What Is Online Visibility and How to Get It

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What Is Online Visibility and How to Get It

There’s a reason we call it a “web address.” Your website is your online location for showcasing your business and the unique solution it offers. Naturally, you want to “drive traffic” to your site just as you hope customers will drive to your physical store (if you have one). But how do people “see” how to get to your website? Physical locations have “visibility” in the real world – Waze (or an impossible to re-fold map from your glove box) will steer people to your physical spot. But the “map” for finding your online real estate isn’t a physical, linear set of instructions (like, “in half a mile, turn left”). And that’s why you need to know about online visibility.

What Is Online Visibility?

Let’s start off with some good news. According to ECommerce Foundation’s research, 88% of consumers conduct online research before making a buying decision – for both online and in-store purchases. That is: People are looking for you because you offer something that helps them!

The bad news is that the most beautiful and persuasive website in the world won’t help you if they can’t find you when they’re doing their research.

And that’s what online visibility is: Your potential customers’ ability to find your website when they the ask a question or look for a solution to their problem online. Visibility means that your website consistently attracts new and organic visitors and converts them to leads or even customers.

What Are the Benefits of Visibility?

Obviously, if your site is attracting and converting internet users, that means more you have more customers.

Which means you have more sales.

Which means you have {cha-CHING!} more moolah.

Yet, there are even more perks to online visibility, such as enhancing your brand reputation – or how you’re perceived in the marketplace. It helps you stand out from your competition and to become known as the go-to resource for the products or services you offer.

And because online visibility is driven by your ability to create content that answers questions and solves problems for real people, your customers are more likely to share your content, driving even more traffic to your website.

There are important conversations that are taking place in your industry and among your potential customers. When you not only engage in but also lead those conversations, more people will find your website. Plus, you’ll even reach some people before they realize they need your solution, which is an excellent position to be in.

How to Increase Your Online Visibility

Search engine algorithms are more complex than they used to be, so the steps for becoming visible online have also become more complex. It takes a bit more effort now, but this is a good thing. Google (and other search engines) have gotten really good at scouring the internet to find the best sources of quality information. You just have to know where to focus your efforts to be one of those sources of expertise.

Measures of Visibility

A variety of factors affecting your online visibility, each with a different impact rating. That is, some factors will boost your visibility more than others. All of the factors are worth considering, but to get the most bang for your buck, start by focusing on the high-impact factors, then work your way down.

Let’s quickly take a look at the activities that will increase your online visibility and drive more traffic to your online address.

High-Impact Visibility Factors

  • Keyword ranking on page #1: Obviously, if your site shows up on the first page of search results, it’s way more visible than if users have to click to the next page of search results. (Because people do visit page 2…but rarely.)
  • Google My Business (GMB): Having an account on Google My Business helps you show up for customers looking to buy on both Google Search and Google Maps.
  • Accessible to search engines: Search engines use web crawlers to “crawl” through and index your site’s content. If your site isn’t set up correctly, web crawlers may not be able to access your content.
  • Google page speed: Not only will visitors tend to ‘bounce’ if your site doesn’t load fast enough, but you’ll also show up lower in rankings if page speed is slow.
  • Keywords in page titles and H1 tags: Using keywords it titles and tags boosts your visibility, and it gives clarity to visitors as they determine what your site is about.
  • WWW resolve: Search engines penalize duplicate content. WWW Resolve ensures search engines recognize that yoursite.com and www.yoursite.com are seen as one site instead of two.
  • Google Analytics / Tag Manager: This is a free service that will provide you with insights about your site visitors so that you can improve usability and engagement, which will improve user experience and conversions.
  • HTTPS: Having an SSL certificate protects your site from attacks and lets visitors know your website isn’t authentic and safe.

Medium-Impact Factors

  • Meta title and descriptions: To increase visibility, meta-descriptions should be unique for each page on your site, the optimal length, and include keywords.
  • Optimal page title length: Keep page titles short so they do not get cut off in search results. A good target range is 50-60 characters.
  • Local Map Pack Listing: Here’s another obvious one: If you’re a local business, and you show up in search in the “Local 3-Pack” at the top of the page, you’ll stand out in the community.
  • AMP enabled: AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is what makes your website high performing on mobile.
  • Sitemap xml file: This is a file that, well, maps out the structure of your website, and it helps search engines find you.
  • Schema markup: This is code that helps search engines serve up informative results about your business.
  • Alt attribute: Including alternative text to images and other media on your website provides search engines with additional information for finding you.
  • Brand in title page: No brainer! It’s easier for both search engines and online users to find your business by name.
  • Google Listing: Unsure your listing is complete and accurate so search engines and visitors are crystal clear on what your website is about.
  • Open Graph: This is how you control how your content will show up when it’s shared on social media sites. You can learn more about it here.
  • Browser caching and compression: This helps make your website load faster. (See above!)

Low-Impact Factors

  • FB Pixel: Adding this code to your site allows you to show ads on Facebook to people who have stopped by your site.
  • Keywords in alt attribute: This refers to adding text alternatives to images. Adding the keywords helps slightly with visibility, but it’s also a best practice for making your site accessible to the visually impaired.
  • Sufficient page content: You need to have enough relevant content on each page of your site so that search engines can tell you’re a good match for the search.

At the End of the Day….

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Don’t be! If you want to increase your online visibility, start with one of the high-impact factors and just chip away at the list. When you focus on the factors that impact visibility, you’ll be amazed at what it will do for your web traffic.

Better yet, we can provide you with a free report that will break down your current performance on the factors above, as well as prioritize which factors you should address first to get the biggest improvement. Simply complete the form below, and we’ll help you ensure your address is easy to find on the digital map!

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