Understanding SEO visibility and improving on it

A core part of SEO, which often goes unmentioned, are visibility metrics of a website. These metrics are often pulled from large compendiums of data, such as SISTRIX or SEMrush and aim to highlight areas in which websites are excelling, or lacking, from a search crawler perspective. As an SEO agency, we understand the importance of these metrics, but also how they can seem unreadable when you do not know where to look.

Basic visibility metrics

Surface visibility metrics show you the immediate health of your website – essentially, the higher the visibility the more the website is being seen in search results. Any increases are likely to be a result of either increasing keyword rankings or increase in volume of keywords.

These metrics can be divided into desktop and smartphone rankings, mapped against algorithm changes and have pins tagged to them from yourself – such as changes to a website, site launches etc.

Digging deeper into visibility metrics

Below the surface of your visibility metrics are the reasons for changes, success and failures in visibility and understanding these metrics should be broken down in to core sections of what makes up website visibility:

  • Keyword ranking
  • URL distribution
  • Competitor visibility

Keyword rankings should be looked at in two broad sections – firstly, which keywords are ranking and secondly, which aren’t.

Understanding ranking keywords is at the core of understanding website visibility. For example, if visibility has increased 15% in the last months based on three or four keywords which have no relevance to business goals, then this is wasted visibility. More so, if high traffic keywords are showing on pages three or four then the visibility will be low and they need to be part of an ongoing focus.

Take time to understand which keywords are impacting your site visibility (across both mobile and desktop) and a plan for improvement already takes shape.

URL Distribution aids in understanding how each keyword is attributed to a page, and how predominantly each of these pages features in the search results (and on which results page).

Should a targeted landing page not show any sort of increase in visibility you should consider why and audit this page. Likewise, if a particular page is controlling your visibility take a deeper look into this and the potential reasons behind it and see if it is possible to replicate the positives on other targeted landing pages.

Carry out visibility overviews on different URL paths targeted for your business and ensure that each meets the requirements you need.

Competitor Visibility also needs to be audited to determine current marketing standing and your own visibility metrics. The joy of working with visibility metrics is that everything can be directly attributed and reverse engineered; for example, strong URL paths that feature predominantly across search competitors.

Visibility for competitors is also great in understanding where and how competitors are seeing the positives and negatives within search results, allowing for a pre-empting of changes likely to be seen in competitor visibility. This market knowledge will also give you an insight into what is needed to improve visibility long term and changes which can be made.

Taking time to understand SEO visibility

Successful SEO is made up of many factors, and one of these is visibility. Taking time every week to understand a website, website visibility, and any changes, will ensure a strong foundation in place for successful SEO.

POLARIS is an SEO agency in London providing a range of organic search marketing services to SMEs and brands across the world.

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