Optimize your growth

with strategic keyword mapping

How to do keyword mapping

Create a more organized website structure with keyword mapping and improve your rankings. Working with keyword mapping will increase your chances of gaining ranking and increasing organic traffic as well as user experience. 

By: Olof Strömbäck on May 28, 2024 | Reading time: 10 minutes

By strategically mapping keywords to specific pages, you can create a more organized website structure making it easier to get an overview of the performance for individual targeted keywords. This will result in higher search engine rankings, increased organic traffic, and improved user experience. Additionally, keyword mapping helps you identify any gaps or opportunities in your website’s keyword coverage and allows for better optimization.

 

The meaning of keyword mapping 

Keyword mapping in SEO is the process of structuring the keywords you have found during your keyword research. Keyword mapping includes categorizing your keywords as primary and secondary keywords and assigning them to the pages where they should be visible on your site.   

Creating a keyword map will reduce the risk of duplicate or near-duplicate pages which can harm your ranking potential. If Google, when looking for keywords relevant to the user’s query, finds a keyword on multiple pages that serve a similar purpose it might struggle to identify the best result, which is known as keyword cannibalization.

 

How to create a keyword map: 

1. Find keywords
Before diving into the process of creating a keyword map you need to find your keywords. Check out our article on How to do keyword research and beat the competition, if you need guidance on how to create relevant keywords. This guide will provide you with valuable insights and strategies for discovering relevant keywords that align with your business goals. Proceed to the next step once you have your keyword list.

2. Create a working-spreadsheet
Download or create a spreadsheet where you group your keywords in keyword clusters which you later assign to a page. But more on keyword clustering later.  

The keyword mapping spreadsheet is an excellent foundation and database for your ongoing content plan since it contains information on what content to create and what keywords to use.
 

3. Assign keywords to a URL
When your keyword clusters are created it is time to assign them to a target URL on your website. This represents the page you want each keyword to rank for.

Review your website and identify the page on your site that best satisfies search intent. If you don’t have a page that satisfies search intent, you have found a content gap and an opportunity to expand your site with a new, relevant page. But what is a content gap more exactly and how should you treat them? 

 

Content gaps and how to find them 

A content gap is like a missing puzzle piece between what users want and what the website offers. Content gaps can occur when certain topics, keywords, or user needs are overlooked or not given enough attention. This is a clear indication that your website doesn’t have enough or the right kind of content that people are searching for.  

You will easily find content gaps when you are creating your keyword map since those are the keywords with no URL assigned to them. Your keyword research has identified a request for a certain topic, but you have no content mapped to that keyword.  

Closing your content gaps is an important step in boosting your online presence and attracting more visitors. Another crucial step when enhancing your organic visibility is keyword clustering. 

 

What is keyword clustering? 

Keyword clustering in SEO refers to grouping similar keywords together that satisfy the same search intent. By grouping your keywords into keyword clusters, you will have the opportunity to rank for several keywords on the same page. This is because Google will prioritize a page that can answer all the available questions people might have regarding a topic.

 

How to do keyword clustering? 

When determining whether keywords should be grouped into the same cluster, it is helpful to compare the search results they generate. By doing a Google search for these keywords, you can assess if the top-ranking pages are similar or nearly identical. If they are, it is an indication that a single page can effectively rank for those keywords. However, if there are significant variations in the search results, it is advisable not to place those keywords in the same keyword cluster. This approach ensures that your keyword clustering strategy aligns with the relevancy and intent of the search results, ultimately optimizing your website’s visibility and targeting. 

 

Keyword mapping example 

Image of a keyword map 

 

The keyword map as a tool to track your ranking 

Your keyword map should be a working tool, not a static document. Use your keyword map to keep track of how your keywords develop in ranking and to select what primary and secondary keywords to use when you are creating content for a page on your website.  

Tracking the ranking of your keywords is essential to see your performance develop. Your keyword map is an excellent tool for this. So, let’s wrap things up by explaining how you can use your keyword map practically to keep track of your rankings. 

Dedicate a column labeled “initial rank” in your keyword mapping spreadsheet. This column allows you to record the initial ranking position of each keyword-associated page in search engine results. By tracking the initial rank, you can monitor the progress and effectiveness of your SEO actions over time. 

Additionally, it is recommended to include a column called “Rank Last Update” in your spreadsheet. Regularly updating this column with the latest ranking information helps you identify keywords that may require further optimization or attention. By keeping track of changes in rankings, you can take necessary actions to improve your position and ensure that your content remains competitive in search results. 

Lastly you should also assign a column called “Rank Last Week”, to spot any weekly changes in ranking. This way you can see positive as well as negative trends and act fast if rankings should drop.  

Having these dedicated columns in your keyword mapping spreadsheet provides valuable insights and enables you to make data-driven decisions when optimizing your website for better search engine rankings. 

 

Conclusion 

Creating a keyword map allows you to group keywords into clusters, providing an opportunity to rank for multiple keywords on a single page. This not only enhances your visibility but also reduces the risk of keyword cannibalization or duplicate content.  

Furthermore, identifying content gaps allows you to create valuable and optimized content that fills those missing pieces and strengthens your online presence. Your keyword map is also a helpful tool for keeping track of rankings and planning what content to create next.  

Take the time to assign keywords strategically and bridge those content gaps to drive organic traffic and you will establish yourself as a trusted source in your industry. 

 

Read next 

How to boost your ranking with keyword research

Understanding your audiences’ search intent 

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