Keyword mapping is a term that we frequently hear, but how many of us understand what it involves? In layman’s terms, it is the process of organising the relevant keywords to the correct pages on your website. Typically, this based around the content, topic or intent of the page. It brings your chosen keywords and the structure of your site together.
At Phoenix Media, we work closely with our clients identifying keywords and assigning them to appropriate web pages. Essentially, we are building a map which will be used to plan and manage content for your site both now and in the future.
What is the purpose of keyword mapping?
A keyword map will form one of the focal points of your SEO planning and will give you data relating to how your pages rank for your chosen keywords. The stats will all be in one place so you will be able to compare and contrast the performance of several pages on your website, meaning that you can prioritise different sections for SEO purposes. Also, keyword mapping is essential for:
- Structuring internal links:If you arrange your chosen keywords into topics you can build an effective marketing and SEO strategy using internal links which can connect similar or related pages
- Create uniformity:Everyone in your marketing department will know which keywords are used on each page and can design content around the map
- Avoiding pages competing with each other:If the same keyword appears on several pages, you can end up with a scenario where your own pages are competing with each. Mapping will allow you to spread the keywords around more evenly
- Target underutilised terms:Some keywords may not be utilised enough or correctly and having a fixed plan will help to identify this problem. You can then create new or change existing content to accommodate these terms
- Reduces the chances of duplication:By having a structure that everyone adheres to will help to reduce the incidence of duplicate content. It is extremely easy to forget what subjects you have covered if your site is content-rich
How do you begin?
The first place to begin is by deciding which set of keywords you want to rank for. It is a good idea to know what people are searching for rather than just taking a random, ad-hoc approach of keywords that you “think”. Remember, the objective is to drive traffic to your site, so concentrate your strategy and words around this. There are various tools available which will give you a clearer indication of what searches users are conducting along with their monthly search volume, for Thailand we feel the Keyword Planner in Google Ads provides the most comprehensive results. Remember to focus on specific pages and not just your overall website.
The next thing that you need to consider is what you are trying to achieve with your chosen keywords. Essentially, this can be split into two categories, to provide information or for commercial purposes. Having a blend of both is advisable, but you will need to adjust and arrange your content accordingly.
List your web pages
While for some sites this may be quite straightforward, if you have a large website, this can be complicated and time-consuming. Nevertheless, it is something that you must do. For each page you need to establish:
- What the objective of the page is
- How you reach your target audience, focusing on what users would search for
If you do have a lot of content on your website when it comes to rewriting, concentrate on the pages bring you the most traffic and the ones that should drive the most traffic. Obviously, results are what your work will be judged upon so starting on less popular pages is likely to be least rewarding.
Adding keywords to your mapping sheet
All of the most effective ranking tools allow you to export your keywords to a CSV file which can then be imported to your mapping sheet. You must understand that while short-tail keywords will inevitably attract more searches; they are far harder to rank for, especially if they are quite generic. So, instead of choosing a keyword such as “florist”, you are more likely to get success with a long-tail keyword such as “florist in Bangkok” which also has clear commercial intent.
Don’t lose track of the fact that the significant factor when it comes to ranking is providing the user with the content that they want. As such, you must make sure that you use keywords and phrases that are most relevant to that particular page. Don’t be frightened of using low search volume keywords if they are relevant to your page. You may be surprised at how many conversions these terms generate as they have a higher commercial intent and are more relevant to the user.
Although you may have a keyword or specific phrase in mind, it is crucial to use related idioms and synonyms. If you methodically put your keywords into groups, it makes it far easier to establish common themes. It is something that you can also utilise when it comes to linking different pages. Often ranking trackers have this facility, but they are not failsafe, and no one knows your business better than you. If you think there is a correlation that will be useful, use it!
Which pages are most relevant to your keywords?
Some website auditing tools are capable of analysing content, keywords and metadata which is already on your page. As such, they can recommend which keywords would be the best match for that page. You will have to decide, based on the information provided, which keywords you want to concentrate on. Again, while search volume is critical, you also want to be realistic and again, focus on commercial intent.
Does the content have commercial or informational intent?
As we highlighted earlier, you need to be very clear in your mind if the content is for informational purposes or commercial. News articles, tutorials or blogs specifically designed to provide information should be informative! Users, who are searching for this type of content, are looking to find something out which may be entirely different from having buying intent. Therefore, the keywords need to be chosen and structured around this purpose.
Establishing which keyword is most relevant to a page is essential. Of course, you can then link to other content from that page which has relevant commercial intent. Try to avoid using searches that have high search volumes and using the same keyword on several different pages. It is a practice that is known as keyword cannibalisation and can bring your overall traffic down.
Keywords not appearing on pages
You will now have a list of keywords that don’t appear on your pages. The next stage is relatively easy. You have to establish their search volumes, what their intent is and create content accordingly! New pages will allow you to target new keywords and so long as it is appropriate for your site, creating new content can only be beneficial. It will add more crawlable pages to your website’s index, which will have a positive impact on your overall ranking.
Pages lacking keywords
Some pages may be lacking keywords, and in many cases, this is something that you should look to address. However, keep in mind that pages such a “Contact Us” and maybe even “About Us” may have little relevance when it comes to keywords. Remember, taking users to the content that they want to view is the priority, so don’t become distracted from this.
Monitor your keyword rankings
You should bear in mind that if you are altering your keywords, you keep an eye on your overall rankings. You can damage your ranking by taking out keywords that have high volume searches and replacing them with ones that match your intent.
Keyword mapping is an ongoing process
It is crucial to appreciate that keyword mapping needs to be a continual process. Searches change and evolve, so you need your content needs to do the same. Frequently check which keywords and phrases are ranking highly and apply any changes as they are required. Keeping abreast of Google’s changing algorithms is also essential when it comes to staying ahead of the competition.
If you are interested in keyword mapping and how it would benefit your website, we would be delighted to hear from you. We are an innovative and forward-looking company with clients across a broad range of industry sectors and operating in different countries around the world. If you would like more information about the services that we offer, you can contact us here.