Here’s a fact: effective SEO results require hard work and effort.
Anyone who has been in the SEO game for more than a few days knows that earning your website a place in search results is no piece of cake.
Not only do you need to carefully plan and execute your strategies, you also need to be on the lookout for changes in algorithms and other tweaks.
But the fact that SEO requires dedication doesn’t mean you can’t use tools and software to simplify the process, especially when you work with several large websites.
SEO automation means making the search engine optimization process automatic through the use of tools, software and other programs that reduce human labor.
The entire SEO process is far too complicated for all of it to be automated, but certain aspects of SEO definitely can be. And this can free up considerable time for other creative and administrative work.
The key here is to understand what you can automate and what you can’t (or shouldn’t) automate. For example, tasks like site monitoring and data collection should be automated so that information is collected on the go. A professional then needs to take decisions based on the data collected.
However, SEO processes like content creation and organic link building should not be automated because not only would you end up with low-quality content, you could also get penalized for building spammy links.
Your best bet is to find a combination of tools and software that helps you get the job done in minimal time.
So, if you’re thinking of automating your SEO, here are some of the best tools that can help you with specific areas.
SEMrush for advanced keyword research and tracking
Keyword research is the foundation of any good SEO programme. After all, the goal is for your audience to find you through search. While a free tool like Google Keyword Planner is a great place to start, SEMrush is one tool that would save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to keyword research.
With the SEMrush keyword research tool, you can identify your competitor’s best keywords, observe position changes in domains, uncover long tail keywords for your own site and for PPC campaigns.
Combining the Keyword Magic tool and Keyword Analyzer allows you to carry out keyword research faster than you would with a combination of tools. You can easily sort through thousands of keywords and uncover long tail keywords without dealing with multiple spreadsheets.
The keyword analyzer sorts selected keywords according to volume, KD, and click potential. Using the Keyword Magic Tool, you can select a combination of phrases and the tool will suggest long tail combinations with the exact phrases people search for.
If you work with clients, then the SEMrush Report builder comes in handy for creating custom reports. All you have to do is select widgets relevant to your report and customize the settings. The report builder automatically updates the information whenever you need to generate a report.
You can also schedule the reports, or use them as templates for future reports.
Cyfe for all-in-one monitoring
One of the pains of SEO is that there is always so much information to track. From keeping an eye on analytics, to monitoring your rankings and catching up on advertising campaigns, there can be a lot of logging in and out of several dashboards.
This is where Cyfe comes in. Cyfe is an all-in-one business dashboard that allows you to keep track of important marketing metrics including SEO and SEM metrics. Cyfe’s strength lies in its ability to pull in data from several sources into one dashboard, giving you an eagle eye view of all your SEO efforts.
Cyfe’s pre-built widgets allows for easy monitoring of any metrics you may want to track. With the Moz widget, for example, you can monitor a website’s authority in search without the need for a paid Moz account.
By adding a widget for Google Search Console, you would receive updates on your site performance in Google search. You could also monitor your site’s performance across different search engines.
Another place Cyfe excels is in competitor tracking. With the Cyfe competitor dashboard and RSS feeds, you can monitor your competitor’s content, email and social media strategies at a glance.
Once you have configured all of your dashboard widgets, you can set up rule-based SMS alerts, allowing you to continue with business as usual, knowing you’ll get a mobile push notification when anomalies that demand human attention arise.
The bottom line in SEO is knowing what to fix on your site to boost performance in search. That means you need an excellent site audit process, especially one that you can put on repeat. For this, Screaming Frog SEO spider is a great choice.
Screaming Frog is a web crawling tool that checks for broken links, audits redirects, analyses page titles, meta data and discovers duplicate content. It can also generate XML sitemaps and integrates with Google Analytics, and you can even set it up for regularly scheduled crawls.
If you have ever tried to perform these activities manually, you would know how tedious they can be, especially for large websites. Screaming Frog saves you the time.
To generate a sitemap, all you have to do is crawl a site completely, and select the XML sitemap option. The tool also comes in handy when searching for and replacing links on your website.
Ahrefs for backlink analysis
The best way to jumpstart your SEO effort is to get backlinks from reputable websites. Ahrefs is one tool that can help you keep an eye on how well your efforts are paying off. The tool crawls 6 billion web pages daily and has an index of 3 trillion known URLs, making it the perfect option for backlink analysis.
With Ahrefs, you can automatically set the tool to monitor how well you are ranking in search, using the recently rebooted Rank Tracker tool. You can also get alerts for new keywords, new/lost backlinks and brand mentions.
Keeping an eye on the competition is also easy, as you can find content attracting the most backlinks in your niche and spy on your competitors to know where their links are coming from.
SEO is a tough nut, and there’s no magic way to automate all of it. To get the best results, you’ll still need to put in the required time and effort. What you can (and should) do, though, is to arm yourself with excellent tools that make the job easier and faster.
The SEMrush keyword research tool is a great option for intelligent keyword research while Ahrefs helps you track down your backlinks effortlessly.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider helps you stay up to date with your site performance through in-depth crawling, and for monitoring all your site metrics in one place, you can rely on Cyfe.
Which tools do you use to automate your SEO? Share your recommendations in the comments!
Pius Boachie is the founder of DigitiMatic, an inbound marketing agency.