How To Do Keyword Mapping
what is keyword mapping?
Keyword mapping is the process of assigning keywords – discovered during your keyword research – to specific pages on a website based on their searcher intent.
Based on your mapping process you are able to then make specific on-page optimizations or recommendations to help make the page become more relevant to the mapped keywords.
What does a keyword mapping document typically look like?
I can’t speak on what everyone uses, but typically a mapping and optimization document is a spreadsheet where the rows indicate pages on the website and the columns contain the values of different meta-data, for example column one might be URL slug, then mapped keywords, they optimized page title and so on.
Why should you go through the keyword mapping process at all?
I like to break this down into two reasons.
#1 – Everyone has visibility on what keywords are a priority for any given page.
This is particularly important if you’re doing on-going content creation or content marketing where you have a lot of opportunity to internally link and reference other content. These mapped keywords on your core service pages or even other blog posts can guide what anchors to use when linking internally.
#2 – It avoids duplicate content
Again, if you’re consistently publishing content, it’s easy to forget what was published a year ago, or even a couple months ago and decide to write something very similar to what was already created.
In this case, if you have a similar idea it’s possible that it might be better to refresh an existing post that talks about the same topic – making it more of an authority on that subject matter.
Now that we’ve covered the why and understand what a keyword mapping document looks like, I want talk about three considerations to take when doing the actual mapping of the keywords, or in other words, how do we map keywords to our website.
#1 – the first consideration is to look at keywords based on their searcher intent.
It used to be common practise to see very similar keywords mapped to different pages. For example, you may have seen a keyword like Cleveland home builder mapped to a website’s homepage, but then the keyword home builder in Cleveland might have been mapped to a separate service or about page.
While this used to be common practise, it just doesn’t cut it anymore and ends up leading to duplicate content, thin content, or just content that focuses on the search engine and not the user.
Today, we want to group our keywords based on the intent of the searcher searching for them. So it’s safe to assume that someone looking for Cleveland home builders and home builders in Cleveland has the same intent behind each of those searches – they are looking for a company that builds homes in Cleveland.
#2 – the next consideration is what Google is already returning in the search engine.
We talked about this last week so I won’t get into too much detail, but I like to do just a quick Google search for each of the keyword groups I’m targeting and see what they are currently returning in the top results.
If the page that I want to map these keywords to doesn’t look or feel like anything Google’s returning in the top results, I either need to change where I’m mapping them, or revisit the content of the page.
#3 – the third and final consideration to take is to look at the type of keyword.
We talked about keyword types in the first video this month, but you’ll likely want to have similar keyword types mapped together.
For example, a category page on an e-commerce website might target transactional keywords, where a blog post might target informational keywords.
I think I’ll wrap things up here for now, as a parting piece of advice and something I heard from my first mentor in this space – multiple keywords can be mapped to a single page, but a single keyword shouldn’t be mapped to multiple pages.