We get a lot of questions about the relationship between SEO and email. In essence, they both have the same goal; to get users to your site and, ultimately, to purchase from you. Retailers put a lot of time, effort and resources into both strategies, and each can be valuable if executed well

There’s no denying it, though, SEO is tough! The ever-changing landscape has a reputation for being hard to navigate and complicated to follow. In the last two years alone, Google made nine major algorithm updates that affected search results in significant ways. The SEO freight train is barreling forward, and we’re hiding somewhere in the back trying to hold on for dear life

Even if your keywords and text ads do succeed in leading people to your site, that’s only half the battle. Retailers know that almost 50% of their site traffic bounces, and from the remaining browsers, approximately 70% abandon shopping carts. Only 2% or less actually convert

Despite all that, retailers pay by far the most on SEO/SEM of any digital marketing channel. On average, it made up 51% of the total Digital Marketing Spend for merchants in 2015.

All of that time and investment can produce a return, but it’s a good time to bring up the old adage “Work smarter, not harder.” Retailers who focus more on email acquisition tactics and strategic email marketing solutions are able to continue to market and remarket to those visitors and get the maximum revenue in return for their spend. With almost double the revenue per dollar spent, it’s clear that devoting more time and money to email marketing helps merchants reach their revenue goals.

We’re not saying to dial back on SEO efforts, but if you focus on building a robust email list, the possibilities are endless.  Once customer email addresses are acquired, you can start to engage those new subscribers with a unique welcome series and other personalized communications.  

When they return to your website and start browsing products, you can leverage that behavioral data to send out personalized emails with their browse history or shopping cart items if no purchase has been made. This type of personalization and nurturing is something you can’t do with SEO, but it makes all the difference in turning a browser into a buyer and a buyer into a loyal customer. It’s a smart way to make your investment work harder for you!

There are ways that SEO and email can complement each other from a holistic creative and content perspective. Here are a few recommendations:

  • Analyze search queries and high ROAS keywords and phrases to create more relevant email content that converts faster.
  • Utilize Recurring Automated Campaigns featuring best sellers and new products to provide consistent traffic to important pages, increasing their online relevancy.
  • Segment your list for each campaign to put the most relevant content in front of users that will click through and stay on your website, decreasing bounce rate and increasing time on site.

Take a look at your past ROAS (Return on Advertising Spend) and see if boosting your email marketing efforts makes sense for you.

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