With programmatic SEO, a startup can quickly create a large number of web pages about a specific topic. The idea is to find a repeatable long-tail keyword such as “Pay your credit card bill at X store”. This keyword is known as the head term. With this term, you can create a separate page for each related term. In this case, the related terms are every store that accepts credit cards. So your website can set up a page for paying your credit card bill at Sears, a page for paying your bill at Cabela’s, and so on.
If it picks the right topic, a startup can even use this marketing method to create landing pages that target customers at the bottom of the funnel. As a result, it will get paying customers to sign up for its app immediately. It’s likely that a customer who is looking for information about paying their credit card bill at a specific store, such as Cabela’s, would use a service that helps automate the bill payment process. And that’s what the bill payment app Doxo has done.
Doxo is a bill payment app. With this service, you can schedule automatic bill payments to 120,000 companies. After you select the bill payments to automate, Doxo will pull money from your linked bank account and pay the bills for you. The idea is that you’ll never have to worry about overlooking an invoice and paying a bill late. The company also offers overdraft protection, credit protection, and a variety of other add-on services.
This payment method also gives Doxo an opportunity to rank for 120,000 topics as well as the related long-tail keywords. Doxo can just set up a page for each company that it serves. For example, you might be wondering how to pay your Cabela’s credit card bill online, so Doxo has a bill payment page for Cabela’s.
This Strategy Considers Search Intent
Doxo has picked an excellent programmatic SEO strategy because it picked a head term that is highly relevant for an automated bill payment service. It’s not just picking keywords that generate a lot of generic search engine traffic. For example, another head term would be “national parks near Bakersfield.” It would be possible to automatically generate similar pages like “national parks near Fresno”, and a startup could do that as well.
But even if these keywords had low competition and high search volume, they would not attract customers with the right intent. A store that sold camping goods might want to target those keywords. But Doxo’s automating payments for the customers who already bought camping goods from the store and plan to keep shopping there in the future. Those customers aren’t looking for articles about camping when they search for online bill payment information, they’re trying to pay their credit card bills.
Doxo Uses the Directory Format
Google doesn’t like doorway pages or thin content, and it’s now requiring websites to demonstrate helpfulness to their readers. So a startup can’t just repeat the same information on each page it creates with programmatic SEO. The credit card payment page for Cabela’s and the credit card payment page for Maurices must contain unique information about each company. And this information should be useful to customers of Cabela’s and Maurices, respectively.
One of the easiest ways for a startup to ensure that its automatically generated pages are unique is to use a directory format for these pages. Each page in the directory will list specific facts about each company. But many of these facts, such as the company’s address and phone number, are also available on other websites. Other facts on directory pages can be derived from publicly available information. Programmatic SEO works a lot better when the startup shares proprietary information that doesn’t appear on other websites, and Doxo is doing this by using first-party data about its customers.
Widgets Use First-Party Data
Doxo’s company profiles provide unique information about each store’s customer base. For example, if a Doxo user signed up for automated bill payment at Cabela’s, Doxo knows the address of that customer. And it displays the general location of each store’s customers on a map on the company’s profile page. So you can look at the Cabela’s page, select the payments option on the map, and see where online shoppers who use the Doxo app to pay their Cabela’s bill are located.
This is useful information because a regional store might have online customers who are located in other parts of the country. For example, a boot store in Texas might appear to be small because it only has a few brick-and-mortar locations in Texas, but it might actually have a huge number of customers in Virginia who order its boots online. This kind of information would be very relevant to investors, although it might not be as useful for customers who are trying to pay their credit card bills.
Doxo also provides another widget that might be more useful to online bill payment users. Each company’s profile also shows what other pages that company’s followers have followed. For example, Doxo users who follow the Cabela’s profile page also follow the DirecTV and Verizon profile pages. This widget shows Cabela’s customers that they can also automate their cable TV and phone service payments. And again, this information is specific to each store’s profile page, so different cable TV companies and phone companies would appear on other stores’ profile pages.
This Programmatic SEO Strategy Is Effective
Ahrefs shows me that Doxo is ranking for about 300,000 keywords and getting about 600,000 website visits per month because of this programmatic SEO strategy. And the startup is targeting bottom-of-the funnel keywords and building landing pages that are specific to each keyword, so it’s likely that many of these visitors will sign up for the Doxo bill payment service. Ahrefs also estimates that Doxo’s total monthly traffic is worth $670,000.
Two things stood out to me with Doxo’s strategy. First, Doxo is using programmatic SEO to build landing pages, so it’s getting highly targeted traffic. And these pages solve the users’ problem. If a Cabela’s customer is looking up information about how to pay their bill online, they would probably be interested in a service that automatically pays their bill for them.
Second, Doxo is using first-party data for programmatic SEO. It’s generating company profile pages by using information about its own customers. This information isn’t available on other websites, so Doxo’s bill payment pages are each unique. Other bill payment apps don’t have this information. This first-party data also provides social proof because it shows that other customers are using Doxo’s app to automate their payments to these retailers.