What is a Visibility Assessment? Why is it vital for business growth?

September 7, 2013

These are questions we get often. In conversation with business owners and principals, when people ask what we do, many remark that they, too, need to grow. Some comment that they need to “figure out” how to generate more business from their website. The question that follows is typically, “How do I get more leads from the web?” or “Would my business be a good fit for what you do?”

My answer is always the same: Let’s run a Visibility Assessment and find out.

Blood test Visibility Assessment analogyI liken it to a blood test that a doctor runs on a sick patient -- before prescribing a course of treatment or writing an actual prescription. Doctors are good like that; they generally like to find out WHAT is making someone sick before they present the solution. (Can you imagine a doctor who prescribed medicine without even asking the patient about their symptoms or allergies…?)

Yet that’s what I hear / read / see from far too many “digital agencies” and “SEOs” in the online marketing world: They’ll tell you all about their wonderful solutions and “guaranteed results” --- without even talking to you first about your pain points. It’s as if they know what’s wrong with you, without even asking. These businesses are quick to provide pricing sheets and proposals, but hesitant to hold meaningful, substantive conversations about your business and your sales process.

The Website + Social Media Visibility Assessment marks a vastly different approach.

Website + Social Media Visibility Assessment When we are approached by a business owner, principal or marketing director and asked to provide solutions, pricing, a proposal or participate in an RFP, we decline, opting instead to start with a methodology we know to be more successful instead: We run a Visibility Assessment on that business and several of their closest (online) competitors, and we don’t just look at their website. We dig in and examine the company’s social media properties, their mobile user experience, the speed at which their website responds to users… even down to the technologies they’re currently using to publish their site and those of their competitors.

The act of creating an assessment takes time, investment by our team, and results in a detailed and valuable report, which we share during a brief web meeting, phone call or in person meeting. 

This process creates a value exchange with a prospective client. When we meet, we have SUBSTANCE to discuss. Instead of walking through mindless PowerPoint slides together, we have a meaningful conversation about specific actions that business can take to improve their visibility and grow their business online. They learn about what we do WITHOUT us having to spell it out in 30 slides. Clients evaluate us on our insights on their business instead enduring boastful and unsubstantiated claims about what we could do.

We learn if they are a good fit for what we know we do well WITHOUT investing weeks and months with a client to find out that we weren’t meant to work together, that we were incompatible or that there is “no chemistry” between our teams. It works for all parties.

How do you define Visibility? What does this report actually measure?

Growth Potential and Competitive Positioning.

We define Visibility as your company’s ability to be FOUND by prospective customers (or clients or patients or subscribers) who are looking for WHAT it is that you do, but do not yet know your brand name* or URL.  If you’re not being found easily, chances are these prospective customers are still buying… they’re just seeking out your competitors instead. (*Brand Visibility is more of a traditional advertising concept that relates to Share of Voice, Advertising Spend, and “aided and unaided recall”.)

We don’t delve into Brand for the purposes of  Website Visibility; instead we assume you are already getting the vast majority of your brand visits and search queries. We’re looking at growth potential instead.

I often ask this question: If you had to stake your company’s growth on the people you already know, or the ones you have yet to meet, which one would you choose? Typically 8 or 9 out of 10 tell me their growth potential from people they don’t know yet far outweighs those customers with whom they already have a relationship.

What is the end result? Why go through all this Visibility work up front? 

The Visibility Assessment creates a baseline for performance. It provides immediate value for the business receiving it. It provides a scorecard to benchmark against competitors. And it provides a meaningful blueprint on what needs to get done to improve a business’s Visibility so that they can be FOUND by more prospective customers, clients or patients. This blueprint provides a roadmap for the first phase in our five-phase growth model: VISIBILITY.

Connection Model five part growth model

What do you think about the Visibility Assessments process?

We’d love to hear from you. We love challenges, and we don’t mind tough questions. Feel welcome to talk back to us by leaving a comment or posing a question (below).

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