As a business owner, you may know about search engine optimization, or SEO, but perhaps you don’t realize how important it is for helping you stand out in a crowded online environment. Your audience is there, but it can't necessarily find you among all the other businesses in your niche.
With the right search visibility, however, people will be able to learn about your business and decide whether they want to do business with you in person or online.
To improve where your business stands in search engine rankings, you’ll need to work on your SEO visibility strategy as part of your digital marketing efforts. Search volume — the number of searches for a keyword over a specific time period — generally keeps increasing, so you’ll need to know how to optimize your SEO and stand out.
Overview: What is SEO visibility?
Let's start by gaining a better understanding of the concept of SEO visibility, which goes well beyond having a list of keywords.
SEO visibility is defined as a metric that can be used as a universal index that measures and compares the online performance of different websites. The metric provides an SEO visibility score.
This, in turn, helps a company understand more about what it has to do to achieve higher rankings on search engines.
How to check your SEO visibility score
There are numerous tools that help marketers understand organic search results and ranking factors. Some of these SEO tools also include a way to check your SEO visibility score.
Calculate a search visibility score by taking all keyword rankings and applying an estimated click-through rate (CTR) based on each keyword position. Using this CTR calculation helps to ensure the appropriate weight for higher-ranking keywords as part of the score.
This involves adding all CTRs together and then dividing the sum by the number of keywords being tracked in a specific campaign. The result will be a metric of between 0% and 100% that is calculated to two decimal points.
For example, if the SEO visibility score is 0%, then there are no pages that rank in the top 50 spots in search engine results pages (SERPs). On the other end of the scorecard, 100% means you hold all of the ranking positions for your relevant keywords. An average SEO visibility score for a website is typically below 45% for non-branded keywords.
The search visibility score can be used to track overall visibility progress in relation to your competitors. It can also help your marketers assess visibility across different search engines.
What does your SEO visibility tell you?
Your SEO visibility score can tell you a lot about your organic search results.
1. Results page viewing
Your SEO visibility score reveals how many times a search engine user saw your website on their results page. This comes from the total number of searches that include your specific keywords. A viewing counts only when someone actually scrolls to see your website in the SERP, rather than when the SERP is loaded.
2. Impact of algorithm changes
Search engines often tweak their algorithms, which then affects your SEO optimization strategy because of potential reductions in your SEO visibility. Sites such as Google and Moz can alert you to the latest algorithm changes to search engines so you can revise your keyword research and overall strategy. Google updates also provide regular insights into how the company may be updating its search engine algorithm.
3. Effect of your SEO-driven digital marketing campaign
Your SEO visibility score will tell you how effective your digital marketing campaigns, such as social media campaigns and new landing pages, have been in connecting with your target audience and driving greater website traffic.
7 ways to improve your SEO visibility
1. Interlink and use a keyword as anchor text
Search engines typically tie link text with the page where that link is located or where it points to. That makes anchor text important because this text describes websites more accurately. In interlinking these pages with keyword anchor text, you can help Google understand the relevant keywords to assess how to rank your site or page.
2. Improve title tags and meta descriptions
Both title tags and meta descriptions help explain content relevancy to achieve better SERP rankings. Doing a better job of selecting the right keywords can also boost click-through rates, offering multiple benefits for these SEO efforts.
3. Benchmark top-ranking pages
Top-ranking pages display mastery in both SEO strategy and content strategy, delivering what the end user needs. I’ve seen some bad actors copy a competitor’s content, which doesn’t result in desirable search ranking results.
What you want is to use existing high-ranking content as a model to understand why the end user is drawn to a competitor’s site. Then you’ll be able to see what’s missing from your own pages and adjust your optimization efforts accordingly.
4. Focus on-site projects
While you will see improvements in SEO visibility from working on pages, you also need to develop some key projects designed for SEO optimization. For example, you may want to focus on link-building campaigns, a category page, long-tail keywords, etc. These can provide incremental improvements to your SEO visibility score.
5. Leverage your homepage as the strongest SEO asset
Since your homepage gets the most links and mentions, it’s important to make sure you link from there, including a text link in the homepage footer. This page has a higher page authority that can drive up SEO visibility faster than other pages can. Other pages on your website get their page authority from the homepage.
6. Add keywords to headlines
Headlines should include your primary relevant keyword as part of an H1 tag, or the biggest title in a document. This will have a significant impact on ranking. However, where possible, you should also add other keywords to the headline. Just be sure not to make it too long, and make sure it flows naturally. One strategy to achieve this is to place a primary keyword in your headline and place a secondary keyword in a subhead.
7. Master mobile readability
It's important to think of optimization in terms of both desktop and mobile. In fact, with the steady rise in mobile device use, optimization is a critical factor in your mobile content strategy. It's not just about the keywords. Consider font size, spacing, sentence length, and how you can say more with less to help mobile users scan your content.
You may notice on blog posts that many paragraphs are no longer than two or three sentences. I like to write shorter paragraphs because readers have told me over the years (and I’ve personally noticed) that they take up less room on mobile device screens, which people say makes them more likely to keep reading.
Know that Google takes a detailed look at what you do for the mobile world when it creates a ranking for your site. So make sure your content is highly readable. Also, don't forget that mobile page speed is everything.
Search engine visibility and your SEO strategy
Now is the time to consider using one or more of the many tools, such as SEMRush and Google Search Console, to gauge your company's SEO visibility. Start making the changes necessary to improve your visibility so that your prospects and customers can find, engage, and do business with you before the competition wins them over.