Originally Published: B2B Marketing
Are email and Web functions such as blogging and search marketing sworn enemies in your marketing department? It's time to call a truce.
Email and search, the No. 1 and No. 2 most popular Internet applications (via 2008Pew Internet and American Life Project study), can work hand in hand to give your customers, readers and prospect the most timely and relevant information, delivered in the channels that work best for each of them.
When you use email in partnership with blogging and search, you'll build newsletter circulation as well as blog traffic, and both together will help boost your organic search engine rankings without stealing even an extra penny from your search-marketing budget. You can't lose!
I see this every day, as I edit two newsletters, for Ezemail http://www.Ezemail.com/ and the Direct Marketing Association's Email Marketing Council. I also manage blogs for Ezemail http://blog.Ezemail.com/ and the DMA's Email Marketing Council: http://www.dmaemailblog.com.
No Blog? No Problem!
Many marketers complain to me that they don't have access to their companies' Web sites to post their articles and announcements. Enter the blog.
Once you incorporate it into your Web site, you can post your latest information there without waiting for someone in design or IT to do it for you or knowing much about Web design or coding.
Another benefit of having a blog is that the Search-engine spiders love them because they provide new and updated content, all highly relevant and filled with keywords.
How Newsletters and Blogs Work Together
Both newsletters and blogs deliver information, but they have different purposes:
The newsletter lets you reach out to your readers and attract them to your Web site with content that can remain fresh for days or weeks. The blog is the late-breaking news source for updates and announcements that happen between newsletter publishing cycles.
Your blog and newsletter audiences overlap some, but you also have readers who seldom or never cross over to the other channel. Blog readers might get updates via email in lieu of your newsletter, for example. When you coordinate your newsletter and blog, you extend your reach toward both audiences.
Tying newsletters and blogs together:
1. Announce new products, features and company news in the blog.
Even news stories that would affect your readers or product users have a place and also can build link popularity, which benefits SEO.
2. Link to your blog in each newsletter and include the most recent blog postings (title, link and brief summary) in the newsletter.
3. Promote your newsletter in your blog as soon as you send it out. Comment on the theme or top stories, publish article titles and summaries and link either to the Web version of your newsletter, if you have one (and you should!) or to the archive page where your article will live on after publication.
4. Include a subscription link for the newsletter on your blog and vice versa. Also, if you use a service like Feedburner http://www.feedburner.com to send blog posts through email, include a link to that sign-up page in the same section where you publish blog posts in your newsletter.
10 Easy Ways to Boost Organic Search
As Tesco's tagline says: "Every little helps."
First, remember that organic search (search-engine optimisation, or SEO) is different from search-engine marketing (SEM). SEO is free and involves creating content that is search-engine friendly, rich with fresh content and marbled with keywords and search terms. SEM is paid search, buying keywords that boost your rankings or placing paid ads that appear alongside organic search results.
SEO and SEM together can help you rank higher in the search engines when you optimise your Web content for your keywords or relevant search terms.
These strategies make your newsletter, blog and Web site work together to build circulation and traffic and to boost your search efforts:
1. Write newsletter content (articles, bulletins, special offers, etc.) to reflect your keywords or search terms.
2. Archive newsletter content on your Web site in spider-friendly locations. If you use a third-party email service provider, it gives you a Web link for the newsletter. Post this link.
3. Link to your blog and Web site in the newsletter, which in turn will then be archived on your blog and Web site.
4. Link to your newsletter archive and blog from your Web site's homepage.
5. Post articles on the blog and link to the original publication.
6. Write brief but relevant blog posts (typically 500 words or fewer; 300 or fewer is optimal). They'll get better readership and draw more comments than longer articles or whitepapers.
7. Consistency is key to both SEO and reader loyalty. Use the same writing style to avoid reader disconnect. If your newsletter appeals to senior-partner types, don't make your blog sound as if the office boy wrote it. Work in keywords as appropriate, but don't overdo it.
8. Use Feedburner or a similar product to add the most recent blog content to your Web site. This fresh content, optimised for your keywords and search terms, will improve your organic SEO. Another service, FeedBlitz http://www.feedblitz.com/, collects your current blog posts and emails them to subscribers who sign up for them separately from your newsletter. This gives you a second email contact and route back to your site.
9. Link to your email program on your landing pages. Even if someone doesn't bite on your offer, they might sign up for your email.
10. Add icons that link to social-networking and content-sharing sites such as Facebook, Digg and StumbleUpon in your email messages. These allow users to post your material on their personal pages and include links back to your site.