Humor sites do well with social media. Informational sites do well on search engines. But very few do well in both.
The sites that rank well and get shared often have massive email lists chock full of people who love what they’re doing and will buy whatever they produce. And it’ll all starts with a little blog.
Today I want to show you how to integrate search engine optimization (SEO), social media, and email marketing to accrue an incredibly engaged audience.
Blog Goal is to Get Email Subscribers
Email is the only online platform we use regularly where we see every message we receive. For that reason, an email subscriber is the most engaged someone can be before they become a customer.
So the goal of your blog should be to encourage people to opt-in for getting free email updates every time you post a new article.
Three Sources of Traffic
There are only three ways to get traffic without buying ads or relying on other sites to actively promote you.
Getting it Indexed in Search Engines
As long as you have the SEO prerequisites set up, Google, Bing, and Yahoo! will automatically index your website as you update it with new content.
The more often you update, the more often Google will check back.
Sending it out Through Social Media
Every time you update your blog, mention it on your Facebook page, Twitter stream, LinkedIn profile, and wherever else your audience is following you.
But be careful about submitting your content to StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Digg. It’s more likely to get picked by those sites if it’s submitted by someone who is unaffiliated with your site.
Updating Your Email Subscribers
Similar to social media, get in the habit of sending every new blog post to your email subscribers. If they get it every time, they’ll expect it every time.
Three Types of Content
In order to get traffic from search engines, social media, and email marketing, you need to create content that appeals to each of those platforms.
Search Content Needs to Educate
When someone Googles something, they’re looking for the answer to the question. So you need to create content that educates and answers questions.
Tutorials, how-to’s, step-by-steps, questions, and checklists.
Here are few examples of posts here that do well in search engines:
- How to Send Company Branded Emails through Gmail – Ranks #1 for “branded emails through gmail,” “company branded emails gmail,” and “send company branded gmail.”
- 61 Steps to Becoming a Successful Young Entrepreneur – The 3rd most viewed post here and Google is the 2nd highest source of it’s traffic (behind JuniorBiz.com).
- Why Do You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? – Ranks 6th for “why do you want to be an entrepreneur” out of 18.9 million results.
Social Content Needs to Entertain
People share interesting links on Facebook and Twitter because it makes them seem interesting. When someone clicks a link on a social network, they’re expecting to be entertained or informed.
Write controversial editorials, create interesting lists, break the news, make creative videos, tell fascinating stories, and highlight neat facts.
Here are a few posts that do well on social media:
- 101 Things I Wish I Learned in Business School – The first post here that got a fair amount of social traffic.
- The Average Employee Costs $412,429 – 60+ Likes because it’s controversial and people comment on it when someone posts it to Facebook.
- 10 High-Powered Executives with $1 Salaries – 80+ Likes partly because of the call to action at the end.
Email Content Needs to Engage
Nobody spends hours on Yahoo! Answers and no one falls in love with FMyLife (well, maybe a few).
Both of these sites get boatloads of search and social traffic, but neither of them have diehard fans who eagerly hang on every word they publish.
The key to getting your audience to leave comments, subscribe to your feed, open your emails, devour your thoughts, and share it with their friends, is to engage them with content that simultaneously educates and entertains.
Create ultimate lists, explain provocative concepts with graphics, produce epiphany-inducing videos, teach through well-developed metaphors, and tie relevant news with enlightening commentary.
Here are a few posts that do well with search engines and social media:
- Best 101 Entrepreneurship Quotes Ever – On the first page for “entrepreneurship quotes” and
7K+ 11K+27K+ Stumbles.
- 21 Famous Logos with Mind-Blowing Hidden Messages – All 21 logo images rank for “[company name] logo” and it has 50+ social shares.
- 10 World-Class Companies Started by College Students – First page for “companies started,” “companies started college,” “companies started college students,” and #1 out of 171 million results for “companies started student.” Plus it’s interesting to nearly everyone.
Add Relevant Calls to Action
To get the most out of your content, add different calls to action at the end of the article depending on where you expect the traffic to come from.
+1, Tweet, or Link if Educational
The number of +1’s, Tweets, and backlinks all affect how well you rank in Google.
If your content is mostly educational, ask for one of those three so it’ll rank higher and you’ll get more search traffic.
Like, Tweet, or Share if Entertaining
If your content is meant to entertain, ask people to Like, Tweet, or Share it with their friends, followers, or network (depending on where you believe your audience spends their time).
For instance, I’ve found that most young people use Facebook more than Twitter or LinkedIn. So I emphasize Facebook by putting the Share button at the top of the scrolling social bar and on the left at the bottom of the post.
Subscribe if Engaging
If you believe your post is educational and entertaining, ask them to subscribe for free updates. You can include a link to a squeeze page or put a simple opt-in form at the end of the article.
Traffic Runs in Cycles
No matter where the traffic comes from, your goal is to get them to subscribe by email so they contribute to all three sources of traffic in the long-run.
Search Engine Cycle
Starting at Google, someone searches a keyword that brings up your site. They click the link to read your content. If it answers their question, ask them to +1 it so your blog post will rank higher for the original keyword.
As it ranks higher, you’ll get more traffic and continue the cycle.
Social Media Cycle
Starting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., someone sees a link to your content. They click the link expecting to be entertained. If they are, ask them to Like, Tweet, or Share it depending on where you want your content to be shared.
If they share it, their friends will see it and the cycle will continue.
Email Marketing Cycle
Starting with one subscriber, that subscriber gets an email with the headline as the subject. If the headline is engaging, they’ll open the email, click the link, read the article, and enjoy your content.
The call to action may be to subscribe, but since they’re already subscribed, they’ll either +1, Like, Tweet, or Share it. This dips back into the SEO and social media cycles until those people choose to become subscribers.
This is how you build an incredibly engaged audience with a massive email list.
How SEO, Social Media, and Email Marketing Work Together
No matter where the traffic comes from, your goal is to get them to subscribe by email so they contribute to all three sources of traffic over time.
Was this post…
Educational? Then +1 it.
Entertaining? Then Like it.
If you thought this post was all three, do all three. It’ll help you and others find content worth finding. Thank you.