Alright, check this out. You want to create a programmatic SEO site but struggle to develop an idea.
Say less. I’ll hit you with types of programmatic SEO sites, how I would monetize them, an example site, and some ideas for you to explore.
Everyone has read the Zapier integration example before. I’ll try my best to avoid that common example 😅
The Digestible Database Site (Madlibs)
Monetization: display ads
Allow me to coin the term digestible database sites because that’s what you’re doing. You’re making it easy for a reader to consume the information that would otherwise only be available in some hard-to-read spreadsheet.
There may be better examples out there, but a few I’ve stumbled across are hex-color websites. They’re doing a bit more than just presenting the information; for the most part, these pages can be completely templatized and mass-created.
The best part about sites like these is they can rank for every hex color, or 16,777,216 (256 x 256 x 256) pages. And best believe they are, regardless of what your favorite SEO tool showcases.
No way in hell did someone go through and manually typed in every one of these data points. That was either gathered from a database or converted using a script.
When it comes to creating these pages, it’s essentially like the Madlib books we used to play with as kids. Instead of ‘give me a noun’ or ‘pick a number between 1 and 9’ and it spits out nonsense, we’re going in and formatting the data in a way that makes sense.
Digestible database sites aren’t limited to information only presented in charts and graphs. You could also Madlib articles as long as all data is present for every field.
Allison Seboldt has a built-in-public programmatic SEO site Garden Auntie that’s seen promising growth since its inception. She’s also built a tool to help you turn your spreadsheet datasets into articles.
Digestible database site ideas:
- Chemical compounds, with pages created for every compound known 🧪
- Vehicles, showing stats for vehicles & easily comparing performance/features 🚓
- Building material database website 🪓
- Caring for wild animals as if they were pets 🐙
- Astrology stuff. IDK shit about this, but if you do, you do ♐
- Egyptian hieroglyphics and what they mean 🔣
- Known planets, stars, galaxies, and space stuff 🌎
- All the religions of the world ☯
- Patent explorer 👨🏾💻
- Sports statistics ⚽
- Marketing stacks for companies 💹
A thing to look out for on these sites is to create something that’s not already covered by Wikipedia.
Additionally, the Madlibs-style page can be used to create landing pages for your business. Tons of SaaS content strategy includes pages like ‘best alternative to [main competitor].’ If they’re handwriting every one of those pages themself, I got some bad news for them 👀.
The Product Comparison Site
Monetization: affiliate offers, display ads
My first foray into something that could be considered programmatic SEO was making product comparison pages. This product versus that product. These pages have fantastic conversion rates. In September 2022, my comparison pages only brought in 571(+ ~50 from images & video) visitors and had 305 clicks through to affiliate offers.
The key here is to present the information in a way that’s not just blocks of text. Get jiggy with charts and graphs.
The great thing about doing these is you don’t have to inject your opinion into the comparisons; you simply display the information in a way that makes it easy for the reader to figure out which product to purchase. Technical.city does a great job doing this.
As you can see, the information is aligned in an easily digestible way.
This may be possible to be done with WordPress, but it would require some serious customization. It would be hard to pull this off out of the box or with a simple plugin.
Product comparison site ideas:
- Music equipment like microphones, keyboards, synthesizers, and speakers/monitors 🎹
- Audiophile equipment like speakers and headphones 🎧
- Van life gear like portable batteries, fridges, solar panels, and fans 🏕
- Kitchen appliances like coffee makers, food processors, and espresso machines ☕
- Desktop monitors and televisions 📺
- Airsoft equipment for those MilSim nerds 🔫
- Golf clubs and balls 🏌🏾♂️
- Stuff for geriatrics; they need the help 👴🏾
The Million Page Site
Monetization: display ads, affiliate links, your product/service
This is mostly what I’ve been experimenting with regarding programmatic SEO. This company, which appears to be an alcohol delivery service (no shit, look at the URL), or at least a failed alcohol delivery service, has turned to promote three popular services via affiliate links.
But they’re doing it in a slick way.
They’ve taken most of the cities and ZIP codes in the US and created pages for that area. And they’ve created a bit of spintax for each page as well, mixing up the landing page text just a bit.
Just look at these two pages
to get an idea of what I mean.
A (low) estimate of 13k users per month looking for a very buyer-intent suite of keywords.
BTW, they promote three affiliate programs
- Minibar – $2/sale
- Instacart – $1.60/lead; $4/paid subscription
- Drizly – 3% of the first order placed
I’d say these look like pretty lackluster programs if you’re writing articles about alcohol delivery, but when you can command the attention of the entire country generating pages … well, that changes everything.
There are about 3 million that turn 21 in the US every year. I’ve been to college. Those folks drink.
No examples because this is my jam 👀