Understanding Programmatic SEO

Search results from sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp have thousands of pages dedicated to different topics on travel and restaurants, and the best part is they all rank better and appear at the top of the search results. To understand more about generated pages that rank higher, you need to understand programmatic SEO. 

In this article, we will learn more about creating a massive volume of web pages that aim to rank higher in search results using programmatic SEO methods.

In this article you’ll find:

  1. What is Programmatic SEO?
  2. When Do You Need Programmatic SEO?
  3. Steps to Implement Programmatic SEO for your Website
  4. Pros of Programmatic SEO
  5. Cons of Programmatic SEO
  6. Conclusion
  7. Related Reads

What is Programmatic SEO?

Programmatic SEO is a tool for creating multiple web pages to rank better in search engine results. To perform this, you need to choose suitable keywords upon which your web pages are created.

Programmatic SEO can help you create large pages similar in style but different in content. This is helpful, especially when you must mass-produce your business’s landing pages and drive traffic to your website.

When Do You Need Programmatic SEO?

To improve your search rankings, you need to have content that most people search for. To ensure that you target as many keywords as possible and build web pages upon that, you need to rely on programmatic SEO.

The following are some of the criteria to check if you need programmatic SEO for your business:

  • The content creation process is all based around a theme and has multiple landing page opportunities.
  • The content theme should have a huge search volume.
  • The theme should include long tail keywords that have low keyword difficulty.
  • The end goal of using programmatic SEO is to focus on creating at least hundreds of landing pages.
  • Acquiring information for the landing pages would be relatively easy for you.

Steps to Implement Programmatic SEO for your Website

The following are the steps to implement programmatic SEO to improve organic traffic and keyword rankings for your website:

Programmatic SEO Steps

1. Find Your Head Terms

The first stage of programmatic SEO is the research of head terms for your business. Head terms are broad-level keywords and can be easily modified for various topics. This allows you to generate different landing pages using one or a few words for distinct themes.

For instance, Tripadvisor uses head terms such as “hotels” or “things to do”. Alternatively, websites like Yelp might have “bars” and “restaurants” in their head terms.

These head terms should contain a huge search volume for this to work. The best way to discover new head terms and find related terms with huge volume is to use Google Trends. This will help you use them along with the modifiers used with the head terms.

2. Find the Modifiers

Modifiers are keywords related to the head terms and help create more specific search queries. Additionally, these keywords would have more search volume than the head term.

Modifiers are classified into two types: Primary modifiers and secondary modifiers.

The primary modifiers create a different category for the head terms. For example, primary modifiers for the head term “restaurants” could be “Korean” or “Italian.”

The secondary modifiers describe the head term more specifically. Secondary restaurants for “restaurants” might be “Restaurants near me” or “Affordable restaurants.”

After picking out the suitable modifier keywords, compile a list of keywords for which you need new pages and keep them organized.

3. Perform a Competitive Analysis of the Search Results

Once you have the list of keywords that you intend to use for your landing page development, look at the top results since these pages are your competitors.

After this, ensure that you compile a list of competitors for your keywords and use tools such as Moz, Ahrefs, or SEMrush to understand the list of keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Analyzing your competitors will give you an idea of the content you need to curate to get your pages to a specific standard using programmatic SEO.

4. Generate Your Landing Pages

The central aspect of programmatic SEO is building landing pages at a unique scale and ranking higher on the search results for the desired keywords.

The best way to approach this is by creating landing pages based on the user’s search intent. Google’s algorithms determine this search intent. To achieve this, you need to focus on looking at the SERPs and understand the intent of the search. Also, keep an eye out for the related searches to better understand the search intent.

Since all the pages are generated using programmatic SEO, you need to ensure that they are still unique in some way. The search engine algorithm must perceive them as unique pages to rank better. Each landing page should have unique content in the form of information, images, maps, and reviews.

Ensure that you avoid doorway pages. According to Google doorway, pages are “sites or pages created to rank highly for specific search queries.” Doorway pages are also called bridge pages, portals, gateway, and the only reason for their existence is to deliberately manipulate search engine indexes. 

To stand apart from the doorway pages, ensure that your content offers value to the user rather than existing purely for the purpose of index spamming. 

Pros of Programmatic SEO

The following are the benefits of using a programmatic SEO strategy for your landing page creation:

Boost Your SEO Metrics

The main aim of using programmatic SEO is to improve organic traffic for your website. Programmatic SEO will help you improve SEO metrics such as organic keywords, backlink profiles, and domain authority when appropriately executed by catering to the user intent.

Gain an Edge Over Competitors

The main advantage of programmatic SEO is that you can generate pages that offer user value in a short time. With a bit of ideation, generating content that will provide value to the user and help you gain an edge over the competing pages is easy.

Improved Scalability

When handling large-scale content marketing strategy, the main problem is that you need to spend a lot of time creating pages that cater to your every need. Programmatic SEO helps you execute a website project in a short time span with automatically generated pages.

Consistent Designs

When working with programmatically generated web pages, the main advantage is that every landing page on your website would be formatted similarly. Landing pages created from programmatic SEO content is decoupled, and these pages can be reused and replicated with multiple variations.

Cons of Programmatic SEO

While programmatic SEO has its fair share of pros, it has challenges. The following are some of the challenges necessary before generating pages at scale.

Crawlability Issues

When you generate pages at scale, the pages might not get indexed by Google. The crawl budget may not allow this, or it may take a lot of time to index your pages. To ensure that all your pages are crawled, always have internal links between the pages of your website.

Duplicate Content

When your web pages are nearly identical, Google might punish you for creating content that does not offer any value to the user. To stay on the safe side, aim to have 80% of the content unique on pages, or at the very least, go for 50%.

Google Penalization

When you publish multiple pages at once, nearly thousands of pages, your website may be penalized by Google. Unusual publishing patterns might become a problem with Google’s algorithm. To avoid this, only post some of your pages at a time. Create a schedule and publish pages according to that.

Keyword Cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages compete for similar keywords on the same website. This makes Google unsure of which page to rank for the particular keyword, hence none of them ranks. To counter this, ensure that they all target different keywords.

Thin Content

Many sites with little content will try ot make them up by using graphical elements for their page. This will become a problem with search engine optimization since there is just a little content. Ensure you have images and other graphic materials with descriptive texts to improve the content.


When done right, programmatic SEO implementation for your website will give you many benefits, such as increasing your domain authority, building a solid backlink profile, and improving your organic search. It is also necessary to perform strong keyword research and ensure no doorway pages on your website.

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