Is your website visible? No, I don’t mean whether or not it shows up on the screen when you type in the web address. Nor am I asking if it’s easy on the eyes. I’m asking if your website is visible among the millions of other websites out there that are relevant to your search terms and industry. That’s what Web Visibility is all about – how (and if) people find you on the web. This is an umbrella term, and one we will be digging into in-depth in future posts. For now, let’s review the main components of Web Visibility.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a huge part of Web Visibility, because one of the main ways you are found on the web is through search Engines, like Google or Bing. When someone searches for you, the search engine has to go through a huge amount of sites and content to determine if yours is the right one to bring up, and then sorts you by relevance. Even if your site is relevant, if you haven’t worked on its SEO, it may appear on page 5 of the search listings rather than page 1.
The way search engines sort through information has changed, and is forced to continue to change as more and more people add sites competing for the top spot. Location, meta tags, images, and more all play a part in what optimizes a site to be found by a search engine. Angela has written a great article on Content Writing and SEO if you’d like to learn more. Remember, when you write content for the web, you’re writing for both people and machines to read it. SEO makes it readable for machines, but don’t forget to make it readable for your audience once they actually find it.
Paid vs. Organic Traffic
One of the ways to compete so that the search engines place you ahead of other sites is to pay for ads. Google lets you use Google AdWords to bid on different keywords so that if your price is high enough, you will appear in front of someone who searches for that keyword. Here is a fantastic article going over how all of that works, and how it plays in with SEO.
People spend a lot of time online, but most of it isn’t just typing searches into Google. To get people to see you, sometimes you have to go to them. For most, that means social media. Just like with search engines, social media sites find ways to sort who will see you. If you post something as an individual, your friends or followers will see it. If someone engages with your post by sharing, commenting, or liking it, all of their friends will see it too. This is organic traffic, just like for search engines, except that instead of SEO, it is based on engagement.
Once again, you can compete on most social media sites to appear in front of more people, even those you have no relation to, by paying for ads. For example, on Facebook, instead of selecting keywords, you select audiences your ad will appear in front of. Social media is an ever-changing world, which is becoming increasingly important in Web Visibility. We will be going deeper into some of the details and changes of social media sites in future posts!
Email marketing is one of the most traditional forms of web marketing, but still has a high ROI for those seeking to make their site more visible. But to accomplish those objectives, you first must have a solid email marketing strategy, and ensure that your emails follow these Three Simple Rules for Getting Email Attention.
Email is unique in that it allows you to build a relationship with your audience and lets them self-select out of your efforts if they aren’t open to your marketing, which enables you to focus your efforts on a group of people who actually wants to hear them. It’s a great tool for Web Visibility, and has been proven to be effective.
In the end, it’s difficult to have successful Web Visibility if your website is dated, uninformative, or confusing. Web Visibility may be about getting people to find your site, but if they take one look and bounce right back off the page without spending time on it or clicking around, that can actually be harmful for you. Search engines like Google keep track of those statistics, and if everyone is bouncing off of your site, they interpret that as your website as being irrelevant, and will rank your site lower in their search listings.
As you can tell, a lot is involved with Web Visibility, and this is just brushing the surface! At Kolbeco, we understand collaboration isn’t just a buzzword, it’s essential for your digital strategy. Stay tuned for more information coming up covering Web Visibility, and of course, if you would like help with your Web Visibility or have any questions, just contact us!