Whether you’re an entrepreneur trying to promote a product or a marketer helping small businesses gain a digital edge, it all starts by creating an effective and function-driven website, right? While making a website for a client or for your business can be considered hassle-free, generating traffic to a website is another story. We all know that SEO is the old reliable when it comes to drawing visitors to your website to increase traffic and generate leads. A website could land on the first page of the SERPs with decent mix of on-page and off-page SEO. It's a fact that the first listing receives around 35% of search traffic compared to the 10th listing gets a measly 2 percent.

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Don't sweat it, more SEO tools are now available for every marketer to use. However, there's a lingering question: Is automated SEO better than manual SEO?

There are tons of SEO software and platforms now, and for a business owner, it's a challenge whether to hire a SEO agency or try using a SEO software. While these SEO softwares can help an entrepreneur do directory submission, keyword research, social bookmarking etc. It's a no-brainer if a busy entrepreneur chooses an agency instead. Manual SEO will be handled by a SEO specialist or a dedicated SEO team which will implement on-page and off-page SEO on the website.

So what type of SEO approach would you take? Manual or Automated?  A hybrid approach perhaps? Let's take a closer look:

Automated SEO: Pros and Cons

Are you too busy doing offline marketing for your business or swamped with meetings with potential clients? Then using an automated SEO software is the best option for you since it requires minimum effort in terms of implementation:

WHY you should use it:

1.) SEO software is cheaper and isn't time-consuming upon implentation.

2.) Since it's a software, you can be assured of up-to-date data in keyword analysis

3.) The software will do the SEO analysis for you. It gives you an idea what works and what doesn't in your campaign specifics.

4.) You don't have to engage in meetings with a SEO team.

WHAT you should expect when you use it:

1.) Automation tends to focus on quantity over quality which suggests that it's really an instant solution unless your campaign isn't a long-term project.

2.) Links created using automated SEO software can never be a “genuine” source of traffic.

3.) SEO software might create low quality backlinks that can backfire via site penalties.

Manual SEO: Pros and Cons

Considered the old reliable, manual SEO has evolved which can be a challenge when you hire a SEO consultant or a SEO team. It's tedious and time-consuming, but then again, it's still reliable as long as you see results and get your money's worth.

WHY you should use it:

1.) Manual SEO enables you to improve off-page SEO by handpicking backlinks.

2.) An SEO expert reports to you and you're able to ask what the best strategies to apply are.

3.) You're able to check if campaign goals and targets are met according to the timetable.

WHAT to expect when you use Manual SEO:

1.) It's a gamble if you shell out money and you don't receive substantial results.

2.) Manual SEO could be time-consuming in terms of submitting tons of websites to search engines.

3.) Arguments might take place in terms of missed targets and goal delivery.

4.) Manual SEO will take some time to implement and produce results.

The Verdict

It's a matter of what works and what doesn't for your business or client, since experience working with either strategy can affect your choice of SEO approach. It's always a priority that you see results but always keep in mind that these should benefit your long-term goals.