companies to eCommerce businesses to established brick-and-mortar businesses. Follow @CLVboost on Twitter.