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What is search engine visibility?

Search Engine Visibility is a bit of a confusing thing in many ways. I often talk about visibility, and people nod along, and I’m not always sure they fully get what I’m talking about.

What factors make a website more visible

The obvious factor that makes a website more visible is its rankings. If it ranks higher, it’s more visible in the search results. I, therefore, usually make some brackets in which I talk about visibility, and I weigh them accordingly. 

These could include:

  1. Position 31 +
  2. Position 21 – 30
  3. Position 11 – 20
  4. Position 6 – 10
  5. Position 4 – 5
  6. Position 2 – 3
  7. Position 1

So if your website appears for a search term at position 1, it gets 7 points, whereas if it occurs after position 31, it gets 1 point (this can and does change depending on how competitive the search term is).

Then you need to work out how much search volume a term gets – use exact match in Google Keyword Tool to give you a bit of a feeling for this, group these again:

  1. 1 – 30 search queries
  2. 31 – 100 search queries
  3. 101 – 500 search queries
  4. 501 – 1000 search queries
  5. 1001 – 5000 search queries

Laptop with a website showing on the screen.

Add together the score for the position of your site and the score for the number of search queries carried out, and you’re starting to get an index for how visible your site is in the index.

Taking this further, you’d need to carry out the same exercise for a few direct competitors, and you’d also need to carry this out a few times for the data to start to have any meaning.

“What is Search Engine Visibility?

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