Nearly three decades after the era of SEO marketing dawned, the industry is finally coming of age. By the end of 2022 it’s set to be a $63bn sector – and growth seems certain to continue.
Much of this is down to the fact that firms achieve between 50% and 70% of their revenue from organic search visitors. An effective and well-executed SEO strategy remains the only way to unlock such growth.
Despite this healthy performance, however, many SEO professionals are disgruntled. According to our 2022 SEO Superheroes study, the vast majority of them are spending more than 40 hours a week on tasks they believe could be automated.
The knock-on effect of technology taking the strain for routine jobs such as rank tracking, competitor analysis and CMS changes would be a greater amount of time and resource becoming available for SEOs to spend on work they identify as more profitable, including long-tail optimisation; briefing wider content creation; competitor analysis; keyword research; and internal linking.
SEOs recognise processes have the potential to get even slicker, in turn driving more successful outcomes. But to make that happen they need technology that can give them the freedom to focus on aspects of SEO marketing that drive revenue and profit.
Tech that tops the SEO wish list
The 150 SEO managers we polled have a long list of requests for technology budget holders at their organisation.
The fact they ranked the following tech innovations so closely together reveals the range of tools on offer, but also their strong belief that diverse applications can make them more efficient and more effective.
Here are the types of tech they tell us could help them save time and allow them to pour more focus on profitable work:
Unified SEO management platform – Eliminating the need for multiple pieces of tech, so everything can be controlled in one place. Not least workflows – this matters, since 81% of SEO managers use external agencies or contractors to top up the efforts of internal teams. Cross-implementational workflow technology also scored highly.
AI keyword identification – Keyword suggestions supported by powerful, proprietary AI – informing brands what their rivals are doing, why they change strategy and how best to respond.
Automated report building – It’s a given that SEOs must create reports for senior leaders of their organisation to review. Since this takes time, the more reports that can be generated without losing hours of manual labour, the better.
Automated link building – Excellent tools now exist that take your customers to the right, relevant content fast, and also prevent orphan pages in the future. Managing links in your content and keeping them updated, targeted and relevant is a tiresome housekeeping task that either uses up huge amounts of SEOs’ time or is simply ignored. Links are broken and the experience for users and search engines alike becomes poorer. For that reason, automating the process of keeping internal links up to date can make a big difference.
SERP snippet and on-page meta-data comparison – This has become more frustrating than ever. Being able to keep tabs on how Google is presenting your content, and how SERP snippets differ from your page title and meta description, is key to ensuring that your brand is being optimally represented.
Content creation – Manual content generation takes a lot of blood, sweat, tears – not to mention expertise – to get right. A lot of the load falls on SEOs to plan, brief, approve and publish content to the website. While Google takes a dim view of text generated through automated processes (such as Markov chains), allowing tech to bear the weight of the resource-heavy briefing and publishing process will have obvious benefits for SEO teams to boost efficiency.
Automated competitor keyword checks – Understanding what rivals are doing, and how successful their strategy is, gives vital insight into what works and what’s best left alone. All of this requires data-driven analysis – and that needs a good deal of time, which can be saved by top-level tech.
Identifying optimum pages for keywords – Every SEO knows that websites don’t rank; web pages do. As such, it is important to ensure you select the right target pages for your keywords – be they informational or transactional in nature – so that users get the most from your content based on their expression of intent.
That’s fine for key terms. But for too long, we’ve had to make decisions about how far down the long tail to work before we hit the law of diminishing returns. Applying more automation can lessen the impact of this issue.
One platform to rule them all
Put simply, SEOs are crying out for better technology to free them from the shackles of routine tasks. To that end, cutting-edge platforms are now disrupting the market. They serve the function of SEO specialist, analyst, project manager and content writer – all in one place.
These tools are modernising optimisation and automation of everyday tasks, such as:
• Providing a unified, intuitive solution that brings together staple SEO tactics such as workflow management, keyword analysis and copy briefing in one shared platform;
• Using analysis software that make it easier to maximise visibility, choose the right content path and highlight the most favourable keywords;
• Solving the challenge of keywords with reliable, clean first-party data in an assessment engine using crawler-collected Google data;
• Keyword suggestions based on user intent; supported by powerful, proprietary AI – revealing what rivals are doing, why they change strategy and how to respond;
• Flexible API layer – all data can be exported to and imported from existing systems powered by a single source of primary data.
Platforms that automate these activities are increasingly seen as game changers, as our survey suggests. All of which drives improved efficiency, less wasted data and better results: a revolution that will drive SEO forward – and boost brands’ bottom lines – for years to come.