What Does Online Visibility Really Mean?
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If you search, “What is online visibility?” you’ll get almost 400 million results and a variety of brief descriptions for what’s actually a complex concept. You’ll find definitions such as:
- Online visibility is your overall online footprint.
- How often your website can be found on the web represents your online visibility.
- Your relative ranking in your industry for organic search results.
- Online visibility is the overall presence of your brand online.
- How frequently people can find and visit your website.
We don’t know about you, but we don’t find those to be particularly helpful. So, let’s back up a second.
So, What Is Online Visibility Really?
Let’s take this one step at a time.
According to Lexico, the word “visibility” is a noun and can be defined as:
- The state of being able to see or be seen.
- The degree to which something has attracted general attention; prominence.
In the real world, visibility is the person wearing the red dress in the sea of LBDs.
It’s the business with the right “location, location, location” – the one at the busy intersection or in the Target plaza.
It’s having these guys out dancing outside your storefront.
So, what’s the online equivalent of having the air tube dancers out on your sidewalk? Let’s take a look.
Online Visibility, Clarified
If we take the definitions of visibility and apply them to the “online” environment, it stands to reason that online visibility becomes:
- The state of being able to see or be seen online.
- The degree to which something has attracted general attention online; prominence online.
So far, so good. But that still doesn’t really help us to explain to you what online visibility is.
Online visibility is being seen online, but what’s happening that allows a company to be easily found and seen online?
What are they doing to get found online?
Here’s the key: Although online visibility is something you can have, it’s more about something that you do.
It’s helpful to think of online visibility as sort of like a verb rather than a noun. Online visibility is a process of making sure that when your ideal clients are looking for solutions online, they find your brand. It’s finding ways to get people to notice you online. It’s creating and promoting your presence on the web so that people can find you online.
Online Visibility’s Equivalents to the Tube Men
Okay, so you need to be more easily found online. You want to expand your “digital presence” or “digital footprint.” What makes the internet stand up and say, “Yoohoo! Over hear!” to your ideal clients?
A Quality Website
Your business should have an attractive, professionally designed website that’s optimized for getting found online. This involves how the site is structured and mapped, as well as how easy it is to navigate so that people find what they need.
You need to know what keywords to use on your website so that the right people will find you – the people who are looking for the solution your products or services offer. In order to do that, you need to have a clear understanding of the questions your ideal clients are asking to find a solution to their problem. These are the questions they’re punching into search engines when they’re researching their purchasing options.
When you know the words people are using to search and include them on your site, it makes you more findable. When you’re more easily found, your site gets more traffice. More traffic makes it more likely that your prospects will find you and make a purchase.
We’ve offered some specifics on these tactics for visibility HERE.
SEO Strategy for Online Visibility for Local Business
Let’s tie this back to online versus “real world” visibility for a second. The online world is amazing because it often allows us to find the perfect item to buy, even if the seller isn’t physically near us. We can now easily purchase from businesses all over the world!
At the same time, some things require a dealing with a local business. But what do most people do when they need to purchase locally? Do they get in their cars and drive around looking for the place to buy? Of course not! Before people make a big purchase, 81% of us first conduct online research. Yes, sometimes it can be beneficial to go to a store and browse, but in most cases, it’s so much easier to keep our butts parked at home, find what we need online, and then make a beeline to the location that’s selling it. (OR, one of our personal favorites: Order it online and pick it up at the front of the store or even have it walked out to the car for you!)
Content Marketing Is Essential for Online Visibility
If you have a professional website, and you’ve included the keywords that will help your ideal clients find you, that’s a good start, but it’s not enough. Businesses must keep “feeding” the internet with relevant, helpful content that their prospects need in order for search engines to keep driving traffic to the site.
Both quality and quantity are relevant for content that will boost your online visibility. But that also doesn’t mean you must continually churn out content for the sake of more content. You need to create high-quality content that benefits your audience, and then promote it through the channels that make sense for your business.
Professional content marketing can increase your sales, shorten the sales cycle, lower the cost of client acquisition, enhance the perception of your brand, and boost the lifetime value of your clients.
Types of Content
The content you create to market your business can take several forms. Adding a blog consisting of helpful articles to your website is only one of them. Written case studies are another type of content that will not only help with SEO but will also provide you with social proof for the solutions you offer.
And you’re not limited to written content. Audio and video content can also increase your online visibility, so a YouTube channel or a podcast are also good options.
As you create content, be sure to promote it through the means available to you. Share it on your social accounts, making sure that it’s easily shareable. Sharing your content with your email list is another way to promote your content. Your business should put at least as much effort into promoting its content as it does into creating quality content.
Business Listings and Reviews Boost Online Visibility
Business listings, especially those that include customer reviews, elevate your visibility becasue they’re yet another “landmark” (if you will) on the web that search engines can grab onto. They are particularly helpful when it comes to being found locally.
And when people write reviews that come up with your business listings, they’re naturally speaking the language of your ideal customer because they are one! Encouraging customers to leave you reviews and making it easy for them to do so helps your SEO because they’re the “native speakers” of your SEO keywords.
Finally, as with adding case studies to your website, having reviews earns your business “bonus points.” Review not only help people find you, but they help convince people that you’re the one for them because you’ve provided them with social proof.
So, What does Online Visibility REALLY mean?
It means that you can be found online by the people who are looking for you because you found the ways to show up online. And that means that….
- When your ideal clients are sharing content online, it’s your content.
- When your audience types a question into a search engine, your business comes up.
- Your business comes up in search results from a variety of keywords your audience uses, not just from those keywords everyone in your industry is using.
- When a consumer is ready to make a purchase and trying to find a local supplier, your website is among the options that appear in their search results.
- You get more web traffic, more foot traffic, more prospects, and more conversions and sales!
Online Visibility At the End of the Day
Remember what we said earlier: Online visibility is a process of finding ways to show up online. You don’t have to do everything at once, but there are actually dozens of easy, simple things you could start doing right now to boost your online visibility!
In fact, we can even generate a free visibility report for you that will not only tell you what steps you can take but will also prioritize those steps for you to get the most out of your efforts!