On the heels of the recent Search Engine Land article about the effectiveness of allowing for automated recommendations from Google for your ads, I wanted to remind everyone of the dangers of turning to the tempting world of automated tools for SEO or Pay Per Click management. As their article and one of my recent posts pointed out, letting Google take over control of your ads is very risky at the very least. I know it is tempting to let the tools take over, but in a business where you are presenting your site to humans, giving up human control can cost you a lot of money. I have seen many small business owners completely destroy SEO and PPC plans by turning them over to automation.  If you are knowledgeable to control the automated tools and use their benefits, but with the knowledge of a human, you can still succeed. They can provide great information, but you need to know what to do with it.

Why PPC Automation Doesn’t Work

Automated PPCGoogle support is regularly calling small business owners and offering to optimize their campaigns. Google Ads actually automatically shows you ways to “improve” your campaigns when you log in.  The problem is, are you improving it for Google or for your business?  The fundamental rules behind what Google wants you to do is just have enough success to keep spending but to spend as much as possible on Google ads, not get the most return on your investment.  They have spent the last few rules changing the rules to give you less control of your keyword targeting, bidding, and ad copy, so that they can take over and confuse you.  You must stay on top of this.  You must measure what is working and manually work on advertising to the exact tactics that work through negative keywords and controlling your bids. Google would have you give them control of that. Don’t do it.

Even third party automation tools limit how much you can stand out.  Computers can do great things and sometimes reduce tedious work, but we’ve all seen that automated ad that doesn’t even make sense because it was wording put together by a computer, not a human. You need to allow them to work, but observe to make sure it all makes sense and also helps you stand out.  Typically, automated tools are set up to make everyone end up doing the same thing. That is the worst thing you can do to stand out in search. You need to know what Google and users are looking for to succeed, but then twist it in a way to stand out from your competitors.

Why SEO Automation Doesn’t Work

Automated Content OptimizationFor similar reasons, but different applications, SEO also needs the guidance of a human. In the end, real humans are searching and choosing to click on your link. Though we can try to do automated research to find out how long our content can be, and in some sense, what phrases should be involved. It takes a human being to put the content together in a way that is actually useful and helpful and keeps a user on the page.  The data is a guide, but “Content is King” in SEO, and you need to write for your human customers.  Often, even respected tools like Yoast get people to hung up on hitting exact numbers, that may not even be current, when they should be more focused on standing apart.  Content length suggestions help tell you what the users are looking for in terms of a thorough answer, but you know your business better than anyone, and your expertise is going to be what sets you apart. We have all read articles that are clearly 50-80% filler language. It is so frustrating.  Use the rules and guidelines of SEO to help shape a human experience.

If you need help with your SEO and PPC Management, please call us at You Can Be Found.  We have been doing this since 2006, and know what moves the needle. We know what can set you apart.  We do the research and use the tools, but we add the most important factor; the human factor.