Before you start optimizing your content for search engines, you should think about keyword mapping, which helps to optimize distribute keywords between proper pages. Without a plan, your keyword optimization will not be effective. Book our keyword mapping services, we will cover the optimal distribution of relevant keywords within the entire website. Additionally, in this article, you will learn what this means, how to proceed, and how to create a meaningful keyword map!
What is a keyword map?
A keyword map contains all keywords that are relevant to your website and shows which URL of your domain should rank with which keyword. The creation of a keyword map must therefore always be preceded by detailed keyword research.
Once the keywords have been analyzed, the keyword mapping can be used to fill the keyword map with data. In this process, the analyzed keywords are assigned to a URL of the website. The result is a clean map that shows which keyword belongs to which URL.
During keyword mapping, it is important to ensure that a keyword can only be assigned to one URL. Otherwise, the two subpages will compete with each other if they are both optimized for the same keyword, which the search engines will view negatively.
A URL in itself may of course have several keywords assigned to it. Remember: “A keyword may only rank with one URL, but a URL may rank with many keywords.”
Why keyword mapping is useful?
With large websites, it is easy to lose track of which keyword ranks for which URL and whether the keyword is even already optimized on the website. With the keyword map, it is possible to quickly check whether the keyword is already being optimized and if so, on which subpage, or whether a new landing page needs to be created.
For internal linking on the website, the keyword map is also a helpful document, as it is easy to see which keyword must link internally to which URL. For new texts, the internal linking can be easily adjusted and with the help of the keyword map, even non-SEO employees can do this. Also, the keyword map guarantees that no different anchor texts are used.
If the keyword map is additionally enriched with data such as the current position of the keyword, ranking development, search volume, CPC, and competition, it provides interesting information about the most important keywords of the website. Thus, the keyword map can also be used to report for customers or document the development after implemented measures.
Keyword mapping process
The keyword research is the starting point of every keyword map. The keywords analyzed there are used to create the keyword map. With the help of the research, the most important keywords and subject areas are shown for the website and what the users are searching for on the Internet.
To be successful in keyword research, you can use various tools that simplify the analysis work. For example, with tools like Ahrefs and Sistrix, you can check with which keywords your competitors are ranked. The only important thing is to put yourself in the position and search behavior of your potential customers so that you can also analyze the correct search intent of the keywords. Keywords that do not match the search intent of the potential customers do not bring good traffic, because the users jump off again directly.
Create a keyword map
A spreadsheet program such as Microsoft Excel is best suited for creating a keyword map. Here, the tabular structure of the keyword map can be easily implemented. Besides, the existing functions, such as the “SVERWEIS”, can be used to easily add data from other spreadsheets to the created table, for example, if data is exported from monitoring tools and stored in another spreadsheet.
To create a new keyword map, open a blank Excel document and give column A the heading “Keyword” and column B the heading “URL”.
With these two columns the basic function of a keyword map can be covered, namely which keyword should rank with which URL.
Keyword mapping to URLs
In keyword mapping, the keywords are assigned to the respective URLs. As already written in the text above, it is important to make sure that each keyword is only assigned to one URL.
Particularly with large websites, there can be several subpages on one topic and therefore duplicate content is present. In this case, the same keyword would theoretically have to be assigned to both URLs. Since duplicate content harms the search engine, there are several ways to solve this problem.
Before the “weaker” content is declared irrelevant for the search engine or perhaps deleted completely, it is important to check the same articles very carefully. Perhaps both articles have a common overall topic, but their content largely deals with a specific sub-topic. In this case, the articles are assigned a matching keyword to the subtopic, which allows both articles to remain and solves the problem of duplicate content.
If there is no special sub-topic, i.e. both articles have the same content, then one of the two websites must be chosen. Here, of course, the gut feeling should not decide, but meaningful data should be used to make this decision. Google Analytics or Google Search Console can be used to compare SEO traffic, average position, impressions, etc. of the URLs.
With the help of Google’s site query, combined with the relevant keyword, it is possible to check which website is rated better by Google for the topic.
Remove duplicate content
When creating the keyword map, it can happen, especially with large websites, that you come across subpages that are thematically very similar and therefore have duplicate content. Theoretically, both URLs should be assigned the same keyword, but as already mentioned, a keyword may only be assigned to one URL, as duplicate content hurts the ranking in the search engine.
There are several ways to solve this problem:
- Check the content from both URLs very carefully. They may have a common overall topic, but each deals with a specific sub-topic. If this is the case, both URLs are assigned a keyword that matches the subtopic. This way, both URLs can continue to exist without duplicate content issues.
- If no specific sub-topic is treated on both URLs, a decision must be made for one of the two websites. Of course, relevant data should be used to make this decision. You can get this data from Google Analytics or Google Search Console, for example.
With a site query at Google and the corresponding keyword, you can check which URL is classified as more relevant by Google.
Optimization with the keyword map
Now the web pages can be optimized one after the other. Quick wins, i.e. SEO adjustments where a quick effect can be felt, are adjustments to the meta snippets and then check that each subpage has an H1 heading in which the main keyword of the respective URL is contained.
Another optimization that can be done is, for example, internal linking throughout the website. With internal linking, the user can be better guided through the website, also the ranking in the search engines benefits from it because the search engine is thus informed which URLs are relevant for the linked keyword.
Keyword mapping service conclusion
Creating a keyword map is time-consuming, but in the long run, it helps to strategically improve the corresponding website. It also provides a quick overview of existing topics and thus prevents duplicate content from being created.
If your keyword map is peppered with additional data, such as the current position or a ranking development of the keywords, it provides an overview of the improvements achieved after optimization measures have been taken. With this additional data, you can also use the keyword map to report to your customers and show them the development of their website. In-house SEOs may not have a client, but can still use the keywords to document or disclose the development after implemented measures.