An invisible website is a wasted opportunity. If you haven’t done anything to optimize it for search engines, it might as well not exist.
Or, at the very least, it’s like wearing a billboard that says, “Dear Reader, please ignore me. I have no clue how this online thing works.”
The consequences can be disastrous. No website traffic means no leads, no sales, and no growth.
And there’s no way to sugar-coat that.
What’s Online Visibility?
In the simplest of terms, online visibility is the art of making your website appear in front of potential customers.
Note that this definition of online visibility isn’t limited to how high up your website appears in the search engine rankings. It also includes how visible you are across other mediums: social media, email, and text ads, to name a few.
What’s the Worth of Online Visibility to Your Business?
Online visibility is a powerful tool that can give your business a huge boost in sales and leads. It’s like having all the money, credibility, and foot traffic of your competitors plus some extra free marketing to boot!
- It makes it possible for users to find your website on their own: The more visible your site is, the more opportunities you have to be discovered by users actively looking for your business or product.
- Allows you to reach a broader market: If your site isn’t visible, you’ll only be reaching a very limited target audience. But when your online visibility is at its highest point, you’ll have the advantage of being discovered by individuals specifically looking for your products and services. Some will even share it with their followers and friends, thus broadening your target market even further.
- Saves you the cost of advertising: Online visibility is a great way to get your business in front of consumers for free. When money gets tight, it’s always nice to know that you can still let your customers know about what you’re offering without having to spend a dime.
- Adds credibility to your brand: No one wants to do business with a fly-by-night company. Being “visible” gives your customers the confidence that you’re a key player already established in your field.
- It gives you an edge over the competition: Safety and security are extremely important to potential customers. Being visible will help your business stand out from less-visible competitors and give new customers the feeling of safety when dealing with your company.
- Makes it easier to reach high-value prospects: Deciding which prospect to pursue can be a difficult choice if they’re all equally qualified. But when your site is more visible, you’ll find it easier to reach the most high-value prospects and deepen those relationships more than ever before.
How to Improve Online Visibility
While SEO takes the cake as the most high-profile visibility building strategy, there are plenty of other channels you can use to get the word out about your business. But if your website isn’t optimized for search engines right now, we highly recommend that you start with SEO.
Not only is it free and easy, but it’s much more cost-effective than any other visibility channel out there.
So, how else can you increase online visibility?
- Start interacting with your social media followers to establish a relationship
- Publish guest blog posts on other blogs in your industry, including their comments. Be sure to link to your website.
- Use banner ads or paid text ads to increase awareness of your brand or offerings.
- Create email newsletters for people who sign up for it via your website. Include updates about new products, special promotions, etc.
- Local SEO – You can’t overlook local SEO. If you have a physical store, you need to ensure your website is indexing properly for local search.
- Take note of what your competitors are doing: If they’re putting more time and effort into SEO, you can bet it’s working for them. Use the information you get to your advantage.
- Explore the other options out there: Look for alternative channels of improving your websites’ visibility so you can get more eyes on your business. There are many ways to go about this, so why not try them all?
- Don’t neglect traditional marketing techniques: Marketing strategies like print ads and TV commercials can still drive traffic to your site and improve online visibility.
A Word of Caution: With online visibility, SEO is the most dependable strategy. It’s also one of the most misunderstood strategies in existence. We bet you can guess why that is.
- Google, Bing, Yahoo! It Doesn’t matter which search engine you choose. Google commands 91.6% of the market share. That means they represent the largest source of traffic for businesses and individuals.
- You have to earn your place in the SERPs. You have to earn it by being the best content provider in your industry, whether that’s a plumber, lawyer, or dentist.
How Can I Earn My Place? That’s where SEO comes into play. It’s not just about picking out some keywords and plopping them into your website. It’s about providing the best content for search engines, readers, and your site visitors.
How to Measure Online Visibility
Frankly, there is no one particular right way to measure online visibility. But there are metrics you can use to track your progress and improve on it:
- Website Traffic: This is your most valuable metric. It’s the lifeblood of any business that relies on traffic to generate revenue. It’s also a great way to track how you stack up against your competitors in terms of visibility and search engine rankings.
- Number of Links: Links point back to your website, so it makes sense that the more links you get, the more visible you’ll be. The easiest way to do this is by having quality guest blog content on other sites within your industry.
- Search Volume by Your Brand Name: This is a great way to measure brand visibility. Check the search volume of your brand name over time to see if it’s trending upwards or downwards.
- Your Daily Search Volume Over Time: This chart gives you an idea of how search traffic fluctuates on a day-to-day level. If you’re not seeing any peaks or valleys, your keywords are probably not very popular.
- Click-Throughs to Your Website: Check your directory listings to see how often users click through to your site and visit it. That’s a good indication of how popular it is.
- Social Media Metrics: These can include likes, shares, and followers. They can also include engagement, click-throughs, and brand mentions.
- Keyword Rankings: Your keyword rankings are a great way of seeing how you stack up against your competitors in organic search results. Be sure to check them daily or weekly to see who is creeping up on you.
- Conversions: The ultimate goal of any formative marketing plan is to increase conversions, whether it’s through social shares, SEO, or email subscriptions. Track your conversions over time to see how the numbers change with your SEO gains and losses.
- Impressions on Display Ads: Ad impressions are easy to track. Check your advertising account to see how often they’re getting displayed.
The Three Variables of Online Visibility
Online visibility is a function of three variables: reach, frequency, and timing.
- Reach: This is the number of people that could potentially see your content or business. In other words, it’s the size of your audience.
- Frequency: This is how often you deliver quality content to your audience. It’s also how often you promote your content and business to them.
- Timing: The key to running an effective visibility campaign is reaching out to potential customers when they’re actively looking for your type of business. You want to be at the top of their mind when they’re ready to buy.
The internet has become the great equalizer for businesses trying to get ahead. When you rank well online, you get more traffic and make more sales—it’s that simple.
How to Use SEMrush to Track Online Visibility Through SEO
SEMrush is a tool that offers just about everything you need to run an effective online visibility campaign. With it, you can:
- Understand what your competitors are up to
- Track popular keywords and trends
- Analyse keyword rankings for free
- Answer essential questions such as “how many links do I have?” and “what’s my organic search volume?”
That said, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use SEMrush to track your online visibility.
Step 1: Traffic Analytics
You can start by comparing traffic analytics. All you need to do is enter your domain name and get an up to the second report on your website traffic — pages, sessions, bounce rate, average duration, etc.).
You also want to stack your domain name against a few of your key competitors to see how you compare.
Click on “compare domains” and enter the other domain you wish to compare in the box provided.
You can even run a long list of domain names to see how you’re faring on against them.
With this info, you can use the sites to benchmark your site performance and get an idea of where to focus in your content marketing strategy.
Step 2: Start a Project
If you want to get an even more granular look at your visibility, start a SEMrush project.
A project is an 11-tool suite specifically designed to help understand your online visibility. It’s like SEMrush’s version of Google Analytics, but for your SEO visibility.
The 11 tools include:
- Site health
- Ideas to do
- Toxic Domains
- Link Building,
- PPC etc…
Once you start a project, the tool uses an algorithm to identify your strengths and weaknesses. For each weakness, it has some ideas on how to fix it.
Step 3: Set Up Rank Position Tracking
Track your daily rankings for several keywords by setting up rank position tracking. You’ll also be provided with your website’s visibility score.
It’s a simple thing to do, especially if you’ve ever set up rank position tracking before. It can be done in just a few clicks.
Note that your visibility will be changing with every little SEO gain or loss. It’s always moving up or down. That’s why it’s helpful to check your rank position daily.
Position tracking is one of the easiest ways to track your SEO and PPC performance. The visibility score, average position, and estimated traffic all and make the reporting simple and transparent.
To use this feature, you’ll be required to provide a target location as well as your website’s target keywords.
The visibility score you see will vary depending on the location you choose and the keywords you’re targeting.
If you can’t figure out the keywords to track, here are a few suggestions for you:
- You can start by tracking your core products or services
- Alternatively, head over to Google console and export some of the keywords. SEMrush allows you to upload the entire file as-is.
- You can also pull keywords from your competitor’s site using SEMrush’s Organic Research Positions.
- You can come up with a few keywords and then use the SEMrush Keyword Magic tool to come up with more variations.
So, why is SEO key to Your Online Visibility?
SEMrush has helped us identify key marketing elements that we need to pay more attention to. It’s also given us ideas on where to improve our content strategy to drive traffic and sales.
Having the ability to do all of this in real-time puts you light years ahead of your competition.
That said, here are 28 reasons SEO is key to your online visibility.
- Google Search is the No. 1 driver of web traffic.
According to Bright Edge, organic search accounts for 53% of all website traffic, with paid search only accounting for 15%.
In total, search engines account for nearly 70% of all the traffic websites get. The rest comes from social media, referrals, direct site visits, etc.
Now, with Google holding 91.67% of the search engine market share, it’s safe to say that nearly half of all online traffic comes from this dominant search engine.
- SEO is the internet’s biggest form of self-promotion
Businesses spend more than $389 billion a year on digital ads and $67 billion on direct SEO.
As we have already established, SEO generates three times more traffic than paid ads. Despite this, its total spent is still six times less than what is spent on digital ads.
What does this show?
Paid ads are great, but if you’re looking for a cheaper yet effective way to spread the word about your website, SEO is it. Moreover, SEO can give you better long-term results.
- SEO is the Biggest Form of Self Promotion
SEO is the biggest form of self-promotion because it doesn’t involve a third party.
With SEO, you can directly target your potential customers and blow them away with your amazing content.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money, and you certainly don’t have to be a big shot. You just have to know what you’re doing.
- Most People Skim Through Page One
75% of people never scroll past the first page when using search engines to find information or purchase products and services, according to Inter Growth.
Meaning, if your website is not in the top three search engine results, you can say goodbye to the greatest majority of your potential customers.
If you want to stay ahead of your competition and attract more people, then SEO is the way to go.
- SEO is Not Going Anywhere
SEO is constantly changing, but it will never go away.
With more than 2 billion active sites on the internet right now, SEO might be your best bet in getting your website noticed.
- SEO Gives You a Head Start on the Competition
SEO is a race that many people don’t want to join because it’s too much work and hassle.
Others stick to SEO basics. They’ll optimize their web pages’ title and meta description, ensuring that each article has at least one image, creating HTML titles for each page, etc.
That is not enough because you need premium content to outrank your competitors.
When it comes to content, you have to be different. You have to offer something that your audience cannot find anywhere else
- SEO Allows Your Website’s Content to Reach More People
If you want your website’s content to reach more people, all you need is great SEO knowledge.
You’ll know what keywords are worth targeting, how to make internal links, what phrases are worth repeating, etc. You’ll also know how to use your keywords effectively on your site’s pages.
That is where you need to get creative because the more often you link your articles to each other, the easier it will be for search engines to find them.
- SEO Can Get Your Site Featured in Local Search
If you want to get your site featured in local search, SEO is worth considering. With the right keywords and a solid NAP strategy, you’ll easily become one of the first results that appear when people look for something on Google Maps.
- Most Users Completely Ignore Paid Ads
Users tend to ignore ads because they are irrelevant. If you come off as spammy or too promotional, then you can forget about getting your ad clicked.
SEO offers better long-term results. It takes time, but it’s always worth it in the end.
Centric studied the online activities of 24 prolific internet users. They found that 70% of them completely ignored paid ads.
Here’s a table summarizing the results of the study:
|Organic search results||100% viewed the results, taking about 14.7 seconds in total||100% viewed the results, taking about 10.7 seconds in total|
|Paid Search Results||91% viewed the results, taking about 0.9 seconds per result||90% viewed the results, taking about 0.7 seconds per result|
|Right-hand Paid Results||28% view results, taking about 0.16 seconds per result||21% viewed the results, taking about 0.11 seconds per result|
|Left-hand side column||17% viewed the results, taking about 1.2 seconds||18% viewed the results, taking about 2.9 seconds|
- The Number #1 Result on Google Gets More than 32% of all the Clicks
According to Backlinko, when your webpage appears in the number one spot, you’ll likely get more than a third of all search engine clicks. The top search engine result gets more than 32% of all clicks.
Here’s a full breakdown of the CTRs based on the rank position:
Once your online activity starts moving up the ladder, you’ll see that more and more people notice your website.
That is why it can be said that SEO is key to your online visibility.
It offers you the chance to get results fast, provided you know what you’re doing.
- 49% of Marketers Say SEO Has the Best ROI, according to Search Engine Journal
Whether you want to buy SEO or do it on your own, the chances are that you’ll see a significant improvement in your ROI.
For nearly half of marketers, SEO has the best return on investment.
It is not as expensive as paid ads, but it can be quite time-consuming.
The good news is that you’ll eventually get to see results so long as you know what you’re doing.
- SEO Tends to Result in Long-Term Growth
With SEO, you’re not just looking for quick results. You can achieve long-term growth because good SEO deals with the heart of your website.
Doing it right will bolster your reputation and bring a steady stream of new visitors onto your site in a more consistent manner.
That is why people who use SEO are more likely to see long-term growth.
- SEO Might Increase User Retention and Productivity
SEO can help you build a strong presence in your industry.
Top search engine results tend to get more trust, so the chances are that people will be inclined to use your services.
Plus, SEO helps you increase user retention and productivity by making it easier for your audience to find your company’s information.
As long as your website is easy to use and efficient, customers will always find reasons to return.
- Can Provide Useful Data for Your Analytics
If you are using Google Analytics, SEO can help you generate more interesting data about your website. You should be able to see the number of external links related to specific keywords. If done well, these types of metrics can give you a better idea of which keywords have potential and which ones don’t.
- Helps You Get More Signups and Conversions
On your website itself, SEO can help you get more signups and conversions in a variety of ways.
You can improve the design of your landing pages with good SEO in mind. First, it will give you better visibility on Google, leading to more traffic on your website.
- SEO Can Make Your Website Load Faster
One of the technical requirements of SEO is that your website must load in under 3 seconds.
That is because most people will leave regardless of how interested they are in your products and services should they find out that your website takes too long to load.
With better SEO, you can design faster websites that perform well both on desktop and mobile devices.
- Google Is Going All-In on Mobile with AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
To cater to mobile users, Google launched AMP or Accelerated Mobile Pages a few years back.
With this platform, it is easier for your mobile pages to rank high on mobile search results.
If you’re using a mobile responsive website, including a certain amount of mobile-friendly content will likely help you rank better on mobile searches.
- With every SEO Blog Post You Publish, You Are Adding One More Piece of Keyword-Rich Landing Page to Your Website
Think of it as adding another door that links back to your website.
When you publish an SEO blog post, that content becomes part of your website’s overall index.
Google web crawlers will have another page in their index to explore when they look for web pages related to a specific keyword.
It is a good way to get your website visible for more keywords.
- Networking Opportunity with Industry Professionals and Influencers
SEO is not an isolated activity.
That explains why Google introduced the issue of backlinks in the first place.
If you have the right SEO strategy, you can get many people talking about your website and sharing it with their networks.
But beyond that, you will also benefit from networking with industry professionals and influencers who are knowledgeable in this area.
- Improve Your Brand Authority
You’ve probably heard about domain authority and its role in SEO.
Improve your SEO (through content and link building), and your website will have more authority.
Authority is about the influence or connection you have with other web owners and prominent online figures.
If they link to your website or share content from your blog, then that means you have the potential to get more people to talk about you online.
- SEO Gives Your Website a Life of Its Own
Without SEO, your website is as good as dead. No one will know about it, not unless you pay for ads.
That’s why SEO is not a one-time job. You need to continually add new content and ramp up your link-building efforts to remain relevant and competitive.
With proper SEO, your website will have a life of its own. It will stay fresh and linkable even years after you have stopped investing in it.
- SEO Gives You an Edge Over Your Competitors
When you rank high on search results, you are essentially taking the lead over your competitors.
And if you maintain that competitive advantage, it can open doors to opportunities like brand partnerships and even paid ads.
- SEO Keeps You Up-to-Date with the Latest Trends
Any business needs to stay up to date with the latest trends in their industry.
This way, you will know what your target audience is looking for and what they want to see in a business.
When you apply the latest search engine optimization strategies, you will get a good idea of how your website performs on search results.
And because SEO is always evolving, it never gets boring or repetitive.
- SEO Gives You Full Control over Your Web Presence
SEO is not a one-size-fits-all success formula. Every website has unique priorities depending on the industry it operates in.
With SEO, you can create a personalized strategy that will work specifically for your needs and goals.
It allows you to control how people perceive your brand online, making them realize what your business stands for and what it can offer to their lives.
- SEO Is Good for Online Reputation Management
Regardless of what kind of business you operate online, your reputation matters more than anything else.
If people like your products or services, they will become loyal customers who will keep coming back for more.
But if you get negative reviews and feedback, no one will want to buy from you.
That’s why it is important to monitor your online reputation carefully and address any feedback that you think might affect your brand.
SEO helps you keep an eye on what people are saying about you or your website on the internet. You can even engage with them and resolve their problems quickly.
- SEO Gives You a Steady Stream of Traffic to Your Website
Traffic is the lifeblood of any online business, so you need to have an abundant source of it at your disposal.
The more traffic you have coming from search engines, the higher the chance people will buy from you or become your loyal customers.
- SEO Helps You Harness the Power of social media for Your Brand
If your social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram) rank high on search engine results, the more attention you’ll attract from your target audience.
- SEO Gives You Access to a World of Niche Market Opportunities
While some businesses may be limited to a specific industry or location, SEO can give you full access to other niche markets online.
This gives you the chance to explore opportunities outside your area of expertise and dive into brand marketing in new sectors.