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When tracking SEO performance, Visibility is the key metric to follow. Expressed as a percentage, it shows a website's impression share out of the total number of searches for a list of keywords.
Because Visibility isolates SEO performance from other factors, like search seasonality or trends, monitoring its progression gives an accurate, real-time picture of how well the website ranks in Google for a list of keywords. Here are some tips on how to interpret the changes in Visibility and how to correlate them with other data available on the platform.
On the left side of the SEO Campaign module, you can have a first quick overview of how each of your keyword groups adjusted its Visibility. Note that all the changes refer to the selected timeframe, reflecting the rank fluctuations between its first and last dates.
When you click on any of the Visibility changes, you can see detailed information about how that particular change was calculated. As it can be noticed in these explanations, the change in Visibility is mainly caused by rank fluctuations. However, slight changes might also come from adjustments in the average search volumes, which we refer to as search trends.
Visibility change and rank fluctuations
It is easy to understand how the change in ranks affected Visibility. The explanation box lists the five rank changes with the greatest impact on Visibility.
This information is particularly powerful when dealing with big keyword portfolios, because it takes the burden off of looking through hundreds or even thousands of rank changes, to figure out which one might be responsible for a traffic loss.
To see the entire list of keywords that affected the group's visibility, just sort the keyword list by change (positive or negative).
The keywords are not sorted by how many ranks they gained, but by how much their gain has impacted Visibility.
Moreover, keywords with similar search volumes and rank fluctuations have a significantly different impact on the overall visibility, because of the difference in the impression rate of the final ranks.
Sometimes the Visibility change is also influenced by gaining or losing the display in the featured snippets. Being placed above the organic results, the featured snippets are also called position 0, and they too get a 100% impression rate. When that's the case, the detailed explanation of the Visibility change will contain information about how many keywords in the group gained or lost featured snippets and the impact on the overall performance:
Visibility changes and search trends fluctuation
Besides the change in ranks, the Visibility is also affected by changes in the average search volumes.
Search volumes play an important role in the Visibility formula. When they change, they impact your Visibility even when rankings remain the same.
Your Visibility will improve if:
your keywords with good rankings increase their search volume or
the keywords for which you don't rank well decrease their search volume.
Similarly, you will lose impressions (and thus Visibility) if:
the keywords for which you rank well lose search volume or
your not-so-good keywords gain volume.
Normally, these changes shouldn't be too significant (in the example: -0.1% out of a total of +3.4%) and they might also be reflected in the Year-over-Year trend.
In conclusion, the Visibility crunches all the relevant data in order to show you the one figure you are most interested in: the impression share or, in other words, how visible your website is in Google searches on a list of keywords. This is why tracking the changes in Visibility guarantees you the best perspective on your website's SEO performance.