Google is constantly tweaking and evolving its search engine to continue to be relevant on a fast moving and evolving web.
The search giant has realized that the user experience is vital and speed of the results and delivering up content that users want includes personalized, recent and unique content.
Recently Google announced a new step towards building the “search engine of the future”.
Integrating Gmail results into their search results page.
Currently this is still considered a field trial, and English speaking gmail users can sign up to test this feature out.
If the results are positive and Google chooses to permanently integrate Gmail results into personalized SERP’s, what does this mean for SEO’s?
Another piece of prime SERP (Search Engine Result Page) real estate will soon be available for visibility. Gmail results will be above ads and other knowledge graph results, making this a valuable location for increased clicks to your site.
Only shopping or maps results will appear on top of the Gmail results.
If you target keywords that don’t have map or shopping results, you can appear on the top right without having to pay for those clicks.
Email SEO: What can be involved?
Google’s ranking algorithm for their emails is heavily focused on displaying the most recent results. If there is an email in your inbox that was sent to you within the last 60 days, and it contains an exact match of the email, it will be displayed in your SERP’s, with the newest ones ranking on top.
Google will show anywhere between 1 – 5 results, based on how many emails are found using that keyword. Regardless of keyword density or where the keyword is mentioned (From, Title, Body), the newest emails are shown at the top. Oldest emails simply don’t appear after there are five new emails with exact match keywords.
In the example below you can see 5 test emails, with a variety of test factors:
- Key word in subject once
- Keyword in subject once
- Keyword in the body not in the subject
- Keyword in the from field
- Keyword mentioned in the subject and body several times
Regardless of the keyword integration, newest emails were ranked on top.
Email rankings are almost real time, and will appear within 2 minutes of being received. Google highlights the keyword in the email, showing that they are definitely mapping query to keyword in the email, whether it’s the from, subject, or body.
Exact match is important, they are not using semantic analysis and are not even displaying singular vs plural – only exact matches.
What does this mean for your Search Marketing Campaign?
Keyword research is now an important aspect of email marketing. Your email marketing team has to coordinate with your SEO team to make sure that emails contain your target keywords.
Here’s an example of an Email SEO process:
- Use keyword research tools to create a list of your target keywords. How many keywords you add depends on the nature of your business, and whether you mostly have one keyword focus, or several thousands based on your products.
- Create an email marketing calendar. For every email, determine a theme, and assign a target number of keywords to be included into that email.
- Write content around those keywords. As always, usability is essential, and the content needs to be marketeable. Do not keyword stuff!
- Send emails daily! Every email is an opportunity to get in front of your target audience. In this case, recency is relevance, so you have to send out emails often and with the exact match keyword.
- Grow your email list. Every subscriber is a new person who can see your emails in their personalzied SERP’s. More subscribers means more potential visitors to your gmail results in the SERP’s.
It’s impossible to know for sure if or when Google will make this feature available to all users. Until this features becomes mainstream you can start by focusing on growing your list of email subscribers, as this will have dual benefits.
If, and when, Google rolls this feature to the public, you will be poised to rank in the Google personalized SERP’s.
If this trial is rolled out into reality, then email marketing will become mandatory part of your marketing if it isn’t already.
Guest Author: Marcela De Vivo has been an SEO since 1999 and is passionate about internet marketing and social media. She has worked with small mom and pop shops as well as large corporate sites, offering guest blogging services as well as consulting and integrative marketing services. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest or LinkedIn.