Why Should I Use SEO Software?
I'm writing this because I want to share my thoughts on the question "Why do I need SEO software?"
I often hear many strange questions regarding this, and then I hear all sorts of expectations from SEO software, so I think it is time to share my thoughts on the issue.
Some people seem to be very confused about what can be achieved using SEO software. On one hand, I find that some people simply don't understand how such software can serve their needs. On the other hand, there are many people who ask if our SEO software can make them rank at the top the Google search results for their search terms and how long that will take.
So I think the issue here is expectations - some expect nothing and some expect too much. Further complicating things, some companies, in their efforts to sell, promise all sorts of things if you use their SEO software. You have probably seen some of the silly ClickBank pages that promise you will become a millionaire just by using their software.
So first, let's get something straight: no SEO software can promise you number one rankings in Google -not even first page! SEO Software can only help you become more efficient in your SEO efforts. However, that is a lot!
Your success still depends upon your knowledge, brains and the level of competition in the market in which you are trying to rank. I think a good analogy would be a word processor (such as Word) used by a writer. Writers can produce without a word processor, but having one certainly makes their life easier.
So, let's elaborate a bit on how SEO software can help you with your SEO efforts.
Avoid Tedious SEO Jobs
To understand this issue, we first need to examine what is involved in SEO. Unfortunately, there is no book that lists everything that needs to be accomplished in the performance of an SEO campaign. Everyone has their own way of doing things and it depends, to some extent, on their particular beliefs.
But it all boils down to improving the site's visibility and relevancy to the search engines by acquiring back-links and improving the site's pages. Some call it off-page optimization (getting back-links) and on-page optimization (improving the website pages).
At first glance, this may sound simple, but when you try to gain a better understand of these two aspects, you can quickly get a headache. To explain this, let's just start understanding the back-links work.
So, say you want to get back-links. You'll probably try getting them by:
Each one of those activities could take you hours of work each month, and the bigger problem is that this would be one of the most boring and tedious jobs you've ever done. What makes it even worse is that it can't be a one-time effort. You'll need to keep getting new back-links on a regular basis in order to raise your rankings, which means spending a lot of your precious time doing that tedious job.
I really think that in this case, it is a better idea to simply not worry about performing SEO but instead, focus on developing your business. This is exactly the conclusion Google would like for you to reach. But this is where SEO software can help you.
Many of those tedious jobs can be reduced to a matter of minutes each month, and that can really make a huge difference.
As an example, if you were to find web directories and submit your site to them, it would take you probably a few minutes to send the submission form per directory, see one example on the right. When you multiply that by 30-40 directories a month, that becomes 2-3 hours of work, and a very boring job.
With the right SEO software, however, this kind of work can become a matter of just a couple of minutes each month!
See in the image below how it becomes a matter of a few clicks to submit to multiple web directories.
See the Big Picture
There are many things you can do as part of your SEO effort. But your time is limited, and you need to prioritize your actions to those that are most productive. So the first thing to do is to analyze your current status and base your decisions upon that. This is precisely where the right SEO software can really help you.
SEO Software can easily collect tons of information and show a clear and graphical status of your site's current situation. If you think about it, this is how Google is able to rank billions of websites to endless search queries. A good software package can run in the background and collect indications 24/7. And, at any given time, show you a simplified picture of your current status. With this, your chances of making the right decisions increase dramatically.
To demonstrate how SEO software can help you see the big picture more clearly, I'll examine one simple usage, commonly done by SEO software: SERPS tracking.
SERPs tracking is checking the rankings of selected keywords in the leading search engines. At first, it may sound like a fairly simple task to accomplish without any software. You simply search those keywords and write down their rankings, right?
But now, think about a keyword that is on page 14, you'll need to browse 14 pages until you find it. And what happens if you are interested in 200 keywords and the average keyword appears on page 10. That means browsing 2000 pages. Checking it for the 3 main search engines makes it 6000 pages.
I think you get the idea... this is not a job for you (nor any other human). Your time is too valuable to waste doing tasks that can be automatically performed for you by the proper tool.
Now say you want to compare that with last week's rankings, to see what has changed. In most instances, without a clear presentation by some sort of software, this is virtually impossible.
But with an SEO software, this becomes easy. See the image below for an example.
Gain from Other People's Experience
One of the great things about software is that it can "learn", and I don't mean by using artificial intelligence.
For example, let's assume you wish to make some directory submissions. You can do that yourself, but you'll probably waste your time on many directories that won't actually add your site. If you are using SEO software, those fruitless directories would probably be weeded out after other users complain about them.
Another example could be the supplemental index ratio. If you're new to the SEO field, you may never have heard of it, but a commonly used software would probably add this feature after getting such a request from many users.
As a result, your SEO software will often show you new, valuable information that you didn't even know was available to you. In general, if there is anything that is important for doing SEO, it is probably already part of any decent SEO software. Simply as a result of listening to feature requests from people in the SEO industry, your software can be periodically updated and expanded to become an even more important tool of your work.
I hope this helps you decide if you want to use an SEO software package, and shows you what you can expect to gain from it.
Founder and CEO of SheerSEO