Depending on the number of clients you have, as well as the scope and type of SEO services you provide, your daily routine might include thousands of minute menial tasks that add up to hours of time wasted on something that could have been taken care of by a single tool, script, or service. Finding tools you are comfortable with can take a while, but if you properly identify the areas where automation could benefit you the most, you’ll be able to expand your client base without incurring additional costs or hiring new people; to focus on the more essential parts of your work; and perhaps even occasionally sit back and relax. Not everyone offers the same services, but most SEO agencies, consultants or inhouse experts could benefit from some help in the following areas.
This is one of the essential parts of every SEO strategy, and one that most people wouldn’t even think about tackling without the right tool. Apart from the obligatory Google Keyword Planner, which provides keyword suggestions based on the terms you provide, as well as an estimate of their popularity, you should also consider pulling your target terms through Google Trends to see if you would do better with an alternative version of the keyphrases you intended to pursue. Should you need suggestions that don’t rely only on Google’s data, Übersuggest uses a variety of sources, and offers options you can’t find in Keyword Planner.
Regardless of the exact number of sources you use to gather and present client data, pooling it all together, either for progress analysis or for a client report, can take up more of your time than you had to invest in actually getting those metrics to where they are. So, while you may use Rank Ranger to track your rankings, if you want to compare its results with another metric, not provided by the tool, you can either do so manually (and then do the same month in, month out, for every set of data you want to compare) or find a way to centralize data gathering, and automate it, so that you only have to set it once and have it available at a moment’s notice. Reportz, a marketing KPIs reporting tool, integrates data from various sources, allows you to track it in real time, or to combine it into comprehensive automated reports, which, since the tool comes with white label customization options, can even be spruced up with your branding.
While there is always something new that you can learn by observing your peers or competitors, there are plenty of other equally critical activities that demand your attention. One of the easiest ways to do this is to start with a backlink analysis, and expand your research from that point. While there are a number of similar tools out there, Ahrefs is still one of the most versatile, reliable and data-rich tools you can find. It comes with a browser extension that allows you to quickly view a site’s metrics, a variety of options for more specific searches (Link Intersect for backlink portfolio comparison, for instance) and practical filtering and exporting options.
If it’s the competitor’s (or for that matter, your own) metadata, internal or external links, or general information structure you want to take a closer look at, you’ll need a scraping tool, and we heartily recommend the Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool. While the free version does a great job of collecting and checking links, a paid account gives you access to amazing filtering capabilities which can be immensely useful not only for competition analysis, but also for link prospecting, content research, etc.
Provided you’ve automated other segments of your workflow, you should have an abundance of prospects and leads just waiting for you to contact them. While finding their email address or other means of reaching them sometimes absolutely demands human intervention, you can still save a lot of time by running their names through a tool like Hunter, and verifying or discarding the suggested contact options.
Outreach, again, cannot and should not be fully automated if you want results, but can be made much simpler and more streamlined with the help of tools like BuzzStream which gives you an easy and convenient way to create templates with variables, schedule sending, track email performance and report on it, and take advantage of a number of other features that will make your life easier.
While automation is not always the answer, whenever you find yourself doing something so often you’re bored by it, chances are that someone has found a way to circumvent all that labor and give you a chance to do the same. If you can imagine an algorithm that describes the action you need to take, do yourself a favor and try to find out if there is a tool available with just the options you need.