Keyword Mapping Tips

Imagine, if you will, how many cooking websites exist. Now, imagine that your goal is to rank in the top five search results for “the best way to grill a steak.”

It’s an overwhelming thought, isn’t it? Despite that, the truth is, it’s absolutely possible to reach your goals, particularly if you provide quality, relevant content and optimize your site for search.

There are A LOT of things that can mean – SEO is a delicate balance of technical decisions and content creation, but to increase the likelihood that you’ll rank for the terms you want, and therefore get the audience you deserve, you’ll need to plot, plan, and chart your way.

Why Keyword Mapping is Vital to SEO | 4-Step Guide

Keyword mapping helps make the connections between a page’s purpose and the audience needs by placing savory keyword morsels in just the right places – a practice that is not only necessary for traditional search but also (perhaps even more so) for voice search, which is growing at phenomenal speeds.

Before you get started, there are a few tools and resources you may want to collect to increase efficiency and organization. A solid keyword tracking tool is great, and you’ll want to create an SEO document.

Additionally, we also recommend that keyword mapping be part of a larger initiative – an SEO audit. Keyword mapping requires you to take a high-level look at your site and then delve into each aspect, drawing logical (and maybe surprising) connections. It also extremely beneficial to incorporate any keyword mapping efforts into your overall site optimization strategy, specifically any SEO audit you plan on doing.

Keyword mapping requirements often overlap with those involved in a comprehensive SEO audit, making it easier and more efficient to streamline your efforts – why do more work than necessary, right?

Determine Your Goals

Yes, there is an overarching goal to increase relevant traffic and help guide your audience to the right pages, but before you get started, it’s great to have some general goals in mind. Are you looking to increase leads? Promote your brand to new audiences? Become a resource? Establishing goals and direct your keyword research as well as the mapping and content that follows.

Map Your Current Site

The next step is to take inventory of your site and optimization efforts in their current state. Though every site owner will have their own unique formatting preferences, the best way to do this is by creating an Excel (or similar document, like Google Sheets) document that includes, at a minimum, columns for each page as well as the accompanying URL, keywords it currently ranks for, and the search volume.

However, additional columns, like conversions, backlinks, keyword difficulty, etc. can be very beneficial in framing your keyword mapping strategy.

Gather & Group Keywords

Keyword research is an essential aspect of SEO, and it’s incredibly important (i.e., required) to properly complete any keyword mapping effort. Once you’ve completed your keyword research, you can begin to group them based on the purpose they serve (intent, product type, need, etc).

After you’ve made some sense of your keyword list, determine where those keywords fit into existing content. This will allow you to make content updates based on your current findings as well as help cut down what is likely an extensive list.

What do you do after you’ve matched keywords and content where possible? What do you make of the remaining list? That, my friend, is opportunity knocking.

Optimized Keyword Mapping helps produce stronger organic SEO results

Of course, not every keyword remaining will find its place in your long-term strategy. Some may be too competitive, so may simply not fit in with your end goal; however, this remaining list should help you identify potential gaps and areas that you can expand and build upon.

For example, within the remaining list, you may find long-tail keywords that, when paired with proper page optimization, can lend themselves to frequently asked questions or sought after advice.

If that’s the case, and search volume merits further efforts, you may very well find that your attempts at keyword mapping opened a whole new set of opportunities, including new audiences, ranks, and even voice search positions.

Moving Forward

Once you’ve completed your mapping and connected keywords to pages, it’s likely that you’ll have some site redesign tasks in your future. What this looks like depends entirely on the steps above, or, more specifically, the outcome of the steps above. You may find the need for some 301 redirects, or you may determine that new pages or content is necessary.

At this point, you’ll want to schedule a rollout and continue to monitor and track your efforts to define success or determine what pages and keyword mapping may require some tweaking or reconsideration.

Whether it be the best steak or an award-winning financial service, the best way to move up in the search ranks is to optimize your site by creating strong connections between your products/services and site content and user inquiries, providing Google, and potential customers, the opportunity to see the relevance. A good keyword mapping effort will do just that.



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