Five Ways SEO Shortcuts Fail

Five Ways SEO Shortcuts Fail

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), using shortcuts and tools can enhance a strategy but should rarely be your sole approach. Even the most popular plug-ins can fall short of delivering desired results, especially when you use them exclusively instead of developing a strategy that addresses on-site, technical, and off-site SEO (or linking).

SEO shortcuts can come in the form of plug-ins and tools or quick changes that promise near-instant results. These shortcuts might include:

  • Backlinks you buy from external sites 
  • Plug-ins that analyze keyword density and recommend ways to improve content 
  • Software that provides performance reports and site analysis


Shortcomings of SEO Plug-Ins and Shortcuts

Tools and plug-ins can certainly be part of a comprehensive SEO strategy, but they often barely brush the surface of optimization possibilities. Consider how these supposed shortcuts may impede—rather than enhance—your SEO efforts:

1. SEO Shortcuts Ignore User Intent 

A solid understanding of user intent is central to an effective SEO strategy. Many tools offer only cursory insight into how keywords relate to the consumer's purchasing patterns, and overlook opportunities to target content. And plug-ins that analyze already-optimized copy suss out exact keyword matches but may miss semantic phrases that address customer intent. 

2. Shortcuts & Plug-Ins Often Disregard the Inherent Nature of SEO

SEO tools and plug-ins are seldom “plug-and-play.” In fact, the very concept of a shortcut is inconsistent with the slow-building nature of SEO. A return on investment requires said investment, and a comprehensive optimization strategy may take days, weeks, or even months to deliver results. Take a closer look before committing to anything that promises instant success.

3. Shortcuts Overlook Key Components of Site Health

A holistic approach will address each aspect of SEO, including on-site, technical, and off-site. Plug-ins may overlook one or more of these core components of site health. This narrow, siloed approach leads to an insufficient strategy and an incomplete view of the quality of your site’s optimization. 

4. SEO Plug-Ins Minimize Context

SEO tools can provide a list of keywords, and some may even offer content suggestions. But rarely will an SEO plug-in consider background context that can help you compose the best copy for customer visibility. Well-optimized pages will incorporate long-tail keywords, phrases and information targeted toward customer intent, and queries relevant to the right stage of the buyer’s journey. 

5. Shortcuts Deliver Shallow Results

Search engines put a high value on content written for people, but SEO plug-ins often provide suggestions targeted toward an algorithm. They look at the technical side of SEO, rather than the art and strategy behind it, which can result in poorer performance for your site as a whole. 


Why Hire an SEO Agency Instead

SEO agencies know that while plug-ins and software can be part of an effective optimization strategy, they should not be the main method of optimization. At Eight Oh Two, our skilled SEO professionals effectively use industry tools in conjunction with established expertise to deliver results.

  1. SEO Agencies Offer a 360° ApproachAgencies have a full team of professionals dedicated to analyzing each component of your website’s SEO. They look at how each page works in the bigger picture of your site, and how its overarching organization contributes to the best user experience and search performance.
  2. SEO Professionals Have Subject-Matter ExpertiseMany agencies work within specific industry verticals. Not only are they familiar with SEO trends and best practices, they’re also familiar with what’s working—and what’s not—for your direct competitors. They know how to optimize your website to compete in that landscape.
  3. Agencies Effectively Balance Automated and Manual SEOWhen it comes to composing effectively optimized copy, SEO plug-ins are helpful tools in an agency’s toolbox. Our team of professionals knows what to automate (creating reports, generating keyword lists), what to do manually (choosing the best keywords, composing content), and how to analyze the results of those manual and automated efforts to improve performance in the long-term.
  4. Working With an SEO Agency Is Cost-EffectiveInvesting in a partnership with an SEO agency can be more cost-effective than using shortcuts. No single SEO tool can do it all, so you’ll have to utilize multiple programs to get comprehensive support for your site’s SEO strategy. In contrast, an agency’s 360° approach to search engine optimization means you’re making the most of your money and of your time.

Reframe how you look at SEO software and plug-ins: They are not shortcuts to help you skip steps, but tools you can use as part of a comprehensive approach to develop a more effective strategy. Our SEO marketing professionals are experts at striking that balance, using both automated and manual methods to optimize your website and increase your brand’s visibility. Learn more about working with Eight Oh Two to audit and improve your company’s SEO strategy today. 

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