What is Keyword Mapping?
Once you have identified what popular search terms you want to rank for using keyword research, the next step is to map (match) the keywords to appropriate pages on your website (i.e. landing pages), and this process is often referred to as keyword mapping.
There are plenty of guides and templates out there for this, but none of them seemed very straightforward, so I thought to write a guide on how we do it here at UClimb for our own clients – our method is both simple and effective.
How to Map Keywords to Landing Pages
- Put your chosen keywords into an online tool that tells you what page currently ranks the highest for that keyword. Example tools you could use include Moz, Ahrefs, Rank Tracker, and Ubersuggest. If you only have a few keywords to check, a free tool may suffice, however, for large numbers of keywords you may have to subscribe. Out of the options mentioned, Rank Tracker (from SEO PowerSuite) allows you to track unlimited numbers of keywords even on the free version, however, you have to go for their Professional (paid) version or higher if you want the convenience of copying and pasting the rank positions onto a spreadsheet afterwards.
- For any keywords that don’t currently show up as ranking at all using a tool like the ones listed in step 1 above, use the “site: “ prefix method to see which page on your site Google thinks is most relevant for that keyword. This simply involves prefixing your website domain with the site: followed by a space, then put your domain, and then after that, again separated by spaces, put the keyword you are checking. Putting “site: https://www.yourexampledomain.com “ in front of a Google search shows you all of the pages on your website only, that Google regards as relevant for the keyword you have searched.
- Now create a simple 3-column spreadsheet showing the keywords in one column, the most relevant URL for that keyword in another column, and the current Google rank in the 3rd column. If you can’t find a relevant page to match the target keyword, even after trying the site: prefix method outlined in step 2 above, simply put ‘new content needed’ against that keyword, and mark the Google rank as n/a or ‘Not found’. You may want to add an optional 4th column at the end called ‘Notes’ where you can record your thoughts as you analyse each keyword in detail.
- Then sort the spreadsheet by URL, to check which URLs have several keywords that all would be best optimised on one page. Where several keywords can be optimised on the same page, this can effectively be regarded as a keyword group or cluster, and if you make sure the target landing page has content related to all of these related keywords, it ought to rank better for all of them, as Google should understand that the keywords are related topics and should therefore reward you for covering the overall topic comprehensively.
- For any keywords marked as ‘new content needed’, try to also group these keywords into topics or clusters if possible, and start to write suggested page titles for the new landing pages needed, with 1 landing page per cluster of related keywords. The few landing pages the better, try to consolidate content where relevant, however, if keywords are quite different, they will need separate landing pages in order to rank well, so come up with as many as are needed.
- You now have a shortlist of pages to optimise and know which keywords to optimise on each page. And for any keywords that don’t have a relevant existing page or blog post that they can be optimised on, you now have the basics of a keyword-focused initial content creation plan that will help these keywords rank too.
- Note: If you identified a currently ranking page in Step 1 but the rank is low (e.g. not on the 1st page of Google), then adjustments to the content on that page are likely to be needed, or you may want to consider creating a brand new page for that keyword, instead of trying to modify the existing page that ranks. If so, you may also want to also mark these low-ranking keywords as ‘new content needed as outlined in Step 3 above. To decide whether or not you should modify a page or create a new page, ask yourself “would modifying this page to match the search intent of the keyword in question make sense, or does this page serve a different purpose and therefore shouldn’t be modified in that way”.
A Worked Example
Let’s say you’re an SEO and website design agency based in London.
Your keywords may be:
- SEO London
- Website Design London
- SEO Agency London
- SEO Services London
- Website Agency London
- Google Analytics Setup
After running an online tool on the above keywords, and analysing everything following our 7-step keyword mapping process above, the results may be something like the below:
|Keyword||Currently Ranking URL||Rank Position||Notes|
|SEO London||www.example.com||69||Low ranking indicates a more specific page may be needed, e.g. www.example.com/london-seo-agency-services or similar.|
|Website Design London||www.example.com/website-design-services||39||Low ranking indicates tweaking the content may help, e.g. maybe you need to mention on the page that you serve London clients.|
|SEO Agency London||www.example.com||47||This one would also be well served by the same new page as the first keyword, i.e. www.example.com/london-seo-agency-services|
|SEO Services London||www.example.com/all-services||23||The ‘All Services’ page is too general for this keyword, as the searcher has specifically searched ‘SEO Services’ not just ‘Services’. Therefore the proposed new landing page www.example.com/london-seo-agency-services is a good place to optimise this keyword too.|
|Website Agency London||www.example.com||16||Consider making content changes on www.example.com/website-design-services and you may find that you can rank on page 1 for this keyword.|
|Google Analytics Setup||Not Found||n/a||Consider making a brand new page covering your Google Analytics setup services.|