One of the lesser-known benefits of a regular email newsletter campaign is to prime the pump on your prospect’s Google searches.
I’m using “Google Search” intentionally, since Gmail, Google+ and Chrome users who are signed in will get different search results than those not using a Google product or not signed in.
Here’s how it works for Google users who are browsing while signed in:
1. Send your prospect regular email newsletters with irresistible links to worthwhile and current content on your website.
2. Once your prospect has visited your website a few times, Google will be more likely to autofill the name of your company when the person browses or does a related search.
For example, let’s say your company name is Green Beans Printing. If your prospect starts to type in G…r….e…. your name may appear as an autofill option before the search term is completed. While your company may not be what that person was intending to search, you had a brief branded moment there.
3. The more your prospect visits your site, shares from it, comments on it and interacts with it, the more likely your company name will autofill when your prospect is browsing.
4. Next, because the prospect has clicked through to your site multiple times, you may get visibility in the search results when the keyword relates to your site, even if you would not rank under normal conditions.
- Your prospect may see your company name or a landing page listed as “websites you’ve visited before.” It might even say something like “You’ve visited this site 15 times.”
- If you have a Google+ company page, your company information may show up on the right side of your prospect’s search results. It’s important that your contact information, hours and other information is updated because Google will lift the details from your Google+ “About” page.
- If someone in your prospect’s network has +1’d something on your site or on one of your Google+ posts, Google may suggest your site because someone in their network liked it.
- These results will fall below the paid results at the top, and they will not override Google ads. In most cases, they will intermix with the “true” search results, meaning your website would not necessarily show up if your prospect was not signed in.
The stronger the evidence that your prospect has intentionally and recently visited your website, the more likely your company will be shown in some form on the search results page. So if your prospect is regularly linking out of their Gmail to your website from an email newsletter, that is very strong evidence to Google.
How perfect is that?
Your email newsletter program builds trust and likability. It keeps your name in your prospect’s brain. It gives your customers a clear and inviting path to your website. And, then, Google reinforces that path with results pointing to your company when your prospect is signed in while browsing.
You can improve your success by implementing these elements:
- Properly named landing pages that are not spammy, link bait, graphics without text, or temporary,
- Web content that is well-written, complete, up to date, and logically organized,
- Google+ company page with current information,
- A large and active network of Google+ users who +1’s your posts.
The naysayers will argue that it’s not worth it to cater to signed-in Google users. The lovely part of all this is that you don’t have to cater to them – and it doesn’t add any cost to your email marketing program – it just happens!
Sandy Hubbard is Print Futurist at Print Media Centr. She helps printers and publishers get found online through easy-to-maintain marketing programs, including email newsletters. Read more articles in the #SEO4Printers and Email-to-Print series!