1. What is keyword mapping?

It is the process of identifying a set of target keywords that will be mapped to a specific URL.

This helps to ensure you are maximizing the search visibility of the page by optimizing for relevant terms. Match search intent as you create content for a keyword theme.

According to SEMRush:

A keyword map is a framework for the keywords you have chosen to target that mirrors your site’s structure. Driven by research, the ultimate goals of the map are to help you discover where to optimize, what content to build, and where you can add new pages to attract more traffic.

2. Attributes to consider when conducting keyword research

The most straightforward challenge pertaining to being an SEO expert is memorizing lists of technical terms, meanings and applications.

The real challenge comes down to arranging these fascinating concepts in a way that leads to the execution of a cohesive strategy. 

The credit for helping to break down this section of the article goes to Pageonepower. Their work is thorough enough to intrigue advanced SEO specialists.

Here are the five attributes to consider when selecting key terms:

  • Type of Keyword
  • Search Volume
  • Searcher Intent
  • Keyword Difficulty
  • Associated SERP features

A. TYPE (LENGTH) OF KEYWORD

Seed Terms (Short Keywords)

These tend to be transactional in nature.

  • Single word
  • Top of the sales funnel
  • Low conversion rate High volume High competition

Body Terms (Medium Keywords)

These are ideas for blog posts.

  • 2-3 words
  • Middle of the sales funnel
  • Mid-level conversion rate
  • Medium volume
  • Moderate difficulty

Long Keywords

These tend to thoroughly address specific queries.

  • 4+ words
  • Bottom of the sales funnel
  • High conversion rate
  • Low volume Low difficulty

B. SEARCH VOLUME

How many people are searching for your key term per month? Short tail keywords will expose you to a relatively larger audience, though you’ll likely convert fewer users. Long tail keywords expose you to a smaller audience, though these searches are more likely to click on your page for closely matching with their specific interests.

C. SEARCH INTENT

You need to understand why users are searching before you can understand how to satisfy them.

An easy way to identify how Google algorithms understand search intent is to ask google. Enter your key term into your search engine. Take a look at the pages that come up? Are you planning to compete with blog posts, product pages, brand pages or navigational pages?

Next time you find yourself on a search results pages, learn to spot the difference between these types of queries/pages:

Informational Queries 

These queries provide ideas for blog posts and FAQs. Most users on the internet are curious. Establishing your brand as an authority in niche relevant information is a quick way to impress both your audience and search engine algorithms.

Example: [How to be more productive]


Commercial Queries 

These queries indicate that the user is in the exploratory phase of the buying process. They are researching and making comparisons to inform a future buying decision.

Example: [best laptop for school]


Transactional Queries

These queries indicate a strong willingness to buy.

Example: [Laptop price]

Navigational Queries

Make it easy for users to learn more about you.

SEO isn’t only about finding new visitors. It’s also about growing the number of returning visitors. You are just as responsible for the user experience of your site. Take care of your users’ journey by mapping out strategy navigational queries.

To help convert more users on your site, you ought to understand user behaviour. Navigational queries offer you the opportunity to assist users who are already familiar with your brand.

Example: [Apple repair shops]

D. KEYWORD DIFFICULTY

How many competitors are already ranking for your target term with high-quality content? How strong is the backlink profile of the pages appearing on the first search result page of your target term? Best to aim for low hanging fruit before setting our sights on competitive terms.

E. ASSOCIATED SERP FEATURES

Again we remind you to perform a search for your target keyword. This time, it’s because you ought to take a peek at how search algorithms are responding to your query. Here are some additional SERP features you may come across:

  • Adwords (Bottom)
  • Adwords (Top)
  • Featured Snippet
  • Image Pack
  • In-Depth Article
  • Knowledge Card
  • Knowledge Panel
  • Local Pack
  • Local Teaser Pack  
  • News Box
  • Related Questions
  • Reviews
  • Shopping Results
  • Site Links
  • Tweet
  • Video

Perhaps the finest explanation of SERP features can be found at here, moz’s serp explanation

If you want your page to rank on Google’s first search engine result page then take a look at how google is arranging and prioritizing information on the first page.

Successfully ranking for a target online requires SEO strategy

Now that you understand all the key attributes that make up your keyword strategy, time to learn how to group them. We are going to show you how to put a strategy together.

3. The steps of keyword mapping

1. Acquire a list of URLs for your target domain

Prioritize the URLs which offer the best visibility opportunity for your brand. 

If possible, use tools like Brightedge and conductor searchlight to identify pages that are currently ranking. They will also identify if the correct URL is ranking for target keywords.

You may also rely on analytics reports from search engines (i.e pages with high bounce rate may not be ranking for the correct term)

  1. Note current URL, optimization, on-page content

  1. Keyword research and selection
  • Run an audit for keywords you rank for

To know which search terms your website is identified with, ask the machines crawling your website everyday. Your preferred search engine will provide a webmaster which allows you to monitor your web performance on their respective search platform.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with  Google Search Console (https://search.google.com/search-console/about) . You can learn how Google has come to understand your website.

    • Learn which queries are driving traffic to speciffic URLs
    • Learn which pages your visitors are landing on
    • Learn how to customize analytical reports that drive success.

Also, use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush or Google Keyword planner to identify useful search terms (10 -15) per selected URL.

  • Run a content gap analysis

Choose five competing domains who can serve as benchmarks for your SEO strategy. Select brands who have achieved SEO success. Run a content gap keyword analysis to identify the terms your competitors are ranking for.

What is a content gap?

Here is a gift from Ahrefs, content gap explained.:

Content Gap automates a process that was originally accessible only to advanced users of Excel. But the principle behind it is very simple.

Take all the keywords your competitor ranks for and subtract the keywords that your own website ranks for. What you’ll get is a list of keywords that you should be targeting.

And since Ahrefs does such a tidy job of compiling a content gap, we’re recommending their SaaS to those who intent on:

    • Learning the keywords that any of your competitors rank for
    • Learning the keywords that at least 2 of your competitors rank for
    • Learning the keywords that all of your competitors rank for
  1. Identify target keywords

Organize keywords into categories or groups based on content themes and user intent. Sort by search volume, ranking difficulty, and current rank.

These terms make help justify the creation of new categories or pages. They will also help with the re-optimization of current pages. 

Here’s an optional way to arrange your list target terms

  • Select keywords that are relevant to your brand.
  • Categorize terms as either Informational, commercial, transactional or navigational.
  • Identify the search volume of target terms and
  • Identify the  keyword difficulty of target terms
  • Identify the average cost per click of each term
  1. Map target keywords to preferred landing pages 

Make sure the terms selected per page serve a strategy and user experience purpose.