27 Sep Use Keyword Mapping In Your SEO Strategy
Have you been trying to perform SEO for your website without much success? Are your pages not appearing on Google SERPs consistently despite having keywords displayed prominently on them? Assuming that there is no crawling or indexing errors (check your Google Search Console!), your website might have a keyword mapping issue.
What is SEO keyword mapping? Why should you do it?
Simply put, keyword mapping in SEO refers to the strategic placement of keywords on various pages of your website. As a rule of thumb, keywords mapped to a page should be in line with the content on the page.
This would mean that there is relevancy in the content surrounding any placed keywords. When done right, it optimizes the any further SEO efforts you put into the website and gives Google search bots a clear understanding of your website.
Ensuring clear content placement
Since your keywords are selectively placed on pages that are relevant to their intent, the content will likewise be clearly segregated. For both search bots and users, having content separated into various pages or sections helps them to find what they need with ease. Furthermore, no confusion or time will be wasted when they are scanning a particular page for the answers they seek.
Helping your LSI efforts
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) is a concept that explains how search engine bots use conceptually related terms to understand a webpage. When keywords and surrounding content are smartly mapped to give a clear picture, then search bots have no difficulty understanding the value of the page. This is why LSI scores often correlate with the clarity of keyword mapping efforts.
Preventing keyword cannibalization
A huge reason to adopt keyword mapping practices is to avoid keyword cannibalization. Often a pitfall for website owners attempting to perform SEO for the first time, keyword cannibalization happens when multiple pages are deemed relevant for a search term. While this relevancy might appear to be a positive, it in fact can be detrimental for newer websites.
Without a clear indication of which pages would be relevant for a keyword, Google often flips between showing either page in its SERPs. As a result, all visibility and click through traffic gets split. Likewise, the results gathered for each page and its value is diminished.
It is not uncommon for a website to appear on page 1 for a keyword one day yet disappear the next when keyword cannibalization occurs. What has occurred is that an alternate page is instead shown on Google SERPs yet has less perceived value than competitor pages.
How to perform SEO keyword mapping?
Now, lets run through how you can perform keyword mapping. Assuming that you already have a basic list of SEO keywords to target, you can begin looking for similar terms.
Identifying larger sets of keywords
Using keyword identification tools such as Google Ads keyword planner, you can key in a single keyword. These tools will then return related keywords which you should pick out if they are valuable to you.
Additionally, if you are using 3rd party tools such as Ahrefs or SEMRush, you will be able to find keywords ranked by competitor websites. These keywords provide an excellent reference for keywords that could be valuable in the industry.
Mapping the keywords
Now that you have larger sets of keywords, you need to map them to your pages. We recommend simply listing all pages before connecting keyword groups to the most relevant page. In this way, several groups of keywords will be formed, each mapped to a single page. Generally, you should be asking yourself if someone were to be searching for these search terms, would this page be the most relevant webpage for them?
Placing keyword groups onto the pages
Next, you can begin to strategically place groups of keywords on their respective pages. We recommend placing more desirable keywords in your headers, while similar keywords in the content underneath them. In this way, important keywords are made prominent and given further context through the use of other keywords in the paragraphs.
Reducing cannibalization risk from similar pages
Thirdly, you should take note of pages which have similar content. These pages have the potential to confuse search engine bots if not managed carefully. In cases where pages are overly similar, you might consider tweaking the content on these other pages.
By doing so, they are unoptimized for the keywords and thus will not provide conflict. Alternate strategies include reorganizing the structure of the website, using a strategic internal link plan, or no-indexing the page.
Pro-tip: With regards to step 3, we recommend prepping in advance but not preemptively taking these actions. Instead, perform the keyword mapping and execution before observing the results for at least a month. Should you notice any conflict in Google’s SERPs, then careful analysis followed by the choice of one of the aforementioned solutions would be needed.
The next step, building content clusters
Content clusters on your website refers to content that is placed on pages linked together by both website structure and internal links. Since they are essentially content planned around existing website infrastructure, content clusters can be seen as an extension of keyword mapping.
Placing long tail keywords under primary keywords
Long tail keywords are a popular concept amongst the SEO community. It refers to keywords that while relevant, received much less searches due to the precise nature of the keyword. Typically, they tend to have more terms within the query and thus are used to find very specific content.
We recommend structuring content for ranking long tail keywords as sub pages of primary pages containing your main keywords. In this way, both content and long tail keyword can be seen as an extension of the core pages. This further reinforces the relevancy and expertise of your website for a cluster of keywords.
Using content suggestions as internal links
As you build up a content cluster, you should begin to internally link the pages. Suggestions can be made within the content, pointing users to more in-depth content pages regarding a particular topic. Likewise, search bots will make use of such internal links as well as the structure of the cluster to understand your website’s content.
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Performing a SEO competitor analysis can help you unearth gaps between your website and your competitors. Furthermore, the data gathered can also inform you of the SEO strategy that they are employing. Based on these, you can begin to plan your SEO strategy and close the gaps in authority and relevance.
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