My guide to automating SEO

SEO automation is the smart use of technology to increase the efficiency of SEO tasks and relieve your team. In this article, I dive into how automation can transform your SEO strategy, from keyword discovery to content optimization. I’m going to talk about the tools that should not be missing from your SEO toolbox, as well as the pitfalls to avoid. This will give you a clear picture of how to make automation work to your advantage.

Why SEO automation matters

Imagine your SEO running at full speed, without having to constantly monitor everything(1). This is not future music, but the reality of automation. I am convinced that automating SEO processes can be a gamechanger.

My guide to automating SEO

Not only because it takes time-consuming tasks off your hands, but it also allows you and your team to work at a strategic level. With automation, you can continuously improve your site’s SEO performance, while investing the time you save in creative and tactical efforts that a machine cannot replicate.

Another reason is that in many SEO projects, some repetitive tasks occur such as content writing (I know this all too well). If you have a way to partially automate this, it will save a lot of hours in the long run. Important here is always whether this gets in the way of the quality of the content, but I’ll talk more about that later in this article.

How to find keywords faster and smarter with automation

The key to a strong SEO strategy lies in finding the right keywords. Automation tools can help with this by quickly analyzing large amounts of data and identifying trends that I myself might overlook.

I use these tools to discover search terms relevant to my target audience without spending hours doing manual research. It helps me respond faster to changes in search behavior and proactively adjust my content strategy.

Without using state-of-the-art software such as ChatGPT integrated with external platforms, it is possible to automate much of your keyword research, for example. Using a tool like Ahrefs, you can easily “automate” much of this process.

Techniques to streamline content creation and optimization

Content is king, but it must be efficient and targeted. With the right automation tools, I can streamline my content creation process. From generating content ideas to optimizing for search engines, automation makes it possible to produce consistent, high-quality content. It allows me to focus on the creative aspects, while the data analysis and SEO checklist are handled automatically.

Automating link building?

Link building remains an essential part of SEO, but it is important to strike the balance between automation and authenticity. You can use tools to identify potential link opportunities, but I do the final outreach personally. This ensures that every link I obtain is authentic and adds value to my website, while keeping me efficient in the process.

Particularly when determining the quality of link entries, it is important to have a specialist with experience looking on. There are many metrics to do this, but ultimately it is necessary to have a specialist check this manually for possible errors.

Automatic dashboards and reports that provide you with insights without delving into the depths of your business

I don’t always have time to dive deep into analytics. Automatic dashboards and reports are a godsend for me. They give me a quick overview of my website’s performance and where action is needed. These tools not only save me time, but also ensure that I never miss a beat in the rapidly changing world of SEO.

Automatic dashboards and reports that provide you with insights without delving into the depths of your business

When to use automation and when not to use it

While automation offers many benefits, it is not a substitute for human expertise. I know it’s important to find a balance. Creative and strategic decisions, empathy in communication, and understanding subtle nuances in content and user behavior are things where I still rely on human judgment. Automation supports and enhances my expertise, but it is the human touch that determines the ultimate quality and success of my SEO efforts.

Particularly when I work for my clients, I keep an eye on what can be automated without compromising the quality of my work. So this is secretly about precisely what I cannot automate. My list by section can be found below.

SEO sectionAutomation optionChance of lower quality
Keyword researchHigh (use of tools such as SEMrush, Ahrefs)Moderate
On-page SEO optimizationsAverage (meta tags, headings, etc.)Moderate to high
Technical SEO auditsHigh (crawling tools such as Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl)Low
Content creation(2)Low (AI-driven content generation)High
Backlink analysisHigh (backlink checkers such as Majestic, Moz)Low
SERP analysis(3)High (SERP tracking tools)Low to moderate
Performance tracking and reportingHigh (analytics and reporting tools)Low
Social media postsAverage (planning and posting tools)Moderate to high
Local SEO (e.g., directory listings)(4)High (local citation tools)Low to moderate
Site speed optimizationAverage (tools for compression and minification)Moderate
A/B testing of landing pagesAverage (A/B testing software)Low to moderate
Link building(5)Low (automated outreach)High
SEO automation: what can and cannot be done?

Pitfalls to avoid when automating your SEO processes

When I look at automation within SEO, I realize that it is important to stay alert to pitfalls. One is being too dependent on technology without monitoring results. Automation can take over repetitive tasks, but I must always keep an eye on the quality and relevance of the output. It is also essential that I continue to update and adapt the automation tools to the latest SEO practices, as an outdated approach can do more harm than good.

Trends and predictions for the future of SEO and automation

SEO is constantly evolving, and automation tools evolve with it. I keep an eye on the latest trends, such as AI and machine learning, which are increasingly being integrated into SEO strategies. These technologies not only help me gain better insights, but also personalize and optimize user experiences.

Trends and predictions for the future of SEO and automation

In the future, I expect automation to become even more sophisticated, allowing me to react more quickly to changes in search algorithms and user behavior. For more information on this, also check out my article on the latest trends in SEO.

Conclusion

Automation in SEO offers tremendous opportunities to work more efficiently and effectively. However, it is not a panacea. It’s all about the balance between technology and human input. I make sure I stay on top of the latest developments and remain critical of the tools I use. Through this approach, I am able to future-proof my SEO strategy and remain competitive in the ever-changing digital landscape.

Senior SEO-specialist

Ralf van Veen

Senior SEO-specialist
Five stars
My clients give me a 5.0 on Google out of 76 reviews

I have been working for 10 years as an independent SEO specialist for companies (in the Netherlands and abroad) that want to rank higher in Google in a sustainable manner. During this period I have consulted A-brands, set up large-scale international SEO campaigns and coached global development teams in the field of search engine optimization.

With this broad experience within SEO, I have developed the SEO course and helped hundreds of companies with improved findability in Google in a sustainable and transparent way. For this you can consult my portfolio, references and collaborations.

This article was originally published on 16 November 2023. The last update of this article was on 22 November 2023. The content of this page was written and approved by Ralf van Veen. Learn more about the creation of my articles in my editorial guidelines.