How to Use Programmatic SEO to Supercharge Your Search Traffic
The process of marketing has evolved alongside technological innovation since the early days of radio ads. Online, that evolution has happened quickly. Really quickly.
Not too long ago, marketers would fool Google’s algorithm by hiding keywords in backgrounds and hidden code. Modern search engines are too intelligent for that to work.
Today, if you want to dominate organic search, you’ll need to be more creative.
For some time, marketers have reached out to a handful of high-quality websites, hoping to provide free editorial content in exchange for links. In some cases, they even pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for publications with links. However, these methods too may become a thing of the past.
New technology has given rise to a form of SEO that’s proving to be highly effective - programmatic SEO. This style of SEO uses automation to go deeper into topics than human-generated content ever could, creating hundreds, thousands, or even millions of unique, valuable pages from a single template.
What Is Programmatic SEO?
At its core, programmatic SEO is the process of a three-step concept:
- Create a database.
- Create a website page template.
- Use the database and template to create hundreds, thousands, or even millions of highly targeted web pages.
Programmatic SEO is interesting because it goes against just about everything traditional SEO tells us to do. Rather than taking a human approach, it allows automation programs to create content, but thanks to today’s cutting-edge technology, that content is highly valuable.
The goal here is simple. Through programmatic SEO, you create a virtually unlimited number of pages of content. Although only a small percentage will actually be indexed on search engines, the programmatic approach leads to pieces of high-quality content that can open the door to millions of new customers.
However, although the program is doing the heavy lifting here, there’s quite a bit of human work that needs to be done if you want your programmatic SEO campaign to be a successful one.
Programmatic SEO Pros and Cons
As with any other marketing concept, there are benefits and drawbacks to taking the programmatic SEO approach. It’s important to consider these pros and cons before you get started. The most important of these are outlined in detail below.
Programmatic SEO Pros
There are several reasons you might want to dive into programmatic SEO head first. Some of the most appealing advantages of this strategy include:
- Create High-Traffic Content Quickly: Programmatic SEO can result in thousands of pieces of content far faster than any human-driven content creation process could. If done properly, that could mean you have a website full of high-quality, high-traffic content in no time flat.
- No Paid Link Building: The most important links in this process are internal links. So, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month on link-building efforts.
- Automated: Much of the programmatic SEO process is automated, giving you more time to focus on growth in other areas of your business.
- Win Massive Amounts of Keywords: Because you’re creating content so quickly, you can win a huge number of keywords quickly with this strategy.
Programmatic SEO Cons
Sure, there are plenty of reasons programmatic SEO might be a great way to go. However, the process isn’t perfect. There are a few drawbacks to consider before you get started too.
- High Risk: Google and other search engines have a bone to pick with automatically-generated content. If done improperly, programmatic SEO can lead to penalties from search engines and have a detrimental impact on your business.
- Indexing: It is far more difficult to get search engines to index automatically-generated content than to get them to index human-generated content. In fact, even in the best case scenario, Google is only likely to index about 30% of your content.
- Data Limitations: Programmatic SEO relies heavily on the data in your database. If you don’t have much data available (remember, the key here is to have valuable data), the process will be heavily limited.
How to Be Successful With Programmatic SEO
As with any other process, you can’t expect to be successful at programmatic SEO simply because you’re doing it. There’s a learning curve involved. However, if you follow tips from the experts, you can significantly shorten that curve.
The best things you can do to create a successful programmatic SEO strategy are:
- Perform in-depth keyword research.
- Make sure you incorporate plenty of internal links.
- Create a quality template.
Dig Deep Into Keyword Research
Keywords are the name of the game in any SEO strategy, especially when it comes to programmatic SEO strategy. So, make sure you’re equipped when you get started by doing deep keyword research. That means you can’t just think about the primary keywords you plan for your campaign to target; you also have to think about long-tail search terms.
For example, if you're a car dealer, you might start by digging into keywords like “new cars near me,” and “used cars near me.” But these shouldn’t be the only keywords you consider. Also think about variations like trucks, vans, and sports cars as well as other ways people may type things in. For example, you may end up with keywords like:
- Where is the best place to buy a sports car
- Diesel trucks near me
- Best dealership for mini-vans
Those are just three of the endless sea of keywords you could end up with. The point here is to learn everything you can about the keywords you target and look for opportunities with long tails.
Focus on Internal Links
When you launch a programmatic SEO campaign, you’re not going to have to worry about getting many links from other websites. That type of growth will hopefully happen naturally. Instead, the focus is on strengthening your own downline of content to make it more appealing to search engines.
That means you’ll need plenty of internal links.
When you create your programmatic SEO template, be sure to include an internal linking strategy. That strategy should focus on linking primary and long-tail keywords to high-value pieces of content. Moreover, make sure that the content the keywords link to is highly relevant to the user that’s likely to click that link.
Create a Quality Template
When you take part in programmatic SEO, your program will automatically create pages from a template. That’s why it’s crucial that your template is a quality one. Here are a few tips to make sure it is:
- Include Images: Pictures say a thousand words. Make sure every one of your pages has plenty of images to draw readers in and give search engines more to index.
- Answer Questions: The best templates are designed to answer multiple questions for the reader rather than simply answering one central question.
- Be Unique: Although your template is used to create several pages, your database is built with real-world data. When your template is creative enough, each page can be highly unique. That’s what you’re shooting for.
- Don’t Scrape Other Websites: It’s important that you build your own data. If you scrape other websites, the content you create will have nothing unique to offer and will likely fail as a result.
Why Use Webflow for Programmatic SEO?
At Belt Creative, we use Webflow for all of our programmatic SEO campaigns, and for several good reasons. Some of the biggest reasons we've focused on Webflow for programmatic SEO include:
- Design & User Experience: Webflow offers design consistency, which leads to a better user experience.
- Ease of Use: You can easily change the design of the project without having to get an engineer involved.
- Meets All Parameters: You can create unique CMS collections with unique slugs, take advantage of text, rich text, and images, and use the multi-reference features to connect multiple collections. All of these features make programmatic SEO more simple.
- Powerful low-code software ecosystem: Software like Whalesync allows you to maintain your database in another application (such as Airtable) and sync the data over to Webflow.
How to Use Webflow for Programmatic SEO
If you’re ready to start your programmatic SEO campaign and you’re considering Webflow, you’re on the right track. Follow the steps below to get started:
- Create a CMS Collection: Your template will reference your CMS collection to create new pages for your project. So, start a collection or two that will house the data for your campaign.
- Create New CMS Collection Items: Create collection items - this is the data that will be used to create your content.
- Add Multi-Reference Items in Each Collection Item: Webflow has a multi-reference field that makes it possible to reference items from a different CMS. Incorporate this if it’s applicable to your campaign.
- Build Landing Pages: Use the Webflow editor to create the perfect landing pages from the data you’ve stored in CMS collections.
Let Belt Creative Take Your SEO to the Next Level with a Programmatic SEO Campaign in Webflow
Programmatic SEO is quite possibly the next major step in the technological evolution of marketing. When done properly, this process can result in countless pieces of high-quality content, many of which rank well in search engines and drive new customers through your doors.
However, as with any other meaningful marketing strategy, there’s a steep learning curve involved. Moreover, you can expect a higher level of success when you work with the pros.
Consider reaching out to our team. Our marketing experts understand the subtle nuances that can mean the difference between the success or failure of a programmatic SEO campaign. Contact Belt Creative today to find out how our team of experts can bring your campaign to the next level.