The Rookies Guide to Keyword Mapping

- Sep 2021

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Keywords are the backbone of any SEO strategy. Knowing which keywords to include on your site, however, requires planning and study. Keyword mapping is one technique for making sure that your site is using the best-match keywords on its pages and, therefore, performing and ranking its best.

So, let’s dive in and take a look at how to do keyword mapping. But first, be sure you understand what keyword mapping is, what it can achieve, and how it can help your site.

What Is Keyword Mapping?

You are likely familiar with keywords, but you may be wondering, what is keyword mapping? Keyword mapping can be understood as a framework for target keywords that mirror your site’s structure. Essentially, keyword mapping describes the process of pairing your target keywords with optimal landing pages on your site.

Then, the right keywords get matched to the right landing pages, ultimately improving search engine results and traffic. The basic benefits of keyword mapping include:

  • Google can easily analyze the relevance of each page
  • Informs your internal linking strategy
  • Helps measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts

How to Execute Keyword Mapping

Identify Your Top Pages

Using organic performance metrics from Google Analytics is very helpful for looking at your pages’ performance and for identifying top pages. If your site is small, using PPC (pay-per-click) data and your best judgment is also helpful.

This outline below details the steps for pinpointing top pages using Google Analytics.

  1. On Google Analytics, access Behavior → Site content → Landing Pages. Using a 12-month date range can provide a clear overview, but use a date range that makes sense for you.
  2. Apply an audience segment for indicating organic traffic. The audience segment can be targeted to include only certain countries, among other parameters, for example.
  3. Choose your main goal, meaning the one you use for reporting, and then export the report. If you want to look at multiple goals, you will need to export multiple reports and then merge them into a single report.
  4. Once exported, arrange the document to easily view Page, Sessions, Conversions, and Conversion Rate.
  5. Remove the URLs that don’t pertain to conversions, such as testimonials and certain blog posts. You know your site best, so remove pages that are not key to your business and ones whose rankings aren’t very critical.

Using this process and information, you can identify your key landing pages. Use this report to find your top dozen or two dozen most important pages, or whatever makes the most sense for you.

Select a Seed Keyword

Each page that you’re working on will need to have a main keyword. Finding the main keyword shouldn’t be too much of a mystery, as it’s likely in the URL. However, you might wish to review a few resources to double-check or to decide between a couple of top keywords.

Your preferred keyword research tool can help to compare volume, ranking difficulty, and conversions between keywords. The best seed keyword may show a good balance between those three parameters, meaning the volume is significant but obtaining conversions won’t be overly challenging or competitive. Using Google Search Console can also help find the top-performing queries for top-performing pages. PPC data can also shed light on the seed keyword to use.

Broaden Your Seed Keywords

Once you’ve identified your seed keyword, turning your attention to related keywords and keyword variations comes next. You’ll want to target the keywords that bring the most value to your business, which often correspond to visitors at the bottom of the funnel who are just about ready to become customers.

Among other resources, Google can be quite helpful again for this step. So, when scouting for additional keywords, look at:

  • Your Google Ads search terms report
  • Google Search Console keywords and their related pages
  • Keyword research tools from Semrush, Ahrefs, or a similar resource. Look under “phrase match” or “having the same terms” to find related keywords

Try to narrow results down to around 10 keywords and keyword variations per page. Your market knowledge, coupled with keyword volume and ranking difficulty, can help you to cut down your list.

Reviewing the SERPs (or search engine results pages) can help you to figure out the user intent behind certain keywords and can reveal how competitors rank using these keywords. Additionally, a keyword that has lots of ads and paid search results indicates its desirability and high value.

Create Your Keyword Map

Once your seed keyword and related keywords have been found, you are ready to begin your map. A keyword mapping template can help to group and layout keywords. Exactly how it looks and is organized is up to you, although most look like spreadsheets with sections broken into groups.

Starting with a landing page, list the keywords aligned with that page and leave rows or spaces to also list volume and rank data as time goes on. By tagging your keywords, you can easily view which keyword groups are growing, which are receding, and which ones have more than one landing page ranking for them.

Brainstorm Content for Your Groupings

Now that you know how to do keyword mapping, you can look at your keywords and keyword mapping template to see which words can inspire relevant content. If you see a particular phrase or group of related keywords ranking well, you might want to write a blog post that emphasizes using that group of keywords in its text.

Finding topics from keywords is a great and natural means of coming up with blog post ideas or other website content topics. These efforts, in turn, can enhance SEO and organic search traffic.

Optimize Your Keyword Mapping With Us

Understanding how to do keyword mapping well takes dedication because the subtleties and rules governing SEO are always changing. At My Creative Mark, we stay on top of the dynamic field of SEO in order to help your business rank well in search results and succeed.

We want to share more about what we offer and about what we can do for your business. If you’d like to learn more, or if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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