Visibility of searches then and now
Metrics are more crucial than ever in the modern marketing industry. It is likely that you are familiar with the proverb “If you can’t measure it, it doesn’t exist.”
However, it can be particularly challenging to measure your efforts in the marketing industry in a way that is reliable. How do you find a measure that is consistently useful given all the variables and qualitative aspects at play?
This issue is particularly evident in search engine optimization, or SEO. How can SEO professionals establish a barometer for the effectiveness of their keyword groups?
Search visibility is the answer marketers have come up with. Find out more about what it is, how it came to be, and why SimpSocial considers it to be a crucial indicator of the success of your SEO efforts.
Search visibility: What is it?
A definition first. The percentage of visitors that a website receives as a result of its placement in the organic search results is referred to as search visibility, also known as search engine visibility or SEO visibility. It represents a portion of your website’s Google visibility.
Consider the scenario where you appear top in the list of search results for a specific keyword. In Google Search, 28.5% of consumers click the first organic result, according to a research released in 2020.
Your site’s search engine visibility for that keyword would be 28.5% if that were the number of clicks on your page.
You can determine the overall search visibility of your website using SEO software and tools. Based on each keyword you rank for, you’ll receive a visibility score.
The formula used to determine search visibility
Visibility has a lot to offer individuals who are interested in evaluating the effectiveness of their SEO campaigns. Why? It is simple to use and comprehend, but it makes the equation more difficult.
Analyzing the effectiveness of a single keyword is simple. You only need to be aware of the ranking in connection to factors like search traffic, user intent, and SERP characteristics. But what happens when you take into account several keywords at once—possibly hundreds or even thousands?
So, things do alter. As a result of having to take into account both the rankings and the quality characteristics of the keywords in your group, measurement becomes more challenging.
Visibility was affected by Tesler’s Law.
Tesler’s Law—the law of complexity conservation—is perfectly shown by the answer to the aforementioned issue, search visibility.
Every system has a certain level of complexity that cannot be reduced or hidden, according to the law. Instead, it needs to be addressed. The complexity of the system’s internal workings rises if a user’s interface with it is made simpler.
Confused? Here is one instance.
Tesler’s Law is evident in a wide variety of phenomena, including the login procedure. It has frequently been made simpler for consumers by offering biometric login alternatives in place of the demand for a username and password. To log in, simply tap your thumb or expose your face!
This is only conceivable, though, since the system’s internal calculations have become more sophisticated. It is more difficult for a computer to verify a fingerprint or facial ID than it is to match a password. As a result, the system’s full complexity has been maintained.
Visibility emerged as a solution to the problem of exactly determining how SEO performance should be measured because it maintains the system’s complexity. It’s a simple technique for analysts to comprehend how keyword groups perform—how likely it is that consumers will visit and engage with the website. But because of the more intricate calculation used to make up for this, it is dependable.
The evolution of visibility in searches
Therefore, how did search visibility develop? Here, we’ll look at the many visibilities that have developed over time, along with their benefits and drawbacks.
1) Standard position in searches
The average position measure is calculated by dividing the total number of positions by the total number of keywords for which you are ranking. According to the scale, if your average position is between 1 and 4, your ad will appear on Google’s first page. Congratulations!
When dealing with the dynamic variables involved in SEO, this measurement partially resolves the issue of accuracy. It does, however, have some restrictions. If you only use this metric, you won’t get the whole picture.
average position’s restrictions
So how can a position of average mislead you? When a new keyword begins to rank, the measure can be seriously deceptive.
For instance, your average position might have been 2, with the keywords “Kia Sportage interior” at position 1 and “Kia Sportage reviews” at position 3. However, suppose you add a new keyword—”Kia Sportage safety”—and it appears in position 9. Your position will drop to 4.3 on average.
It is clear how misleading this could be. Even when your SEO performance is better, the change in average position gives the impression that it is worse. You’ve only added a new keyword, which is a positive thing, and that’s it!
There are more restrictions. The search volume, which is a significant element of the jigsaw, is not taken into account when calculating the average position. It’s possible that a term you have has really high search volume and perhaps ranks #1, but it doesn’t send a lot of traffic to your website.
Positions in the Google search results are also influenced by the user’s or device’s location and the device being used. It is challenging to evaluate the effectiveness of your SEO campaign using the average position statistic because of these dynamic elements.
Stacks of keywords
One metric among these is average position. The following solution involved looking at keywords in “groups” as opposed to individually or simultaneously. Your keywords are grouped in places 1-3, 4-10, 11-20, and so on using keyword stacks.
With the help of this method, you can determine how visible a website is in search results based on the quantity of terms in each “stack”. Do you have more keywords at the top (positions 1-3) or the bottom (positions 11–20), in other words?
But once more, this metric doesn’t provide a complete picture. You can have 50 keywords in places 4–10 and 100 keywords in the top 3. Despite how nice they may seem, that measure has a significant blind spot: search volumes.
You won’t be able to tell if the keywords you have in the top positions are actually bringing a lot of traffic to your website if you don’t take the search volumes of each term into account. The reality may not quite match the numbers if just 10 or 20 of your 100 “top 3” keywords have substantial search traffic.
Also keep in mind that there may be substantial variations among keyword groups. Simply said, knowing whether your keywords fall into positions 1, 2, or 3 may be crucial as you plan how to raise your rankings. This vital information cannot be obtained solely from keyword stacks.
Search visibility metrics’ worth
What does that mean for search visibility metrics then? It is obvious that these indicators can offer useful data that companies and their agencies can utilize to increase visibility. But in order to achieve that, you must be conscious of each metric’s blind spots.
There are numerous alternative approaches to search metric calculation. It is useless to compare an individual site’s exposure across different technologies because each one determines organic search visibility in a different way.
Choose just one tool or approach, and be mindful of its shortcomings. You will be in a better position to gauge success over time if you use that tool to measure your visibility statistics.
What common visibility tools are there?
We’ve looked at the history of organic search visibility, but what about now? What are the most widely used metrics and algorithms, and what applications employ them?
You should be aware of the following SEO visibility tools:
SEMrush’s Position Tracking Tool uses daily changes in search result positions to predict changes in visibility and traffic.
By applying an anticipated CTR for each term depending on where you rank, Moz Pro’s Search Visibility Score gives higher CTR keywords more weight.
The percentage of individuals that saw your page in the search results for a specific keyword is estimated by SEOmonitor using current rankings. To estimate your proportion of impressions, they multiply that number by the monthly search volume for that phrase.
You are constantly seeking a comprehensive evaluation. As per Tesler’s Law, you should additionally gather data that addresses any algorithmic blind spots in order to maintain the complexity of search visibility.
A good search visibility score is what?
This question doesn’t have a simple solution. Because there are so many various approaches, it can happen that different scores have different meanings depending on the system. A few metrics, nevertheless, will be the same for all systems:
A score of 0% indicates that none of your keywords are ranking high enough for you to receive organic traffic.
If you receive a score of 100 percent, all of your target keywords will find you on page one.
In other words, across all search visibility indicators, the best- and worst-case outcomes are identical. In any other situation, the methodology’s specifics are where the trouble lies.
Our most reliable guideline? Typically, a score in the 40%–50% range is considered to be excellent. Although many programs employ various algorithms, the most widely used ones make it difficult to rank above the mid-40s for non-branded keywords.
10 SEO pointers to raise your web presence
A half of the battle is knowing your search visibility measure. The other half is strategically utilizing the knowledge you have to gradually raise your website’s search visibility. How useful is the data you gather if you do nothing with it?
1) Concentrate on long-tail keywords
Choosing keywords with a high search volume makes sense, right? Actually, the solution isn’t that simple. These keywords have higher levels of competition, which makes it more difficult to rank for them (as indicated by keyword difficulty scores).
For these extremely competitive keywords, you might require backlinks from hundreds of websites just to place in the top 10. In other words, there is practically little possibility that you will see results! Instead, we advise you to concentrate on long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords may receive fewer searches, but they typically face little competition. (Ideally, you want great search traffic and little competition, but in the game of search visibility, that combination tends to be a unicorn.)
For instance, a Ford dealership ought to presumably avoid attempting to rank for a term as broad and popular as “Ford Escape”. These are all long-tail keywords that could benefit the dealer more:
size of the interior of a 2021 Ford Escape
Sale of a Ford Escape nearby (town, state)
The Ford Escape can pull how much weight?
There is little doubt that fewer people are speaking or typing these keyword phrases into Google. However, when they do, the dealer’s website has a far higher likelihood of being in the top three spots—and in a much shorter amount of time.
2) Make your website mobile-first friendly
Did you know that, across all key industries, smartphone searches now make up the majority or nearly all of online searches? It is real. And Google is pressuring website owners to optimize their sites for mobile devices if they want to prosper in a mobile-first environment.
In fact, Google currently gives lower rankings to websites that lack mobile optimization. How do you tell if your website is compatible with mobile devices? Because Google provides a Mobile-Friendly Test tool, you won’t have to hazard a guess. Google will inform you if your website complies with their mobile-friendly guidelines when you enter the URL of your site.
The tool will outline the things you need to change if Google finds that your website is not mobile-friendly. To ensure that your site works well on mobile devices, we advise you to make the following changes:
Improve the speed at which your website loads
Adapt your pop-ups for mobile devices.
3) Upgrade your meta tags and title tags
A better organic click-through rate, or CTR, determines your search prominence on Google. Your site will appear higher in the search results the greater your CTR is.
The problematic part is that this depends on you having already succeeded in getting Google to list your website; otherwise, you won’t receive any clicks. Therefore, if your CTR is strong, you presumably already have good search exposure.
If you’re already in a good position in the search results, there is one more simple action you can take to increase your CTR. Create meta descriptions and title tags that encourage visitors to click.
To do this, try for title tags that are attention-grabbing but not clickbait (which would repel users), and meta descriptions that succinctly and succinctly sell your information. You can start a business if you can do both of these things.
4) Produce content that draws visitors to your website.
Google aims to rank websites that users can’t stop looking at! They value popular websites, and they gauge this using a metric called dwell time. That’s precisely how it sounds, yes.
Google receives more signals that your website provides value to visitors the longer someone stays (or lives) on it. If Google sees that most people are bouncing off your site after just a few seconds, it knows the value isn’t there.
The most effective way to keep website visitors around? Use your content to address queries pertaining to the keywords you’re aiming for and to offer genuine value. Make sure you have a clear and compelling title and attractive above-the-fold visuals and graphics.
5) Run a PPC campaign
You probably already know that PPC and SEO go hand in hand. While it takes time to build an organic presence (SEO), paid search (pay per click, or PPC) will ensure your business shows up on the SERP via a paid ad from the very beginning.
As you experiment to grow your SEO visibility, PPC can act as a kind of safeguard that gets your website shown for every relevant search, thus boosting your overall search visibility.
6) Build a social media presence
Social media doesn’t have a direct effect on your search visibility. In other words, Google won’t boost your position in the rankings simply because it sees you have a popular and frequently used social media account. (Or accounts!)
But social media can boost your website’s visibility in other, more indirect ways. The likes, shares, and comments you receive can drive engagement and more clicks. They help more people organically find your website.
7) Build backlinks from sites in your industry
Backlinks, also known as inbound links or one-way links, are links from one website to a page on another website. If you can get backlinks to your site from other websites in your industry, Google sees you as an expert in your field.
The in your industry part of that is important. You need sites within your natural niche to link to your content for best results. While you may see a slight boost in rankings based on backlinks from unrelated industries, it won’t be as effective.
A note: Link trading (a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” practice whereby websites knowingly link to each other’s content to boost search engine visibility) is a no-no for Google. They can recognize when this is happening, and they may penalize your website for it in the rankings. Backlinks have to happen organically.
8) Build internal links between pages
Backlinks are the links that other websites reward you with—but internal links are entirely in your control. It’s an easy SEO technique with outsized potential impact on your search visibility.
All you need to do is link from one page on your site to other relevant pages on your site—but strategically. By doing this, you help Google understand the relevance and value of pages and the relationship between pages.
You can’t just create links haphazardly. There should be an architecture behind the internal links you create. Here are some strategies for doing so:
Link hierarchical pages
Create contextual links
Link to your most important content
Add a “related post” section
9) Improve pages ranking on page 2
Those pages that are ranking at position 11–20 and beyond? The hard truth is that most people will never see that content. Close to 100% of searchers stick to page one of Google search results. If your content is on page two, they won’t know you exist.
To improve your search engine visibility, you need to move from page two (and beyond) to page one. It’s the single most important move you can make to be seen by more users! Luckily, there are steps you can take to make it happen.
Improve your low-ranking page’s SEO using strategies like these:
Add more content (words, images, charts, and videos) to the page
Improve content search intent so it’s a 1:1 match for the keyword
Remember, the optimal blog post length for SEO is over 1,000 words
10) Run a technical SEO audit
Some factors in SEO cannot be manually checked for problems and areas for improvement. We’re talking about technical SEO—the HTML, for example.
You can use an SEO audit tool that will identify issues in the code. Make the changes it recommends to allow Google to more easily crawl and index your site. If Google can’t do that, it won’t be able to rank your pages.
For search visibility, measure to improve with SimpSocial
At SimpSocial, we’re always fine-tuning our methods for measuring search visibility. We use meaningful metrics—ones that map to your business goals and help you achieve success in the organic search results.
Visibility is the indispensable measure of whether you’re achieving your SEO goals. If you’re ready for a new SEO strategy that can drive more retail traffic, we’re ready to have that conversation.
Reach out to our team to learn more about search engine visibility and receive your complimentary website audit today!
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