Keyword Mapping: One Of SEO’s Biggest Secrets

Keyword Mapping: One Of SEO’s Biggest Secrets

what is keyword mapping

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One very essential ingredient of an SEO campaign or strategy is KEYWORDS. Serving as the basis of your SEO efforts, keywords provide an outline for both the structure of your website and future content. 

 

The very first step of any SEO campaign is keyword research. This is the process of investigating the words or phrases your audience uses while searching for businesses like yours. This is very important because it allows you to position your website content and structure in a way that meets the needs of your potential customers. 

 

The result or results of your keyword research, whichever the case is,  leads us to the discussion of today, Keyword Mapping.

In this article, you will learn the following;

 

  • What keyword mapping is
  • The importance of keyword mapping. 
  • How to do Keyword mapping.
  • You will understand why you should do keyword mapping.


What is Keyword Mapping?

Google ranks every page on a website individually. Each specific URL must be optimized and relevant to whatever keyword that is being targeted. 

 

Keyword mapping, therefore, is the process of assigning a target keyword cluster to relevant pages on your website. This keyword cluster consists of a focus keyword (main keyword) that clearly defines the page’s topic as well as a series of keyword variations and supporting keywords.


Why Is Keyword Mapping Important?

Investing efforts in your keyword mapping makes it clear to search engines (like Google) which page they should rank for a particular target keyword.

 

It helps you to focus target keywords on specific pages. For instance, this page is focused solely on keyword mapping. While we have briefly discussed keyword research only as a matter of necessity, this page is laser-focused on keyword mapping.

 

The effect of this is that Google gets to better understand this page, and there’s no other page on this website competing for this same keyword. The following are other reasons why keyword mapping is important.

 

Why Is Keyword Mapping Important?

Investing efforts in your keyword mapping makes it clear to search engines (like Google) which page they should rank for a particular target keyword.

 

It helps you to focus target keywords on specific pages. For instance, this page is focused solely on keyword mapping. While we have briefly discussed keyword research only as a matter of necessity, this page is laser-focused on keyword mapping.

 

The effect of this is that Google gets to better understand this page, and there’s no other page on this website competing for this same keyword. The following are other reasons why keyword mapping is important.

 

It Helps To Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

Targeting a specific term across multiple pages can do more harm than good to your SEO. Having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword might sound like a good thing, except that it isn’t. 

 

The reason for this is simple, having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword forces them to compete against each other. Metrics like CTR become lower on each page, resulting in a reduced authority than one page would have had. This phenomenon is called keyword cannibalization. 

 

Keyword mapping looks to help you focus a particular keyword on a specific page on your website, hence eliminating the risk of keyword cannibalization.

beneftits of keyword mapping

It Helps You Find Keyword Gaps

Your website might suffer suppressed rankings if your content marketing strategy does not include all the necessary keywords. Keyword mapping eliminates this tendency. With keyword mapping, you can find those missing keyword opportunities and target them to their relevant pages.

 

The reason for this is simple, having multiple pages ranking for the same keyword forces them to compete against each other. Metrics like CTR become lower on each page, resulting in a reduced authority than one page would have had. This phenomenon is called keyword cannibalization. 

 

Keyword mapping looks to help you focus a particular keyword on a specific page on your website, hence eliminating the risk of keyword cannibalization.

 

Internal Linking Organization

Keyword mapping makes internal linking a lot easier. Because you now know which page is targeted by which keyword, you now know which anchor text should link to a particular page. 

 

It is easy to use a particular anchor text as an internal link to several pages when there is no proper keyword mapping. When your keywords are properly mapped to their relevant pages, it becomes easier to target anchor texts to those pages using the keywords targeted.

importance of keyword mapping

How To Do Keyword Mapping

Now that you know what keyword mapping is and how it helps your SEO, you must know how to carry it out effectively. The following are the steps to take to carry out effective keyword mapping.

Make A List Of Your Target Keywords

As earlier mentioned, keyword mapping starts with in-depth keyword research to investigate all keywords you currently rank for as well as new ones you intend to target. 

 

To do this, if you’re already carrying our SEO for your website you can analyze what brings you traffic using Google Search Console. Google Search console returns a list of all keywords your website is ranking for against the number of clicks and impressions they have had over a specified amount of time. You can also identify opportunities by looking at keywords where you have impressions but no clicks.

 

These keywords may represent an opportunity to broaden your horizon. Make a list of all these keywords and move on to the next step.

However, if you’re only just starting in SEO, you can simply write down all keywords that relate to your business. It doesn’t have to be perfect at first. 

 

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine how you would search for a business such as yours. 

 

Then input these keywords on any keyword research tool like Google Keyword Planner. This keyword planning tool returns all keywords that are related to the ones you typed in while giving you their search volume, and competition level. You can then select the most relevant ones for your business and make a list of them.

Group Keywords By Topic

After collecting the keywords, you need to sort them into groups to further assign them to target pages. Keyword grouping is the process of organizing keywords into groups of semantically-related keywords. The following are the steps to grouping keywords semantically.

 

  • Create a list of keywords. You can use the one described in the first step of keyword mapping.
  • Paste your list of keywords in a keyword grouping tool. You can use a free tool called SEO Scout. This keyword grouping tool will analyze your list of keywords and sort them semantically into related groups.
  • These tools are only a guide and you will need to use your discretion. Some of the keywords in the groups might be too broad for a single piece of content. In a case like this, you would need to go back to your keyword planning tool, generate a list of keywords related to the broad keyword then paste the result into the keyword grouping tool.
 

After getting your topic groups ready, some of them will have conflicting search intent, and as Google picks different results for different search intent, there’s no way to rank those conflicting intents on the same page. Now you have to create smaller keyword groups with similar search intent. There are four types of keyword search intent, they include;

 

  • Navigational: They are generally used to navigate a particular website or place; e.g Apple, Qckbot, McDonald’s Seattle.
  • Informational: Generally used to find any information e.g how to buy a book online, where to find a lion, etc
  • Commercial Investigation: Generally used to find product comparisons or reviews e.g iPhone 13 review, best gaming laptops 2022
  • Transactional: Generally used to buy e.g buy cheap sneakers, buy used cars online.
 

Group Keywords By Difficulty

It is good practice to sort keywords based on difficulty. This is because webpages on the same website may have different domain authorities. Now, some keywords are easier to rank than others. 

 

Sorting keywords by difficulty will help you assign keywords to web pages based on the difficulty of the keyword and the authority of the page. This will eliminate the risk of targeting a high-difficulty keyword on a low-authority page.

how to do keyword mapping

Check The Search Intent on SERPs

It wouldn’t be out of place if you stopped at the keyword grouping. However, the problem with that is, Google sometimes returns different results for keywords in the same keyword grouping. 

 

If you do not figure this out on time, you will be targeting different intents on the same page, which will not bring you any success. You want to eliminate that tendency by confirming the search intent of each keyword in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Build The Keyword Map

You can now proceed to do the keyword mapping. Although there are tools ( like the website auditor in SEO Powersuite) you can use for this, we will briefly walk through this process. 

 

First, you need to visually match these keywords to relevant pages on the website. You can measure the relevance of a page to a target keyword using its URL, title, meta description, and a list of keywords the page already ranks for. 

The following are factors to consider when carrying out keyword mapping.

Keyword And Page Search Intent

 

As we have already established, different keywords serve different search intents and are to be deployed on separate pages. We talked about different keywords and their types e.g navigational, transactional, informational, and commercial information. Try to analyze the pages on your website and their intent and try to match them with relevant keywords.

 

The Click Depth Of A Web Page

The click depth of a page can be defined as the number of steps a user or Googlebot will need to take to reach it from your home page. As a rule, the pages located closer to the homepage have more external and internal link juice, hence it would be better to place more difficult keywords on these pages. Remember that these keywords have already been grouped based on difficulty.

Content Of The Page

The content of a page is another factor to consider when carrying out your keyword. It may have come later in our list but it is very important. In the end, the content of your page will be more important than the URL or even the meta description as a ranking factor.

Current Google Ranking

This step involves investigating pages to see what keyword they are already ranking for. It is important to stick with the keyword a page is already ranking for and try to improve on it rather than targeting another keyword so as not to lose out on both ends. 

 

For instance, if a page looks good to rank for the term sandwich bags, and Google search console results show that it is already ranking for the search term stasher bags. It is better to stick to the keyword the page is already ranking for and create another page for the new keyword.

Optimize Your Pages For The Map

This is the final step. After mapping the keywords to relevant pages, you can now start optimizing the pages for the keywords. To do this, you need to follow all the on-page optimization rules. 

 

Ensure you have a sufficient amount of the keyword on your page while making sure you’re not over-optimizing. Make sure the page’s URL and meta description clearly describe the keyword and its intent. You also need to make sure that images on the page have the correct alt text and description. 

 

There are different issues or opportunities you might have encountered during this exercise. Each will be unique to your site, but here are some of the most common ones we’ve found:

 

  • Missing content. During this exercise, you might have found that you were missing a page for one of your main keywords. The solution would be to create a page.
  • Content that isn’t ranking. This might be due to a variety of issues and will have several different fixes. Some of the actions you can take are the following: Make sure no technical issues are preventing the page from ranking such as inclusion on the robots.txt file, a rogue noindex tag, bad HTTP responses, or poor page experience. Review the content to make sure it’s relevant. Find internal linking opportunities on your content, footer, or menu. Check what your competitors are doing (and do it better).
  • Make sure no technical issues are preventing the page from ranking such as inclusion on the robots.txt file, a rogue noindex tag, bad HTTP responses, or poor page experience.
  • Review the content to make sure it’s relevant.
  • Find internal linking opportunities on your content, footer, or menu.
  • Check what your competitors are doing (and do it better).
  • Several pages target the same query. One solution would be to merge them into one page that serves the user best. Alternatively, you can choose to edit the content of one of the pages to cater to a more long-tail version of that query.
why use keyword mapping

Why You Should Use Keyword Mapping

The reason you should do keyword mapping can be broken down into two;

Everyone has visibility on what keywords are a priority for any given page.

This is particularly important if you’re doing ongoing content creation or content marketing where you have a lot of opportunity to internally link and reference other content. These mapped keywords on your core service pages or even other blog posts can guide what anchors to use when linking internally.

It avoids duplicate content

Again, if you’re consistently publishing content, it’s easy to forget what was published a year ago, or even a couple of months ago and decide to write something very similar to what was already created.

In this case, if you have a similar idea it might be better to refresh an existing post that talks about the same topic – making it more of an authority on that subject matter.

avoid duplicated content

Keyword Mapping And Research Doesn't Stop!

Once you have completed your keyword mapping, you can proceed to start producing the more optimized pages you designed — it is important to set a calendar reminder to revisit this process all over again. 

 

You will also need to explore the verticals you haven’t targeted before or figure out if there are additional questions you can answer for your audience that will enrich your SEO copywriting and problem-solve for them. 

 

The mapping process is a great way to make sure visitors are entering your site at a point that provides the value they are looking for — which is something search engines will love, too. At the end of a well-done keyword mapping, everyone goes home happy.

Robert Battle CPA

Robert Battle CPA

Founder of QCKBOT and data analyst extraordinaire. Looking for trends and testing theories led this financial guru into the world of SEO. Empowered by the ability to take businesses to the next level through organic search, he's on a mission to upend traditional B2B consulting via data-driven high-impact results.

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