SEO relies on data. That’s a pretty simple fact. Still, for some reason, some SEOs still do all their research by hand and manually track their performance, usually by making Excel charts that seem to stretch for days. I honestly don’t completely understand how they put the time into even trying to do this, at this point in SEO. So for this article I won’t be answering the question posed in the title, but instead showing why manual data gathering doesn’t make sense anymore.

To do well in SEO, you require fresh and accurate data to base your decisions upon. If you spend all your time and effort doing data gathering by hand, how do you have the time to make solid judgments and strategies for your customers?

SEO, of course, did start out with that exact manual strategy, but the reason it isn’t anymore is because this very problem I’m talking about. There is simply too much data, and data gathering can be easily automated, so doing it by hand is a waste of time and resources.

But, for those few SEOs out there still doing things the old fasioned way, there are pleny of ways to get all of your data gathering automated quickly. Myles Anderson from Search Engine Land gathered a quite a few tools you could use to get started, as well as answering just about any question about local SEO tools anyone has had ever.

It is a comprehensive guide, so if you just need the tools, head straight for that section, but if you need more convincing or don’t understand how the tools work or their benefits, Anderson makes a strong case with his explanations.

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