Automating certain SEO tasks is one way to make the best use of your time. Of course, you want to
avoid those automation strategies that put you on a search engine’s black list, but there are plenty
of places you can use automation. And there are many different kinds of automation tools.
One thing you won’t find is an all-in-one solution. There are some great SEO tools out there that
will help with many aspects of SEO, but will leave one or two areas untouched. For example,
Web Optimization Easy 4.2 (
) will help with 45 ranking factors, but it doesn’t cover them all. And
though it will also help you to understand why the top 10 web sites in your area rank well, it
won’t help you manage keyword bids.
When you can find a program that does most of the automation you need, and you’re comfortable
with the tool’s interface, then by all means try it and use other tools to supplement the areas the
single tool doesn’t help with.
It would be nice if there were standards in place that made it easy to monitor all your SEO efforts
from a single dashboard. There are not. But you can piece together the tool solution that reduces
the amount of time you put into repetitive SEO work, so you can focus your energies better on
those activities that will truly improve your search rankings.
You have to be careful about choosing solutions, though. Some of the automation tools that you find
available on the Web are not worth the time it takes to install them. These tools are buggy, they don’t
perform as they should, and they can cause your system to crash — or worse, can create problems
with your web site.
When you’re looking for automation tools for your SEO efforts, begin by looking at the areas that you
need to automate. Are you spending hours and hours on keyword research when what you should be
doing is generating unique copy for your web site? If so, then a keyword research automation tool,
like WordTracker (
), will help free up the time you need to work
on your content.
Are you obsessed with your rank and how your competition measures up? You shouldn’t be. Let
an automated monitoring tool, like SERP Tracker (
), be obsessive while you spend that time doing something about your current rank.
What tools you’ll need are determined on an individual organizational basis. Evaluate your needs
and then look for tools that meet those needs. Also look for tools that might grow as you grow.
Your automation needs will change over time as your site matures, as your SEO efforts mature,
and as SEO as a strategy changes. Try to find something that’s scalable and will grow as your SEO
strategies grow and change.
Also remember that price isn’t always the best indication of what tools are better than others. Some
free tools on the Web are excellent. Those that aren’t free can cost anywhere from under $100 to well
over $1,000, but can also be as excellent or as lousy as some of the free tools. To make sure that you’re
Optimizing Search Strategies
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