Jan 8, 2024

What Is Programmatic SEO: A Step-By-Step Guide

What Is Programmatic SEO: A Step-By-Step Guide
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Search engine optimization is a demanding process.

When it comes to large websites with hundreds of pages, things can be chaotic. Creating each page one by one, while ensuring it abides by optimal SEO principles, needs endless time and effort.

This is where programmatic SEO comes in. By utilizing no-code tools, it allows you to create, populate, and publish a vast number of web pages fast and efficiently.

What Is Programmatic SEO?

Programmatic SEO is the process of generating hundreds or thousands of web pages using automation.

By combining and synchronizing existing data with pre-programmed rules, you can actually create all your (similar) pages at once.

The purpose of programmatic SEO is to produce keyword-focused pages that will eventually rank a website for a large number of searches around the same topic.

For example, you might like to rank for ‘things to do in… [various cities]’. Or for ‘software program comparisons.’

By utilizing and optimizing programmatic SEO, you can leverage your search engine optimization and scale efforts to the maximum.

Programmatic SEO Examples

One of the most famous examples of programmatic SEO is Trip Advisor.

Indeed, if you search for “Things to do in...(a city),” Trip Advisor (almost) always ranks at the top. It has thousands of web pages, one for every location travelers visit around the world.

By taking a closer look, you will realize that each page has the same design and content style. Yet, they all offer valuable travel info, and they all rank at the top.

That’s what programmatic SEO is about.

If your website deals with fixed page patterns, and you aim to rank for thousands of keywords that are topically related, then you can easily create your SEO-optimized landing pages using automation.

Some popular search categories for websites with programmatic pages include comparisons, top 10s, locations, and integrations.

How To Do Programmatic SEO

Thanks to automation technology, it is now easier than ever to create programmatic pages and scale your rankings.

Just like in non-automated SEO, you need to start with research, continue to implementation, and finally keep checking results and auditing pages on a set schedule.

Here are the basic steps to do programmatic SEO.

Find Your Head Terms And Modifiers

What will your primary topic be? Are there enough keywords to support your programmatic ventures?

In the Trip Advisor example, it is clear that there are thousands of keywords to deal with.

From things to do to hotels, restaurants, and activities around the world, Trip Advisor has a huge keyword group with extensive search volume.

Modifier keywords specify your individual pages’ titles and topics. So, while the head term of a set of Trip Advisor pages is ‘restaurants,’ the modifiers are all the cities around the world.

Before finalizing your head terms, make a thorough competitor analysis to evaluate gaps or challenges.

Create Template Page

This step takes some serious work from your design and SEO team. You need to create the ‘best’ page template that serves your SEO targets now and in the future.

Your programmatic page template must have superb UX and the proper content fields. Plus, it has to load fast and follow all the latest technical specifications.

Create A Database

‍In your database, every row represents the content of every page. Each column corresponds to a data type that will be added dynamically in the respective page fields.

Make sure you have some unique sets of data that will make your pages stand apart from the competition.

Fill Out The Database

You will need to fill out your database with your head terms, your modifiers, and unique content. If you deal with just tens of pages, it’s easy to do this by hand.

But, when your website has hundreds of programmatic pages, you definitely need to automate data entry.

Create Your Programmatic Pages

First, make sure that every set of data (column) in your database corresponds to a specific field in your page template.

Then, use your favorite tools to map your tables and fields and sync your data between your database and your pages. If done well, you will be able to create hundreds of programmatic pages in no time.

Add Programmatic Content

To fill your pages with programmatic content or create programmatic blogs, you must connect and sync your database, website platform, and an AI integration.

You can actually set AI to produce texts that follow a set of specific guidelines customized for every page.

For example, you can set instructions like: “Write a short description for a technical website unique to {software}.”

What To Watch Out For In Programmatic SEO

Integrating conventional SEO with programmatic SEO is often the best way to enjoy high rankings for a multitude of keywords and offer superb user experiences at the same time.

Some things to consider when applying programmatic SEO include:

Thin Content

There are various reasons why a piece of content can turn out to be ‘thin.’

For example:

  • Your content offers no real value to the users.
  • It’s not closely related to the page’s central theme (title/heading).
  • It repeats the same things on the same page.
  • It’s extremely short.
  • It’s not well structured.

As a result, if you set programmatic pages to show AI-written texts, ensure your instructions produce some decent content.

In programmatic SEO, automated applications work wonders. Still, it’s your responsibility to see that every page offers a pleasant user experience in all respects.

Duplicate Content

It’s common for AI to produce identical paragraphs or sentences for different requests coming from different users. Or even to reproduce false information.

In this case, your pages may have the same content as your competitor pages! And you may publish false information that will cause mistrust and bad reviews.

In addition, it is sometimes apparent that you have an AI copywriter handling your pages. Discerning users will thus bounce away, while search engines may lower your rankings.

Even though automation can quickly produce SEO-friendly programmatic results, always check your pages with the help of a human.

Problematic SEO Coding

Before producing hundreds of programmatic pages, start small. Test your pages. Don’t just test their content but also do technical SEO audits.

Clean SEO code, fast-loading pages, and responsiveness are just some things you need to set right from the beginning.

Then, you must monitor your crawling and indexing to prevent technical SEO issues like orphan pages, non-indexed pages, or zombie pages.

Low Domain Authority

If you are just beginning with your multi-page website, it’s worth starting with ‘manual’ SEO. Take the time to create a few keyword-targeted pages based on careful keyword research, with content by an SEO copywriter.

Trying to outrank established competitors in your niche with programmatic pages takes a lot of work.

So first, help Google and other search engines trust your website by providing original, human-made content with superb quality. Then, you can scale up your optimization efforts with programatic SEO.

Suitability

Programatic SEO is not suitable for every business.

If you run a huge e-commerce store, for example, programmatic pages allow you to showcase all your products quickly.

However, if you draw descriptions from the wholesalers’ websites or have inaccurate (AI-written) product information, you might like to let your staff write your pages’ content.

Large Page Volume

Because programmatic pages are so easy to make, you will end up with a large volume of URLs to manage.

From checking content to streamlining indexing issues, high rankings demand a great deal of website maintenance and continuous SEO audits.

Combine In-Depth Knowledge With Programmatic SEO

High rankings demand clever workarounds and efficient SEO utilization.

No matter your ranking needs, Atropos Digital ensures your SEO success.

From niche-focused sites to large e-commerce stores, we work in optimal ways to skyrocket your visibility. Contact us for a free assessment.

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