I recently had lunch with two
web marketing gurus who publish excellent email
newsletters: Jill Whalen, search engine optimization
(SEO) expert and owner of
and Michael Katz, owner of e-newsletter consulting
Penguin Development. The very next day, the
Wall St. Journal quoted Jill in an article about
Yahoo!'s new (and not so great) paid inclusion
I guess spending some time
with Jill and Michael gave me the idea to write
about both SEO and email newsletters
this month. I've always felt there was a lot of
synergy between them - you attract new visitors
to your site with SEO, and foster their trust
and respect by publishing a newsletter that addresses
Can Build It, but They May Not Come
Customer Relationships with Email Newsletters
Do you write like a man or a woman? Based
on a New York Times Magazine article,
Genie analyzes a paragraph and determines
the author's gender. It correctly determined
that this month's article was written by a woman.
I plugged in text from an article I ghostwrote
for a man, and thankfully, it thought it was
written by a male.
Boost Your Search Engine Rankings with Email Newsletters
SEO: search engine
optimization. It can make the difference between
a website that's rarely visited, and one that bustles
with traffic. Email
newsletters are an excellent and easy way to boost
Of course, email newsletters offer many obvious benefits
to firms that want to nurture relationships with their
clients. They are an inexpensive, effective way to keep
in touch with your customer base while promoting your
company, your products and services, and your brand.
Every time you send out a newsletter, you encourage
people to visit your website. But that’s not the
only way it can increase your website traffic. If you
choose to archive past issues on your site, you’ll
find that they can also attract targeted search engine
traffic. Each issue you post helps your SEO results.
With SEO, email newsletters do double duty – continually
benefiting your web marketing efforts long after distribution.
Think about it. Each issue focuses on something that
has to do with your business, right? So it’s probably
full of relevant key phrases that people use in search
engines. A newsletter article allows you to write about
a specific topic in great detail – perhaps more
detail than you would include on a regular page on your
Also, articles give you an opportunity to link to specific
pages deep in your website, using whatever anchor text
you want. ("Anchor text" refers to the text
of the actual link. For instance, if you want people
to find your web page on email newsletters, the link
newsletters is much better for SEO than click
Articles let you optimize for different spellings or
abbreviations of business terms that you might not be
using frequently on your regular pages. The regular
web pages for the Athena IT Solutions website are optimized
for phrases such as “
intelligence assessment.” But one of the firm’s
email newsletter articles ranks well for a phrase that
uses the abbreviation for business intelligence: BI.
In April 2004, searches for “
architecture” bring up one of their articles
in the #1 spot in Yahoo, and on the second page of Google.
If your website isn’t very large to begin with,
adding your archived newsletters will help bulk it up
with high-quality content. Before you know it, you may
find that you’re attracting visitors in ways you
never expected. For example, Eye of the Storm Equine
Rescue published an email newsletter detailing their
innovative treatment for the horse disease equine
cushings. Their web stats show that the web page
with the article is now one of the most frequent “entry”
pages of their site. Grateful horse owners who found
the article when searching for treatments have even
sent tax-deductible donations to the rescue center.
You can leave it to chance, like the equine rescue
center, or you can take a proactive approach and actually
optimize your articles for SEO. In addition to using
copywriting practices in the article itself, there
are things you can do to enhance your article page’s
SEO. Just make sure that whatever you do for SEO is
also good for your readers.
• Use your key phrase in the title tag.
• Include links to several past issues.
• Link to regular pages within your site, where
• Link to specific articles from your regular
web pages, where appropriate.
• Make a link to your home page part of every
article’s boilerplate text.
• List all issues on a Back Issues web page.
• Link to issues on your site map.
Optimized and posted on your website, email newsletter
articles help turn a lazy
website into a hardworking web-marketing machine.