What is Programmatic SEO? How to Increase Organic Traffic in 2023
March 25, 2022
The evolution of SEO from a search engine algorithm-driven strategy to a more meaningful user-intent-driven strategy is evident today. For businesses and companies, SEO is now a reliable source for maximising traffic & brand awareness of their website.
Thinking about how TripAdvisor or Amazon have pages for every search query, no matter what your search for in their industry?
Also Read: Amazon Marketing Guide
The answer is programmatic SEO. It is an efficient way to boost organic traffic by entertaining hundreds and thousands of ever-expanding search queries with engaging, entertaining, and educational content. The best bit? It is all data-driven and automated.
What is Programmatic SEO?
Programmatic SEO utilises developer code to automatically create landing pages at scale using artificial intelligence techniques. These landing pages are produced at a large scale to target long-tail keywords. This way, businesses, and brands can capitalise on both high volume and low volume search queries with transactional intent and come up top in the SERPs.
Programmatic SEO is certainly the buzzword in the SEO industry at the moment and is most seen in travel, hospitality, eCommerce, real estate, etc.
Additional Read: What is SEO
How to Do Programmatic SEO
A good programmatic strategy hinges around quality keyword research for large-scale SEO. Let’s see how to do it:
1. Ton of keywords research
The goal is to filter relevant traffic to your website by targeting as many keywords as possible based on the audience’s various search objectives.
Find head terms
First and foremost, you need to look for head terms. Head terms are defined as broad categories of high-volume keywords for which a business decides to rank on search engines. For example, for a travel website, the head terms could be ‘hotels’ or ‘itinerary’. Similarly, for an e-commerce website, the head terms could be ‘gadgets’, ‘electronics’, ‘deals’, etc. Figuring out their search volumes using tools like Google Trends is also important.
Once you have your head terms, you need to look for appropriate modifiers. So, what are modifiers? Well, these are the add-on terms that are usually combined with head terms in most searches. For example, ‘3-star hotels’, ‘gadgets for men’, ‘Chinese restaurants’, etc., are head terms with modifiers.
Additionally, modifiers are split into two categories:
- Primary modifiers that create a new keyword category
- Secondary modifiers that merely describe a head term.
Using local modifiers that contain a head phrase and a place is ideal if you want to capture local leads. For example, ‘shopping malls near me’ or ‘hotels in Mumbai’ are keywords that include local modifiers.
At the end of the day, knowing which modifiers rank better locally and focusing on them in your programmatic content is important.
Compile your keywords in a list
Remember, a good programmatic strategy lists down a huge number of keywords and modifiers. Typically, a minimum of 2000 keywords is a good way to start. If you have a huge number of keywords, such as 100,000+, then using a coding language like Python is useful for creating an organised list. Don’t forget to compile the keywords in a spreadsheet as well.
Image Source: alcorfund.com
2. Competitor research at a large scale
Now that you have a powerful list of keywords, It’s time to know what your large-scale competitors are up to. Anyone who is competing for your keywords on a large scale and is ranking high is your competitor.
To do so:
- Analyse the top results on Google for your chosen keywords
- Figure out the number of keywords your competitors rank for using a proper tool
- Using tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs, you should also check for backlinks and how they are crafting their title tags
Also Read: Semrush vs Ahrefs vs Ubersuggest
3. Landing page at large scale
After you’ve completed your keyword research and competition analysis, you can move on to the next part of your programmatic SEO strategy: creating large-scale landing pages. Creating thousands of unique pages in no time is the hallmark of programmatic SEO. But remember: having 10,000 keywords doesn’t mean you need to create 10,000 pages.
The goal is to discover your target audience’s precise keyword search intent and build content around it. Look at the ‘Related searches’ area at the bottom of a Google search results page for a certain phrase. It will provide you with a large number of outstanding intent-based keywords from which to build relevant landing pages at scale.
So, how to do that exactly? You can follow the lead of brands that implement programmatic SEO expertly, such as community forums, marketplaces, e-commerce, location-based travel pages, etc. These businesses rapidly produce content through templatised formats like:
Structured product pages with similar design and layouts
- Q&A forums
- User reviews
- Location-based content
Did you Know: Techmagnate also offers complete expertise in Enterprise SEO Services
4. Doorway pages
Doorway pages should be avoided at all costs. These are websites or pages that have been designed with a single goal in mind: to score highly for certain search keywords. Finally, these sites serve as a ‘doorway’ to the same beneficial material that a user seeks. Such link-building isn’t considered ‘helpful,’ and search engines like Google frown on it. A gateway page is a website that, rather than answering a search query, provides a list of additional resources where visitors may find answers.
5. Interlink at a large scale
Lastly, it’s time to build your links on a large scale. Doing so often depends on what kind of niche you are in. Some useful strategies are:
- Viral content: Figure out the kind of content your audience loves to read and share. That leads to a lot of organic backlink growth.
- Ego-bait: This works well for aggregator brands. You can feature and recommend brands and businesses in your content or give them an embeddable badge on their website, such as ‘TripAdvisor-recommended’.
- Industry insights: If you churn out proprietary data and insights regularly, you can garner a lot of PR and news media attention.
- Commissioned surveys: Reach out to your audience to survey trends and opinions and convert them into marketable insights that can be picked up by journalists and media.
Programmatic SEO Challenges and How to Fix Them
Image source: www.deepcrawl.com
Like any other SEO strategy, programmatic SEO also has its fair share of challenges.
The most pressing issue that SEO Experts face when implementing a programmatic approach is getting Google bots to find and crawl thousands of their sites. To do that, categorisation, creating and submitting XML sitemaps, and establishing robust internal linking patterns are vital.
2. Duplicate Content
Duplicate content has a negative impact on your page ranking. It’s basically any type of material that appears on your website several times. You may overcome this problem by using canonical URLs and altering title tags. Solving structural flaws and, eventually, eliminating material or modifying any redirects are some of the other options.
Also Read: Best Duplicate Content Checker tool
3. Thin Content
Having sparse text on one of your programmatic landing pages could lead to Google treating it as thin content. This can adversely affect your SERPs. A good way to solve this is by adding descriptive text on pages alongside any images or visual data representations present.
4. Indexing & Crawling Budget
It is often difficult to estimate the number of links that Google will crawl easily before your indexing starts slowing down. Hence, you must list down and index your most important pages first. Since these pages often have better content quality and garner promising user metrics, Google assesses your page to better right from the beginning. This lets it maintain a good indexation pace and a higher ranking.
Benefits of Implementing Programmatic SEO
Better for content scalability
For businesses that have a huge scope of search queries, manual content creation for thousands and millions of web pages can be painstakingly slow and expensive. By using automation, brands can ramp up their content production at almost 10X speed. Each landing page is tailored to specific user needs, thus increasing engagement at a fast pace.
Also Read: What is SEO Automation
Better for increasing reach
Did you know that over 500 billion never-before-made searches are performed on Google every day? With a smart programmatic strategy in place, brands can create thousands of pages that cover the growing number of searches and keywords in as efficient a manner as possible. This way, they can rank higher in more searches and have a greater chance of getting the desired clicks.
Since the speed at which programmatic content can be scaled is quite high, brands get to experience quicker results in their search engine ranking improvements, more traffic, and lead conversion.
As you keep pushing for large-scale SEO through a programmatic strategy, you get to enhance your backlinks dramatically. This is done by matching long-tail keywords with tailor-made content.
Typical Features of Programmatic Content
Includes focus on long-tail keywords
Instead of reducing the scope of SEO by focusing only on high-volume keywords, programmatic content typically revolves around low search volume long-tail keywords. But given the thousands of pages of programmatic content created, the total search volume adds up to a big number.
Can easily outrank the competition
With this long-tail keyword approach, programmatic SEO encounters minor competition. By creating more specific programmatic content pages in bulk, it can easily outrank the competition.
Good user experience over authoritative content
Naturally, with so much bulk content being produced, it is not feasible to go for authoritative content quality. Rather, programmatic content banks upon its usefulness for specific audience queries and is more tailored towards lead conversion.
Also Read: On Page SEO Services
To compete with high-ranking businesses that have a page for almost every search query out there, brands must switch to programmatic SEO. It is a great way to enhance visibility and traffic by automating content production at scale.
Most importantly, a good programmatic strategy is based on search intent and transaction intent keywords, thus making any large-scale content highly relevant and discoverable. Before you begin, do keep two things in mind:
- Spend enough time to plan, test and optimise your large-scale SEO assets before going live
- Update, maintain and optimise your programmatic SEO and fix any errors regularly