Why You Should Map Keywords to Content
Landing a top spot on Google’s search results isn’t easy. You could have loads of well-written blog posts, the nicest looking, fastest loading website, thousands of backlinks, and still not get the rankings you’re aiming for.
The reason? It’s not just the content that search engines care about. They also value how relevant that content is for your readers. This is why keyword mapping plays such a big role in SEO.
Anyone who has built and grown websites using organic search traffic knows that endlessly publishing content without a goal in mind is not the answer. The real game changer is when you map your list of keywords to your content.
So what is keyword mapping all about? And how can it help you get better results with less time, less cost and fewer articles?
In this article, I’ll cover everything you should know about mapping your keywords so that you can produce content effectively and get your business in front of the right people.
What is Keyword Mapping and How Does it Help?
Before we look at the many ways keyword mapping can benefit your visibility with search engines and people, let’s talk about the basics.
In simple words, keyword mapping is assigning specific keywords to specific pages of your website.
Say you have a list of keywords that you want to structure your articles around. Will you write three different posts that all talk about the same thing? Definitely not.
Not only is it time-consuming, it can result in keyword cannibalization where you’re competing against yourself before you compete against your competition.
Instead, your best bet is mapping or “matching” certain keywords to certain blog topics. From there it’s all about creating a kickass article that covers everything about your topic of interest. Knowing how to create a keyword map can help you to:
- Plan your content and brainstorm on relevant topics
- Revise older content which isn’t ranking as well as it should
- Organize your site navigation and URL structure
When designing a website from scratch, keyword mapping gives you a bird’s eye view of what your content structure is going to look like. Not just for a single post –– but your entire website.
Start With Finding the Right Keywords
For successfully mapping your website pages to certain keywords, your first step should be finding those keywords.
Keyword research lets you analyze all the popular keywords around your blog post topic. These can either be simple words or short sentences and phrases also known as long-tail keywords.
When done correctly, keyword research can throw light on:
- What your users are looking for
- Which words they type into Google’s search query page to find this
- The search volume or the number of searches for the given keyword
- The intent behind the user’s search query
If you’re short on time, Ahrefs should probably be your go-to keyword research tool. If you’re even shorter on time, you can always pay to have it done for you.
Match the User’s Intent
If there’s just one thing you take away from this article, let it be this—create for your readers, not search engines.
At the end of the day, your content should help your readers and potential customers or clients. Simply by understanding the real intent around their search query, you’ll be one step closer to creating valuable content.
Long-tail keywords can prove to be a boon in such cases. Since they’re usually in the form of short sentences and phrases, you can figure out the “why” behind a search query and not just the “what”.
For example, it’s pretty clear what a user wants if they look up “cars for rent in Ohio”. Yet, if you look at a keyword like “cars Ohio”, the intent is vague.
Once you know what your users are looking for, it’ll be easier for you to create topics that “match” their intent. It’s a sure-fire way to let customers and search engines know that you value user experience above all else.
Create Your Keyword Mapping Spreadsheet
Now that you have all your keywords and blog topics ready, it’s time to organize them into a keyword mapping spreadsheet. Think of this as a document that reminds yourself and your team which keywords are the best “fit” for a certain topic.
Having this information right before your eyes makes structuring your blog posts a whole lot easier.
To create a keyword mapping document, use a simple spreadsheet like Excel or Google Sheets. You can start by creating a row for each of your topics and blog post ideas.
Similarly, fill up the columns with your keywords and other on-page optimization elements like page URLs, keyword search volume, and so on.
Cluster Keywords that Answer the Same Query
Take a good look at your keywords and you’ll notice that many of them are either similar or link to one another.
From here, it’s all about grouping these keywords. The way I like to do this is by choosing one primary or focus keyword and matching them to more long-tail keywords. Honestly, sometimes there are 20 or more!
At the end of it, you’ll be looking at a rough structure that will go on to shape your content and help you to write some impressive blog content that both search engines and people will love.
Keyword Mapping for New and Old Content
If search engines have taught us anything over the past decade it’s that our first goal should be to create quality content over quantity. Many marketers and bloggers forget this.
If you are struggling to get your content noticed by the right people and spend your time and resources producing more content, consider writing fewer, “focused” articles.
By mapping your keywords to single pieces of content, you can create an authoritative article that your readers will appreciate. Google values this far more than, say, three vague articles that barely scratch the surface.
Keyword mapping doesn’t only apply to new content but also existing website content. Once you’ve prepared an organized keyword map, you can assign keywords to old pages or posts on your website and optimize this existing content to improve your rankings.
In fact, keyword mapping is a great tool to get your website’s SEO back to great shape.