To begin with, SEO revolves heavily around keyword. What people look for, how often they search,
and the way difficult it’ll be to rank for a target term are all concepts
that we consider when completing keyword research.
As SEOs, we comb through data, check out trends,
and ultimately pare an unwieldy list of keywords into actionable targets.
Identifying what terms to rank for,
how they’re currently ranking, and if/how/why/when that changed is all a part of the sport.
One crucial aspect of keyword research that’s often neglected—or just misunderstood—is that of keyword mapping.
Whether you’re new SEO or a longtime veteran,
The concept of keyword mapping is equally valuable to take care of and convey
an accurate understanding of the state of your website in organic search and the way it often improved.
Read on to find out what keyword mapping is and the way to try to do it right.
At its most elementary form, a completed keyword mapping deliverable maybe a spreadsheet
that correlates URLs on your site to the target keywords related to them—
whether extant or yet to return. it’s a stunning visual representation of those keywords and illustrates
where they belong within the pages of your site.
Keyword mapping will enable you to make better content, optimize existing landing pages,
and better understand your site’s organic strategy as an entire.
A keyword mapping document can reveal critical aspects of the location.
We’re provided a far better understanding of its structure and may better discern priorities for optimization.
When to try to do Keyword Mapping
There are many situations during which creating an accurate
keyword map will greatly strengthen your organic strategy and inform your roadmap moving forward.
instead of making the blanket statement that it’s “always an honest idea”
(which to a point, it must said, is true), let’s examine a couple of more concrete situations:
Keyword mapping to spot new content opportunities:
If you’re ideating new content for your website, you’ll establish
before the time the precise purpose of every new page because it relates to focusing on keywords and rankings.
Keyword mapping before content creation is additionally extremely beneficial in identifying content overlap.
If a proposed page features a central theme that’s already targeted keywords on another page,
you’ll either avoid the subject altogether or augment the prevailing page with new content.
There are enough competitors for your site in organic search—you don’t get to play against yourself.
Keyword mapping before a site redesign/migration:
Site redesigns and migrations are often pain points for SEOs. apart from the about guaranteed temporary traffic dip,
many things can get surprised when search engines recrawl the remake of your site.
Generally, there’s getting to be some confusion among the bots.
Having an accurate keyword map already established will allow you to trace
what content/keywords correspond to which
URL on the location and enable a more accurate basis for keyword tracking through the migration.
it’ll also allow you to stay your sights on new keywords and develop a long-term roadmap for content generation.
Creating a keyword map for a replacement client site/never done:
If you start work on a client site or are performing on your own site’s SEO for the primary time,
there’s a high likelihood that this process was never done.
Furthermore, albeit it’s, it’ll likely be outdated.
In either scenario, now’s an ideal time to make an accurate
keyword map for existing pages and better understand the aim of every page.
Benefits of Keyword Mapping
Gain a visible understanding of your site’s architecture, and understand the precise purpose of every page
Every page on your website should serve a purpose, or it shouldn’t exist.
it’s obvious, sure, but it doesn’t take much digging to seek out counterexamples of this principle.
Benefit #2: Communicate better together with your content development team
Having a high-level, keyword-oriented database for your site’s pages makes things much smoother when changing hands.
A tidy keyword map can communicate the aim and expectations of an upcoming piece of content.
this is often particularly useful when working with freelancers
because the map is a basic template for every page—and contains the foremost critical keywords that require to featured.
Benefit #3: Enable better, more accurate reporting
By creating a more granular representation of your site’s pages and their target terms
through keyword mapping, you’ll cut straight to the chase in reporting.
You’re empowered to demonstrate a concrete understanding of the keywords
most applicable to an internet site and communicate the efficacy of your efforts.
Benefit #4: Evaluate search intent
For existing content, seeing what queries cause what pages on your site enables you to understand
how organic searchers interact together with your website.
Are searchers taken to the simplest possible landing page for high-volume queries?
Would a current target keyword for a page better suited to measure elsewhere on your domain?
is that the user given an adequate path down the conversion funnel from the page they’re currently landing on?
These questions often better understood with a correct keyword mapping strategy implemented.
For target terms,
knowing search volume, difficulty, and CPC costs are invaluable when developing a content strategy.
These metrics can and will be wont to determine which URLs to focus on first, judging from potential returns.
Proper keyword mapping can function as a treasure map for brand spanking new content,
and understanding the competitive landscape around your
target keywords will only increase the efficacy of your campaigns.
Benefit #5: Identify internal linking opportunities
When we understand every page’s explicit purpose, we will also identify
their relationships to other pages within the location and link to them internally.
A healthy interlinking structure is all-too-often overlooked albeit it benefits user experience (being ready to easily progress through
the location’s information during a natural flow) and funnels authority throughout the site.
Identify Keyword Gaps through Keyword Mapping
In addition to establishing current head terms and where you’re currently ranking for them,
through keyword mapping,
you’ll even be ready to identify
what you’re not ranking for or maybe just ranking poorly.
Identifying these gaps is critical in informing your content strategy moving forward and enabling
the creation and/or optimization of existing content tailored to those underperforming keywords.
For visually-oriented thinkers, seeing the state of your major keyword rankings (don’t be afraid to color-code or stylize the info in a manner that suits you)
is often eye-opening. we frequently find that clients know what they need to rank for during a peripheral sense,
but having the ability to speak a transparent plan of action to deal with keyword gaps—particularly as they pertain to competitors—
that they’ll not have even considered can cause ears to perk up.
Find Keyword Overlap & Duplicates
As you undoubtedly know,
keyword overlap is often highly problematic.
If multiple URLs on your website are ranking for an equivalent keyword (whether intentionally or otherwise),
you’re creating problems for yourself. Google, especially, is picky about including multiple
first-page results from an equivalent domain in SERPs;
How are you ensuring visitors are taken to the landing page with the very best conversion potential?
While keyword cannibalization isn’t as terrifying a drag as it once was,
it can still negatively impact your organic traffic.
Identifying keyword overlap between URLs is one of the foremost beneficial results of keyword mapping existing content.
Adjusting it accordingly (IE consolidating two pages that rank for identical head terms into one)
can dramatically improve organic acquisition.
By an equivalent token, you’ll be ready
to see before time if there’s overlap in proposed or upcoming content—and take action to avoid it.
Streamline Internal Linking
As previously alluded to, a strong internal linking structure may be a critical part of any healthy web property.
Proper internal linking helps users navigate deeper within the location,
funnel authority to otherwise neglected pages,
and allows program crawlers to raise and understand the general structure of an internet site.
By obtaining a high-level view of your site’s keyword rankings and their corresponding URLs,
you’ll naturally notice opportunities to link between related concepts.
Likewise, you’ll have a visible aid to interlink new content to old where appropriate.
Aligns Strategy & Direction
Particularly helpful when working among multiple or disparate teams,
keyword mapping definitively aligns strategy and direction for content creation.
A keyword map effectively is a compass and keeps everyone on an equivalent page (both metaphorically and literally during this instance).
Though strategic opinions may—and sometimes ideally should—differ,
there’s not much up for debate about the chosen target keywords and therefore the pages on your site that they correspond to.
While we feel confident about the opportunities we’ve uncovered for this client, our work isn’t done.
It’s lovely to possess a transparent roadmap forward and a shareable document to align all team members on the content we’re creating,
But what about next quarter?
Will these terms still be valuable in organic search?
What if demand for custom rubber ducks falls off a cliff?
Our responsibility as SEO is to remain on top of the inevitable movement which will occur and adjust accordingly—
Keyword maps are a living document that will—if treated properly—inevitably change over time. It’s not something you are doing once and files away;
This is often a process that has got to done continuously.
So how often does one get to do keyword mapping? the solution varies greatly counting on the precise site
its trendiness, seasonality, and volatility will all significantly change the solution thereto question.
However, no matter the vertical during which the location is situated, (at least) once quarterly is usually an honest baseline.
This enables you to require an inventory of how the previous quarter has performed
while planning at a high level the content calendar and SEO initiatives of the quarter to return.
You can’t do that process “too often,” but quite once a month shouldn’t be necessary.