How SEO Software is like Fitbit for SEOs

The company I’m working for is doing a Fitbit Fitness Challenge.  Most every employee is currently carrying around a Fitbit and the fitness of everyone is being tracked by the Fitbit online software which monitors their level of activity.  Our company is split into two teams and overall “team activity” will ultimately decide whether the San Mateo team or the Chicago team (which I’m part of) will win our corporate fitness contest.

Now, the software is a bit idiosyncratic.  It seems to think that an hour long walk burns many more calories than an hour on the elliptical with the pressure on max.  The software also gave me credit for 11.68 travelled on a day where the bulk of my activity consisted of an 80 minute walk along the Columbia River in Kennewick followed by a long car ride back to Portland.

Quirks aside, the Fitbit is a wonderful device for measuring my “relative” level of activity.

SEO Software – Fitbit for SEOs?

Similarly, SEO software measures the relative fitness of your website.  It’s not an absolute measure of website performance…your total number of leads / sales / revenue determines that.  However, if the indicators of your SEO are trending positive, your business metrics should also be trending in the same way.  Therefore, if you take the necessary steps to positively influence your SEO metrics, you’ll be helping the bottom-line of your business.

Success in SEO clearly requires a lot of time and discipline.  Using SEO software doesn’t replace the hard work of SEO but allows the SEO to work smarter and more strategically.  Achieving a top Google ranking for a targeted keyword is wonderful and obviously positive, but the SEO software will help you understand the value achieved from the effort and see your accomplishment within the context of the overall optimization efforts.

A search marketer might ask me for a recommendation as to which Search Engine Software is best for their needs.  My answer?

Their brain.


todd's seo monitoring dashboard

If the SEO knows the optimization history of the website, he/she can map that onto the software data to see how effective each of the individual efforts that comprise a SEO campaign has performed.  He/she then can overlay this information with information gleaned from Google Analytics (or other analytics software), mapping the SEO tactics to conversions in order to see which tactics really generated results and which generated just fancy numbers.

Novice SEO’s vs. Experienced SEO’s

SEO software is successfully used by search engine optimizers of all levels of experience.  Novice SEO’s can try out various SEO tactics and measure their results.  They can then discern what’s working and what isn’t working…and from that, they can focus on the tactics that generate the most benefit for their time spent.  This strategy is known as “Reactive SEO”.

Experienced SEO’s already know what techniques will work for the website…they just use the SEO software for measurement instead of judgment.  “Proactive SEO” still requires the assistance of SEO software because like all top athletes, top SEO’s instinctively know how to work successfully but need to see the relative worth of each component of the work(out).  Being able to fine-tune an already solid optimization can be really challenging in the post Panda / Penguin era and the fitness bar for top SEO’s keeps getting raised.

Without software tools to “stay in shape”, the best SEO’s aren’t be able to maintain their level of excellence.

editors note (Scott) – I recently got a Nike Fuel band, and I think Todd is spot on here. Knowing that you are being tracked at all times is fantastic for accountability, and the analogy definitely applies to SEO software that can track all your important SEO metrics.