Search engine optimization, or SEO, as it is popularly known by, is the process of getting your website or business to appear organically on popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
Time and time again I’m asked by bloggers, webmasters and business owners if the process can be automated. A short answer is almost, but you must proceed with caution! There is a lot of confusion around the limitations of quick and automated search engine optimisation solutions. Again, it is critical you proceed with caution as it can cause irreversible damage.
The idea of a quick or automated solution has always been one of the first points I try to dismiss with prospective clients. I’m pretty sure my clients are fed up with my ramblings about how SEO takes time and that they need to be thinking long term. From my perspective, SEO is a labour-intensive process that requires methodical and strategic intervention from a professional. Software alone can’t automate search engine optimisation.
There are tons of companies out there [including my own, Rackpoint®] that have attempted to provide an automated solution but, in reality, the process needs a huge amount of work which is way beyond what any software or tool can provide. Website owners are often misled by these ‘set and forget’ approaches.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-SEO tools. I believe that the right tools can make your life much easier when it comes to implementing your strategy, but it can’t replace the hard work that’s needed to rank well on search engines. Never forget that search engine optimisation is a process and not a solution.
As we’ve now established, SEO takes a substantial amount of time and should be seen as an investment. While it can’t be automated, there’s a vast amount of great tools to help automate some of those monotonous tasks like monitoring rankings, finding keywords, competitor comparison and backlink analysis. To be fair, while they don’t give you complete automation they will save you lots of time.
Another common error with attempting to automate the SEO process is to use backlinking and content spinning software. The use of automated backlinking software is a common failure point for websites. Such software often produces high quantity and low-quality results which are penalised by search engines.
So, food for thought I guess. If you’re considering investing in your search engine optimisation you’re better off doing it properly. Cutting corners will only put you at risk.
My advice to you if you’re asking “Can SEO be automated”? is to find a reputable and local SEO Agency and get them to spend the time you don’t have on doing the job properly.