Have you ever wondered how websites like Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Zillow always manage to dominate search results with their extensive content?
Well, let me tell you a little secret—it’s all about SEO (search engine optimization).
As an internet user, you might have unknowingly encountered the magic of programmatic SEO, a powerful practice in digital marketing.
In this article, we’ll embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries of programmatic SEO. I’ll guide you through what it is, how to harness its potential, and share some remarkable strategies for creating landing pages on a large scale.
Get ready to dive into the world of SEO with me!
Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine? That’s right, almost everyone relies on search engines to find the information they need.
So, understanding programmatic SEO becomes essential in today’s digital landscape.
Let’s get to the bottom of what programmatic SEO is all about in this article. But first, let’s take a break for some coffee and cookies!
What Is Programmatic SEO?
In simple terms, programmatic SEO is a strategy designed to tackle the ever-increasing volume of search traffic by creating and publishing landing pages on a large scale.
It’s all about optimizing your website’s visibility in search engine results by strategically generating a multitude of landing pages.
Let’s consider an example to better understand this concept. Imagine you run an e-commerce website that sells various types of shoes.
With programmatic SEO, you would create landing pages for each specific shoe brand, style, and category. This means having dedicated pages for running shoes, sneakers, boots, and more.
By doing so, you increase your chances of appearing in relevant search results when users are looking for specific types of shoes.
This allows them to consistently rank at the top of search results when users search for specific businesses or travel recommendations.
By adopting programmatic SEO, you can effectively target your desired audience and improve your website’s visibility in search engine rankings.
By creating landing pages that cater to specific search queries, you increase your chances of appearing in relevant search results and driving more organic traffic to your site.
So, if you want to make the most of programmatic SEO, start by identifying the key search terms and queries relevant to your business.
Then, create compelling and optimized landing pages that address those specific topics.
The goal is to provide valuable and relevant content that matches users’ search intent, ultimately driving more traffic and potential customers to your website.
Remember, programmatic SEO is a powerful tool for expanding your online presence and reaching your target audience effectively.
Embrace the opportunity to create a plethora of landing pages that cater to various search queries, and watch as your website climbs the ranks and attracts more visitors.
Why Do It In First Place?
The main purpose behind programmatic SEO is to capitalize on the massive number of people searching for specific keywords and maximize reach to as many users as possible.
This is achieved by creating a multitude of landing pages that are designed to attract clicks and engagement. These landing pages are optimized for various search methods, including mobile, voice, and local searches.
While there has been considerable discussion in the SEO community about the importance of 10x content and its potential to boost search rankings, programmatic SEO takes a different approach.
Instead of solely focusing on authoritative and high-quality content, programmatic SEO prioritizes creating a good user experience and generating high-volume landing pages with strong transactional intent.
The essence of programmatic SEO lies in bypassing the traditionally slow SEO process by leveraging the power of well-optimized landing pages.
These pages are strategically designed to meet the needs of users searching for specific queries, enabling websites to attract targeted traffic and drive conversions more efficiently.
But don’t forget the most important part- having fun with it! After all, what’s the point of a website if it doesn’t make you smile?
We’ll now examine how you can implement programmatic SEO into your digital marketing strategy and how it can work for you.
Implementing Programmatic SEO Strategies
Here are 2 strategies you can implement:
1. Get Thousands Of Keywords To Choose From
To kick off your programmatic SEO strategy, the first step is to identify a wide range of keywords that are relevant to your business or industry.
These keywords will help you target specific search queries and reach a larger audience. Here’s how you can find a ton of keywords:
- Identify Your Head Terms: Start by determining the broad categories or topics that you want to rank for. For example, if you’re running a travel website like Tripadvisor, your head terms could be “things to do” and “hotels.” Similarly, if you’re managing a platform like Yelp, your head terms might include “restaurants,” “barbershops,” and “gyms.” These head terms generally have high search volumes and are often paired with additional keywords (modifiers) for more specific searches.
- Utilize Keyword Research Tools: Once you have your head terms, use keyword research tools like Google Trends and Keyword Generator to explore related keywords and assess their search volumes. These tools provide valuable insights into search trends and seasonal variations, and allow you to compare different keywords to make informed decisions.
Google Trends, in particular, is a helpful tool as it enables you to visualize the popularity of keywords over time and make comparisons.
It provides a comprehensive overview of keyword search volumes, helping you identify the most relevant and popular keywords to target in your programmatic SEO efforts.
By leveraging these tools, you can uncover a wealth of keywords that align with your business objectives and cater to the search behavior of your target audience.
These keywords will serve as the foundation for building your high-volume landing pages and optimizing them for maximum visibility and engagement.
2. Choose Your Modifiers
When conducting programmatic SEO, it’s important to identify modifiers that can enhance the search volume and specificity of your keywords.
Modifiers are words or phrases that are combined with your head terms to create more targeted variations. Here are examples of primary and secondary modifiers:
It’s important to note that primary modifiers create distinct categories within your head terms, while secondary modifiers provide additional details or descriptors.
These modifiers can modify the head term alone or both the head term and the primary modifier.
Pro Tip: If your business caters to local customers, consider including location-based modifiers. For example, if you own a bakery in New York City, you can use the modifier “bakery in NYC” to target users specifically searching for local bakery options.
Then Put Them All Together
Once you have identified your primary and secondary modifiers, the next step is to compile them into a comprehensive list.
There are various coding software options available, but using Python is often recommended due to its versatility and accessibility.
It’s a free programming language that can help you organize and manage your keywords effectively.
Alternatively, you can use any coding software that suits your preferences as they all yield similar results.
Additionally, it’s a good practice to maintain an extra copy of your head terms and modifiers in Google Sheets for added convenience and backup.
Now, you might be wondering how many keywords you should aim for. In programmatic SEO, it’s not uncommon to work with a large number of keywords.
Having 100,000 or more keywords may seem overwhelming, but it’s actually quite normal in this context. However, it’s important to note that you don’t always need such a massive volume of keywords.
Even as few as 2,000 carefully selected keywords can provide valuable insights and contribute to your SEO efforts.
Let’s say you’re running a pet supply e-commerce store. Your head term could be “dog toys,” and your primary modifiers could include “interactive dog toys,” “chew toys for dogs,” and “indestructible dog toys.”
Your secondary modifiers could be “cheap dog toys,” “dog toys for small breeds,” and “dog toys for aggressive chewers.”
By combining these modifiers with your head term, you can create a diverse list of keywords that cater to different user search intents.
Remember, the goal is to have a comprehensive set of keywords that cover a wide range of variations and user search queries related to your business.
This approach allows you to target specific niches, increase your visibility in search results, and attract relevant traffic to your website.
Analyze Search Results At Scale To Determine Competitive Positioning
Now, it’s time to conduct a competitive analysis of search results on a larger scale. This step involves identifying the major players who are ranking well for the keyword you’re targeting.
To begin, perform a search on Google using your targeted keywords. The top results usually represent the websites that have optimized their content for those keywords effectively. Take note of these top competitors as they are the ones you’ll be analyzing.
For example, let’s say you’re focusing on the keyword “healthy recipes.” Your top competitors might include websites like AllRecipes, Food Network, and Epicurious.
To gain insights into your competitors’ SEO strategies, you can utilize various tools such as Ahrefs, SEMRush, Moz, and Ubersuggest.
These tools provide valuable data on the number of keywords each competitor is ranking for, their backlink profiles, common user experience patterns, and the title tags they use.
Let’s consider using Ubersuggest as an example. It offers a free version that allows you to perform multiple searches after signing in.
When conducting a competitor analysis for the keyword “vegetarian recipes” on Ubersuggest, you can get a general idea of the number of keywords your competitors are ranking for.
While Ubersuggest may not display the complete list of keywords for each website, it provides valuable insights that can help you understand the SEO landscape and assess your competitors’ performance.
By analyzing your competitors’ keyword rankings, backlinks, and other SEO factors, you can gather valuable information to inform your own SEO strategy.
This analysis allows you to identify opportunities, learn from successful competitors, and develop effective tactics to improve your search rankings and attract more organic traffic.
Now that you have a vast collection of keywords and have analyzed your competitors, it’s time to tackle the challenge of creating landing pages at scale.
Building a large number of unique landing pages can seem daunting, but fear not! We’re here to guide you through the process.
The key to creating a large volume of landing pages lies in understanding and addressing search intent.
Rather than creating a unique page for every single keyword in your list, it’s more effective to focus on the different search intents associated with keyword research.
Remember, search intent refers to the ultimate goal or purpose behind a user’s search query. It’s essential to let Google algorithms and data determine the search intent, as they have insights into how users interact with search results.
To identify the search intent for specific keywords, you’ll need to conduct some research. Spend time browsing the search engine results pages (SERPs) to observe which key terms rank for the targeted keywords.
Additionally, you can check for the “Searches related to” section at the bottom of the Google search page, which provides related terms and insights.
Another helpful indicator is when Google highlights certain words in bold within the search results. This suggests that the keyword may be relevant and worth considering for your landing page.
Even if you’re focusing on creating landing pages based on search intent, it’s still a significant undertaking. So, next, I will discuss a few strategies to create unique landing pages at a large scale.
Creating Landing Pages For Large Scale Strategies
When it comes to creating landing pages at a large scale, certain strategies have proven to be effective for companies engaged in programmatic SEO.
While the overall design and layout of the landing pages may remain consistent, it’s crucial to ensure that each page offers unique elements, such as images, information, and user-generated content.
Let’s explore the key strategies that companies are using in real-time:
1. Community-Based Approach:
Reddit, Quora, and Stack Overflow exemplify the power of community-generated content. These platforms serve as forums where users ask and answer questions, generating a wealth of unique content that can be transformed into landing pages.
By categorizing questions into topic pages, companies can target a wide range of search terms and provide valuable information to users.
Similarly, Pinterest’s vast collection of user-curated images serves as a valuable resource for users searching for inspiration and ideas.
2. Two-Sided Marketplace:
The concept of a two-sided marketplace involves vendors and customers contributing to the content of landing pages. Platforms like eBay, Yelp, Rover, and Expedia embrace this strategy.
Vendors create content such as images, listings, product descriptions, and Q&A sections, while customers leave reviews.
This collaborative approach generates diverse and unique content on each landing page, enhancing the overall user experience and search visibility.
3. E-Commerce Focus:
E-commerce giants like Amazon, Wayfair, and Etsy utilize the e-commerce strategy for their landing pages.
While many product pages may share general information, it’s essential to provide unique product details such as benefits, specifications, and pricing on each page.
The real differentiator comes from user-generated content, particularly customer reviews.
Implementing a robust review collection strategy allows for the generation of fresh and distinct content on every product page, building trust and aiding in search rankings.
4. Personalize Landing Pages By Location:
If your business operates in multiple locations, creating location-specific landing pages can significantly enhance local search visibility.
Customize the content to include location-specific details, such as address, contact information, operating hours, and local promotions or events.
Optimizing the landing pages for relevant local keywords can improve your chances of appearing in local search results and attract users from specific regions.
Example: If you run a chain of coffee shops, create separate landing pages for each location, including unique content about the history, ambiance, and specialties of each coffee shop in different cities.
5. Utilize Dynamic Content:
Dynamic content allows you to create personalized experiences for each visitor by automatically customizing elements of the landing page based on user data or behavior.
This could include displaying recommended products based on previous browsing history, showing tailored messages based on demographics or preferences, or even addressing the visitor by their name.
Dynamic content helps create a more engaging and relevant experience, increasing the likelihood of conversions.
Example: If an e-commerce website knows that a visitor has previously shown interest in fitness equipment, it can dynamically display related products or even offer personalized discounts based on their browsing behavior.
6. Incorporate User-Generated Content:
Your landing pages gain credibility and authenticity by adding user-generated content, such as reviews, testimonials, and mentions on social media.
Encourage your customers to share their experiences, feedback, or testimonials, and prominently display them on your landing pages.
This not only provides social proof but also generates unique content for each page, improving search visibility and trustworthiness.
Example: A hotel booking website can showcase customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials for specific hotels or destinations, giving potential visitors insights from real experiences and influencing their decision-making process.
By adopting these strategies, companies can create a vast number of landing pages while ensuring uniqueness and relevance.
Leveraging community-generated content, harnessing the power of two-sided marketplaces, and capitalizing on user-generated content in e-commerce are effective approaches to programmatic SEO.
Remember, the goal is to provide valuable information, engage users, and enhance the overall user experience, ultimately driving organic traffic and conversions.
Make Sure You Stay Away From Doorway Pages
Google strongly discourages the use of doorway pages, which are specifically created to rank highly for certain search queries. Doorway pages are considered manipulative and against Google’s guidelines.
However, the purpose of programmatic SEO is not to create doorway pages but to build landing pages at scale while providing useful content for users.
Instead of focusing on creating low-quality, spammy pages solely for the purpose of ranking higher in search results, programmatic SEO aims to create high-volume landing pages with real value and relevance to users.
The goal is to provide comprehensive information, products, or services that genuinely meet the needs of searchers.
For example, if you have a travel website, instead of creating hundreds of nearly identical pages targeting specific locations with thin or duplicate content, you should focus on creating unique and informative landing pages for each location.
These pages can provide valuable information about attractions, accommodations, local tips, and more, genuinely helping users in their travel planning process.
By ensuring that your content serves a legitimate purpose and provides value to users, you align with Google’s guidelines and avoid the risk of being penalized for creating doorway pages.
It’s important to prioritize the user experience and deliver content that is informative, engaging, and meets the intent of the search queries.
Remember, the key is to create landing pages that genuinely address user needs and offer valuable information, products, or services, rather than solely focusing on manipulating search rankings.
This approach not only helps you stay in compliance with Google’s guidelines but also builds trust with your audience, leading to better long-term SEO results.
Connect To The Database
Connecting to a database in programmatic SEO involves utilizing various sources of information to build your content.
The database can range from a simple CSV export of government data to a sophisticated proprietary data warehouse that updates in real time. The key is to create a database that aligns with the goals defined by your template.
You don’t need to be a data scientist to find the right data for your database. It’s more important to understand your audience’s needs and have basic skills in tools like Excel.
If you lack these skills, you can always outsource the task or seek assistance from experts.
Building a database can involve different sources, including open-source data, customer feedback, and reviews, categorized support ticket questions, historical industry prices, and more.
The idea is to transform your product or brand into a valuable and unique resource by leveraging the data you collect.
Once you have your database in place, the next step is to publish your content and ensure it gets indexed by search engines. In programmatic SEO, where large volumes of content are involved, it’s common to encounter indexing challenges.
Not all pages will be indexed immediately, and it’s normal for the indexing rate to be less than 30%.
For example, if you publish a significant amount of content all at once, some pages may initially be categorized as “Discovered – currently not indexed” or “Crawled – currently not indexed.”
This means they have been discovered by search engine bots but have not yet been indexed for display in search results.
To overcome indexing issues, it’s important to follow programmatic SEO best practices and give search engines enough time to crawl and index your pages.
Gradually, more pages will transition from the “not indexed” state to being indexed and accessible to users through search results.
Remember, programmatic SEO requires patience and understanding of the indexing process, especially when dealing with a large-scale content strategy.
Create A Robust Sitemap Structure
Creating a well-structured sitemap is crucial for programmatic SEO to ensure effective indexing of your website by search engines.
When dealing with large sites that exceed the maximum URL limit of a single robots.txt sitemap, you’ll need to utilize multiple sitemaps and sitemap indexes.
To establish a robust sitemap structure, align it with your site’s directory structure. Consider creating a separate sitemap for each relevant directory or section of your website.
This approach organizes the sitemaps based on subject matter rather than the publishing date, making it easier for search engines like Google to index and understand the content categories.
For example, if you have an e-commerce website with different product categories, you can create individual sitemaps for each category such as “electronics.xml,” “apparel.xml,” and “home-decor.xml.”
This categorization helps search engines navigate and index your website more efficiently.
After setting up your sitemap structure, it’s important to ensure that each individual sitemap is crawled by search engines. You can force crawl each sitemap separately, even if you have hundreds of them.
This ensures that search engines like Google revisit the sitemap multiple times to index the included URLs accurately.
By organizing your sitemaps and effectively managing the crawling process, you can improve the discoverability of your website’s content and enhance the overall programmatic SEO strategy.
Create HTML Sitemaps
Creating HTML sitemaps in modern programmatic SEO involves identifying each directory page and utilizing them as linking guides for important “milestone” pages.
While it may not be feasible to link to every individual leaf page, you can focus on Category > Subcategory links to create an effective structure.
Let’s consider an example of an e-commerce website selling various electronic products. The HTML sitemap can be structured as follows:
By organizing the HTML sitemap in this manner, you create a clear flow from the Homepage to the Categories and further to the Subcategories.
For instance, a user visiting the Homepage can easily navigate to the desired category, such as “Electronics,” and then explore relevant subcategories like “Computers & Laptops” or “Mobile Phones & Tablets.”
This approach allows the directories to serve as link hubs, improving the internal linking structure of your website.
It enhances the user experience by providing a logical and intuitive navigation path, while also helping search engines crawl and understand the hierarchy of your site’s content.
- What Does SEO Mean: Basics Explained!
- What Does ChatGPT Do? ChatGPT For Content And SEO?
- The Definitive Guide to E-commerce SEO
- What Are SEO Services: What Do SEO Company Services Include?
Conclusion: What Is Programmatic SEO 2023
Programmatic SEO may seem like a challenging endeavor, but its potential impact on driving organic traffic and boosting your business is undeniable.
By implementing the strategies discussed in this article, you can effectively publish at scale and reap the benefits of increased visibility in search results.
However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that the foundation of programmatic SEO lies in creating content that is genuinely useful and valuable to users.
Google’s algorithms are designed to prioritize high-quality, user-centric content. So, as you embark on your programmatic SEO journey, always prioritize creating content that meets the needs and interests of your target audience.
By leveraging tactics such as keyword research, competitive analysis, personalized landing pages, and strategic link-building, you can maximize your online presence and improve your chances of success.
Remember, programmatic SEO is a continuous process that requires experimentation, adaptation, and staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices.
So, get ready to make your mark in the digital landscape by implementing programmatic SEO strategies and creating content that not only satisfies Google’s guidelines but also delights and engages your users.
With dedication and a user-focused approach, you can achieve lasting success in driving organic traffic and growing your online presence.