Automation is rapidly transforming the workplace and the world itself. Manufactured goods have long been created faster and more efficiently with machine-operated assembly lines and even advanced robots, and the digital world is quickly seeing the fruits of automated labor via automated scripts and algorithms.

One way businesses are taking advantage of automation online is via Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms, which are designed to help businesses spread their contact and location data to various online channels, such as search engines and social media networks. These routine tasks play a major role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and taking them off of the plate of SEO professionals can save time and money.

However, while such a hands-off approach may seem like a dream come true for many businesses and digital marketers, there are several pitfalls associated with leaving SEO and local search efforts in the hands of algorithms and software platforms—no matter how advanced they may be.

A Hands-On Approach Still Gets the Best Results

Effective SEO requires the ability to analyze and interpret data from a variety of sources, including information obtained from web analytics, Google Search Console, and paid search data, just to name a few. In addition, the most important aspects of a strong SEO strategy, such as:

  • ROI analysis for local listing management programs
  • Paid search performance analysis and evaluations
  • Evaluation and management of site structure, content, and links

Without an experienced and knowledgeable hand guiding the process, automated SEO efforts are rendered ineffective at improving search rankings over a long period of time on their own. In addition to a steady hand, effective SEO also requires accountability—and it’s difficult to assign responsibility to an automated script or software platform.

While it’s true that SaaS platforms are highly convenient and efficient, they are no substitute for experienced SEO professionals. Getting real, lasting results on search engines requires a comprehensive, all-hands-on-deck approach that simply isn’t possible to automate in 2016 or the foreseeable future.