Programmatic SEO: Learn the Fundamentals and Use Cases

The term programmatic SEO seems like a new thing, but it’s not. It’s the same old concept of creating dynamic pages by following a template and a database that companies, as well as individuals, have been using for at least a decade.

However, the concept might seem a bit tricky and complicated to understand. But if you put aside the technical parts of programmatic SEO and only focus on the non-technical aspects, it’s not very different from regular-traditional SEO.

In this blog post, I will focus on explaining the basics/fundamentals of programmatic SEO and what are the possibilities with it.

Let’s dive into it…

How is programmatic SEO defined?

Programmatic SEO is a strategy to scale the production of high-quality pages that can withstand the wrath of Google updates for years to come.

This is how I defined programmatic SEO in a recent tweet. And in the replies to the same tweet, another person defined programmatic SEO as the following:

Programmatic SEO is part of the organic marketing strategy for content creation on a scale that can rank and convert visitors into customers.

And this is another brilliant way to put it out.

How does programmatic SEO work?

Programmatic SEO targets similar keywords, which can have the same design or pattern of the content – you just create a template and then connect a database with the template to create pages dynamically.

Here’s a diagram that explains the process in a better way:

How programmatic SEO works

Let’s understand the same with an example:

Say, I have a dog-related blog and I posted an article titled can I feed apples to my dog with a certain format. Now, there are tons of food items that people are searching about, something like:

  • Can I feed milk to my dog?
  • Can I feed eggs to my dog?
  • Can I feed fish to my dog?

Now, you certainly don’t need to keep the format of all these articles different. These are the same questions, just about different topics.

You can have the same design and format for all these types of pages about can I feed {food} to my dog and everyone (Google as well as readers) will love the structured format of these blog posts.

And when you want to create a lot of pages with the same style (design and format), the techniques of programmatic SEO become helpful. For this, just create a robust page template and connect a database with all the required data points. And you now have multiple pages following the same structure but with unique content for each topic.

Later, if you want to modify something, just edit the template and all the generated pages get modified within minutes.

And that makes programmatic SEO a powerful technique to scale as well as manage your content strategy in a better and more efficient way.

However, not all types of content can be produced programmatically, and it is not recommended to do so as well.

Related: Best Programmatic SEO Courses on the Internet

Possibilities with programmatic SEO

Whether you have a business of any kind that you do content marketing for or a simple content site that you monetize via ads or affiliate promotion; you can use programmatic SEO and have success with it.

I will divide the entire possibilities of programmatic SEO into 2 parts:

  1. For content sites – that produce informational content 
  2. For business sites – that produce product-related as well as informational content

Now, let’s look at how pSEO can be leveraged for both kinds of sites.

1. Programmatic SEO for content sites

By content sites, I mean the sites that primarily focus on providing information, news, or educational resources to their audience. Some examples of content websites include news websites, blogs, educational websites, forums, and how-to websites. Niche sites are also a type of content website, as they focus on a specific topic or industry and provide in-depth information.

Some examples of how “content sites” can leverage programmatic SEO are:

  • Create similar-styled content in bulk – Got a fish website? Well, you can create bulk pages on topics like can {fish 1} live with {fish 2} by using programmatic SEO. And for the topic, there could be 1000s of different combinations.
  • Create affiliate products-related content – Got a content site in the web hosting niche? Create 10s of comparison pages for topics like {hosting you love} vs {other hosting providers} comparison and watch $$$ coming in.
  • Create content hubs – Having more quality content on a single topic helps, ever since Google’s E-A-T or rather E-E-A-T update came into play. And you can use pSEO to establish content hubs related to a subtopic in your niche.

You get the idea, right?

2. Programmatic SEO for business sites

Programmatic SEO, strategically applied to a business site, can be a real asset for the site eventually. Businesses like Zapier and Canva are driving tens of millions of organic traffic to their sites by using pSEO.

I really like Allison’s analogy on finding pSEO-friendly topics related to your business and if they will work for you. She explains that if people ask the same questions about different topics in your business, those are the ones worth going after.

And you can easily find those keywords/questions by looking at Google Search Console or through SEO tools like SEMrush or Ahrefs.

After looking at several examples of programmatic sites, here are some ideas on how you can leverage programmatic SEO for your business website:

  • Create different use-case pages – Got a graphic design tool that allows people to create social media graphics? Use programmatic SEO to target keywords like {social platform} post templates, create {social platform} posts, or {social platform} post creator and capitalize on it.
  • Create alternatives pages – Users not happy with your competitors’ products/services are the easiest to win. You can create pages in bulk on topics like alternatives of {competitor brand} and then place yourself as the #1 alternative.
  • Create comparison pages – In almost every business category, there are several options for users to choose from. And they want help on which one they should go with. Now, you can create comparison pages on topics like {your brand} vs {competitor brand} and drive potential customers ready with their credit cards out.
  • Create features pages – If you have a very sophisticated product that has several features, and you want to create different pages in the same style for different features, programmatic SEO can be a good friend.
  • Create informative content around your product – Just like how I explained in the “pSEO for content sites” area, you can use programmatic SEO to create informative content on various subtopics around your product.

Would you believe that simple blogs like moveBuddha receive more than 60k monthly organic visitors through programmatically created pages? And the searchers’ intent for the keywords they target is very high and must be having a high conversion rate.

Final words

You might be thinking: if programmatic SEO is good, why don’t more people use it?

The main reason why a lot of people are still not capitalizing on it is, that the non-technical parts (keyword research, data collection, page template outline, etc.) of programmatic SEO take a lot of thinking and effort. It’s easy to do pSEO, but it’s difficult to do it right.

If you’re interested in learning more about programmatic SEO, I would invite you to get the Programmatic SEO OS that I recently launched. I have had an overwhelming response so far, and the OS has everything that you will ever want to know about pSEO.

If you have any related queries, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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