Chris Castillo, Propel Digital Media Solutions
Being very busy and on the move all the time, I sometimes remember to do something while on the road, eating dinner, or just generally away from my desk. This recipe lets me quickly add something to my tasks to make sure I keep me and my team on track.
Garrett Nafzinger, Garrett Digital
I like Python, because it’s more straight-forward than other coding languages. I’ve used Python to query the Google Search Console API to create custom reports for my clients. Python is a great language for data analysis and reporting, which makes it an essential tool for SEO consultants or agencies.
Jordan Choo, Kogneta
I absolutely LOVE Node.JS as you’re able to build both the front and the back end of apps.
One thing that I am particularly proud of automating is building a Slack bot that allows me to test hundreds of URLs for how quickly the page loads and their Core Web Vitals. This helps me provide clients with recommendations not just how to improve their SEO performance but also user experience. The tool itself is built using a Node.JS serverless architecture that saves data into BigQuery which is then visualized in Google Data Studio in a client friendly way.
Carlos Obregon, Bloom Digital Marketing
As an SEO practitioner, my favourite coding language is Python. I used to use spreadsheets for everything in the past and the transition to Python automations was a huge time saver. At our agency we do SEO work on dozens of websites and we use a Python script we created to get the number of indexed pages on multiple websites. This script pulls the data from Google and it provides us with a CSV file with the number of indexed pages for a list of URLs.
This file is useful to give us a snapshot on how and when Google is indexing our clients’ websites. Although the site: search operator gives an estimate of indexed pages it is still a valuable data point used in conjunction with other metrics. Python has helped us automate this task and the learning curve was not too steep. We would definitely recommend using it if you are conducting SEO project work.
Kevin Dam, Aemorph
The scripts are used to help automate mundane and repetitive tasks required for the work we do in the agency. It also helps with segregating tasks between different departments and easily moves tasks along.
An example of automating tasks is when we’re running a script to analyse which competitors have the same rankings as our clients site, we’re able to quickly highlight the rows/cells to get visual cues on what we should focus on first and last. This allows us to spend more time analysing the document rather than creating it.
In terms of production we’re able to move tasks to the next stage when certain criteria is met and this means there’s less errors since the rules have been set for each specific client. When the rules are met we pass information from one sheet to another and a member of the team will know exactly what to do with the new information and they can be assured the data is in the correct format they need to do their part.
Zach Doty, Zach Doty
My favorite coding language right now is probably R! I know there’s a lot of great material on Python for SEO strategists right now. However, the best language for automation is the one that works for you. I’ve found R and RStudio to be very approachable and more forgiving to beginners, especially when it comes to installation, setup, dependencies and so on.
Also, you can still run R scripts in Google Colab! Currently, I’m automating scaled Google Search Console data mining with R. Specifically, the SearchConsoleR package by Mark Edmondson is quite wonderful. There’s so much rich analysis you can perform with *all* of your Google Search Console data. There’s a lot of value in spot-checking the Search Console UI, or turning to SEMrush and Ahrefs exports for data.
However, these won’t necessarily help you build custom click curves or understand search demand trends for your site. Even if you don’t automate Search Console data mining for advanced analysis, it’s a still must-have for warehousing your marketing data.
Victor H, SGXP
My favorite coding language is python.
I grew up learning a few languages from school, but nothing beats python in automation in my opinion.
No-code (Zapier etc) is great for speed, but it’s costly to scale in the long run.
I mainly do SEO, which means I have to look at A LOT of data every day. Now, all I have to do is export files, run the code and read the conclusion. It works for a lot of the work I do.
I automated the boring stuff a few years back, and it changed the way I work. I generally use it for basic data scraping for contacts to outreach new prospects and for SEO/link building.
I do some basic A/B testing as well, as well as check scrape link building campaigns from existing sites to my own database. Saves you loads of time and VA work to outsource.
Austin Mullins, Conversion Media
I’m a big fan of simple XPath. One thing we commonly use it for is pulling in sitemaps from sites we’re analyzing. You can do it right now, just enter the following into a google sheet, replacing the URL with a sitemap URL you want to scrape:
=IMPORTXML(“https://www.example.com/sitemap.xml”,”//*[local-name() =’url’]/*[local-name() =’loc’]”)
Chris Sloane, Heaviside Group
My favorite coding language is php. This is primarily due to the types of requests our web development team gets. We primarily build on WordPress, and there are countless plugins that can accomplish just about any functionality you need. But, it’s not unusual to receive a client request where there is no pre-existing plugin or not one that is really appropriate for what they would like to accomplish.
It’s often related to specific functionality that is unique to their business, and there is never going to be an off-the-shelf plugin for that, but they do not want to go full-custom on their website. They want to keep the WordPress platform and the benefits that come along with it. So, since WordPress is built on php and is easily extensible, we can successfully create that functionality for our clients without breaking the WordPress core or having to create a full custom solution.
Steven Orechow, Steven Orechow
Marketing is constantly changing and evolving. One thing that has remained constant is the need for marketers to be innovative and creative in order to stay ahead of the curve.
SQL is an easy-to-learn programming language that allows you to manipulate databases and the data that’s within them. It’s useful for automating manual tasks and speeding up tedious processes. One popular marketing use case for SQL is in SEO, it can help you automate manual tasks, speed up tedious processes, and get more out of the data you already have.
You can query in SQL within something like BigQuery or a Jupyter notebook. Here are a couple of specific use cases:
* Sort/aggregate large keyword datasets with detailed patterns such as search volume/click metrics, URL or search intent.
* Empower your marketing team to better manage campaigns and analyze a range of different analytics quickly and easily.
Tim Robinson, invpn.com
I was always a geek but was never too enthusiastic about learning to code. Sure, I am comfortable editing my HTML, basic PHP scripts and making SQL queries. During a big lockdown of 2020, I got more time to learn the basics of Python. It was instant love because I quickly understood that Python’s learning curve to making use of it isn’t high at all.
There are two areas of how I am using it now. First – is scraping data from the web that is useful to manage and develop my sites. Second – to implement simple life hacks to my everyday life.
As a geek and webmaster, I use tons of apps, software, and browser tabs. After rebooting my computer, it always took me time to turn everything on and be ready for the work. One of the first Python scripts I wrote was to automate this. It is a simple script, which saves me a few hours per month.
Be smart about your time, be productive, and invest your time in learning the basics of coding. It will benefit you a lot!
Kas Andz, Kas Andz Marketing Group
“My favorite coding language has got to be Ruby (and using the server-side web application framework, Ruby on Rails as the platform).
It is simply built for developers to stop struggling with the small stuff. It is one of the smartest tools you can have, giving users intuitive connections and logical next steps in the building process.
With Ruby, I built an eCommerce order fulfillment system using automated pickups and cutaways to help streamline the process and improve the quality and quantity of the warehouse operations.
The process involves bringing in robots to do the heavy lifting, literally, and creating the seamless flow from checkout, to order processing, to selecting the best shipping courier, to finally delivering the final product.
Amazon does not yet even have this tool. It is next-gen work, and I love it!
Also, I appreciate its simplicity in use. Ruby is an intuitive syntax that is compact, and easy to understand.”
Skyler Reeves, Ardent Growth
Python has recently overtaken AppsScript as the language I find myself using the most frequently to automate things. It has a vast set of documentation and libraries available to make it very easy to get started with.
I recently developed an algorithm that automates keyword clustering at scale (time complexity is logarithmic).
The output tells us precisely how to organize, group, and structure content on a website. It simplifies the process of creating new content while also identifying cannibalization and keyword gaps throughout existing content on the site.
This single algorithm enabled us to reduce a process that normally took 100+ hours down to about 2-3 hours with a high degree of confidence about our decisions.
Automating this process enabled us to get results in record time. We ran it on a Friday, made a few changes to a client’s website and by Sunday they shot up from rank 67 on Google to 6 for a very competitive keyword in their industry.
If you can reduce the time it takes to do something (runtime) while simultaneously improving the accuracy of the output—you’ve struck gold.
Michelle Adams, HTEC Group
My team at HTEC and I love Python, because it’s easy to learn and it helps in our marketing automation.
We are using Python for marketing automation namely to find valuable content gaps which we can go after.
All of us marketers were accustomed to spend tens of hours renaming files or updating thousands of cells in spreadsheets. These tasks are both tedious and prone to mistakes. All of this is now solvable with the usage of Python.
Python’s used by our team in automation of:
– text search – namely search for an a text in a file or across set of files
– renaming of files and folders
– scrapping – our team even made a simple scrapped for web search which also downloads specified types of content that we need
– updating and formatting of data in Google Sheets and Zoho Sheets any size
– we also use it to split, merge, watermark, and encrypt PDFs
– also to send reminder emails to our mailing list
– to fill out online forms
We love Python.
Garrett Graff, Reach Creator
Python coupled with Django is one of our favorites! We’ve used the pair to build a back-end system for our link building agency that helps automate a lot of the trivial and repetitive tasks that come with building links at scale such as contractor management and writer-team management. As we have a large team of writers it was important to automate the tracking of their work quality, how many jobs a writer has with them currently, which industries they excel in writing for, etc.
By having our entire system “in the cloud” and running on a Postgres database, our entire team is able to access all of our data whenever they want, and we can track project progression from start to finish without the need of messy spreadsheets and lots of other third party apps.
Coding our own management system took time, but was definitely worth it in the long run!
Nick Swan, SEO Testing
Our favorite programming language is Python because it’s really flexible and it has a great ecosystem and community behind it. Python helps us with simple tasks all the way up to a complete application from top to bottom.
Using Python we’ve automated site deployments, backup processes, and also maintenance tasks for Devops.
Mohit Tater, BlackBook Investments
As an SEO, my work revolves around data analysis. The Python library, Pandas makes analyzing large sets of data easy & efficient. Data analysis in Pandas is scalable – you won’t have to worry about Excel or Google Sheets crashing anymore. Also, the code is reusable meaning you can apply the same analysis to multiple datasets, saving you loads of time spent on repeating the same process.
Python is also great at automating my workflows. An easy yet efficient task that I automated using Python was to extract the headings from the top ranking Google results for a particular keyword into a nicely formatted Excel file. This simple piece of automation has saved me multiple hours spent while creating content briefs for writers where I would have to copy the headings for individual articles one by one. This allows me to move on from repetitive, manual work on to things that move the needle.
Ryan Stewart, The Blueprint Training
SQL – we built a custom audit that’s automated in Google BigQuery. Data from 6 sources is piped into the BigQuery database using SQL…We call it The Website Quality Audit. The WQA allows us to work with massive datasets, automating the data pulling, formatting and decision making. That’s right – using logic we’re able to auto assign elements like page category and auto identify technical errors on a site (read more about the process here -> https://webris.org/seo-audit/)
Chris Kite, Python For Beginners
Chris Kite from Code 9 runs the site pythonforbeginners.com so it’s obvious which coding language Chris loves! He says “As marketing becomes more data driven python provides the perfect language to help you automate a number of tasks. It’s simplicity and ease of use make it perfect for a number of data driven marketing use cases. For example, you could implement a web scraping tool using Python to collate contact information for lead generation. The possibilities for python in marketing are huge”.
Dave Nilsson, The Converted Click
PHP, the ease of using WordPress as a CMS allows us to automate a property address checker which allowed users to add any location they wanted and access all of the details. Usine the power of PHP through the CMS allowed us to make it stand out and look great.
Will Cannon, Signaturely
Using Python to automate tasks
I’ve found Phyton to be a simple, yet powerful programming language for anyone looking to automate simple tasks. Since it resembles plain English, it makes the learning process quite fast, getting results very quickly.
That’s why Python is the obvious choice to automate tasks. I can use it to automate email sendings, filling out forms and spreadsheets, and even interact with APIs to get the most out of the tools I use. If I have a long and repetitive task, I can spend a few minutes writing the code I need to automate it, saving me hours of work.
The best part is the community. Once you know the basics of it, you can find a large community of programmers who have already done a lot of the code writing you need to automate your tasks. That means I don’t have to start from scratch and, when I do, I can easily find solutions to potential obstacles I find along the way.
About the author: Shaurya Jain has a blog about Digital Marketing called Attention Always, One of the recent hobbies he has picked up is making short videos online.