Reliable Visibility metric

How to reliably measure the SEO performance trend of a website on a specific list of keywords.

Updated over a week ago

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What is SEOmonitor's Visibility metric?

SEOmonitor’s Visibility is a group-level metric that takes into account both the ranks and search volumes of the keywords to reliably express the ranking performance of a website on a specific keyword list (a folder or a group).

You can think of it as the impression share of a website on the total search volume of the keyword list, based on its rankings on the said list.

How does this work?

The Visibility metric shows your website’s share of the total searches (impressions), out of the total potential it could get. It is measured in percentages, from 0% (outside Top 20 on all keywords) to 100% (ranking 1st on all keywords), with its own trend shown for a selected time period:

Here's how it's calculated:

Visibility = sum(Impressions) / sum(AverageSearchVolume)


Impressions = impresion_rate(rank) * SearchVolume

The impression_rate by rank go from 100% (1st position) to 0% (20+).


  • Both the ranks and the average search volumes are stored on a daily basis at a keyword level, which makes its historic values consistent and reliable.

  • To keep it accurate and relevant, the Visibility metric is computed only with the main keywords, ignoring close variants. The search volumes of close variants are already included in the main keywords' volumes (that’s how Google Ads reports search volumes, and so do we), so if we took them into account, we would distort the value (duplicated search volumes in the formula).

  • The Visibility for competitors follows the same algorithm and formulas as the above.

The Visibility trend

You can analyze the Visibility trend on the dedicated chart, or as an overall percentage change compared to the previous equivalent timeframe (for example, "+34%").

Visibility Chart

In the Visibility chart, you can view daily snapshots of the Visibility values, including any baseline changes generated by modifications of the keyword list (e.g., archiving keywords). Automatic annotations are added to the chart to help you keep track of these changes and their impact:

For an accurate analysis, we recommend considering the annotations and correlating the daily values with the trend breakdown in the Visibility Explainer:

From the dropdowns above the chart, you can select different types of Visibility to compare them in a specific timeframe:

*The Rank Only Visibility is a simplified version that isolates the rank trends by keeping the search volume constant (the latest search volume available on the last day of the timeframe). This option becomes available only when you select a timeframe of more than 45 days:

**The Average Weighted Rank on the graph is the average rank of all the keywords in the selected group or folder weighted by their search volume. So, the keywords with a higher search volume have a higher weight in the calculation of the average. The Visibility metric only sees the Top 20 ranks, but rank improvements beyond 20 (say, from 46 to 22) are also significant in some cases. To measure these, you can group these low-ranking but promising keywords and see their average weighted rank trend over a selected timeframe. In general, improving ranks of relatively high search volume keywords contributes more to the average rank improvement than low search volume keywords.

Visibility trend changes

You can think of this metric as the performance-related Visibility trend, which is accompanied by its dedicated Explainer sidebar.

We calculate your website's Visibility on three dimensions:

  • Desktop Visibility

  • Mobile Visibility

  • SERP feature Visibility

The Visibility trend takes into account only the keywords that have been tracked throughout the entire selected timeframe (excluding keywords added and/or archived later than the start date, for example):

This approach ensures that the displayed change in Visibility reflects the website's performance specifically for the tracked keywords, without being influenced by keywords that were added during the selected timeframe. The inclusion of such keywords naturally alters the Visibility baseline of the keyword group, and by excluding them, the system maintains a more accurate representation of the website's performance.

This way, you can always trust the data behind the Visibility metric, and reliably identify drops or spikes in performance:

  • When it's red, it means there’s clearly a loss of impressions, mainly coming from rank drops (you can immediately determine if this is due to a drop in search volume instead, by glancing at the search volume trend);

  • When it’s green, it means there’s an improvement.


  • The changes in the aggregations of close variants are excluded from the formula, as they rarely occur when Google Ads re-aggregates them.

  • When archiving a keyword, you can choose to recalculate the Visibility historically. With this option turned on, the Visibility trend will be recalculated without the presence of the archived keyword. If turned off, the Visibility will remain the same as for the previous period and an annotation will appear on the chart to explain the sudden change in Visibility. This helps you avoid reporting artificial changes in Visibility on your keywords list.

How to use the metric

Performance over time

Comparing the same metric for the same keyword list over time shows the performance trends, so you can easily assess your progress. Any changes in Visibility (a drop or an increase) could be due to multiple factors. Our Visibility metric is composed of search volume and ranks, so if Visibility has decreased, you can dive deeper into checking the search volume and the rank trend of the included keywords over time, to isolate the causal factor. Rank changes could be due to the change in website content (a planned or unintended consequence), or the presence of other authoritative websites ahead of you. Analyzing the keywords in these terms over time can help you see if you can manage what is causing a Visibility change and how.

Opportunity to grow

Knowing that 100% Visibility is the maximum, you can easily quantify how much you can grow by optimizing a list of keywords; a value too close to 0% could indicate that ranking in the top would be too difficult at this moment.

Performance vs. others

Calculating the same metric for the same keyword list also helps you compare your website’s performance against competitor websites (apples vs. apples).

Other notes

  • Keyword ranks differ between desktop and mobile, so your website will show a different Visibility metric for each device. You can view each metric by switching between devices:

  • However, both devices have the same search volumes because we do not split the search volume by device when computing the Visibility metric.

  • Sorting the keywords in the keyword table by rank trend will sort them by the impact the changes had on the Visibility trend, rather than by the number of positions they moved. In other words, it sorts the keywords by the gained (or lost) impressions generated by the rank changes.

  • The group-level Visibility metric is based on organic rank changes only, and does not include SERP feature positions such as featured snippets, images, etc. The metric's breakdown can be seen in the explainer. The Visibility of the most commonly occurring SERP feature can also be seen separately in the explainer (Featured snippet in the below example). To analyze how SERP features impact your Visibility, explore our SERP Feature Visibility metric.

In conclusion, SEOmonitor's Visibility metric offers a reliable way to measure the SEO performance trend of a website on specific keyword lists. It considers rankings and search volumes to determine the website's impression share relative to its potential. What's more, the Visibility trend focuses on only your tracked keywords throughout the selected timeframe, ensuring accurate performance assessment.

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