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Is It Possible to Automate SEO? Here's What We Know So Far

Feb 01, 2023
SEO automation

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important practices to become visible to the billions of people that search for information every second of the day.

For businesses, appearing at the top of search results is a highly desirable outcome that often translates into increased web traffic, more sales, and better brand recognition. 

However, getting up there is not always a linear process.

SEO-optimized websites require the intervention of multiple professionals (technical SEO specialists, content experts, web developers) to rank well, and even then, there’s no guarantee that it’ll happen.

Since SEO is a capital and labor-intensive process, the lack of results can turn problematic over time. 

This is why it's important to learn more about SEO automation, as it can bring costs down, scale up content production, and reduce time spent on routine tasks like SEO audits.

In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into SEO automation, and provide you with answers to key questions around this topic, such as:

  • What is SEO automation?

  • Can SEO be automated?

  • What SEO automation tools are worth looking into?

Let’s start with the basics, and then move on to more specific questions.

What is SEO automation?

SEO automation refers to the process of fully or partially automating actions and tasks related to search engine optimization.

Let’s break this down for clarity.

SEO is about improving the quality and quantity of web traffic coming from search engines (most notably, from Google).

To achieve this, SEO specialists apply strategies and perform tasks that fall within three main categories:

  • Technical SEO (placing tags, site audits, improving site load speed)

  • On-page SEO (keyword research, content writing, editing)

  • Off-page SEO (link building, guest posting)

For example, making sure that your web pages are being crawled by Google is a technical SEO task (if the pages don’t get crawled they won’t get indexed, and people won’t ever find them via Google search). 

While you can manually check every URL in your website to see if it’s being indexed by Google, this is an example of an SEO task that can be automated (one way to do it is by leveraging the Google Search Console API).

In short, this is what SEO automation is all about: Using technology to reduce or fully replace human inputs in SEO tasks.

However, not every SEO task can be automated, which leads us to the next question.

Can SEO be automated?

Yes, SEO can be automated, although to an extent. 

Many SEO tasks can be either fully or partially automated, but not all. 

Take, for instance, content updates. Some content updates can’t be automated because they depend on events that did not happen yet, and that you can’t predict. Automation is not a possibility here.

On top of these, there are tasks that can be automated, but it’s not advised to do so (yet). 

The most glaring example of this is content creation. 

As you probably know, you can use ChatGPT to automate content creation at large, but you’d be risking a slap on the wrist from Google if you choose to go down that road.

However, there are shades of gray to be considered in this particular case. For instance, Google also encourages some types of companies to automate the content creation process when it comes to descriptions.

With this in mind, let’s get down to the point: What SEO tasks can be automated without risking penalizations? 

Based on our research, here’s what you can automate right off the bat:

  • Site audits

  • Traffic analytics monitoring and reporting

  • Domain and URL analysis and reporting

  • Keyword research

  • Content optimization

  • Content creation*

  • Team and project management

Needless to say, these tasks include multiple subtasks as well. 

For example, in the context of SEO audits, you can automate page indexation status and page performance reports. 

If you’re doing keyword research, you can automate tasks like searching for related keywords or listing a domain’s organic keyword rankings.

And then there are management tasks that are not directly related to SEO, but that nonetheless are essential to any SEO strategy: Team and project management. 

At the end of the day, any SEO effort still requires communication between professionals, managing content calendars, and whatnot. 

How to automate SEO?

There are different ways to automate SEO, and these vary depending on requirements, budget, and skill level, among other factors. 

The starting point of SEO automation lies within the official APIs offered by products that are relevant in the industry, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google PageSpeed Insights, Semrush, Ahrefs, and ChatGPT, among others.

These APIs allow you to automate SEO tasks such as controlling the load speed of your website’s pages or retrieving a list of related keywords from a country-specific database. 

In order to build the workflows and make the most of the APIs in question, there are three main alternatives:

  • Code through the APIs

  • Rely on native automation solutions provided by SEO apps (where available; there aren’t many when it comes to SEO automation)

  • Use a third-party integration tool like Make to automate without code

The final choice will be determined by the factors mentioned above (technical skills, budget, scalability).

It’s also worth mentioning that products like Semrush or ChatGPT are not SEO automation tools by default.

For example, in order to retrieve a list of related keywords in Semrush, you have to manually enter the focus keyword. 

The same applies to ChatGPT: If you want it to produce an SEO-optimized meta description, you have to manually enter one or more prompts first.

However, you can leverage these tools’ APIs (both offer one) to automate SEO tasks like content creation and keyword research.

Needless to say, we believe that Make is the easiest and most efficient tool to automate SEO, as it allows you to connect virtually any API without code,  including Semrush, ChatGPT, and Google Analytics (and you can use the HTTP module to connect to any other API that you want). 

Examples of SEO automation

Off the top of our heads, we can name multiple examples of SEO automation, including:

  • Getting and sending analytics reports to relevant stakeholders

  • Checking the indexation status of your website pages

  • Checking broken links on your website

  • Analyzing page performance and load speed

  • Creating content that Google deems “automatable” (i.e. product descriptions for ecommerce websites)

  • Getting your website’s keyword rankings on a daily basis

  • Getting keywords, keyword variations, and related terms

  • Managing SEO tasks like assigning articles to writers and notifying editors that content is ready for review

  • Engaging with potential partners in link building efforts

All of this can be done automatically because there are official APIs with endpoints that allow you to do so.

In some cases, you can also rely on ready-to-use solutions like the one below, which is helpful to get automated SEO reports on a daily basis. 

SEO automation tools: An overview

Automated SEO tools are not really that abundant, and mixing up SEO tools with SEO automation tools is a common mistake.

As we mentioned above, the most important thing is to choose tools with APIs that allow you to automate what you want, in line with your technical skills, and within your budget.

For instance, SEO tools like Google Analytics, Google PageSpeed Insights, Google Ads, and Google Search Console feature useful APIs that can be accessed for free.

Other SEO products like Semrush, Ahrefs, and Moz also offer their own APIs. These are packed with useful endpoints but also come at a price, starting at $250/month for the most affordable plan (offered by Moz).

And then you have automation tools like Make, which allows you to access, connect, and manage these APIs with paid plans that start at $9/month.

Conclusion: Let priorities drive your SEO automation strategy

The question of “What to automate first?” is always a challenging one to answer when you start to automate a new area.

This is why we recommend taking a look at your own situation and asking follow-up questions:

  • What SEO area needs to be automated first?

  • What is the budget?

  • What is the technical skill set?

The answers to these questions will put you on the right track. 

For example, some companies have great content creators working for them but lack a sound technical SEO team to take care of site audits and analytics reports.

In such a case, it’d make sense to sign up for a Make account and start leveraging Google APIs to understand how the site is performing, whether pages are getting indexed on time or not, and so on.

With this in mind, we’ll leave you to think about the possibilities, confident that you’ll look at SEO automation with new eyes from now on.


Martin Etchegaray

Content Manager and Senior Editor at Make. I enjoy writing and reading about history, science, and tech.

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