There's a strong chance you may disagree with me here and if you do I want to know why.
I am wondering about the real benefit of tools like Cora, POP, and SurferSEO. I have used Cora and Surfer, they are impressive. POP is a crowd favorite I haven't tried yet.
To make an analogy, they seem kind of like a weapon.
You can use them to "defend" your content from things like overoptimization if you're getting a little too heavy on onpage elements. Or if your content is technically weak, it will give you some hints that it is. That is a big plus.
But you can also shoot yourself in the foot if you're not careful. I recently saw someone hack their content because Surfer said 20,000+ words was too much. Surfer reported the ideal amount was a few thousand. Hundreds of dollars in content down tube, along with a lot of long-tail traffic I imagine. Am I wrong in my thinking on this?
People have reported ranking improvements when updating their content based on onpage analysis tools.
And I wonder about these and where attribution here is.
- Is it following the actionable, granular comparison data they give that is the benefit?
- Or is it the psychological trigger it causes to make people actually update a stale page that starts slipping in rankings?
Regardless, I can see a couple of interesting implementations these tools give.
- Giving it to a virtual assistant that's a good writer, but very little SEO training. As long as they're not hacking apart the content, things like making sure you're not overdoing things like H1 tags is a help, when you don't have the time to double-check people's work.
- Running them before you start a new piece of content. Rather than starting from scratch, you at least have some idea of a baseline to begin from. This week I'll be implementing Surfer into my content production process for this alone.