It’s hard to believe, but in 2019 4.4 million blog posts were published each day. As a business owner, that number can be overwhelming. How can you expect to stand out with so much content being published?
The answer is search engine optimization (SEO). When you do SEO well, your blog posts will show up on page one for the searches your ideal customers are doing. This will attract attention and get an audience for your posts.
For your website’s SEO to be truly effective, you can’t just use keywords — you need to use them strategically. That’s where keyword mapping comes in.
Read on to learn more about what SEO keyword mapping is and how you can use it to improve your SEO.
What is Keyword Mapping?
You know that you need to focus on specific keywords that are relevant to your industry, products, and services. You might not realize that if you use all of them on all of your web pages, you can fall victim to keyword cannibalization.
When you have multiple pages that might rank for one keyword phrase, they hurt each other’s chances of getting on page one. Google will generally only show one or two search results from a single domain on page one.
When you map keywords, you assign them to specific pages. You’ll match keywords to particular topics, which gives you a clear structure for your content. You’ll have much better direction when planning blog posts as well.
How do you implement a keyword mapping strategy? Here are the steps to take.
1. Find Your Keywords
The first step is to determine what keywords you want to target. There are a lot of ways to find relevant phrases for your blog. Start with Google’s keyword search tools.
With Google, you not only get information about the phrase you entered but there is also a list of related keywords. This can help as you plan your keyword groupings.
If you can afford it, Ahrefs is an excellent tool for in-depth keyword research. You can do advanced keyword mapping with the additional details Ahrefs provides.
Don’t overlook longtail keywords. These terms have more than three words and many times indicate a specific search intent. With this information, you can do keyword intent mapping to help match keywords to content.
Finally, look at what keywords your competitors are ranking for. Knowing this can help you decide where to focus your own content.
2. Create Blog Topics
Once you have your keywords, it’s time to decide what to write about. Your keywords may offer some direction, but there are always ways to get more ideas.
Think about what’s relevant to your niche. What are the common questions your team gets? What do you want to share about your product or service?
Then, take some of the keyword phrases you uncovered and put them into a website like AnswerthePublic. This tool shows you what types of questions searchers commonly enter in Google. You’ll have no end to content ideas once you try this out.
Look at your competitor’s content. What are they covering that you could do in a new way or from a different perspective?
Finally, take a look at Google Trends. This will show you what searches are the most popular and help you capitalize on seasonal trends.
3. Fit Your Keywords to Your Topics
Now it’s time for the actual keyword mapping for SEO. Many business owners find that a spreadsheet works best for this part of the process.
List your keywords, and in another column attach your blog topics to them. You can include additional columns for long-tail keywords that fit nicely with a primary keyword phrase.
Once a blog post is published, place the URL in the spreadsheet as well. Then you can follow up on statistics to see what’s working and what’s not.
Cluster keywords that answer the same question, but don’t be shy about going deep and using different sets of keywords to approach a topic from different angles. You can also break one idea down into smaller parts for multiple posts.
4. Give Your Content a Job
One of the key rules of SEO is that every piece of content needs a job. You’ll want each blog post linked to a specific part of the buyer’s journey, and the call to action at the end should invite the reader to take the next step.
For instance, if you’re writing a blog post that fits your funnel’s Awareness stage, it can invite readers to move forward into the Engagement stage by joining your email list.
The best blogs focus on quality over quantity and carefully move readers through the funnel to encourage sales. When every piece of content is optimized and has a job, you’ll be able to excel.
5. Go Back and Re-Optimize Existing Content
Now that you have a plan to help you create new content with mapped keywords, it’s time to go back through your older posts and see how you can improve them. Can you rework them with appropriate keywords? Can they be refocused?
You’ll want to complete this process on all of your web pages, not just your blog. Remember, the focus is to avoid having your pages compete against each other in search results. Group keywords for your product pages, service descriptions, and more.
It’s easiest to start with your best-performing content first and see how you can make it better. If you have a post that simply isn’t getting any traction, take it down. Maybe your ideal clients aren’t interested in that particular topic!
Are You Ready for Keyword Mapping?
Now that you know the process for keyword mapping, it’s time to dive in. Review the keyword research you’ve already done, create blog topics, and strategically match them.
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