SEO Visibility – A Guide to Fixing a Lost Search Search Visibility
SEO Visibility is a metric composed of various relevant search factors that are used to calculate how visible a website is in a search engine’s organic results.
The calculation of this KPI, utilized to measure the visibility of a website, compiles several different data points, including information on the search volume of relevant keywords and the ranking positions and frequencies of a domain’s URLs. This means how often, and where the URLs rank for these keywords in the organic search results of Google, Bing, and different search engines. Each position is given an individual weighting in line with the methodology produced. Other data from dynamic models for calculating the Click-Through-Rate (CTR) also add to the calculation.
In this instance, CTR means the following: For search results in general, the top rankings are clicked on more than the search results at the bottom of the first results page or the next pages. At the same time, a search result that is displayed with a video snippet that ranks at, for instance, position five, will probably get more clicks than a simple text link at the same position.
As a guide, the SEO Visibility of a domain will be high if:
- The domain’s URLs rank above up the search results list
- Several different URLs on the domain are included in Google’s index with good rankings
- The domain’s URLs rank great for keywords with a high search volume
What does SEO Visibility tell us?
Generally speaking, SEO Visibility is a sign of how visible a website is in the organic search results when queries are entered into search engines on desktop computers. It is an index that also makes it possible to analyze difficulties and to identify the potential for optimization.
Furthermore, it is possible to match different domains in terms of their performance on search engines – e.g. thematically similar pages or competitors. It is also possible to make comparisons between winner and loser domains to conclude general trends or significant changes in search engine rankings. These often occur following algorithm updates.
Historic SEO Visibility
The SEO Visibility is constantly re-evaluated and recalculated and is refreshed weekly for all domains in the Research Cloud of the Searchmetrics Suite. Of course, past data points can be used to analyze the trend of a domain’s search engine appearance over time.
The use of historic SEO Visibility makes it possible to analyze a domain’s progress over several years, depending on how old the domain is. With this historic analysis, it is possible to recognize where the main changes in SEO Visibility have occurred. This can also be utilized to better understand technical changes (domain migrations, errors), penalties, or the impact of Google updates like Panda or Penguin. And this does not just use to your domain, but all domains in the database – in the US and internationally for specific country indexes.
Why doesn’t SEO Visibility show real traffic numbers?
SEO Visibility explains how visible a domain is based on the entire keyword set that rankings are analyzed for. The most common critique received from webmasters when a domain’s SEO Visibility goes up or down is that traffic and/or conversions may have stayed the same. This criticism is based on a pure misunderstanding: SEO Visibility is not a traffic index!
Visibility is determined based on a specific keyword set and not based on real-life traffic data. We use a huge keyword set to build a common buy pain o soma basis for comparison for all domains, nationally and internationally. Even though utilizing the largest keyword set of all companies in the industry as the basis for its data calculation, it is, of course, impossible to include every single search query in the SEO Visibility calculation.
New search queries
One reason is that around 15% of the daily questions entered into Google have never been searched before. And these can also build traffic for a domain, even though the relevant keywords have not yet been included in the data for calculating SEO Visibility.
Furthermore, other traffic can come from users who enter the URL by hand, traffic from links from other websites, and – not to be forgotten – the paid traffic generated through advertisements like Google Ads or Product Listing Ads (PLA). This all means that many factors can influence a website’s traffic. Visits via the organic search results are highly significant, but yet only one of several traffic sources. To be able to analyze the SEO Visibility, not for the complete keyword set, but individually-defined lists of keywords also offer the Project SEO Visibility.
Special website focus
Although the general keyword set is dynamic and constantly grown, there are two further challenges:
- The more specialized a website is, the more likely it is that the SEO Visibility won’t take into account the whole performance of the page, because longtail keywords that help to create relevant traffic are not included in the analyzed keyword set.
- Also, keyword rankings that may be irrelevant for the website’s actual traffic can have an impact on SEO Visibility. If, for instance, a domain ranks low down for keywords that are not particularly relevant for that domain, then the SEO Visibility may be lower than the actual levels of traffic would suggest.
Project SEO Visibility
The Project SEO Visibility can be utilized in the Project Management Area of the Suite to set up a customized analysis, based on a personal keyword set and any desired combination of different search engines and search parameters (mobile, local, etc.). This makes a more relevant gauge of visibility for your market, simply because it is a more specific analysis. The data defined as the basis for Project SEO Visibility should focus on the keywords that are considered most important for that specific web project, which the user can decide upon.
Reminder: As objected to Project SEO Visibility, the general SEO Visibility is based on a general, dynamic, growing keyword set. This can potentially involve keyword rankings that are relatively unimportant for a particular domain and that can impact negatively on the calculation of its performance. Such terms should be excluded from the keyword set established for the Project SEO Visibility.
Mobile SEO Visibility
In line with the growing concern of search queries coming from mobile devices, has developed a mobile-specific KPI, Mobile SEO Visibility. Looking at Desktop and Mobile SEO Visibility together performs it possible to compare the performance of a website for search queries coming from desktop computers with those from mobile devices.
A quick look at the SEO Visibility graph makes it simple to directly compare the differences in visibility between mobile and desktop. To maintain comparability, we utilize the same machine learning algorithms from Desktop SEO Visibility to apply our dynamic CTR calculation to mobile. The reason for this is we believe it is invaluable to have a common calculation basis to be able to provide a useful comparison between these two KPIs.