Visibility is represented by estimated traffic and clicks for corresponding keywords that get organic ranking. SISTRIX uses a visibility index as a metric and is determined using the following formula:
- Data is collected from one million search queries containing keywords. The search volume of all these search queries also plays a decisive role for each individual country. Keywords are updated frequently even as trends, search needs, and search intent change. The SISTRIX tool only considers Google’s organic search. Around 100 searches are tracked for each keyword and the Visibility Index data is updated.
- Once the data is collected, they predict the number of clicks each keyword could generate depending on its position in the SERPs. The search volume plays a major role here, since not every keyword brings the same number of clicks to the website. Some keywords are informational, transactional, or navigational, and they will yield varying numbers of clicks despite high search volume.
- The last step takes into account all rankings for all keywords that a domain has collected. A value is added to all these rankings, which is then summed to a final value of the SISTRIX Visibility Index. You can see this metric for a root domain, all of its subdomains, and even specific URLs of a website.
Achieving 100% visibility is next to impossible, but occupying positions 1-3 in the SERPs is your best chance of getting clicks. So, work on your website to get a top 3 ranking for important keywords. Improve your Visibility Index as only the top positions matter for the number of clicks.
What is the Visibility Index used for?
You can use SEO Visibility to compare performance between different time periods. For example, you can see how your website gained or lost visibility over a period of 1 month, 1 year, or even 5 years.
You can also compare identical websites with each other. This can be useful for comparing your site to your closest competitors. There are also other cases, such as checking when visibility changes due to an algorithm update.
Tracking SEO visibility over time can help you better understand how you are ranking on Google. It’s only after you’ve checked your Visibility Index that you’ll know if a keyword still has room for improvement. The numbers don’t lie, you just need to check them from multiple sources and look at them from different angles.
Ways to increase your Visibility Index
If you’re seeing big changes in your SEO visibility, it could be because of keywords, links, position changes in rankings, or traffic changes. But everything can be checked and improved if necessary!
Whatever your business model, if you notice a change in leads, it could be because of visibility. So, the first thing you should do is check your organic traffic. You can find the most accurate data on this in Google Analytics (GA). Examine the numbers to assess the situation. If you notice fluctuations in attendance, find out the exact timeline and compare it to previous years to see if it’s something seasonal. If not, find the exact pages that were affected.
Mobile vs desktop
Compare your mobile and desktop traffic to see which performs better or needs some revision. You can also use GA to just review your mobile audience and see your visibility progress for that platform.
Has your traffic changed for the better? To get a big boost in traffic, you should rank in the top three positions on the first page of Google for a given keyword. The top result gets you almost 30% of the clicks and the numbers get smaller as you go down the SERPs. So, if your Visibility Index has improved and you just jumped over one of your competitors, it will be immediately reflected in clicks.
Follow your links as often as possible. Some links can break (broken links) and they should be fixed. If you know where these broken links come from, you should try to contact the website owners.
To find out how many backlinks you’ve lost in the past few months, use a tool like Ahrefs, which will show all your existing external link sources. If you are not familiar with such a thing, you better hire an agency or an experienced SEO specialist.
Work hard on your reach! Only a quality link can give your primary keywords a much-needed boost in the rankings, which will later affect your search visibility. There are some areas of your website that can produce excellent results for your Visibility Index. We’ll talk more about that in the next chapter.
Changes in SEO Visibility
Some changes in your SEO visibility may be the result of something you did or didn’t do. But there is always an explanation for a change:
- Updates – Every time there is a Google update it can affect your website. Depending on whether or not you’ve followed Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, their updates may affect you either positively or negatively. Last year 2021 Google Spam update had a major impact on websites that employ some lazy tactics to rank high in search results. While other relevant sites deserve to be there, these spam or low-quality sites don’t.
- Server – Servers can go down, that can happen. The only thing to keep in mind here is that Google might not like it if it’s something recurring. Why should people come to your website if it’s frequently unavailable? However, you can choose a better server or set up a notification system to let you know when there are server problems.
- Website Structure Change – If you have made changes to your website structure, it may take some time for Google to index everything correctly. So, there are a few manual steps you can take to ensure you “signal” Google which pages to index. It should be mentioned here that implementing a canonical tag is important to avoid duplicate content. You should also avoid keyword cannibalization. If your pages don’t compete with each other, your page has a better chance of ranking for important keywords.
- Competition improves their webpage – Maybe it wasn’t you who improved this time. Competitors work diligently on their webpages and SEO strategy all the time. So, if that was the case, check out their links, content, or other changes that may have given a boost in ranking, which in turn resulted in a higher Visibility Index.
- Featured Snippets – Position “0” – Even if the competition ranks high, you can win a large part of the clicks for yourself with a featured snippet (FS) in the SERPs. FS are helpful for those who do search in SERPs. So, if you have a proper featured snippet setup in place, it can be of great use. If the top 3 competitors all have snippets for the same keyword you are trying to rank for, you need to offer an alternative that brings users higher value so that they prefer yours instead.
If you look at the Visibility Index as a way to improve your website, this positive attitude will surely benefit you in the long run. Focus on the things you can improve and keep an eye on performance so you can adjust accordingly. There are always multiple reasons that can affect your visibility index game.