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Boost Your Search Engine Rankings with Email Newsletters

By Andrea Harris
Posted Saturday, September 18, 2004

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 SEO.

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 website.

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 about email newsletters, the link "email newsletters" is much better for SEO than "click here.")

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 my client's Athena IT Solutions website are optimized for phrases such as "business 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 "BI 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 a horse disease. Their web stats show that the article page is now one of the most frequent "entry" pages to 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 SEO 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 appropriate.
# 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 hard-working web-marketing machine.

Andrea Harris Minerva Solutions, Inc.

About the Author
Andrea is a communications consultant and owner of Minerva Solutions. She does a little bit of everything, but specializes in SEO copywriting and helping clients launch and manage email newsletters.


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