How You Can Make the Most of Big Visibility
A new Linkedin post from marketing guru Kevin Lee gives a pleasant reminder that visibility online is a fundamental pillar of digital marketing success.
Without reach and visibility, lead generation, engagement, sales and long term value mean nothing. Yet many marketers have doubts that visibility will solve their real problems. Visibility alone may not, yet it is the first phase of a professional digital marketing strategy.
And if businesses aren’t able to leverage broad visibility, it’s usually the fault of their brand value proposition, content, SEO and digital marketing skills. Yet, huge online visibility can inspire us to improve our marketing strategy, higher quality content, greater impact, and an improved brand experience.
Sometimes business owners wait until after they achieve critical mass in traffic and visibility online before committing to stronger marketing. For some, it’s a slow process that probably should be accelerated. Because opportunities don’t last long before competitors discover them and win them. You snooze, you lose.
Kevin Lee is one of the original experts, educators and industry champions of digital marketing where he helped found search engine startup Goto.com, and the SEO Consultant organization called SEMPO (search engine marketing professionals organization) which I was a member of.
Share of Attention is a Thing
In Kevin’s Linkedin post, he cites “share of attention” as a metric that we should be taking more seriously and evaluating. Agencies pore over share of voice, lead sources, ROI, and share of wallet but the precursor to all of that is share of visibility at volume and with specific desirable audiences.
Consider that in advertising the term “impressions” has been a standard, key metric that describes the familiarity needed before consumers act to purchase.
Business people take visibility for granted, especially for SEO, however it’s not guaranteed. Often, substantial, persistent visibility is needed for even the biggest, best brands to get an action. And as huge media companies gobble up all attention (like Google, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. have), it means a smaller piece of the pie is available.
Big visibility is often wasted because marketers aren’t figuring out why consumers aren’t clicking through or taking the desired content conversion path.
In other words, if your website is showing up strongly online and you’re not getting clicks, there is a reason for that. Is it your brand image, voice and messaging? Is it the preconceptions of consumers? Is it because they visited before and found your brand experience lacking?
Quality Brands Benefit More From Broad Visibility
Kevin’s concept of share of attention (SOA) has merit. This is why some highly visible websites and companies are bought out. The new owner has a brand that converts better and that acquired site brings a great new source of leads and sales. When you have a winning brand, all new sources of visibility/attention represent excellent value.
If this is so, then you have two goals: keep building awareness and attention (visibility), and rework your brand experience, test it and optimize it until it’s excellent. Then that huge online visibility begins creating more clickthroughs, engagement and sales — directly impacting share of wallet. And share of wallet seems to be the new goal now as consumers have so many ways to spend their money.
And the metric of share of voice is very interesting too. That’s where it gets competitive and companies spend fiercely to get heard above the crowd. Shouting over competitors can get noisy and it can bring your brand experience down, making you sound desperate, obtuse, and clamoring for customer’s money.
Relax When you Own Visibility
Domination of market visibility allows a company to relax their communications, make it super focused and relevant in a calm, collected manner that helps customers feel comfortable about purchasing. The issues of credibility, trust, and brand enjoyment get solved and the competition disappears into the noisy fog. Customers are left with clarity. You have won.
Lee proposes some metrics to evaluate in the Share of Attention:
- Page Bounce Rate
- Time Spent on Page
- Percentage of Video Watched
- Area of Video most frequently re-wound (YouTube)
- Page revisited within a week/30-days/90-days
- Other Proxies for Engagement
- SEO Organic Ranking Distribution
- Fractional traffic volume
I would add an important attention metric which Google provides called impressions in the search results. Searchers pour over the top ten results in a page and then click on the first one that seems relevant. However, they do see the company names, the website url, and a short description as they scroll through. If they don’t click, it’s because the snippet didn’t appeal to them.
When your website is included in the same set of results as huge industry leaders, consumers do notice. All they remember is your site was grouped into search results which were important to them. You absorb some of the brand power of the sites you are grouped with.
So this is one point that Kevin didn’t make in the full value of share of attention — that you’re known for the company you keep. If you’re doing that and still getting few clicks and sales, it’s because as he says, your brand experience isn’t up to snuff.
Elon Musk may buy Twitter simply for the share of attention it provides his business enterprises. Social media channels have that power of visibility and Twitter’s the only one he can buy. In essence, Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok provide attention. But they can’t do it all.
Visibility Achieved, Lets You Move to the Next Phase
In my customized client performance reports, I include metrics on visibility, engagement, return users, and I explore what topics, keywords, headings, descriptions might be garnering attention. And Google is the holy grail of visibility: Even on a single keyword phrase, visibility can generate huge awareness of your company and brand.
If you want to grow visits and conversions however, you need to look at your brand experience. because many of those searchers may have visited your site, and aren’t interested in visiting again.
The focus then comes back to your content, value proposition, and whether you’re actually hitting on their current, pressing pain points. Most pages respond to general pain points, which users have already viewed on your site (and other sites), so they can’t see the point of delving into generalities again. You have to present value more specifically.
This is why I tend to leave the meta description field empty. Best practices guidelines suggest to fill it in with conversion-building banter, but that text then appears on every search result thus making it less specific. When you leave the meta description field empty, Google goes into your page copy to pick out relevant snippets of text. This makes your search engine result listing more relevant.
That’s just one way “best practices” can make advanced SEO efforts weaker and less significant to searchers, thus creating no clicks. There are a lot of SEO pros confounded by something called zero click searches. They never stop to think that their weak listing might contribute to it and cause Google to not show their site where it should be visible or make users gloss over it.
In the above graphic, the extra Google-generalted url http://ai-marketers.com > Digital Marketing Insights : is an added helper to attract more searchers because it hints that there is other material on the site that might be useful to them. It’s not a real url, just a pointer that Google feels is helpful. I could modify that (cautiously) to read anything that might increase conversions.
The point of the post is to prove that visibility is a thing and it can be improved.
Google’s organic channel is free too, helping you cut the full cost of big visibility and promotion. What you do with these opportunities, how deeply you explore them is a reflection of how seriously you take your opportunities.
If finding clever ways to build visibility is interesting to you, you may want to call me and arrange for an SEO consultation. Let’s design a customized solution that will work for you.
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