What is search visibility?
Search visibility is a measure of the total clicks that you receive to your site based on its organic search ranking positions—SERPs.
When you label your keywords you can have a granular view of all the keywords that bring traffic to your site.
The sum of which indicates search visibility.
Often times when you update content, i.e. add, edit or delete content it’s possible that the search engine traffic goes down.
What’s heartening to know is—such search visibility issues are commonplace and easily solved.
Is SEO visibility and SEO traffic one and the same
Keyword tools give us a granularized and often unreal view of search traffic. When you see a keyword with 1000 monthly searches does it mean the you get it divided into 33 neat visitors per day for that keyword?
Are tools even right about the 1000 monthly volume?
More likely they aren’t.
Here’s why. When searches predict 1000 searches for something they’re taking in the annualized average value for the term. It doesn’t take into account seasonal variations for the term.
Winter wear gets more searches during winters and may get 100 o 200 searches in the summer if that. And yet you will see a 1000 searches per month volume month to month.
A loss in traffic or difference in traffic with same positions on the search engine page might be due to the erratic variations in keyword searches per month and not due to loss in search engine visibility.
If you’re more or less keeping the same positions in search engines there’s nothing much to worry about. Periodic fluctuations in search traffic can be attributed to search variations that are not only seasonal but vary from day to day and week to week.
That being said if there’s search visibility loss that’s an issue to fix.
And here’s how to go about solving these issues:
Figure out the root cause
The search visibility loss may have coincided with an algorithmic penalty. At those times its erroneous to assume that simply an issue caused due to site restructure resulted in the search traffic loss.
So begin by visiting Google webmaster tools to look for any signs of manual penalties or notifications that indicate the same.
However, now it’s even trickier with no definite manual penalties but search engine traffic either going down or up because of algorithmic tweaks.
Named the Fred update, followed by Hummingbird, then the Medic update and others— these tweaks target specific problems in search engine ranking eliminating sites from the index who post tons of review content, are low quality or lack the requisite authority to post medicine related content.
Negative SEO campaigns
Again, it’s possible your competitor ran a negative SEO campaign against your site resulting in thousands of links to your site that are spammy.
Such spam often results in penguin penalties causing search engine traffic to take a nosedive.
The effect isn’t immediate and may takes weeks or months to manifest with a slow loss in organic traffic.
Rest assured, a recovery and comeback is not too far out on the horizon.
If those aren’t the issues, a few simple tweaks on the site can result in lots of improvement.
What are they?
Use Google analytics data to find out the problem areas
Google analytics is your best friend and I am assuming that you’ve added it to track your site’s traffic and behavior.
Going to Behavior>> site content you can see pages and posts that get traffic. A significant drop in pages or blog posts that used to get traffic but no longer do is your first indicator search engine visibility loss.
You will be able to view the exact pages and posts that have been penalized.
Start with the most popular content and work your way downwards to find specific pages that lost traffic.
And in an excel sheet copy paste all urls that have the highest drops compared to a few weeks ago.
Here’s the fix
Incorrect canonical use
If a tag could win the award for being the most misunderstood word in SEO that’d be the canonical tag.
When two pages exist with the same content, you’re using the tag to tell Google which one to index and display on Google.
Mixing up tags and incorrectly using it on the wrong post are some common errors that can build up to a gigantic mess over time.
On page technical issues
Technical problems induced when redesigning the site can cause scores of problems. These changes can get introduced when you’re updating the site. Pages can get deindexed, deleted.
The permalink structure can change. Your internal links can go haywire and so on.
The new theme may comes with its unique concoction of SEO settings which would mean dual settings that the posts have to follow. Perhaps multiple meta tags, headers and so on.
Improve site speed
With Google AMP and the ever-growing importance paid to mobile traffic and lowering down page load lags it’s necessary that you pay heed to improving site speed.
Slow speed affects conversions and in general results in poorer User Experience.
Hence it’s seminal to work on that.
Measure and benchmark your site against popular site speed measurement tools and get an account of what must be done.
Improve font size
With most Americans facing readability issues on the web it’s easy to lose track.
Improving font size ensures attention doesn’t wander.
People will be able to read better without the constant struggle to adjust font sizes appropriately.
Internal linking isn’t just to send link juice within your own site.
Links within the site appropriate link juice and allows authority to pass fluidly between pages and posts allowing greater rankings and chance for people to discover more posts.
Answer questions on Local sites
Google has a new feature which allows people to put questions forward to businesses.
Take that in your stride and provide more information.
Even otherwise focusing on a long-tail strategy adding and covering about dozens of keywords is the best foot forward in these times.
A lot of sites I know update and post lengthier content, adding more context examples and information making posts all the more valuable to readers.
This improves long-tail focus and helps aid search engine visibility.
Losing search traffic courtesy of loss in SEO visibility is a stressful situation warranting proper steps to get out of the debacle.
Keep yourselves updated with SEO news to track new algorithmic tweaks and changes that could be causing ups and downs.
Have you had a recent drop in search visibility?
Are you doing anything to take back that lost traffic? Do let us know in the comments below.