While it feels too good to be true, it’s totally possible to do programmatic SEO in WordPress.
I have discovered a way to programmatically create 100 or even 1000s of SEO-friendly pages in WordPress without writing a single line of code or having to tweak the theme. It doesn’t require a very deep understanding of WordPress CMS either.
In this post, I will be explaining everything in detail about how you can use the pSEO process inside WordPress.
Let’s get to it…
However, if you’re looking to learn the pSEO theory, you can read our detailed guide on the topic here.
How to do programmatic SEO in WordPress?
Using the programmatic SEO process in WordPress is possible through a plugin called WP All Import (it’s also called Import any XML or CSV File to WordPress). To my surprise, it’s not a new plugin, it’s been there for years.
Yes, there are some other WordPress plugins too, but this post is all about WP All Import. Also, out of all the plugins I tried, this one was the best.
The plugin lets import the data in the form of a CSV file and then creates a page template to use the imported data.
Now, let’s go step by step…
1. Prepare the spreadsheet data
In this method, you need to prepare the spreadsheet data first. From title and slug to description and images, put everything together and then save the spreadsheet in the CSV format. You can use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets for that.
The column headers in the spreadsheet are the variables that are used while creating the template by using the WP All Import plugin, as you see in the above screenshot (don’t worry, there’s more info on this below).
I was experimenting by creating a simple movie site and the spreadsheet data looked like the above screenshot.
Remember that the more data points you have in your spreadsheet, the better and more SEO friendly the generated pages would be.
2. Prepare the CSV import process
First of all, make sure that the plugin is installed on your website. If not, you can search for and install the plugin from Plugins > Add New section in your WordPress dashboard. You can search “WP All Import” but the plugin appears as “Import any XML or CSV File to WordPress” as of now.
The plugin supports the import of CSV as well as XML files so either way, you’re good to go.
Most of the features I needed were available for free but if you want some features like WooCommerce integration, you might need the premium version. You can get more information about all this on their official website.
The process here is:
- Import the CSV file from your computer
- Select a filtering option, if required
- Create the page template by using the column headers as variables
- Set up images, slug, categories, etc.
- Set up the scheduling and other advanced options
And, you are good to go.
Instead of writing everything, here’s a video that explains how you can create pages in bulk by using the plugin WP All Import.
Some interesting features that you will notice in the plugin are:
Add Filtering Options
If you are importing a huge data file but don’t want to create new posts for all the rows in the data file, there’s an option for adding Filters.
You can select any element of the data file and apply filters (as you see in the above screenshot) to filter out unnecessary rows.
It’s a bit tricky to handle images in the plugin, you will need to have your images uploaded somewhere to be able to have their links added to the spreadsheet data file.
You have a few options to deal with the images:
- Upload images to an external image hosting site like Imgur, copy-paste the link in the spreadsheet, and use the “Download images hosted elsewhere” option in the plugin
- Upload images in the WordPress Media Library and then just mention the image filenames in the field there (Recommended)
- Manually upload the images to the wp-content/uploads/wpallimport/files/ folder and then mention their filenames in the shown field
But note that the image options are available only in the pro edition of the plugin.
Other post options
There are tons of post options available in the plugin and some are really useful if you are generating 1000s of pages.
Let’s take a look at some of the features:
- Random dates: Posts randomly get assigned dates from a provided date range which protects your website from being perceived as hacked by the search engines
- Post status is helpful if you want to publish your posts or just save them as drafts
- Comments option is helpful if you want to enable or disable comments on the generated pages
- Post slug helps you create SEO-friendly URLs (you can create the slug column directly in the data file itself)
- If you want to set a different WordPress post template for the posts, you can do that as well
The main benefit that I see in doing programmatic SEO in WordPress is that you do not have to deal with code. And you can quickly get started without setting up the whole system from scratch first.
The WP All Import plugin is so advanced that you can even set it up in a way that it automatically keeps running regularly after a set interval and new posts keep being published.
I am sure you would have understood everything through the video but if you didn’t, just let me know in the comments below.