Beyond SEO: Online Visibility Optimization (OVO)

Table of Contents

The SEO-centric approach to online marketing is losing its effectiveness. Businesses need a new strategy to reach and engage their target audience in the digital age.

This is where Online Visibility Optimization (OVO) comes in. OVO goes beyond traditional SEO by creating and distributing valuable content across multiple channels and platforms.

It’s about understanding where your audience spends time online and meeting them with relevant, engaging content.

The Traffic-Centric Model is Losing Relevance

For years, the go-to online business model has been building an authoritative website that attracts a ton of search traffic and monetizes via ads and affiliate offers.

You write SEO-optimized articles, build some links, and watch the traffic and revenue pour in. But this model is starting to show cracks.

AI tools, Google algorithm updates, and changes in how people use the internet are making the website-centric approach less effective. The days of easy SEO traffic are numbered.

Google Search is Under Attack from All Sides

Google has long been the kingmaker of the internet. Rank highly in search results, and you’re golden. But now Google is facing serious threats:

  • AI tools like ChatGPT and Anthropic are providing direct answers to queries, reducing the need to click through to websites
  • These AI tools are being integrated into platforms like Snapchat and Bing, further siphoning off search traffic
  • Public sentiment toward Google results is worsening as spam and low-quality sites clog up the SERPs
  • Younger generations are using social media and apps more than Google to find information

As Google loses its grip on how people find information online, the traffic-centric model becomes riskier.

Websites Aren’t the Center of Attention Anymore

Think about your internet habits. How often do you visit websites directly vs. consuming content in apps, social media feeds, YouTube, newsletters, etc?

Probably a lot less than you used to. Website visits are declining across the board as people get their content elsewhere.

The role of websites is shifting from being the end-all-be-all of a brand to more of a final conversion point.

People might visit your site to make a purchase or submit a lead form, but they probably first engaged with your brand somewhere else, like on social media or through a newsletter.

The most successful brands today don’t try to force everyone back to their website – they distribute content wherever their audience spends time.

Ad and Affiliate Business Models are Getting Tougher

The two most popular website monetization models, display ads and affiliate marketing are both getting squeezed by these shifts. Ad rates tend to drop as traffic declines.

As AI reduces search traffic by providing direct answers, ad-based sites are in trouble. AI assistant tools are making it easier than ever to pump out SEO content, increasing competition.

Affiliate and review sites are facing similar challenges. If folks can get product info and recommendations directly from AI chatbots, they have less reason to visit affiliate sites.

You can still win with affiliate SEO, but it requires a lot more investment to beat out the competition now.

“Just Diversify Traffic” Isn’t a Real Solution

The common advice you hear to combat declining SEO traffic is to “just diversify” by adding social media, email, push notifications, etc. The idea is that even if Google traffic drops, you’ll be fine because you have these other channels.

But this ignores the underlying trend – ALL major platforms are trying to keep users on their apps and sites longer. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc don’t want to send traffic to your website.

They want to keep people scrolling their feeds. Over time, we should expect referral traffic from these platforms to slow, just like with Google.

Diversifying is still smart, but it’s not a panacea. You can’t just post links on social and expect that to make up for lost Google traffic. Ultimately, relying on 3rd party platforms for traffic is always risky.

Beyond SEO: Online Visibility Optimization

Online Visibility Optimization is a strategic approach that prioritizes the needs and preferences of the target audience while maximizing reach and engagement across multiple platforms.

This audience-centric mindset requires businesses to conduct thorough research to understand their target audience’s needs, interests, and content consumption habits.

Creating Resonant and Valuable Content

Create content that resonates with the audience and provides value. This content should be tailored and distributed across various platforms to cater to different content consumption preferences and increase the chances of discovery and sharing by the target audience.

Examples of repurposing content include:

  • Transforming a blog post into an infographic for Pinterest
  • Converting a blog post into a series of tweets for Twitter
  • Adapting a blog post into a short video for TikTok

Building a Loyal Community

Community building is another key aspect of OVO. A loyal and engaged community can provide valuable feedback, help promote the business, and become repeat customers. To build a strong community, businesses must:

  • Regularly engage with their audience by responding to comments
  • Ask for feedback and encourage discussions
  • Host events, webinars, or Q&A sessions to foster a sense of belonging

Optimizing Conversion Funnels

Effective conversion funnels are crucial for OVO. A conversion funnel is the process that a visitor goes through to become a customer. Optimizing this process can increase conversion rates and ultimately, revenue. This involves:

  • Attracting the right audience to the site or platform
  • Providing value through content, products, or services
  • Using clear and compelling calls-to-action to guide visitors toward the next step
  • Regularly reviewing and refining the funnel for improved effectiveness

Aligning with Platform Objectives

To further increase visibility and reach, businesses must align their content with the objectives of the platforms they are using. This means understanding and leveraging platform algorithms, such as:

  • Instagram’s algorithm, which prioritizes posts with high engagement
  • YouTube’s algorithm, which favors videos with longer watch times

Leveraging AI and New Technologies

AI and new technologies can significantly enhance a business’s OVO strategy. AI can provide valuable insights into audience behavior and preferences, enabling businesses to create more personalized and effective content.

It can also automate repetitive tasks, such as scheduling posts or responding to frequently asked questions.

Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and tools in AI and technology, and incorporating them into the business strategy when necessary, can ensure that the business remains competitive and visible in the digital landscape.

Takeaways

The website-centric model is dying, what’s the alternative? We need a new approach that:

  1. Doesn’t rely solely on a website for traffic and revenue
  2. Aligns incentives with major platforms instead of fighting them
  3. Allows you to quickly plug into ANY traffic source
  4. Leverages AI and other new technologies

Use ALL the major platforms – social media, YouTube, newsletters, podcasts, etc – to get maximum eyeballs and ears on your content.

Don’t try to drive people back to your site – keep them engaged where they are. Use effective CTAs to drive product sales, event registrations, etc.

Your website still exists, but it becomes just one part of a broader brand, not the center of your business. Your incentives align with the platforms and you’re not at the mercy of algorithm changes.

The goal is maximum reach and engagement across channels: online visibility optimization.

Wrap-Up

The evolving digital landscape necessitates businesses to adopt new visibility and audience engagement strategies. Online Visibility Optimization is a potent framework for this purpose.

OVO emphasizes an audience-first approach, the creation of valuable multi-channel content, community building, conversion funnel optimization, alignment with platform objectives, and utilization of AI and new technologies.

SEO remains relevant in online discovery and traffic generation. However, broadening the focus to an OVO mindset can result in a more resilient and successful online presence that yields tangible business outcomes.

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