How to Find Keywords for Programmatic SEO

Written by Ian Nuttall | Follow on Twitter

Finding keywords suitable for programmatic SEO is probably the most important part of programmatic SEO. It’s like market research for a new business and takes tons of time.

And the worst thing is, most of the time there is no fixed starting point. You don’t know where to start and how to proceed to find these hidden goldmines.

In this blog post, I aim to provide you with a starting point for finding programmatic SEO keywords with high traffic potential. I will be talking about several ways in detail.

Let’s get to it…

How does a programmatic SEO keyword get constructed?

A keyword with programmatic SEO opportunities consists of a head term and a modifier. For example, email templates for {task} is a pSEO-friendly keyword where “email templates for” is the head term and “task” here is the modifier placeholder, and the complete keyword will look like this:

Normally, there is only a modifier in the keyword but there can be multiple modifiers as well. For example, can {fish 1} live with {fish 2}? has 2 modifier placeholders that are “fish 1” and “fish 2”:

Head terms and modifiers in programmatic SEO

Also, the modifier can be at the front, in the middle, or at the end of the keyword. It varies.

Finding keywords for programmatic SEO

Now, let’s look at some of the recommended and interesting ways to find those keywords:

1. Brainstorm your business

Only you know about your business the best – from what you help your customers with to who is the target audience, you know things. And by brainstorming, you can find keywords that even advanced SEO tools can’t find.

So as the first step, I recommend brainstorming all the different aspects of your business – from the problems your potential customers might be facing to terms they would be searching to get the answers. Note down everything.

I prefer using mind mapping tools like MindMeister and sometimes even pen-paper to note down all my thoughts.

Brainstorming for programmatic SEO

For example, if you have a note-taking app then start from different areas like features, use cases, target audience, competitors, etc. and note down whatever comes to mind. As you can see in the above photo how I have tried brainstorming for this imaginary note-taking app.

While brainstorming, use Google, Wikipedia, Amazon, Forums, and whatever else you think you can get meaningful information from. Aim to put more and more ideas on the paper.

2. Leverage Google search autocomplete

When you start typing terms in the Google search, it provides some most searched suggestions related to the term. And that can be leveraged to get some high-traffic keywords suitable for pSEO.

Start typing a few terms related to your business and see what autocomplete suggestions come up. You have to keep a sharp eye on the keywords, in which some parts can be modified and replaced with several other terms.

You can also use the wildcard operator * as a placeholder, and Google will show the related terms.

For example, I just typed quotes for * and you can see that it presented me with a bunch of interesting keywords. And by taking those keywords as base terms, I can find more keywords by using SEO tools like SEMrush.

Google autocomplete for programmatic SEO

Just change the location of * and you will get a whole new set of keyword suggestions. Of course, not all these keywords will be suitable for doing programmatic SEO, but this is a starting point, and you will certainly find some keywords worth going after.

3. Use keyword research tools

Currently, there are some amazing keyword research tools you can find on the internet. Generally, I use SEMrush as my go-to keyword research tool, but there are other options too, like:

Most of these keyword research tools support the wildcard asterisk operator, i.e. * that you can use to find pSEO-friendly keywords. And then try to modify them to find keywords that bring you traffic and that you can rank for, as shown below.

— Best bicycles under 10000

This might be a really competitive keyword to rank for, especially when you have a new site.

For that, try modifying the keyword:

— Best bicycles under 10000 in India

Still no luck? Modify further:

— Best black color bicycles under 10000 in India

— DeepakNess (@DeepakNesss) September 5, 2022

But remember that whatever method you choose, the starting point is always choosing an aspect of your business and then going around it. For example, if you’re trying to find pSEO keywords related to “dogs” then start researching areas like “dog food” and “dog training”. Directly google the keyword, look through some websites that come up, run the keyword through any keyword research tools, and you will certainly find opportunities like:

Yes, initially it all may seem a bit complicated to you because there isn’t a fixed process for this. And that’s a plus point because if there was a fixed process, everyone would be doing the same.

You have a head start here!

Choose your niche, find keywords for programmatic SEO, and start building.

Read next: Is Programmatic SEO Spam?

And if you have any related queries, kindly feel free to let me know in the comments below.

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