LET’S GET STARTED
- 1 What Is SEO Visibility?
- 2 SEO Visibility Loss: Why To Worry?
- 3 Reasons For Visibility Loss
- 4 Ways To Increase Search Engine Visibility
- 5 Conclusion
The top listing on a search engine results page (SERP) is 10 times more likely to be clicked than the bottom result. That’s only for the first page.
If your website listing appears on page two, you will only receive 1% of total search traffic, making it nearly impossible to increase organic site traffic.
This can be frustrating. You already know you have a lot to offer; why can’t search engines see it as well?
This is a problem with “SEO visibility.”
Because the position of a web page on SERPs can have a significant impact on its overall performance, marketers use a metric known as the “SEO visibility score” to guide their digital marketing strategies.
Here’s everything you need to know about it, including best practices for improving it.
What Is SEO Visibility?
In simple words,
SEO visibility is expressed as a percentage of a website’s total possible organic clicks from search results for a specific keyword.
As a result, your SEO visibility percentage is determined by your position in search engine results pages (SERPs) in comparison to your competitors.
It can also be defined as an SEO metric that represents your organic SERP impression share, or how many times a user saw your website in organic search results out of the total number of searches for a keyword.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) traffic is not the same as SEO visibility.
SEO visibility is measured as a percentage of total clicks received for a keyword, whereas SEO traffic is measured as the total number of clicks received for a keyword.
As a result, even if your SEO traffic fluctuates, your SEO visibility may remain stable. A decrease in SEO visibility has an impact on SEO traffic, but the opposite is not true.
SEO Visibility Loss: Why To Worry?
1. The SEO Visibility Metric Allows You To Quickly Diagnose SEO Issues: Search visibility is an excellent metric for determining whether you’ve been affected by an algorithm update or a penalty (more on that in a minute).
2. It Provides You With A Bird’s-Eye View Of Your Site’s Overall SEO Performance: It shows you how big your slice of the available traffic pie is. For example, if you only look at your raw SEO traffic numbers, you won’t get a good sense of how much more traffic is still available.
3. You Can Compare Your Results For Specific Keywords Without Involving Absolute Numbers: As a result, you will notice any areas for improvement more quickly.
For example, if you receive 200 visits for Keyword1 and 100 visits for Keyword2, it may be difficult to determine which of these keywords deserves more of your attention.
However, the fact that the visibility for the first is already at 55% (you rank #1 and #2), while the visibility for the second is only at 12%, indicates that the former has reached its full potential, whereas the latter can still be worked on and improved.
Reasons For Visibility Loss
When you realize you’ve dropped in the rankings, the next step is to figure out why. So, now let’s understand what could be the reasons behind the visibility loss.
Here are some of the most common technical issues that can have an impact on your SEO visibility are:
i. Site Not Being Mobile-Friendly
Since 2019, Google has made mobile-first indexing the default setting for all new or previously unknown websites. Google will primarily use mobile versions of web pages for indexing and ranking.
Because most people use mobile devices to access Google’s search engine, Googlebot now indexes pages as a smartphone client.
Look at the image below to see what I mean by mobile friendly site.
Legacy websites should also follow best practices to become mobile-friendly. Your rankings are likely to suffer if you do not have a mobile-friendly website.
ii. Server Offline
If Googlebot tries to crawl your website while your server is down, your rankings may suffer. The longer and more frequently your server is down, the lower your search engine visibility will be.
iii. Wrong “Canonical” Tag Use
If you have internal duplication, which means that two URLs on your website display the same content, Google is unsure which URL to display to users, and the authority of each page is divided. As a result, organic search visibility suffers.
Let me explain with the help of an image.
This is how a canonical page or canonical URL helps and if you put wrong canonical URL, it will affect your visibility in SERP for sure!
Canonical links are used to add one of the URLs with duplicate content to Google’s index while preventing the other from appearing in SERPs.
For example, if bot get confused between relative and absolute URLs, your high-ranking page may be replaced by a low-authority page. As a result, your keywords on the high-ranking page will lose SEO visibility.
The same problem can be seen when hreflang tags are used incorrectly.
iv. Unoptimized Site Redesign
When redesigning a website, many businesses fail to prioritize SEO. This can be costly in terms of lost SEO visibility.
Just image if you redesign your website for good but find out your website like this:
Trust me it can cause you various issues.
Many problems can arise as a result of site redesign issues:
- Robot.txt file issues making the website uncrawlable
- 404 errors are caused by deleted pages.
- Redirections that are incorrect
- Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages are optimized for the same keyword.
Your hosting company may be experiencing technical difficulties, causing your SEO visibility to suffer.
Among these concerns are:
i. Site Not Being Indexed By Google
If you include the tag meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”> in the HEAD section of your HTML code, your site may be removed from Google’s search results.
ii. Errors In Website/CMS Migration
Unintentionally, website migration, CMS migration, or platform change could introduce errors in the code or change the redirection strategy.
CMS migration can affect your webiste in so many unexpected ways
Site redesign and migration may result in a variety of errors:
- Service disruptions
- Content or metadata loss
- Images and broken links
- Implementation failures of redirects
- Information architecture changes
- Internal link breakdown
- Other hosting issues include server hacking or relocation.
Read More: Website Redesign Seo: How To Do It Perfectly
You can use Majestic or Ahrefs to see if you have lost any backlinks, just as you would check your competitors’ websites to see if they have gained new links.
If your site loses inbound links, Google believes you are no longer an authority and lowers your search rankings, affecting your traffic.
Link counting tools can alert you to a potential link decline:
- Across the website
- To a page or set of pages
- To a page that links to another page that is experiencing low traffic
- In external pages that direct visitors to your website or specific pages
Read More: Anchor Text: An Ultimate Guide About Building Backlinks
Increase In Competitor’s Activity
While you work to improve your SEO (Search Engine Optimization), your competitors are also making changes to improve their rankings.
What are your options?
i. Examine Your Competitors’ Websites
Compare your website to a few of your major competitors using a competition analysis tool like SimilarWeb.
Check for any changes made by your competitors during the time you experienced SEO visibility loss.
ii. Examine Their Previous Content
To see how your competitors’ content looked in the past, use Wayback Machine or Versions. You can tell if they have fixed or improved previous content, which is why their SEO visibility has improved.
iii. Check If They Built New Links
Use backlink tools such as Ahrefs or Majestic to see if your competitors have added new links, causing a shift in the competitor landscape. They might be launching a new SEO campaign.
iv. HTTPS Vs HTTP
To make the Internet more secure, Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2014. Since then, it has prioritized indexing HTTPS versions of pages over HTTP versions.
This indicates that your competitor has purchased an SSL certificate to improve its search engine rankings. You should also get one to inform Google and your customers that your website is secure.
Ways To Increase Search Engine Visibility
Improved search visibility can improve user experience, broaden your audience reach, and increase overall search traffic.
Improve Fringe Listings
The listings at the top of page two are just outside the first results page. Results on the second page earn 1% or less of total traffic, but they’re not too far behind page one to compete.
And, as the graph shows, even a minor move from page two to page one can result in a significant increase in ROI.
More screenshots, graphics, and interactive features can help you improve your fringe listings. You can also update the content with more keyword references, improve your link-building strategy, and evaluate your technical SEO strategy to see if there is room for improvement.
If you’re willing to go back and make changes to previously published pages, you may be able to edge out competitors on the first page and improve your SEO visibility score.
Claim More SERP Real Estate
Taking up more space on the SERP is another way to increase your SEO visibility. There are numerous ways to lengthen your listings, though you may not see results right away.
Optimizing for sitelinks is another extremely effective way to increase the size of your search listing. Sitelinks from your website appear beneath your title tag and meta description in search results.
Here’s an example of a search term for “best cricket shoes”:
Sitelinks are links to different web pages on the website. You cannot manually add these to a search listing; Google does so automatically.
They are significant because they drive more organic traffic to internal pages, increase CTR (Click Through Rate), and increase brand credibility and awareness.
Websites that receive Google sitelinks include:
- For each page, create a table of contents.
- Include technical and on-page SEO strategies.
- Create an easy-to-follow website structure.
- Include internal links to relevant content on the homepage.
- Earning site links may take time, but doing so can result in increased SEO visibility and traffic to your internal pages.
Google’s featured snippets are another area where your SEO efforts can be directed. These search results are longer than standard results and include snippet information before the title tag.
According to a 2021 SEMRush study, 77 percent of featured snippets are for search terms that begin with the word “why.”
Take a look at the featured snippet that appears when you Google “why is the sky blue?” You will notice Scientific American’s websites comes after image and the meta description.
You can try to earn a featured snippet by targeting long-tail keywords (see two sections below), selecting question-based search terms, including dates in your content, and utilizing 1-3 subfolders in your site structure.
If you’re concerned about the age of your web pages, keep in mind that Google is simply looking for relevant content.
The featured snippet example above is from 2003, but it’s still relevant today because the reasons for the sky being blue haven’t changed. Consider creating evergreen SEO content that will last and improve your search visibility.
Audit Your Content
One of the most common reasons for low SEO visibility is poor content. To increase organic search traffic, you must provide a comprehensive resource for your keywords.
Comprehensive content explains the subject, and why it is important and provides users with actionable information. It’s also concentrated. The best content focuses on a single target keyword or phrase rather than several.
Crawlers will be confident that your content ranks for the relevant search terms if you have a clear topic. Instead of ranking “okay” for multiple search terms (low visibility), you will have a better chance of ranking extremely well for one search term (high visibility).
Your content should be a master of one search term, not a jack-of-all-trades. Above all, good content fulfills search intent. In other words, it responds to a user’s search query by providing the precise information, product, service, etc. that they seek.
There are four types of search intent that reveal why someone is searching for a specific keyword:
To satisfy search intent, you must investigate the top-ranking posts for your target keywords. You can get a better idea of what content users want to see by looking at what’s already ranking.
It may also highlight gaps in your existing content. Cross-referencing what’s already popular with your unique ideas and perspectives can assist you in creating an entirely new source of value – value that search engine algorithms will notice.
Improve Your Page Load Speed
Users are more likely to abandon your website if it takes too long to load.
40% of users will abandon your website if it takes more than three seconds to load – just three seconds! Site speed is an important ranking factor because it affects user experience.
You can speed up page load time by caching data files, using smaller images, compressing your CSS script, and other techniques. These changes will make your website more user-friendly and lower your bounce rate.
Design For Mobile-Friendliness
According to Google, 50% of users prefer shopping on a mobile website to downloading an app. Because of these preferences, Google employs a mobile-first indexing strategy that prioritizes the mobile version of your website (over desktop or tablet formats).
Mobile-friendly websites are simple to navigate and read, have simpler formats, and present content in a friendly manner. Some methods for developing a mobile-friendly website include:
- Increase the size of the font.
- Provide shorter content.
- Use fewer animations and complicated graphics.
- Reduce pop-ups.
- Allow users to search for information on the homepage.
To get suggestions for improving your website, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Many content management systems have themes that support mobile-responsive design.
This method enables you to edit each version of your web page separately and ensure that it adapts to different screen sizes.
Improve Your Image Quality
The Google algorithm takes into account all of the elements on your website, including the images. Improve your images so that they:
- Aren’t they too big? (slows down the load time)
- Include descriptive alternative text.
- Include captions
- If applicable, include schema markup.
- Include keywords in the file name.
Image optimization improve user engagement and the functionality of your website. However, if they are not optimized, they can slow down page loading time and prevent you from ranking on page one of the SERPs for a given term. Use one or more of these SEO techniques to create images that will benefit both users and crawlers.
Simplify Your Site Structure
One of the simplest ways to improve user experience is to create a simple site structure. Users prefer easy-to-navigate websites because it saves them the time and frustration of searching for information on your website.
To create a simple site structure, arrange categories from most general to most specific. The site hierarchy should demonstrate clear links between categories and their subcategories.
Each page should link to its parent, and you should try to keep levels of the organization to a minimum, such as the three in this site hierarchy:
As you can see, crawlers (and users) will be able, to begin with, the very first topic (the homepage). Then they’ll carefully follow links through each category and its corresponding web pages.
The easier your site is to navigate, the better crawlers will be able to index the content. Sites with strong, clear connections between all of their content become industry leaders, resulting in high SEO visibility scores over time.
There are dozens or hundreds of factors that influence your website’s position in search results. Keeping in mind that Google wants to recommend websites that are specifically tailored to the needs of users, you should plan and optimize your websites accordingly.
When typing a phrase into Google, it’s a good idea to ask yourself about your potential expectations. If your website’s position or overall SEO visibility has dropped, you should examine specific pages as well as the entire site.
It’s possible that your product pages have poor descriptions or no photos, that your articles form an unreadable wall of text, that your shop loads in 10 seconds, or that all of the important elements are misaligned on mobile.
Always divide your website implementations, beginning with the most critical and ending with the proverbial cherry on top. Continuous website development and optimization, both in terms of content and technology, gives you a better chance of outpacing the competition.
It also helps you beat the odds against the Google algorithm’s never-ending updates.
Even better, each update may provide you with an additional boost in terms of increased SEO visibility. Simply make certain that your website proves its worth.