Search visibility (sometimes referred to as SEO visibility or SERP visibility) is a term which is often thrown around in the digital marketing world. However, many people and businesses often underestimate or misunderstand how important search visibility really is as a contributing factor to online leads and sales.
Falling search visibility may not affect a business immediately yet there can be huge implications if a steady decline in search visibility is ignored. This blog post provides a more detailed understanding of search visibility and how to counteract a decline in visibility sooner rather than later to lessen the negative impact on your business.
What is Search Visibility?
Search visibility is a term and algorithm coined by the experts at Moz and is calculated using all your current rankings for your search terms, an estimated CTR based on each ranking position divided by the number of terms you are monitoring within the software.
This calculation leaves you with a percentage metric between 0 – 100% (calculated to 2 decimal points). It’s not an exact science but it’s close enough and it is integral in tracking your performance in organic search.
You can use your search visibility score to track how your website is performing in search engines, compare your visibility with that of your competition and explore how prominent you are across different search engines and locations.
Why is Search Visibility so Important?
Search visibility is something that needs to monitored closely as it not only provides a benchmark view of where you sit within SERPs compared with your closest competition, it also provides important forecast data.
What we mean by that is, typically, your search visibility is the first point in which we can determine real improvements or issues with an SEO campaign.
There can be a number of reasons why your search visibility may start to decline but the most common explanations are as follows:
- Algorithm updates. Google introduces new algorithm updates a number of times throughout the year and if your website suddenly falls outside the new guidelines Google has published, you’ll be penalised in the form of falling visibility.
- Increasing competition. Search visibility is largely based on where you sit compared with your closest competition and if your competitors up their SEO game, your website will slip in terms of search visibility.
If you start to notice a decline in search visibility, it’s important to act quickly. There are lots of things that can be done to reverse falling search visibility and the sooner the recovery takes place, the less of an uphill battle your business will come up against.
A common response we hear from businesses when we warn them of falling search visibility is “well it’s not affecting our sales so I’m not too concerned”. It’s true, sales and leads are still healthy so it seems illogical to start investing more money and time into a stronger SEO campaign when it seems to be doing just fine.
However, as previously mentioned, search visibility acts as crucial forecast data and almost gives you a ‘preview’ of what’s to come. A business can ride on a healthy pipeline for a number of months before falling search visibility starts to negatively impact online traffic, sales and leads. And if you wait until the negative effect hits, it takes a lot longer (and a lot more work) to recover.
So, what can you do to reverse falling search visibility?
- Search term review, cleanse and refocus. It’s good practice to do this on a quarterly basis anyway but it’s vital to do this as a first step in search visibility recovery too. Revisit your search terms, check you have the right list in place and that you have removed any search terms that are no longer relevant. You can also create a separate list of 20-30 ‘high importance’ search terms (based on a combination of relevancy, rankings of key landing pages and average monthly searches) that require immediate focus and attention.
- Featured snippet optimisation. It’s increasingly important to prioritise featured snippet optimisation as part of your SEO and content campaign. A featured snippet is designed to enrich the user experience and deliver more focused and relevant search results as well as give you higher rankings and visibility in SERPs. Create a list of featured snippet opportunities and analyse current snippet winners to inform the structural and content changes required to capture the featured snippet for yourself.
- Republish older content. The republishing process is all about optimising, updating and improving existing blog posts which are already published on your website. Whilst building fresh, up-to-date content is important for SEO, republishing existing content helps you bring in additional traffic from people who are actively searching for that particular topic area right now. Google’s search algorithms often prioritise freshness in the search results and when we take an older blog post and optimise it and develop the content, we are providing Google with a new article but also utilising the strong SEO value that the older blog post has accumulated over time.
These are just some of the ways to recover falling search visibility however there is lots that can be done to reverse the downwards trend businesses can often face. Our SEO and content experts have an abundance of knowledge and experience in helping our clients maintain strong search visibility and benefit from high rankings within SERPs.
If you need help to reverse visibility loss, get in touch and see how we can help.