Programmatic SEO: How to build 20,000 pages for long tail search terms at scale


What is programmatic SEO for online businesses?

The goal of programmatic SEO is to create pages at scale with the same level of detail and attention to UX as the ones you built manually. If done correctly, it will improve the visibility and ranking of an eCommerce website in search engine results for high-intent search terms, which will result in better rankings, more traffic and more conversions. 

Programmatic SEO refers to the process of using a database, template and specialised code to automatically generate and optimise product landing pages at scale. Often, page volume ranges in the hundreds of thousands. 

Companies that implement programmatic SEO on their website usually have a design template for each type of landing page, so only the written content and/or product listings change from page to page. For example, Cheap Flights to Tokyo has the same design and layout as Cheap Flights to Spain but entirely different content. These pages often take on more of a commercial nature in that their end goal is to facilitate a conversion. 

These tools might use data about the products, such as their titles, descriptions, and prices, to generate the content for the landing pages and optimise them for specific keywords.

What are the benefits of programmatic SEO?

Programmatic SEO targets the demand for products and services by capturing the niche traffic other online businesses can’t. It allows you to target bottom-of-funnel users who know what they want without your dev team having to build pages manually. It also gives you a live platform to test and scale new categories. 

With programmatic SEO, you can: 

  • Achieve higher and faster page rankings at scale 
  • Automatically launch thousands of pages for long tail keywords
  • Avoid waiting in the Jira backlog for minor development jobs
  • Stop throwing money at Google Ads for increasingly diminishing returns

How exactly will programmatic SEO help my business to attract bottom-of-funnel users?

When consumers know exactly what they want, they search for products using long tail keywords (search terms of 3+ words). To target these ready-to-buy users, online businesses need to be visible in search engine results pages.

But for big sites, it isn’t easy to target them effectively. There are often tens of thousands of them, but each generally receives a low search volume. Building a page for each wouldn’t be possible. 

Take Tripadvisor, for instance. They have a seemingly endless list of hotels in their directory that need to be discoverable by users worldwide. They’ve nailed their on-site search experience, but how do they capture bottom-of-funnel users who search for “best hotels in London” or “best restaurants in Alice Springs”?

Tripadvisor creates thousands of landing pages that are each dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of long tail search terms they want to target; “best budget-friendly things to do in Istanbul”, “best things to do in Alice Springs” and “best luxury hotels in Prague” etc. Because they’re so relevant to how users search, they index fast and rank high.

It’s a win/win: online businesses capture untapped demand, and users searching for specific products or services can find their way to a page that looks like it was built just for them. 

This process is less about writing high-quality long-form content that ticks all the core web vital boxes and more about delivering an excellent user experience that displays content (in this case, products or services) exactly how users expect to find it.

What sorts of online businesses use programmatic SEO tools?

Marketplaces and companies like Tripadvisor and Skyscanner have done an excellent job of avoiding the slow, manual process of building landing pages at scale while maintaining the quality of each page. But there is a use case for this strategy in many other areas of online business:

  • eCommerce companies with extensive product inventories can implement programmatic SEO to optimise thousands of product listing pages for search engines.
  • Media and publishing companies can optimise their websites and articles for search engines to drive traffic and engagement.
  • B2B companies use programmatic SEO to optimise their websites and product pages to attract more qualified leads and increase conversions.

Building thousands of multi-product landing pages for long tail search

Many landing page creators online can help build Product Listing Pages at scale, but they’re relatively limited in their capabilities. For example, Instapages only lets you add keyword-relevant content in page titles. Every Mundo is for travel sites; it doesn’t work for multiple types of content, and there is no SEM solution. 

So how can you build multi-product landing pages at scale for long tail search?

Here’s what the process looks like if you were to rely on your internal dev teams to build them. 

  1. Initial research: calling on your engineering, marketing, SEO and product teams – and Google Analytics – locate the category opportunities already on your site but unrealised
  2. Keyword research: gather a list of at least 10,000 high-quality long tail keywords that meet the criteria of the categories you want to reach – use a keyword research tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest.
  3. Approval: present the data to the CFO – they’ll want to know how much it will cost, the time it will take, and the resources it will consume.
  4. Submit your ticket:  put in your request to engineering for the landing pages to be built.
  5. Page building: creating one professional-looking landing page could take a few hours or weeks. It all depends on the ability of your team and the number of keywords you want to target.

Then, even if your team can create 1000, 5000, or 10,000 multi-product landing pages, statistically, they will take up to 12 months to be indexed and ranked. 

For a full rundown of what it takes to build multi-product landing pages at scale, read our full article: Creating landing pages: build vs buy?

Engaging Longtail UX to launch your programmatic SEO strategy for you

The alternative to restrictive mass page builders and developing the pages on your own is to engage a third-party platform like Longtail UX to launch them at scale.

This process begins with developing your Customer Acquisition Strategy, where we learn the categories you want to target and the non-brand search gaps you want to fill. 

From there, we perform keyword research for the thousands of search terms you’ll target on Smart Pages. 

Once they’re approved, we’ll build the pages, get the final sign-off from you and send them live. We never stop measuring, testing and optimising them to give your Smart Pages every possible chance at performing. 

Want to learn how to launch a programmatic SEO strategy that sees thousands of your pages ranking on the first page of Google? Book your custom 1:1 with our team. 

Book a demo

Start capturing your longtail growth potential today

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