In today's digital landscape, discoverability is the linchpin that can determine the success of your business. But what exactly is discoverability, and how does it impact your brand's visibility, user experience, customer acquisition and retention, search engine rankings, and much more? Join us on a journey to explore the concept of discoverability and discover the eight ways it directly influences your business results.
From competition for online attention to market expansion, we'll delve into how prioritizing and investing in discoverability can be the game-changer your business needs for financial performance and customer satisfaction. So, let's unlock the power of discoverability and its transformative effects on your business.
What is discoverability?
Discoverability refers to the degree to which something can be located or accessed, whether it's information, products, services, features, or content. As a concept, it underscores the importance of making things readily accessible and identifiable to users. It’s about reducing the barriers or obstacles to finding what they are seeking or in understanding how to use a product or service.
Discoverability is a fundamental aspect of customer experience and the effective delivery of services and information.
Direct impact of discoverability on business results
A company's online presence is crucial in today's digital age, and discoverability plays a central role in determining the success of that online presence.
- Competition for attention: The internet is saturated with content, products, and services. Your company competes with countless others to capture the attention of your target audience. Good discoverability ensures that your business stands out and is found among the sea of alternatives. When your brand and its offerings are discoverable, you increase the chances of potential customers coming across your products or services, even if they weren't initially looking for them.
- Customer acquisition and retention: Effective discoverability is critical for attracting new customers. When potential customers can easily find your products, content, or services through search engines, social media, and other channels, you have a better chance of converting them into paying customers. Moreover, when existing customers can easily discover the products, features, information, updates, and support they need, they are more likely to stay loyal and make repeat purchases.
- User experience: In an era of information overload, discoverability helps users find relevant content amidst the vast amount of information available. Whether it's articles, videos, podcasts, or products, good discoverability ensures that users can locate content that aligns with their interests and needs. Search functionality is a critical component of discoverability and plays a key role in helping users find specific information or products quickly and efficiently. Poor discoverability can lead to frustration and a negative user experience. Improving product discoverability through optimized search functionality and well-structured product categories has been shown to increase conversion rates, directly impacting revenue.
- Search engine visibility: Search engines are typically the starting point for most online journeys, therefore high discoverability through Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential. Businesses that appear on the first page of search results have a clear advantage in attracting organic traffic, which enhances their visibility and credibility, leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue. According to a study by BrightEdge, organic search drives 53% of all website traffic. This indicates that strong discoverability in search engines can significantly impact a website's traffic, potentially leading to increased business opportunities.
- Content marketing: The Content Marketing Institute reported that 77% of marketers say content marketing increases engagement. If your content isn't easily discoverable, it won't reach your intended audience, diminishing the impact of your content marketing efforts. When your content is easily discoverable, it can attract a larger audience, generate leads, and position your business as an authority in your industry. This can lead to increased brand awareness and customer trust.
- Accessibility: Making digital content and interfaces discoverable for individuals with disabilities is a matter of inclusivity and accessibility. Properly designed and labeled content can ensure that people with various disabilities (such as visual or hearing impairments) can access and enjoy your content. When digital content, websites, or applications are designed with accessibility in mind, they not only align with ethical and legal considerations, but also enhance the discoverability of a company's offerings by expanding its potential audience, ultimately leading to improved user satisfaction, market reach, and potentially increased business results.
- Operational efficiencies: When employees can quickly find the information and tools they need to perform their jobs, it can lead to enhanced efficiency, resulting in time and cost savings. When information or features are readily discoverable, employees can complete tasks more quickly and with fewer errors. Good discoverability on the website or within the product also helps customers find answers to their questions or solutions to their problems on their own, making them less likely to reach out to your support team. This can create further cost savings while also improving customer satisfaction.
- Market expansion: The concept of discoverability goes beyond merely being visible to a local audience; it's pivotal for companies eyeing market expansion. Effective discoverability strategies enable businesses to reach new markets and demographics. This entails tailoring content, marketing, and product offerings to resonate with the preferences and needs of different customer segments. By optimizing discoverability for specific target groups, businesses can tap into new customer segments, driving growth and diversifying their customer base. Whether expanding into international markets or targeting niche audiences, the ability to adapt discoverability strategies is fundamental to a company's success in reaching and engaging new markets and demographics, and thus expanding its market presence.
Ultimately, the discoverability of your business, products, and services directly impacts your revenue. The more discoverable your offerings are, the more likely they are to be purchased, leading to increased sales and profits.
How to improve website discoverability
Improving a website to enhance discoverability involves a combination of strategies and best practices.
Here are key steps to consider:
Boost your SEO efforts:
- Identify relevant terms and keywords that potential visitors might use to find your content.
- Perform in-page optimization (titles, meta descriptions, headers, keywords, image alt text, etc.)
- Deliver high-quality content that addresses the needs and interests of your audience.
- Optimize site speed, mobile-friendliness, and user experience.
- Implement technical SEO best practices, (XML sitemaps, canonical tags, schema markup) to help search engines understand and index your content effectively.
Enhance navigation and search:
- Ensure a well-structured site with clear and logical navigation menus and breadcrumbs.
- Optimize the search algorithm to prioritize relevant results based on user behavior.
- Implement semantic search capabilities that understand the context of user queries, allowing for more accurate results (e.g., natural language processing and machine learning).
- Enable autocomplete suggestions, typo-tolerance, synonyms, faceted search and filtering and sorting of search results based on various criteria such as date, relevance, category, etc.
- Improve the speed and performance of your search engine to deliver results quickly.
Enable multichannel, multilingual content management:
- Localize content to customer regions and languages with smart language selection and fallbacks, language-specific site structures and workflows, region-specific times and info, and easier translation management.
- Use structured content to make it easy to categorize and retrieve for both users and search engines and to be repurposed across different platforms and devices.
- Keep all content in a centralized repository and consolidate related content. Content hubs are ideal for organizing and presenting content on broader subjects or creating comprehensive guides.
- Create reusable content to ensure consistency in your messaging and branding, while saving time and resources on content creation and improving content discoverability.
- Optimize delivery of content to multiple channels with headless capabilities that push content from your repository to each of your touchpoints.
- Understand the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and ensure you’re adhering to them.
- Maintain a clear and consistent navigation structure across your website, allowing users to easily locate content and move between pages.
- Provide descriptive alt text to all images and link text to all links on your website to ensure users understand their context and purpose.
- Utilize semantic HTML tags (e.g., headings, lists, tables) to structure your content logically to help screen readers and assistive technologies interpret and present your content correctly.
- Ensure that all functionality on your website can be navigated and operated using a keyboard alone.
By implementing these strategies and regularly monitoring and adapting your approach, you can enhance the discoverability of your website as well as the customer experience you provide, helping you engage a broader audience and achieve better business results.
Unlocking business success through discoverability
Discoverability isn't just a concept; it's a powerful driver of business success. It is essential for brand visibility, user experience, customer acquisition and retention, search engine visibility, content marketing, reputation management, market expansion, data-driven decision-making, and revenue generation.
Businesses that prioritize and invest in improving discoverability can gain a competitive advantage and see tangible improvements in their financial performance and customer satisfaction.