6 Ways to Overcome the Visibility Problem

Filed in Blogging, Small Biz Marketing by Matt McGee on January 18, 2008 2 Comments

I’ve had a few conversations this week about the limitations of the SEMMY awards. I’m well aware of some of the great articles, authors, and sites that are under-represented. And I’m thankful that those people have accepted my omissions with grace.

Those conversations have led me to do a lot of thinking this week about visibility, and how to increase it. Isn’t that what all marketing is about? Sure, you ultimately want sales, or leads, or whatever; but it all begins with visibility. And most companies turn to search marketing because they have a visibility problem.

The Visibility Problem

Here are a six ways to overcome a visibility problem. I’m sure this applies to the up-and-coming SEO who wants to make a name for him/herself, and I think much of it applies outside the search industry, too. Have a look, and then use the comments to let me know what has worked for you when trying to increase visibility.

1.) Clean up your blog/web site (part 1).
When someone visits you for the first time, and they see broken images, misspellings, etc., that’s not a good first impression. Check your site stats to see how many people in a given week or month are first-time visitors. What impression are you giving them?

2.) Clean up your blog/web site (part 2).
On a related note, when a visitor sees more ads than content above the fold, that’s another turn-off. Nothing wrong with trying to make money, but you might make more by giving visitors a more enjoyable experience.

3.) Improve your RSS feed (part 1).
I don’t believe for a second that partial feeds encourage click-thrus to a site/blog. I really believe in offering full feeds — they’re so much more reader-friendly. Plus, I’m not the only one who has been unsubscribing from blogs that only offer partial feeds.

4.) Improve your RSS feed (part 2).
If you run a multi-author blog, make sure the author’s name is included on the post in your RSS feed. Your readers want to know who’s writing each post. We humans are like that; we’re big on personalities and names.

5.) Promote your personalities.
Speaking of personalities, some multi-author sites do a great job promoting theirs — like Marketing Pilgrim and Search Engine Journal. When you read an article, you see the personality’s name and photo clearly, and there’s an obvious link to learn more about him/her. (see below) Recognition only comes when readers can recognize you.

recognition examples

Search Engine Guide also does this well. I wish Search Engine Land and Search Engine Watch would do it.

6.) Get social.
In some industries, and search marketing is one of them, the quickest way to earn recognition is by interacting with your peers and/or customers in social media circles. The last 8-10 blogs I’ve added to my Bloglines are sites/authors I’ve learned about on Sphinn and Gooruze. Join the conversations in your industry and watch your visibility grow.

That’s what I’ve been thinking about this week. What tactics have you used to increase visibility in the search industry, or whatever industry you’re in?

Comments (2)

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  1. Miriam says:

    Nice article, Matt. These are all good suggestions.

    Frankly, I’ve been put off by the fact that people would complain to you about how you structured the SEMMYs this year. For gosh sakes, I know how much time you and David put in getting this put together, and the fact that you’ve voluntarily done all this makes complaints and sour grapes appear somewhat gauche and silly to me.

    Of particular concern is that people are saying “what about this post, did you forget this one?” when, at least to my thinking, your SEMMY awards are highlighting a larger number of lesser known authors (myself included) than many of the earlier awards. I think what you’re doing is great, and I swear that’s not just because my posts were included. It’s a positive thing, and a nice incentive for up and coming bloggers to work hard in 2008 to increase their visibility, just as you are suggesting.

    Miriam

  2. Matt McGee says:

    Thanks so much, Miriam. Like I said, the people I’ve been in touch with have been very understanding — with 1-2 exceptions, of course. This post wasn’t really intended to be a reply to anyone who’s complained, it’s more just some thoughts on increasing visibility, which is what we’re all trying to do in one way or another, for ourselves and/or our clients. :-)

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