8 Proven Techniques to Improve Your Website Visibility
Website visibility is one of the most critical indicators of a successful search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. A website that ranks on the first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) garners more clicks than subsequent pages.
Although website visibility doesn’t imply bottom-line revenue, it’s the precursor to turning online visitors into customers. In addition:
- It makes it easier for your customers to find you
- It helps to generate organic traffic, reducing or eliminating the need for ad spend
- It provides a platform to connect and communicate with your target audience
- It helps to boost brand credibility, drive sales, and many more
In this guide, you’ll learn practical steps to optimize your website for better visibility on search engines. Let’s jump at it!
Website visibility is measured by the rate at which a website is discoverable on digital channels – search engines, social media platforms, etc. – whenever users conduct a search query. Websites optimized for visibility will be positioned on the top of the SERPs. Poorly optimized websites might not appear on the SERPs, and users may never find them via organic searches.
It’s becoming harder to increase website visibility on search engines.
As more businesses migrate online, more content is created, and evidently, competition becomes fiercer. Here’s what to do to stay visible despite the noise:
Keyword research is the foundational step to any effective SEO campaign. It provides insights into what your audience is searching for and helps your business strategically target relevant traffic. If done correctly, it can snowball your content marketing efforts, whether organic or paid.
To generate keywords that drive organic traffic, you need to answer questions like:
- What are my main topics and sub-topics?
- What is the searcher’s intent?
- Where does the search term fall in my buyer persona’s journey? (awareness >> consideration >> decision >> purchase).
- Start with customer research. Who are your target customers, and what are they searching for online? What search terms/phrases do they use? Creating a customer-centric keyword research strategy optimizes your content marketing campaign for success.
- Decide which topics you want to be known for. You could use Google Forms to conduct a survey or use forums like Reddit and Quora to generate content ideas:
Other research tools, like Answer the Public, can also be a handful in generating keyword ideas:
Ross Simmonds, CEO of Foundation INC, provides further insights on generating keyword ideas:
- Use effective SEO tools like Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs, etc., to analyze your generated ideas. Look out for specifics like the search volume, keyword density, and cost per click (CPC):
Tip: There’s no hard-and-fast rule on how much search volume a keyword should have. Instead of looking for keywords with the highest search volume, focus on building topical relevance.
Content optimization ensures that your website is discoverable and readable by humans and search engines. After keyword research, optimizing your web pages positions your website for higher rankings on SERPs.
On-page optimization (or on-page SEO) is optimizing your website’s front and back end to drive traffic and other profitable conversions. I love how Teri Clapper explains how to perform on-page optimization to increase website visibility in her recent episode on the Smarter Marketing Podcast:
“The first and most crucial element of on-page optimization is your keyword use. Conduct thorough keyword research that aligns with your business and target audience…You need to have one keyphrase per page. Incorporate them in strategic places like the page title, meta description, headings, and content.”
Meta tags are snippets of HTML code that provide information about your web page to search engines. The title tag and meta description are the major meta tags used in on-page optimization:
Meta tags are essential because they act as a summary of your web page, and this is what your audience sees before clicking through to land on your site. If it’s not compelling enough, they will source other alternatives! Here are some best practices for you to model:
- Use the primary keyword in title tags and meta descriptions to encourage click-throughs on SERPs:
- Keep the length of your meta description around 105 characters.
- Speak directly to address your audience’s pain points. Your meta tags should be concise yet informative:
Long tail keywords are longer and more specific search queries with low search volume. They are a very powerful conversion strategy when used correctly.
For example, if you’re in the marketing software industry, it’ll be hard to rank for the keyword ‘marketing’ because it is competitive:
But it will be easier to rank for a specialized keyword, for example, ‘Top 10 Affordable Marketing Agencies for small business’. This makes it easy to leverage long-tail keywords to gain visibility and improve your SEO performance.
Arguably, a poor product with great content will likely sell faster than a good product with poor content. In summary, high-quality content is:
However, following these processes does not still guarantee conversions. The most effective way of creating content that converts is by following a customer-centric approach.
Other strategies that work are:
Headlines and intro are one of the most crucial aspects of your web content. They make the first impression on a reader, and it’s only imperative you make it count. Your headlines should be concise and fluff-free and also strike an emotion in your readers’ mind, compelling them to read further.
Tip: Don’t repeat the headline in the intro. Instead, the introduction should be an extension of the headline and a summary of the entire content. It should answer the question, ‘What is in this for me?’ like this does:
Some best practices to adopt are:
- Keep your intros and headlines short. Best practices recommend at most three paragraphs:
- Use a quote from a thought leader in the industry:
- For your headlines, use numbers to increase CTR. For example, ‘7 Best Strategies for Turning Web Visitors to Paying Customers.’
Content structure is another crucial aspect of website visibility that directly impacts user experience and how search engine bots crawl your site. Here’s how to structure your content for readability:
- Create topic clusters to link pages
- Use bullets to break up texts. This makes it easier to read and skim
- Bolden vital information to increase readability
- Incorporate relevant keywords in headings and strategic areas of your content
- Minimize jargon
The rule of thumb here is to use as many visual elements as required for your content. Avoid clutter or any form of distraction. Colors, images, videos, and other visual elements you use should be in sync and strike an emotion in the mind of the readers.
Technical SEO focuses on improving the technical aspects of your website to help search engines crawl and index it more effectively to boost your organic rankings on SERPs. A fully optimized website technical environment is critical when optimizing your website for better visibility.
Research reveals that visitors spend an average of 3 seconds on a web page before losing interest. Visitors might leave you to find other options if your website doesn’t load quickly.
To improve your website speed:
- Choose a performance-focused hosting provider. If you’re running an eCommerce store or a business dealing with high-intensive applications, cloud hosting may be your best option.
- Use a content delivery network to optimize the delivery of static files such as images, fonts, etc.
- Use website caching to increase load times and reduce latency.
- Reduce the number of HTTP requests.
- Avoid using unnecessary plugins.
- Your website success starts with having a solid structure. Brain Dean, SEO Expert, recommends using a flat structure to make it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index:
- Constantly audit your website to identify technical issues. SEMRush site audit tool, for example, provides further insights into your site’s technical SEO health:
Mobile-friendly websites provide a better user experience and receive higher rankings on mobile SERPs. Plus, 59% of shoppers think mobile optimization is essential when deciding what to buy.
Tip: Use responsive design to allow your website to adjust automatically to different devices and platforms.
One of the core elements of a good web design is accessibility. Website accessibility ensures that everyone can understand and navigate your site, even those with disabilities. To do that, do these:
- Add alt text with description to images.
- Use headings appropriately. Structure them in a way that conveys information hierarchy.
- Provide an alternative style button to enable readers to enlarge the font without alternating the style of your site.
Link building is getting other websites (in your industry) to link back to your website. There are two ways of link building:
- External links (backlinks)
- Internal links
How do search engines determine your website’s credibility? Through backlinks.
Backlinks act as a vote of confidence for your website. Typically, search engines don’t know (or care) how interesting or informative your web content is. They decipher this through user behavior when navigating your website (engagement).
High-quality backlinks = Higher rankings
Getting other (reputable) sites to link to yours is difficult. The best way to do this is by creating naturally linkable, high-quality, informative content.
Also, reach out to other authoritative websites in your industry for collaboration. This allows you to share your expertise and reach a wider audience.
Tip: Don’t resort to black hat SEO practices, for example, buying links. This might eventually backfire as the links are often from spam sites.
Internal linking helps search engine bots find, index, and understand the structure of your website. It also increases user experience, as readers can quickly discover pages relevant to their search queries:
- Use keyword-rich anchor texts in your web content.
- Use SEO tools to discover the unicorn pages on your site and link to them.
- Use internal links at the top of your page. Ideally, it should be within the first 100 words of your web content.
- Audit your website regularly to identify areas of improvement
Creating high-quality content alone is never enough. You must invest in getting your content in the eyes of the right people (your target audience).
Over 64% of the world’s population is active on social media. This means your potential customers are using one or more of the many social media channels. How can you leverage this to increase brand visibility?
Start by conducting in-depth customer research to know where your audience hangs out the most. Find out every detail. Which type of content do they engage with? Which brand are they talking about?
Also, repurpose your web content into different formats specific to each platform. For example, video content will be perfect for YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Written content performs better on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Tip: Use third-party social media tools like Buffer to analyze your social media engagements. Note the best-performing content and the time when your posts get the highest engagement.
Value cannot be ignored, do you agree?
If your post is informative, engaging, and relatable, your audience will easily recommend or share them with their colleagues. Utilize the power of user-generated content to reach even more people. Ask your customers to create a short video or take a picture using your product.
Partnering with a reputable influencer in your industry amplifies your brand and is a strategic means of getting new, consistent customers. You can do this through various means:
- Getting them to promote your product
- Hosting a webinar or live interview with them.
Learn how to distribute your content effectively at the right place and time.
Google reveals that 46% of searches on their platform have local intent. Businesses with brick-and-mortar stores in strategic locations can utilize this channel to attract potential customers around the area. How?
Opening a Google Business account is one of the best and most common ways to optimize for local search results. This free tool allows you to add your business vitals – opening hours, descriptions, location, and other essential details. Your previous customers can add reviews of your product or service, increasing your chances of ranking for your niche keyword. This contributes to website visibility in the long-term.
Customer reviews are powerful marketing strategies! 95% of online buyers check testimonials before making a purchase. Whenever you make a sale or deliver a service, ask your customers to give you a review on the review sites or local directories where your business is listed.
Use local keywords in your content when optimizing for local SEO. For instance, instead of ‘pastry shops online,’ optimize for ‘pastry shop in Michigan.’ This helps search engines understand the geographical relevance of your website and increase your rankings for a local search.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing and SEO. You need to constantly analyze the effectiveness of your campaigns to identify how to improve them when they don’t go as planned.
Tip: There are tons of metrics to track regarding SEO, including vanity and actual metrics. Set SMART goals before running any campaign to avoid running after irrelevant metrics.
Integrate your website with analytics tools like Google Analytics or other third-party platforms. GA, for instance, gives rich qualitative insights into your website performance. You’ll see almost everything required to optimize your campaigns: site traffic, page views, bounce rates, site speed, etc.
In addition, you want to see how well the keywords you’re optimizing for are performing. SEO software like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz, etc., gives an in-depth analysis of your SERP performance and helps you know which keywords you rank for. See this from SEMrush:
You can even add up to 4 competitive websites to see how yours compares accordingly:
Analyzing user behavior is vital in understanding how users interact with your brand. This will help determine how to improve user experience, elevating your rankings in SERPs. Answer questions like:
- What is bringing visitors to your site?
- What makes users leave your site?
- What drives users to make a purchase?
Improving your website visibility and driving online success isn’t always easy, especially as a small business owner. But it’s not impossible. With the strategies outlined above, your brand can boost brand visibility, drive real-time organic traffic, and ultimately turn visitors into paying customers.