The big thing I learnt was that the software was often spammy and if you aren’t careful you can undo all your hard work. I don’t know how many times I submitted my sites to Google, but it was the crappy sites not the visibility that were causing the poor SERPs.
It’s a bit like when you’re at school and the teacher is trying to get long division into your head and your fingers twitch towards your calculator. The teachers mantra is that if you can’t do it manually how can you really understand what the calculator is doing. I decry that attitude for logarithms but for everything else it’s spot on. Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to work out the viability of your next property investment or getting a good position in the search engines. Tools are great, but you have to understand the basics.
So, if you’re tempted to use SEO software to cut some corners make sure you already know the basics of SEO first, can view the source of a page and understand what you are seeing, that the pages are constructed well. Then consider the software. Do the strategies being put forward sit comfortably with you. How would you feel about finding the type of content they recommend on other sites – what would you think?
And remember, search engines like a steady stream of fresh content, a themed site, easy navigation and lots of inbound links. I’m not convinced that software can really help all that much.