Search engine optimization through content marketing used to be simple.
You could literally ‘throw content at the problem’ and in a few months Google would be sending people to your website for free. Sweet!
The problem is; those days are done.
If your website has been bleeding traffic over the last few years, chances are the root cause of your problem is content.
Google has been tightening the screws, with the goal of only showing 1 page per website for each keyword. Along with this, competition is getting tougher in almost every niche.
What this means is, to rank #1 for your desired keywords, you really need to be putting your best foot forward.
Three short articles all discussing the same topic is not putting your best foot forward.
Thankfully, the solution isn’t as difficult as you might think. By performing ‘keyword to content mapping’, you can revise your website to ensure that only 1 page or blog post is targeting a given keyword.
What is keyword mapping?
The simplest way to describe keyword mapping is ‘assigning a keyword or keywords to each page on your website’.
Each keyword should only be mapped to 1 page or blog post.
In days long past, SEO gurus recommended “1 page per keyword”. A lot of people went off and produced thousands of shallow blog posts that each targeted a single long tail keyword. For example:
keyword mapping tool
google map keywords
keyword to content mapping
But if you look at those keywords, they all essentially cover the same topic. If you were searching for one of those keywords, wouldn’t you expect to find a page or article that covered all of those topics?
Why is keyword mapping important?
When you begin to think of your content as something that covers topics instead of keywords, the need for combining keyword research and content mapping becomes clearer.
Any authoritative piece of content should not leave questions unanswered, so it’s natural that it will include many keywords.
By making sure that each keyword is only mapped to a single page, you will avoid “keyword cannibalization”. Yes, SEOs use complicated terms to describe simple things.
Keyword cannibalization is when you have have multiple pages on your website that compete against each other before they can compete against your competitors.
And this is exactly what happens when you use that “1 page per keyword” SEO strategy straight out of 2008.
If you still think that more pages means more opportunities to rank on page 1 of Google, know that there is a much better and much more efficient way to get organic search traffic to your website. Keyword mapping is the foundation of that strategy.
How to perform keyword mapping
We’ll run you through the 2 most likely scenarios:
- when building a new website,
- when revising an existing website.
In both scenarios, our process involves using a keyword mapping template, which is a simple spreadsheet.
This spreadsheet template includes the following fields:
- Page title
- Page type
- Home page
- Blog article
- Category page
- Product page
- Primary keyword
- Monthly search volume
- Target word count
- Secondary keywords
Each individual row in this spreadsheet relates to a single page on your website (regardless of the page type).
While some keyword mapping tools exist, such as in Website Auditor by SEO Powersuite, we find that they create more confusion than clarity.
Something about the simplicity of a spreadsheet, and no proprietary software seems to work well for everyone, from experienced SEO professionals, marketing directors, content managers and business owners.
Keyword mapping for new sites
If you are building a brand new website, it’s best to do keyword research and mapping at the same time.
It will take some additional time in the set up phase, but you’ll be happy you did it later.
Ideally, you will perform this task before engaging a web designer or developer, as it helps them immensely by giving them a clearer vision of the new site’s structure.
We engaged Dialed Labs to show us the pages we needed on our website to bring customers from Google without having to pay for ads. As a startup, we had limited budget and high expectations. They exceeded our expectations.
Not only did they go above and beyond with in researching the pages we thought we needed, they actually discovered additional products that they thought could be a good opportunity for us to develop. So while they sell it as an SEO service, it’s more like business strategy research that doubles as a marketing plan.
Leon MortonCo-Founder, Architopia
If you have an established competitor with a similar business to yours, you can cheat a little by using a tool such as Ahrefs to see the pages that bring the most traffic to their website.
Using these as the primary keywords for your spreadsheet, then topping these up with other keywords can give you a huge head start.
Keyword mapping for existing websites
If you have an existing website, Ahrefs is very handy once again. Using the “Top Pages” report, you can see the best ranking pages from your website, along with the keywords that your pages rank for.
By copying and pasting these URLs and keywords into your spreadsheet, you’ll soon get an idea of the pages or blog posts that you might want to run through our content optimization process.
Content Auditing on Existing Sites
This is a great time to perform a content audit in general. You can get a list of pages from your sitemap, using a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider, or elsewhere.
Copy this list of your website’s pages into a spreadsheet, and if they don’t rank for any keywords, that content may need more depth, to be rewritten completely, or merged with another page (to make a more authoritative piece of content). If it’s super low value, simply deleting it might be the best solution.
Our keyword to content mapping service
We combine the process of keyword research and content mapping into a single service. Our content mapping service is designed to suit websites big and small.
Whether you need a content map and keyword plan for an existing site or a new one, the outcome is the same. You will receive a simple spreadsheet outlining each page on your website and all of the associated keywords it should cover.
Many tools and data sources are used in this process. This has given us an edge on our own websites, as our proven keyword research process uncovers low competition, long tail keywords that most competitors aren’t aware of.
This gets more people to your website, faster, at a lower cost.
Who could say no to that?
It’s priced on a per-page basis starting at only $999 for 12 pages.
Please note: a page can be a blog post, a service or product page, category or any other single web URL.
For any pre-sales questions, please contact us at [email protected].