Arguably the most powerful tool on the web is the long-standing Google search. The most-visited website on the internet plays a huge role in your website’s performance.
No matter your industry, website size, or business scale, you can always benefit from a more visible web presence and better SEO prospects. Luckily, they go hand in hand. Let’s talk about the relationship between online visibility and SEO.
The Link Between Online Visibility & SEO
Your overall visibility online comes down to a few factors but the most important one is your website. There is no profile, account, or platform that can substitute the value of a website. Your website acts as your home base for your entire digital marketing strategy, you can manipulate it into anything you want, and you have total control over where you direct traffic to.
Let’s be clear. That is not to say that you shouldn’t be using other platforms and outlets in tandem with your website, it is only saying that they are no substitute. It’s also important to know why you need a website.
However, finding the website is the challenging part. That’s essentially what SEO, advertisements, and email campaigns are all about, right? You want to bring people to your website. Well, if your users can’t find you, how do you expect Google to find you?
It’s important to remember that Google’s algorithm has a job and that’s to act as if it was a regular web user and find the best information. If it can’t find that information, how is it going to rank it?
That’s SEO in a nutshell. You shouldn’t be aiming to please the algorithm, you should be aiming to please your users and the algorithm will follow suit. A large part of that is simply being visible on the web, having easy access to your home base (website), and easy navigation throughout your different web pages.
Essentially, Google can only find you if there are links to your website on pages that Google crawlers visit. Let’s talk about how to start.
One of the easiest ways to get started on link-building is to add your website information to any and all directories. This is a free and easy way to start bringing in traffic and Google’s crawlers. Some of the most important ones are:
- Angie’s List
- Google My Business
- Better Business Bureau
There are plenty of others you can get on for free and you should do research on directories that are more specific to your industry. If you’re primarily running a blog, there are plenty of blog directories available to add your website to.
Make sure that you add as much information as possible to really let Google know what your business is about. Make sure you keep it consistent across every directory. Spend a day listing your website on as many as possible with the right descriptions and information. Google My Business is the most important.
Remember, directories increase visibility dramatically, but not trust. Building “link juice” is a topic we’ll talk a little more about but visibility is your first priority at the beginning.
Social media is a great way to build an audience and increase your online visibility. While it doesn’t directly help boost your link juice, it can certainly help people find your website and even potentially link to it themselves.
Remember to sign up for a business account, optimize your profile, and create a content-posting schedule at peak times to maximize your engagement. Always link to your website when you get a chance, share new content across multiple platforms, and more.
When you think of backlinks, remember that links from relevant companies are the most important, especially ones with high authority. A link from CNBC will certainly do more for your business than from your friend’s cat blog.
Affiliate links will increase your authority (juice) with Google while also promoting visibility, especially from a website with high traffic volume.
Relevant visibility is always better than general visibility, as this will bring your website to the attention of the right people, your target audience (including Google).
Online Visibility & Local SEO
Local SEO has some key differences from international or any broader SEO strategy. The most important differences are simple: users and competition.
Of course, I’m going to search “best pizza in Boston” on Google. If I was planning to eat it in Worcester, I would have searched for “best pizza near me”. That’s one of the key distinctions for local SEO. Users will add “near me” or “in” to the end of their search and Google will try to give them the best results.
The other key difference is the competition. This is the advantage of being a local business because you will have a lot less competition than a global eCommerce store. This makes it a lot easier to rank at the top.
Assuming you have a well-designed local website made for SEO value, you should use all of the free tools at your disposal to start generating local traffic. Here’s where to start.
Any and all directories will be beneficial for a local company, but there are a few you will particularly want to focus on. You should still use Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List. You’ll want to follow the same steps as you would with a larger company while adding your local Chamber of Commerce and any other local directories that you know of.
These will help Google and users find your website. Get on all of them as soon as possible, along with any local directories you can find. These will help a lot with larger blogs finding you and linking to you as well as increasing your online visibility.
Social media links don’t necessarily give your website and juice but they do have a large role to play, especially for a local business. Use various platforms to network with other local businesses and organizations, interact with your community, and share your website content and promotions.
Always be sure to optimize your profile by adding a great picture, a concise title, and always a link to your website in your bio. You don’t have to go crazy with social media as a local business but it will help put you ahead of the competition that doesn’t use it in their strategy.
Local affiliates are a local business’s best friend. They have the credibility of being in your area, having the right network of locals, and offering a potentially mutual relationship.
If you’re a business consulting firm and you only get links from a local flower shop, the amount of link juice you’re going to get might as well be zero. However, if you’re a local store of any kind, let’s stick with the pizza shop example, you can benefit from any local links.
A business consulting firm getting a link from the local high school baseball team won’t help them at all, but it will for your pizza shop. Talk to your local businesses, friends, and affiliates and see if they can help add some links.
If you bring in a lot of tourists, getting added to Trip Advisor or other travel websites will help you the most. A link in a blog post from TA will likely secure a local pizza shop’s spot at number 1, especially in a smaller city. However, building local link juice will go a long way and turn you into link bait for companies like TA doing their online research in the area.
How To Improve Your Online Visibility
We already mentioned grabbing the “low-hanging fruit” like posting your website on social media, directories, and asking affiliates to give you a shoutout. What else can you do?
Increasing your visibility online shouldn’t just be considered an SEO strategy but rather as part of your digital marketing strategy. The entire point of your digital marketing plan should be to increase conversions and that ultimately starts with visibility. Here are a few ways to get started, no matter what type of business you are running.
Online advertisements can increase the amount of traffic you get to your website, which will ultimately help with visibility. Make sure you optimize your landing page and try to create a professional ad campaign.
Remember, the average American sees between 4,000 and 10,000 ads every day, so making yours stand out is critical. We’ve all become used to scrolling past them.
However, using a wide variety of different ad campaigns can increase your visibility, show consistency in your business across the web, and hopefully bring you more traffic and sales!
Create Link Bait
One of the best things you can do is to create valuable content that other blogs and websites will want to link to. Think about how banks use mortgage or loan calculators that have public access. When somebody’s writing a blog post about buying a new home or investing in real estate, they’re going to link to those calculators in massive numbers.
There are also plenty of infographics, how-to videos, and other content that get massive amounts of quality links from various websites. This is a great way to increase your website’s visibility and authority.
However, don’t try to put all your eggs in one basket. One great idea might not yield any bites. Focus on creating quality content in general with everything you produce to build trust with Google and make a name for yourself with other websites and blogs. Get a free SEO audit for your website to see where it can improve.
Lastly, you can buy links from other sites. It’s important to note that Google does not approve of this but they typically only penalize the seller. However, if you are caught by Google, you won’t get the authority you paid for.
Because of this, it’s important to buy links from companies who know what they are doing and who don’t look careless with their services. Getting zero links for a week straight followed by 30 links every Tuesday will make it obvious to Google that you bought links.
Make sure you’re getting a reasonable amount of quality links for the right price and look at company reviews before paying for their services. This is the best way to ensure that you’ll be getting what you paid for. It’s a great strategy to get the ball rolling and build a foundation of links. Once you have that foundation, it’s a lot easier to expand.
Watch Your Traffic Grow
Now that you know about the link between online visibility and SEO, you should start using all of these tools to your advantage as soon as possible. The sooner you do, the sooner you’ll see the rewards. Climbing up the ranks on a Google search is tricky business but consistency, time, and effort will go a long way. Stay up to date with our latest marketing news and contact us for any help you need!