Sending your data to our servers, please wait...

illustration of a blog post: Here's Everything You Need to Know About Programmatic SEO
white rounded rectangle masking image below

SEO 20 min read

Here's Everything You Need to Know About Programmatic SEO

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Kat Sarmiento photo

Expert reviewed by Kat Sarmiento

Associate VP of Operations @ Galactic Fed

Published 28 Feb 2024

As a business owner or manager, you likely know just how crucial search engine optimization (SEO) is when it comes to boosting your online visibility and driving more traffic to your website. What you may not know about, though, is programmatic SEO (pSEO), and if that’s the case, Galactic Fed has you covered!

Programmatic SEO involves the bulk creation of landing pages to rank on search engine results pages (SERPs). You’ll make one template with images, pricing, reviews, and so on, and then use automated tools to create variations of the same page, each of which targets different keywords.

Common programmatic SEO examples can be found with hotel booking sites like Expedia; whether you are searching for rooms in Florida, New York, or California, the general structure of each landing page will appear the same, though the content will be different, of course.

Person using MacBook pro on brown wooden table

SEO vs. Programmatic Marketing: Similarities and Differences

Regular and programmatic SEO both aim to boost web traffic and subsequently get websites to rank high on SERPs, but beyond that, the two strategies compare and contrast with each other in the following ways:

Long-Term Strategy vs. Quick Results

Typical SEO involves a set of steps you take to improve your website’s visibility on search engines like Google. The focus is on creating high-quality, optimized content, making it a long-term strategy. In addition, each landing page or blog post you create is unique and may not follow the same format. 

In contrast, pSEO is a quicker way to achieve the same results; you create multiple pages with the same layout to reach your goals.

Blogs and Landing Pages

General SEO includes the creation of both blog content and landing pages, while pSEO focuses on the latter specifically. Nevertheless, both strategies involve conducting thorough keyword research to target the right audience and rank highly.

Organic Search

Both types of SEO involve users finding content through search engines, like Google, to research information or make a purchase. 

For regular SEO, blogs and landing pages may pop up on a user’s quest for answers; it’s just the latter for programmatic SEO, meaning if a prospect clicks on a programmatic link, they’re likely already at the bottom of the sales funnel, preparing to make a purchase and thus uninterested in reading long-form content.

The Benefits and Considerations of pSEO

As is true for any marketing strategy, pSEO has its pros and cons, but when handled properly, it’s a legitimate strategy worth trying alongside your brand’s regular marketing tactics.

Advantages to pSEO

There are many pros to incorporating programmatic SEO into your marketing efforts, such as:

  • Easily scalable web pages
  • The ability to target full categories of keywords at once
  • Search engine visibility
  • Backlink-building opportunities
  • Better audience targeting

Programmatic SEO is highly effective if you’re trying to get specific, low-competitive keywords throughout your website to rank. They’re quick in helping you boost web traffic, which in turn signals to Google that your website is worth promoting.

Cons of pSEO

Before diving into your pSEO strategy, consider the following challenges:

  • Creating a programmatic template requires some coding skills
  • pSEO requires higher upfront costs
  • Google penalizes low-quality and duplicate content 
  • Indexing each landing page will be tricky
  • Programmatic SEO is research-intensive, meaning it can take a lot of your time

As we mentioned earlier, the advantages of pSEO well outweigh any of its cons, assuming you do it right. It can be easy to fall for convenience and use AI and other automated programmatic SEO tools to duplicate pages, but if you do that, Google will flag your pages as spam, negatively impacting your visibility and hurting your business. 

Person holding black android smartphone showing Google homepage

The In-Depth Programmatic SEO Guide

If you’re wondering how to do programmatic SEO right, you’ve come to the right place. 

First and foremost, there are three main pillars of pSEO that you need to be aware of before diving in, which are as follows:

Low-Competition Keywords

The goal of pSEO is to target keywords that don’t have a lot of competition, meaning the odds of ranking are much higher. You can determine whether a word or phrase is low competition by using a metric called keyword difficulty (KD).

For pSEO purposes, you want to aim for words with a low KD percentage. A value of 0 through 14 falls into the “very easy” range and is perfect for landing pages. Anything in the range of 15 to 29 is deemed “easy” and achievable. 

If your keywords are too competitive, your landing pages may get lost in the noise of the crowded digital landscape. You may want to partner with an SEO expert to ensure you’re using the right language to target your ideal customers.

Conducting Thorough Keyword Research

In-depth keyword research is crucial when creating any piece of marketing copy that you want to rank well on SERPs, and finding the perfect keywords for your specific landing pages can be easier said than done. 

Moz, Google, Ahrefs, and Semrush offer programmatic SEO ideas and tools that make finding relevant terms easier without breaking your budget, and if you need additional help, a digital marketing agency can get the job done quickly and effectively.

Search Intent

Understanding your audience and their motivations plays a significant role in writing content that successfully converts. Knowing why prospective customers are searching and stumbling upon your landing pages can give you insight into the type of content you want to create and the keywords you want to use. 

People typically search for the keywords included within landing pages for one of four main reasons:

  • Navigational: Users are looking for a specific page
  • Informational: Users want to learn more about something
  • Commercial: Users want to do research before deciding to buy
  • Transactional: Users want to take specific action or purchase a product or service

Programmatic SEO, in particular, works best for transactional consumers, those who are ready to buy. You can use the right keywords and language to let visitors know they’re in the right place as soon as they make it to your website.

For example, let’s say you own a Mexican restaurant in Miami. If someone searches “Mexican restaurants Miami,” it likely means they’re ready to eat. They don’t have time or energy to read through long-form content; at the very most, they’ll want to see a menu!

That being said, if they see that you’re close by and that you sell delicious-looking tacos, you can grab their attention immediately, increasing the chances of them choosing to visit your restaurant. 

User Experience

A great user experience (UX) is necessary to keep and convert prospects on your landing pages. While automation is essential for pSEO, it can also negatively impact a site’s UX. Your programmatic pages include a lot of information, but they should still load quickly and offer quality content. 

While you can use automated tools to create your landing pages, you should have a real human skim through them and double-check for any mistakes or issues before uploading. You want to avoid Google’s spam penalties, so you must ensure that each page is unique enough so they don’t get flagged as duplicate content. 

Additionally, your website’s pages must maintain structure and organization. Use photos and bulleted lists to break up any large blocks of text, be direct, and tell your users what they need to know within the first few sentences of the page. Doing so can help them make a purchasing decision quickly instead of looking into your competitors.

Programmatic SEO Ideas and Tips

Now that you know the basics, you can develop the perfect pSEO strategy to take your business to the next level. 

The first thing you need to do is conduct keyword and audience research. Determine what your ideal customers are looking for, and then incorporate those answers into your landing page content. 

Other pSEO tips include the following:

Look Into Your Competitors

No matter your particular niche, chances are you have competition, especially in today’s crowded digital landscape. As such, you want to find ways that make you stand out and convince prospects to choose you over your competitors. 

Examine the landing pages of your competition for formatting ideas and inspiration from their copy. Make sure you don’t copy anything directly, of course — you want your work to be as unique as possible — and ensure you hone in on your focus and stay relevant. It helps to create a spreadsheet of relevant topics you can cover. 

Find and Use Head Terms

Head terms are the keyword categories you’ll initially aim for before modifying them to create long-term keywords. These keywords include specific search queries that simultaneously have low search volume. 

Let’s go back to the Mexican restaurant example; your head term could be “best Mexican restaurant,” and the modifier could be “in Miami.” You could even add another modifier on top of that to further hone in on your focus, like “for tacos.” The resulting long-term keyword, “Best Mexican restaurant in Miami for tacos,” will target a specific audience and could help your page rank higher, seeing as there’s likely less competition for that particular keyword phrase.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the head terms and modifiers you can use to draw in new clientele. Once you have your list of long-tail keywords, you can start creating your landing page template.

Design Your Template

Creating the perfect template is vital, as you’ll be duplicating it several times over. With that said, one of the first things you need to determine is your content structure. Decide which elements you want each page to have; reviews, lists, and graphics are great because they can help position your company as an authority in your industry.

From there, you can design your layout around your keywords and what you believe your audience’s search intent is. If you aren’t sure what your ideal customers are most attracted to, you could always send out customer surveys or ask for general feedback.

The best landing pages have a great balance of text, images, and other elements. Whether you want to show off compelling graphics or text that makes your marketing truly shine, it should look aesthetically pleasing and easy for users to navigate.

Determine Where to Build Your Landing Pages

From WordPress plugins to web builders and programmatic SEO Webflow tools, there are various options through which you can build your landing pages. Depending on your skill set, you can use free templates or HTML to design the perfect pages for your brand. 

Webflow programmatic SEO tools offer a visual editor that may make designing your pages easier, but no matter what you choose to do, make sure you do your research and take your time with your template; after all, it’s the blueprint for the rest of your programmatic content.

Use Automation Tools

You likely don’t have the time to manually create each page, which is where automation tools and artificial technology come into play. Marketers use automated technologies more often than not these days, and when it comes to creating bulk landing pages, it’s better to make things easier for yourself wherever possible. 

Publish and Optimize

Once your pages are published, you want to ensure they’re user-friendly. Check that each page features the following:

  • An attractive layout
  • Relevant copy
  • Well written text
  • A clear call-to-action

There’s no point in creating multiple landing pages if they don’t resonate with users, and that’s why it’s crucial to review your pages and optimize them to improve the UX if necessary.

Monitor Your Pages

Your job isn’t over once you hit “Publish;” you need to consistently monitor your pSEO landing pages to ensure they’re working the way you want them to.

Keep track of metrics such as:

  • Page views
  • Conversion rate
  • Engagement rate
  • Bounce rate

These numbers will indicate how interested visitors are in your pages. If your page views are low or bounce rates are high, that can tell you your page needs some restructuring to garner more interest. The more interest people show in your website, the higher Google will rank you.

If you notice any inconsistencies beyond your metrics, such as in link accuracy and loading speeds, you can quickly fill in the gaps before they negatively impact your rankings. If you need help, a knowledgeable digital marketing agency can run a site audit, catching any mistakes before they can wreak havoc on your online visibility or get your website penalized by Google. 

Optimize Your URLs

Optimized URLs make it easier for Google to crawl and index your pages. The steps you can take to optimize your URLs include the following:

  • Sort your target keywords by significance and relevance
  • Create a hierarchical structure for your URLs
  • Use descriptive words
  • Use hyphens where appropriate to separate words
  • Keep URLs static (the same)
  • Implement redirects from any old URLs to new ones

Solid URLs can help users find your pages and make it easier for Google to rank them highly.

MacBook with screen showing lines of code on a busy white office desk

Creating a Strong Content Plan

The content you include in your landing pages can make or break your pSEO efforts. As such, here are some tips to ensure your content resonates with users and pleases search engine algorithms:

Plan Ahead

A solid programmatic semantic SEO structure can set the foundation for the success of your landing pages. Prioritize user navigation, as that also enhances the user experience. Consider where you can place things like bulleted lists or subheadings to break up big blocks of text, which can make your content more enticing to read.

Be Informative

It’s not enough to write haphazardly and hit “publish” without much additional thought beyond “it looks good in your eyes;” semantic programmatic SEO copywriting is an art.

A few fundamental writing practices to be mindful of include the following:

  • Double-check your work to ensure accuracy
  • Incorporate multimedia elements to make your content engaging
  • Make use of storytelling techniques to be more relatable to your audience
  • Integrate interactive elements, like polls, to encourage user interaction
  • Cite any data in your copy with a reliable source

The goal is to build trust with your prospects and position yourself as an authority in your industry. 

When in doubt, a marketing agency will have a team of content experts specifically trained to write high-quality marketing copy that converts, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help.

Optimize for Search

Don’t forget to incorporate more general SEO best practices in your pSEO landing pages. Elements like meta titles and descriptions, headers with keywords, and image alt text are crucial for ranking high on SERPs. 

You also want to include internal and external links in your copy. Internal links encourage users to explore other areas of your website, while external links boost your credibility; both are beneficial for crawling and indexing purposes. 

Keep Updating and Refreshing Your Copy

As time goes by, information changes, so it’s wise to review your content regularly and make any necessary updates to stay in good standing with Google. If you learn of new details that might enhance your already-posted pages, feel free to add them. Doing so can entice visitors by showcasing your commitment to giving them up-to-date information.

Avoiding Spam 

The thought of publishing dozens of quality landing pages that may draw more traffic to your business is exciting, but it’s important to consider these words from Google’s John Mueller; “…programmatic SEO is often a fancy banner for spam.”

That doesn’t mean search engines like Google will automatically flag your SEO programmatic pages as spam, of course, but any time a company publishes a significant number of similar pages, it runs the risk of creating thin content, which is copy that provides little to no value to users. 

It can be tricky to satisfy both users and Google simultaneously, but knowing what sets good programmatic copy apart from thin content boils down to relevancy and data. It’s possible to create landing pages with simple AI-driven tools and little effort, but you may not get the results you want that way. Incorporating relevant, unique data into your websites and their landing pages can help your business stand out in the best ways. 

Finding Relevant Data

Incorporating data points into your pSEO pages can help you better address search intent and boost your rankings. The three data types you should have at your disposal are as follows:

  • Proprietary Data: Data that is unique to your company that no one else has
  • Public Data: Publicly available data licensed for commercial use
  • Scraped Data: Data from other websites; keep in mind that you may run into copyright issues

The more relevant, impressive data you have to back up the claims you make on your landing pages, the more you’ll earn user trust, satisfy their search intent, and remain in the good graces of Google and other search engines.

Woman smiling while holding a gray computer monitor

Drive More Web Traffic and Grow Your Brand With Programmatic SEO

Programmatic SEO can be a quick and effective means of driving traffic to your business’s website and boosting sales, so long as you do it correctly. You must use the right keywords, build quality pages, and write content that Google won’t flag as duplicate copy or spam. It can be a delicate balance, so you don’t want to rush the process.

Take your time designing the ideal landing page template for your company so you can set yourself up for success, and don’t forget to monitor your pages even after you publish them to ensure that no mistakes that could hurt your SERP ranking slip through the cracks. 

At first, creating the ideal programmatic SEO landing page template can be time-consuming, and it may take some trial and error to get it perfect, but it’s important to get it right. Once you do, making bulk pages is fairly simple, and the results will be well worth the effort. Just make sure to follow Google’s rules and consult a digital marketing agency like Galactic Fed if you need additional guidance.

white rounded rectangle masking image below
Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed