Keyword mapping for SEO – Your ultimate guide to effective strategy

13 September 2023
9 minutes

In short

Managing a website is a rewarding experience but it can also be a challenge. Alongside producing all the great content required to attract new customers and entertain your current audience, there’s the considerable task of getting found online. And that should obviously be the goal for every company that creates content for their website.

SEO is a complex beast but the good news is, it’s one that can be tamed. Among the many SEO tools and techniques at your disposal, keyword mapping stands out as a crucial practice that can significantly boost your search engine visibility and help you optimise your site structure and content. Sounds good, right?

Whether you’re a seasoned marketing professional or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to make keyword mapping your secret weapon for improved search engine rankings.

In this article, we’ll break down the concept of keyword mapping, explore its importance, delve into the process of effective keyword mapping, provide you with top tools to aid your efforts and highlight the benefits you can reap.

Plus, we’ll sprinkle in some top tips and practical examples to ensure you have a clear understanding of how to make it work for your business. So, roll up your sleeves, grab a revitalising beverage and let’s get started.

a photo of a man doing keyword mapping for SEO

What is keyword mapping?

Keyword mapping is the process of strategically assigning target keywords to specific pages on your website to optimise their search engine rankings. Essentially, it’s like creating a roadmap that guides search engines towards understanding the content and purpose of each page on your site – otherwise known as the page intent.

By carefully aligning your keywords with relevant pages, you improve the chances of your website showing up in search results when users enter those specific keywords.

For example, when assigning keywords to pages, think about the user’s journey and match keywords to the stage of the buying cycle your audience is likely to be in.

So, if you’re a software provider, you might assign “researching enterprise solutions” to a page that educates visitors about your products, and “best enterprise software for businesses” to a comparison page.

What are the benefits of keyword mapping?

Effective keyword mapping offers a multitude of benefits for your website’s SEO strategy. Here are just some of the key pros for implementing this strategy.

It creates an intuitive website structure

By aligning keywords with specific pages, you naturally create a structured website hierarchy that’s easy for both users and search engines to navigate.

It improves internal linking

Keyword mapping helps you strategically place internal links between relevant pages, enhancing user experience, improving the customer journey and making it easier for search engines to crawl your site and index the pages correctly.

For example, you could create a “related articles” section at the end of your blog posts, linking to other relevant posts on your site. This not only aids in SEO but also keeps users engaged, coaxing them down the path to conversion.

It helps you improve your content marketing plan

Your keyword clusters can serve as inspiration for creating new, relevant content that resonates with your target audience.

Top tip: Use tools like Google Trends to identify rising keywords (those that are becoming more popular) and topics in your industry. This can help you stay ahead of the curve.

It makes tracking and reporting easier

Every marketer struggles to find time to regularly monitor website activity and performance. With a well-organised keyword map, tracking the performance of specific keywords and their associated pages becomes far more manageable. It also makes acting on the insights a great deal easier.

Top tip: Utilise Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor how your targeted keywords are performing in terms of clicks, impressions and rankings. You can then investigate the root of the problem. Perhaps the page intent isn’t clear or you are targeting too many search terms on one page. Perhaps you haven’t signposted this page clearly from key commercial pages, or maybe it could do with a content refresh.

Why is keyword mapping important for SEO?

Search engines act as gatekeepers, deciding which content gets highlighted and which remains buried. Effective keyword mapping acts as your key to these gates. It helps search engines understand the context of your content, ultimately resulting in higher rankings and improved visibility.

Proper keyword mapping also prevents keyword cannibalisation, a situation where multiple pages on your website compete against each other for the same keyword, diluting your search engine authority. We will go into keyword cannibalisation later in this guide.

Top tip: Avoid overloading a single page with too many keywords. Instead, focus on creating valuable, in-depth content that naturally incorporates your assigned keywords and clearly demonstrates the page intent.

Practical example: Suppose you’re an SEO agency targeting the keyword “best SEO practices.” Rather than cramming this keyword into a single blog post, create a series of well-researched articles that cover specific aspects of SEO, like “On-Page SEO Best Practices” or “Effective Link Building Strategies.”

How to do keyword mapping

Now that you understand what keyword mapping is and why it’s crucial, let’s break down the process into actionable steps. As promised, we’ll clarify each point with real-life examples and top tips to help you get it right the first time.

1. Identify target keywords

Every good marketing journey begins with comprehensive research, in this case, take the time to focus on the keywords that will help you get noticed online. Use SEO keyword tools to understand the terms your target audience is using to find products, services, or information related to your industry. Tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs can be invaluable for this task.

Top tip: Don’t just focus on high-competition keywords. Look for long-tail keywords that are specific to your niche. They may have lower search volumes, but they often indicate stronger user intent.

Practical example: If you’re a B2C marketing agency, you might target the keyword “B2C lead generation strategies.” However, long-tail keywords like “effective lead nurturing techniques for B2C businesses” could also attract highly relevant traffic.

2. Create keyword clusters

Group related keywords into clusters based on their semantic relevance. These clusters represent different themes or topics within your industry. Take a look at this blog about topic clusters to find out more.

Top tip: Think of keyword clusters as content themes. Each cluster should be broad enough to cover various related keywords while remaining focused on a particular subject.

Practical example: If you’re in the fitness industry, you might create a keyword cluster around “weight loss.” Within this cluster, you could have keywords like “the best healthy diet for weight loss,” “best cardio exercises to lose weight,” and “effective weight loss supplements.”

3. Assign pages to clusters

Now, assign each keyword cluster to a specific page on your website. This alignment ensures that your content is organised and search engines can easily understand the intent of each page.

Top tip: Don’t force keywords onto pages where they don’t naturally fit. The goal is to provide valuable content to users, not to manipulate search engines.

Practical example: If you run an e-commerce site selling outdoor gear, you could assign the keyword cluster “camping essentials” to a page featuring tents, sleeping bags and camping cookware. Similarly, the cluster “hiking gear” could be assigned to a page showcasing hiking boots, backpacks and clothing.

Keyword mapping tools

SEO tools are every marketer’s dream come true. Plus, you can usually find good freemium or low-cost versions that will do the job perfectly well. Here are some of the top SEO tools to help you simplify and streamline your keyword mapping process.

Ahrefs: A comprehensive SEO tool that offers keyword research, competitive analysis and site audit features.

Moz: Known for its handy (and accurate) domain authority metric, Moz provides a wealth of insights into keyword rankings and backlinks.

SEMRush: A versatile and highly reputable tool that covers keyword research, competitor analysis and site auditing.

SE Ranking: Offers a range of SEO tools, including keyword tracking, backlink analysis and on-page SEO suggestions.

Top tip: Experiment with different tools and find the one that aligns with your workflow and provides the data you need. Always keep your eye out for new entrants to the market, too!

a vector that shows that optimising pages and creating high quality content that revolves around target keywords is also needed for keyword mapping

How to use your keyword map effectively

OK, then. It’s time to flex those SEO muscles. With your keyword map in place, it’s time to leverage it for tangible search results. Here goes…

Optimise pages for target keywords

Craft high-quality, engaging and relevant content that revolves around your target keywords. Ensure that your content addresses user intent and provides valuable and original information.

Top tip: Aim to be the best answer to the user’s query. High-quality, informative content is more likely to earn backlinks and social shares, boosting your overall SEO efforts. This approach also increases your chances of winning the coveted featured snippet. This not only helps your website performance on desktop but boosts your presence on mobile too. Find out more about getting your brand the attention it deserves on all devices in our guide to mobile SEO optimisation.

Practical example: If you’re an interior design firm targeting the keyword “modern living room design,” create a comprehensive guide that covers layout ideas, furniture recommendations, colour palettes and lighting tips. Make sure you link to it at strategic places throughout your website and promote it well on socials with plenty of evocative imagery.

Fill content gaps with fresh, relevant and up-to-date content

Analyse your keyword map to identify gaps in your existing content. Then create new content to address these gaps and enhance your site’s overall presence. Perhaps you have plenty of content to attract people to the site – landing pages and so forth.

But you need to develop more assets to keep them engaged and moving through the buyer journey. E-books and guides can be great for this, as can video or text case studies. As mentioned above, make sure you signpost your assets well and consider how different customer personas will move through your website; what they will need and when.

Want to find out more about creating and using personas? Read our blog on 4 steps to create an effective buyer persona.

Top tip: Keep an eye on emerging trends and topics in your industry. Being among the first to create content around new subjects can establish your authority.

Practical example: If you operate a travel blog and notice a lack of information about “sustainable travel tips,” create a series of articles that highlight eco-friendly travel practices, green accommodations and responsible tourism.

We know it’s not always easy to find the time to create the volume of content you need to attract and convert new customers and keep your current audience engaged and entertained.

Contact us today to find out how Contentoo’s team of freelance content creators can help you achieve your business goals.

Use keyword-rich anchor text

When linking between pages on your website, use anchor text that includes your target keywords. This reinforces the keyword-to-page association for search engines.

Top tip: Avoid using the same anchor text repeatedly. Use variations to make your internal linking look natural.

Practical example: If you have a blog post about “SEO best practices” and you’re linking to your in-depth guide on “On-Page SEO,” use anchor text like “Learn about effective On-Page SEO techniques.”

A content tip in form of an infographic about how to use anchor texts

Keep your keyword map updated

SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly review and update your keyword map as your business evolves, new trends emerge and user behaviour changes.

Top tip: Set aside time each quarter (at least) to revisit your keyword strategy. Trends, user intent and search volumes can shift, so staying current is vital.

Practical example: Imagine you’re a fashion retailer. As the seasons change, update your keyword map to reflect trending fashion keywords for the upcoming season, such as “spring fashion trends” or “summer wardrobe essentials.”

How do I avoid keyword cannibalisation?

Keyword cannibalisation occurs when multiple pages on your website target the same keyword. This can lead to confusion for search engines and lower rankings. To avoid this issue, follow the steps below.

Identify cannibalisation

Regularly audit your website to identify instances of keyword cannibalisation. Tools like our old friends SEMRush and Ahrefs can help with this.

Top tip: Keep a spreadsheet that lists your target keywords, the pages they’re assigned to and their current rankings. This can help you spot any overlap.

Consolidate content

If you find multiple pages targeting the same keyword, consider consolidating them into a single, comprehensive page.

Top tip: Redirect the URLs of the redundant pages to the consolidated page to ensure a seamless user experience and maintain any precious backlink authority.

Practical example: Let’s say your travel website has two separate blog posts, “Top Destinations for Romantic Getaways” and “Romantic Escapes for Couples.” These could be combined into a single, comprehensive guide without losing any lovely SEO juice.

Optimise existing content

If multiple pages are ranking for the same keyword, optimise them for slightly different variations of the keyword to avoid competition.

Top tip: Utilise keyword variations, synonyms and related terms to maintain the relevance of each page while addressing different aspects of the keyword.

Practical example: If you have two blog posts targeting the keyword “healthy breakfast ideas,” one could focus on “Quick and Nutritious Breakfasts” while the other emphasises “Plant-Based Breakfast Recipes.”

Mapping your journey to better SEO!

And there you have it – your complete guide to keyword mapping for better SEO. As you can see, keyword mapping can be a powerful tool to improve search engine rankings and boost your overall visibility online.

By aligning your target keywords with specific pages on your website, you create a structured, well-organised content strategy that resonates with both users and search engines.

From identifying target keywords to creating keyword clusters and using the best tools available, this guide has equipped you with the knowledge and techniques to take great strides in your keyword mapping endeavours.

Remember, the world of SEO is dynamic, to say the least, so make sure you continuously adapt your keyword map to stay ahead of the competition and ensure your content continues to resonate with your audience. Like all worthwhile marketing strategies, it will probably take you a little while to get up and running but once you do, you should see positive results in no time at all.

Keyword mapping is also a great refresher for your content marketing inspiration. We can get so close to our brands that we may not be able to recognise opportunities that are staring us straight in the face! And of course, it is always good to have a second pair of eyes to help us identify and make sense of those opportunities.

If you would like to find out how our team of freelance content writers, SEO experts and content strategists can help your band get the attention it deserves, contact us today. We would love to help.

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