In order to achieve great results in your search campaigns with search engine optimization, you need one essential thing: keywords. And let me emphasize it right from the start. You don’t need just any type of keywords. You need the right keywords!
You need keywords for your articles, you need keywords for your internal links and you need keywords for your external links. Everything around the web is pointing towards the importance of keywords. If you do not know how to perform your keyword research correctly, make sure to read my article on that topic here: Keyword research guide (2021)
For the people who already know how to perform basic keyword research. Let’s dive into the keyword mapping process.
What is keyword mapping?
Keyword mapping is a process of mapping keywords to their synonyms, potential negative keywords & long-tail variations. The benefit of mapping your keywords is that you will have a better understanding of your topic and you will be able to create content around those keywords that will rank well in the search engines.
Keyword mapping has been around for quite some time, but it remains important to this day.
I am quite surprised that is not a mass practice to perform keyword mapping after you do your basic keyword research. You can see that the volume for “keyword mapping” in monthly searches is super low (about 500 per month at a worldwide level) and the volume for “keyword research” in monthly searches is quite high (about 61000 per month at a worldwide level).
How does keyword mapping work?
It is not a really complicated process. It is just going one step further after the initial keyword research. It has a lot of similarities but let’s cover the process.
Identify your keywords
The first step in identifying your keywords is having a keyword research tool. There are a lot of choices for SEO tools but I recommend two: Google Keyword Planner and Ahrefs.
If you’re on a budget, your choice would be Google Keyword Planner because it’s free and can give you a lot of valuable insights. Ahrefs is a very powerful tool as well, a lot of my friends (and me) use it all the time.
Note: I will be releasing my own Ahrefs guide on how to use it effectively. I will leave a link here when it is ready.
The second step of identifying your keywords is analyzing their keyword intent and if they match the product or service that you wish to offer. Also, you should identify if they want to see a product or service at all. Your future audience might want to see an informational post. It all depends on the keyword intent.
The way you do that is by performing a simple search from a search simulator (so you don’t get local results and get wrong data). I use Nightwatch Search Simulator it is easy to use and really does a great job of giving you precise results. And did I mention that it is free? Yeah, it is. It is an extension for chrome. Use it, you will more than pleased.
Group your keywords
You have your keywords and you know what their intent is. Now you can start grouping them based on what they will be serving your website. The keyword grouping process is going to be done based on the page or product type that you will be serving. In order to achieve that, you will need to know how your website is going to be structured. If you don’t have that website structure, don’t worry, this keyword grouping process will help you build it later.
Build your hierarchy of keyword groups
Once you have your keywords and their intent identified, it is time to build a hierarchy for them. This process is really simple, just divide your keywords into logical groups. The groupings will be based on the page or product type that you aim for.
This is an example of a type of grouping for a blog:
Blog category > Blog subcategory > Blog post title > Blog post content
And this is an example of a type of grouping for e-commerce:
E-Commerce category > E-Commerce subcategory> Product name > Product page content
This process is really simple. You will simply divide your keywords into groups based on what the result would be.
Create potential URLs and match them with the keywords
After you have grouped your keywords and divided them into a hierarchy, you will need to match them with existing or non-existing URL addresses. This will help you know what pages you have to build and what pages you have to optimize.
Another reason to match your grouped keywords to URLs is that you will be able to optimize your internal linking structure in your content. You will know what kind of internal and external anchors to add to these pages.
Use the keyword mapping sheet to create a content plan
All of this work is not just for the idea of having that document. It is mainly for your content strategy and to know what type of content to create and for what page. It even gives you information on what order to go when you create the strategy (based on priority).
After you have the topics based on your keyword mapping, put them in a content calendar and start working.
Keyword research and mapping does not end here
“Your work is never done.”
Said every SEO out there!
Work, work and work until you have finished the initial plan. After that go back to the drawing board. See what you can improve and repeat all steps that I mentioned in this simple keyword mapping guide.
If I can summarize this article in a simple sentence it would be something like this: A great plan makes for great results.
If you don’t go the extra mile and turn your keyword research into a keyword mapping document you will always wonder what to do and what are the next steps in your content strategy. Don’t be that SEO that does keyword research and never uses it.
I hope you found value here! Stay tuned for more SEO and digital marketing guides from me. See you soon!