Essential Keyword Mapping for SEO

Arthur Fabik

Keyword mapping is an essential process in search engine optimisation (SEO) where you assign relevant keywords to each page of your website. It's about understanding the relationship between what people are searching for and the content you provide. By mapping keywords to your pages, you enhance the site structure and inform search engines how to index your content, aiming to boost visibility and ranking for those terms.

Through keyword mapping, you can prevent keyword cannibalisation, where multiple pages compete for the same search terms, leading to confusion for search engines and users alike. This strategic approach allows for a cohesive SEO strategy that aligns your website's content with user intent. By keeping your website's SEO targets well-organised, you not only make it easier for users to find the information they're looking for but also for search engines to recognise the value and relevance of your content.

Understanding Keyword Mapping

In the realm of SEO, keyword mapping plays a pivotal role in structuring your website's content to enhance discoverability by search engines.

The Importance of Keyword Relevance

For your website to rank effectively, you need to ensure that every page targets a specific set of relevant keywords. This strategy not only feeds into the algorithm's understanding of your site's purpose but also serves user intent more precisely. By assigning the right keywords to the appropriate pages, you increase the chances that your content will meet the searchers' needs, thereby improving your website's relevance and authority in the eyes of search engines.

Identifying Primary and Secondary Keywords

When mapping out your keywords:

  • Primary Keywords: These are the core terms that you want each page to rank for. They should be highly relevant to the page's content and are typically competitive.
  • PagePrimary KeywordHomeYour main service or productAboutYour brand's unique value proposition
  • Secondary Keywords: These support your primary keywords and provide more context. They are often more specific long-tail keywords with less competition.
  • PageSecondary KeywordsHomeRelated services, geographical locationAboutYour brand's history, core team members

Your strategy should incorporate both types of keywords to create a comprehensive map that guides your content creation. Be strategic with your choices to ensure a balance between visibility and competition.

Start with Keyword Research

Before diving into the specifics, it's vital to understand that keyword research is the foundation of your SEO strategy. Your goal is to identify the terms your audience searches for, to target them effectively on your website.

Tools for Keyword Discovery

To start your keyword discovery, leverage tools that can help you generate a comprehensive list of relevant terms:

  • Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer: Enter broad terms related to your industry and uncover a wide array of keywords.
  • Google Keyword Planner: Useful for refining your keyword list and obtaining search volume data.
  • Semrush: Offers additional keyword suggestions and insight into trends.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: For gaining question-related keyword suggestions and analysing your competitors' keywords.

Each tool provides unique insights. It's recommended to use a combination to get the most extensive list of viable keywords.

Analysing Search Volume and Competition

Search Volume: This metric indicates how many times a keyword is searched in a specific timeframe. You can find this information using tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs.

KeywordAverage Monthly Searches (Australia)coffee machine4,400buy coffee beans720espresso machine2,400

Competition: Identifying how competitive each keyword is can inform the difficulty of ranking for that term. Look for "Keyword Difficulty" in Ahrefs or "Competition" in Google Keyword Planner.

  • Low competition: Easier to rank for but might have lower search volumes.
  • High competition: Harder to rank for and usually has higher search volumes—a sign of a profitable keyword if you can rank well.

Creating the Keyword Map

When creating a keyword map, your focus should be on organising your website's content efficiently and pairing it with relevant keywords. This clear structure will support both user navigation and search engine optimisation.

Structuring Your Website's Information Architecture

To optimise your website's information architecture, begin by reviewing the hierarchy of your pages. Assess how intuitively the site's structure flows from general categories to more specific topics. Here’s a simple way to visualise the structure:

  • Home
  • Products
  • Product Category
  • Subcategory or Individual Products
  • Services
  • Service Category
  • Specific Services
  • Blog
  • Blog Category
  • Individual Blog Posts

Ensure that each layer is logical and user-friendly, which will help search engines understand the context and relationship between pages.

Assigning Keywords to Site Content

Next, assign relevant keywords to your site content with a focus on matching user intent to page function. Start by listing your main categories and their respective pages. For each page, select primary keywords based on factors like search volume and relevance. Here’s an example:

PagePrimary KeywordSecondary KeywordsHomeYour Brand NameMain Service/ProductProduct CategoryGeneric Product TypeVariants, BenefitsSpecific ProductProduct Name + 'Review'Additional Product Info

Keep in mind that your chosen keywords should align with the specific content of each page and target the queries your audience is likely to search for.

Optimising Content for Your Keywords

When you map your keywords, your next step is to tailor your content to integrate those terms effectively, ensuring that it’s both search engine-friendly and valuable for your audience.

Writing SEO-Friendly Content

To craft SEO-friendly content, incorporate your target keywords naturally within the text. Your primary keyword should appear early, typically within the first 100 words, setting the theme for what follows. Use variations and secondary keywords to maintain a natural tone, avoiding keyword stuffing which can be penalised by search engines.

  • Title: Make sure your title is compelling and includes your main keyword.
  • Headings: Use H2s and H3s to structure your content, including keywords where relevant.
  • Body: Write in a user-friendly manner with short paragraphs and bullet points. Your keyword density should be about 1-2%, ensuring readability.
  • Calls to Action: Use persuasive language to guide users, featuring your keywords where appropriate.

Bolding important keywords can help draw reader attention and potentially emphasise their importance to search engine crawlers.

Using Keywords in Meta Tags and Descriptions

Your meta tags and descriptions contribute to both SEO and user engagement by providing a snapshot of your page's content.

  • Title Tag: This should succinctly convey the subject of your page and include the primary keyword at the beginning if possible.
  • Meta Description: A brief summary of the page content that encourages clicks from the search results page. Include your primary keyword and secondary keywords if they fit naturally.

Both your title tag and meta description should be crafted within the character limits—ideally 55-60 characters for the title tag and 150-160 for the meta description—to ensure that they display properly in search results.

Monitoring and Updating Your Keyword Strategy

Keeping your SEO efforts effective hinges on regularly monitoring keyword performance and adapting to new search trends and algorithm changes.

Tracking Keyword Performance

To steer your SEO strategy in the right direction, you need to track the performance of your keywords. This involves analysing metrics like search rankings, click-through rates (CTR), and website traffic from organic search. You can use tools like Google Analytics to review your keyword-related traffic and Google Search Console to check your current search rankings. Pay attention to:

  • Ranking fluctuations: If certain keywords drop in rankings, it might be time to update your content or reassess your keyword targeting.
  • CTR: Low click-through rates could indicate that your meta titles and descriptions aren't compelling enough or that the keyword isn't as relevant to your content as you thought.

Adapting to Search Trends and Algorithm Changes

Search engines frequently update their algorithms, impacting how they evaluate and rank web pages. Stay informed about these updates and adjust your keyword strategy accordingly. If there's a shift towards user intent and topical authority, for instance, make sure your content aligns well with user queries and that you're seen as an expert in your field.

Also, adapt to changing search trends by:

  • Seasonality: Certain keywords may gain popularity during specific times of the year. Incorporate these seasonally relevant keywords to capitalise on temporary traffic boosts.
  • Emerging trends: Use tools like Google Trends to spot new topics of interest and integrate those into your keyword set to maintain a forward-thinking approach.

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Arthur Fabik
Arthur is the Head of SEO at Local Digital. He's been working in the space for most of the last decade at some of the biggest agencies in Australia. Now, he's responsible for the Local Digital SEO team with one goal - smashing SEO results out of the park for our clients.

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