Ranking well organically is a pillar of content marketing. After all, most B2B buyers start with a Google search to find what they need. High-quality, consistent content production is your foundation for being found in search engines. However, many aspects of search engine optimization are typically done manually. So, why not automate? There are several ways to use content automation for SEO.
These approaches can save your enterprise content team time, ensure you’re following best practices, and ultimately improve your rank. In this post, we’ll offer ideas on how to leverage content automation in your SEO strategy.
The Context of Content Automation
In the world of content automation, there are many subsets. In this context, we aren’t talking about machines actually writing content. Today, we’re diving into the many software applications that do the heavy lifting of scouring, indexing, analyzing, and making recommendations for how to better optimize your content and websites. But note that we’re still in the early days of machine learning. Most tools still need some oversight. Robots aren’t quite ready to be content marketers yet!
In terms of automation in this context, we’re talking about processes and tasks that you can streamline with technology tools. As noted above, SEO is more than just the quality of the content. It also has to follow guidelines and parameters behind the scenes to rank well.
What Content and Optimization Practices Can You Automate to Support SEO?
So, what can you automate to help with SEO? Let’s look at the opportunities and how to apply them to your content marketing efforts. There are three main areas to consider.
Image: Raven Tools Website Auditor
For every page and post on your website, you can automate an audit around SEO principles. Robust tools can provide you with valuable information that could be impacting organic rankings. Those areas include:
- Broken links: A broken link on your page can impact SEO. It also affects the user experience. Using an automation tool to find these is much more efficient than a manual review.
- Metadata: Search engines use your meta title and description to understand the context. It’s also where your keywords live. If your metadata isn’t following best practices on length and format, it’s crucial to revise it. With the right tool, you can do a quick audit and make necessary changes fast.
- Alt tags: Images should have alt tags. They typically include the keyword, which boosts SEO. It’s also important to include these for people accessing your website who have vision disabilities. Find any missing tag and correct it to improve ranking.
- Keyword density: Using a plug-in like Yoast on your website’s backend will automatically analyze your content for keyword density. It will identify if you are using too much or not enough. That’s super helpful, and you can make adjustments immediately.
- Readability: Yoast also scores the readability of your content on the Flesch scale. Why should you care about readability? Because Google does! The algorithm looks for this and factors it in for ranking. Yoast will grade your text and advise you of changes that will make it more easily digestible (i.e., highlighting passive voice, sentence length, etc.).
- Expirations: Monitor your domain or SSL for expiration but do so with an automated tool. These changes can be harmful to SEO, and automating this means you won’t miss anything.
With the right tools, you can ensure your content has all the right technical aspects. Continuing to audit your site and using real-time resources can boost your rankings.
More and more content platforms are exploring using machine learning to quickly index and analyze huge sets of data (ex: existing website content, social media trends data, etc.) and make recommendations to content producers on what to write about, as well as how to write it.
Recommendation engines can be broken down into a few sub-categories here, namely:
- Keyword/topic recommendations: Platforms like SEMRush and Buzzsumo automate the process of analyzing search and social trends data to present recommendations on what topics would be best to cover to increase engagement and improve rankings.
- Writing recommendations: Newer platforms are leveraging natural language generation (NLG) to analyze content being written in real time and making suggestions on questions you should answer or specific angles that you should include.
- Optimization recommendations: Alongside platforms like Yoast (mentioned above) that can analyze things like keyword density, there are also features included in many SEO platforms that provide real-time recommendations for both internal and external links that could be added to boost the quality of your content piece.
Data around your content is critical to SEO. From your content analytics, you can learn more than just how you’re ranking. You can gather insights from engagement on social media, pageviews, and more. The challenge is that there are so many data sources. Logging into multiple systems and manually aggregating data is no fun. It shouldn’t be such a chore.
It doesn’t have to be when you use a central analytics hub that combines all your data sources into one area. You can then view dashboards and build automated reports. You can set a report to run every week around some specific SEO metrics automatically. Then, send them to strategists and stakeholders around search rank. Those findings can impact what’s already published and what’s in the pipeline.
What Are the Benefits of Content Automation for SEO? Are There Risks?
There are many benefits of automation. The most obvious being that it saves time. Additionally, it offers:
- Accuracy because the data relating to rankings, site elements, and more is current
- Organization around processes like audits
- Consistency in the execution of your SEO strategy
- Visibility across the team on performance
- Insights and recommendations to improve your content to make it more search-friendly
You may still feel some hesitancy to automate these processes fully. There can be cons to automation. Those mostly revolve around the inabilities of technology or incorrect setup from the beginning. If you aren’t sure you want to dive in, try out small components first.
How Will You Use Automation to Boost SEO?
Automation should make your life easier. In the case of content automation for SEO, it adds value to the process and eliminates a lot of manual work. High-performing content teams will want to harness its power.
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