Why is keyword mapping so important in 2019?
And can it help your business’ success?
In this article, we explain everything you need to know to dominate Google rankings with content mapping and how to rocket your site’s organic traffic
We at Linkody spend a lot of time understanding and guiding the businesses that trust us by often asking them about their goals.
When we want to get a better idea of our customers’ goals, we will send an email asking for feedback and offering our support.
And guess what?
9 out of 10 businesses have the exact same goal.
They all want their website to rank first on Google.
Now, how can one best do this?
Throughout the years, we have helped many businesses discover what they need to do in order to improve their rankings! After all, that’s the end goal of pretty much everyone who uses our tool.
Our content junkies take pride in having multiple pages ranked first on Google for keywords of our niche. Ask them for the big secret and they will answer with blissful confidence that it’s all about “keyword mapping”.
For that reason, in this article, we will explain the nuts and bolts of keyword research, breaking down our keyword mapping strategy and showing you why it is important for your business’ success.
What is Keyword mapping?
Keyword mapping is the process of researching and discovering relevant keywords that can be assigned on different pages of your website.
Creating an overview like this will boost your on-page SEO and help search engines better understand what your content is all about.
And while this process may not seem like a priority right now, what you need to understand is that SERP ranking depends on how well your pages are optimized for the keywords they are trying to rank for.
Therefore, if you care about people reading your content, do not skip the mapping process.
Why you need Keyword mapping?
Creating an overview for your keywords is the best way to structure or, better yet, lay the foundation, for a successful marketing strategy.
- Search Engines like Google, rely largely on your keywords to bring your content in front of the right audience, making keyword research a very important part of the process.
- It will prioritize focus and work. When you have a good idea of what your target group is looking for, you can structure your content accordingly, becoming a go-to resource for any questions your audience might have.
- You will get an idea of your position in the market. In-depth keyword research will uncover opportunities to help you rank faster and get more customers with a few, simple adjustments.
- It will help you get new creative ideas. When performing research, you may come across keywords you never heard of before. This helps you come up with new topic ideas that can be used in future blog posts.
- You will know which part of your content needs to be adjusted. Pages that are not optimized for certain keywords will suffer in their rankings. A few small adjustments, however, can give them a boost.
- It will identify which pages need link-building. You may discover that some of your pages may already be optimized for a keyword you are trying to rank for, but your competitors have more backlinks. In that case, you will need to steal some of your competitors’ backlinks.
As you can see, using a keyword map can be very useful for your business.
And since we are productive problem-solvers, we may as well go through the steps of building one for your own business.
How to do Keyword mapping?
Keyword mapping is, in essence, keyword research. The keywords you are researching, however, should be matching your pages (and vice versa).
The goal here is to optimize your existing pages so they can improve their chances of ranking.
Start with keyword research
In order to discover the best keywords for your pages, you will need to research what problems your niche is currently facing and how that is expressed through their search queries.
Explore long/short tail keywords and use them in conjunction so you can create a strong keyword map.
Remember – it’s not necessary to rank for all the good keywords you find.
Keywords are simply opportunities that can help you get a better idea of what your niche is looking for.
Ranking, on the other hand, will depend on your product/service and the competition you are facing.
Tools for Keyword research
How do you find the best keywords for your keyword mapping strategy?
Here are some tools we like to use for our research:
KWfinder is one of Mangools’ tools, specially designed to help you out with keyword research. The tool shows you everything you need to know about a keyword to make the process of selection a lot easier.
Input any keyword and click on the green magnifying glass to get information on the Keyword difficulty, monthly search volume, Search volume trend in the last 12 months and metrics for paid advertisement.
On the left lower side, you will be able to see which websites are currently ranking in Google’s first page and get useful information that will help you determine on whether or not a certain keyword is worth using.
2. Keywords Everywhere
This free tool is often used to get information on a keyword’s Cost per Click (CPC), to improve one’s Paid Search strategy.
However, there are three functions you can take advantage of to improve your own research:
- When searching for a keyword on Google, you will get “Related Keywords” suggestions which help you find more long-tail keywords.
- The “People Also Search For” suggestion box will show you what other terms your audience is looking for.
- And you will see the monthly search volume for all these keywords
Pretty neat, huh? And the best part, of course, it’s free.
One of my all-time favorite tools for keyword research is SEMrush.
More specifically, their new feature called “keyword magic tool” which gives you a complete overview of your keywords, a process that would normally take much longer to complete.
Simply input any keyword and the tool will show you information on:
- The best-related keywords
- Their monthly search volume
- The keyword difficulty (similar to KWfinder)
- The Cost per Click and Competition (for paid ads)
- The Search results in Google
- Keyword results on Broad Match, Phrase Match, and Exact Match
- Questions which include your keyword
Another great tool to use for your topic research is Linkody.
With this tool, you do not only get to steal your competitors’ backlinks but also spy on their top pages that have the most backlinks.
There is no better topic than the one that gets a lot of backlinks, right?
Hence head over to Linkody -> click on Competitors -> View all competitor links -> then select View Pages
And this is what you will see:
These are the top ranking pages of your competitors. From here you can get keyword ideas from the title, the permalink, and the URL.
I like to use SimilarWeb to cross-examine my results with SEMrush (shown above). This tool helps you understand the key metrics of a keyword and gives you a complete overview of their keyword’s performance.
As a result, you will get a better idea of whether or not your preferred keyword is worth pursuing or not.
If you are facing what is commonly known as a “creativity blockage”, Answerthepublic will give you interesting headline and sub-section ideas for the keywords you want to rank for.
Essentially, this content mapping tool works like a brainstorming session.
While it does not show detailed metrics – which is not that important since you can use other tools for that. Answerthepublic will use the keyword you want to use, to generate different keyword variations that you can use to write more in-depth content on a certain topic.
This is probably the best, free, content mapping & research tool you can find online. Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest has too many functions to name them in this short guest post.
What I would like to touch upon, however, is its “keyword ideas” function and how detailed these are.
When you input a keyword and click on “keyword ideas”, Ubersuggest will show you a bunch of related keywords to spark your imagination.
On top of that, the tool will give you detailed information on pages that are ranking for the specific keyword (keyword overview).
Matching pages to keywords
This is where the “mapping” part comes in play. The keywords you discovered will have to be assigned to a relevant page of your website.
And the best way to do this is by comparing your existing pages with these newly found keywords. For time efficiency’s sake, you can group similar keywords in one page.
In this case, there will be one focus keyword, which usually has a high search volume, while the rest – usually long tail keywords – will be added to the content with a supportive role (1-2 mentions each).
So what’s the first step?
When starting with keyword mapping it is important to understand which pages are the most relevant for a certain keyword.
Let’s use Linkody as an example:
If I wanted to assign the keyword “backlink strategy” to the most relevant page, I would let Google decide which page is best suited by using the site: modifier.
Adding to that, when you are using this option in combination with your preferred keyword, you will see which pages Google thinks is the best fit your search.
It is, therefore, safe to map “backlink strategy” with one of the first results that Google gives us.
Making a keyword map
A keyword mapping document (also known as on-page optimization document) will help you keep an overview of the mapping process.
Create a row for each of the main pages (and/or blog posts) in your list and several columns with on-page optimization elements.
The end result should look something like this:
From there, it is all about mix and matching until you find what works best. I like to pull existing data and then find what needs to be adjusted.
What you can’t see on this example is the notes and recommendations for everything on the page (such as images, amount of words, headings etc).
Adding optimization elements
Moreover, here are some more ideas as to what you on-page optimization elements you may want to include:
- Search volume – How much search volume does each page get? If it is much lower than the rest of your pages is might not have a focus keyword.
- Keyword difficulty – This metric can tell us a lot about a keyword and how your competitors use it.
- Load speed – How fast does your page load from desktop and mobile?
- Engagement – How many shares, comments and upvotes does your page get.
- Internal links – How many hyperlinks lead to other pages within your website?
- External links – How many hyperlinks lead to external websites?
- Page authority – Knowing the page authority will help you get a better understanding of your current SEO optimization.
- Google rank on desktop – when you type in the keyword you are trying to rank for, where is your page positioned?
- Google rank on mobile – when you type in the same keyword from your mobile device, which position does your page currently have?
- Organic visits – How much of your monthly traffic finds your page through an organic search?
- Old vs New Meta description – Your old meta description did not help your page rank. After performing keyword research you will now create a new and better meta description.
- Old vs New Meta title – Your old meta title did not help your page rank. After performing keyword research you will now create a new and better meta title.
- Anchor text – In case you want to analyze your internal and external anchor text.
Pfew! These are a lot of metrics, I know…
And you don’t necessarily need to use them all for keyword mapping. But the more information you have, the better you can make a choice afterwards.
Now it’s your turn
After giving you a good idea of what exactly keyword mapping is and how you can use it, it’s time to create a map of your own.
In addition, these tools will help you perform your initial keyword research even better, allowing more time to structure your map:
- Keywords Everywhere
Once you have created a list with the best options, you can create a map and match those keywords with your pages.
It is really that simple.
So don’t wait any longer. The faster you optimize your pages through keyword mapping, the sooner they will start ranking on Google.