3 Steps to Improve Your SEO Strategy with Keyword Mapping
There’s a lot of misinformation or outdated information about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) these days. Search engines are constantly evolving to produce a better experience for the end-user and this can cause confusion. We hear a lot of myths about SEO but because we’re working in the industry on a daily basis, and have done so for many years, we know what works right now.
Never trust the advice of a novice when considering SEO. We’ve even heard it said that “keywords are dead”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Using keywords is far more sophisticated than it once was, however, it’s still an essential foundation for all your SEO efforts.
When you consider your keywords based on user-intent, you’ll be able to structure your website in a way that serves your prospective customers better and search engines love that. You may also identify keyword and content opportunities to expand your reach.
Your website visitors are not going to always land on your home page first. In fact, research conducted by HigherVisibility indicates many top performing websites don’t rank a site’s homepage at the top for a number of hotly contested keywords. This means every page within your website has the potential to pull in traffic. An effective keyword mapping strategy will help you do just that.
If you’re new to keywords, this article will help guide you through the steps to identify great keywords for your website. These keywords will be useful in brainstorming content ideas and from this content, we’ll explore ways to set up a powerful keyword mapping strategy.
Keyword Mapping Basics
Keyword mapping is simply taking the selected keywords you want to rank for, and setting up a site structure to house all the relevant content to target those keywords. To structure your website and its content in a logical way, your visitors will appreciate it, and so will the search engines.
Keyword mapping is the foundation to on-page SEO strategy since it’s focussed on content. Great quality content that is ultra-specific is what the search engines are looking for and keyword mapping gives you a strategy to build it out. You don’t need to create all the pages all at once either, you may start with some core pages and a plan to expand your content over time.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to remain flexible so we adapt to changes that present themselves in business and be more efficient. When working on your keyword mapping, keep this in mind so you can maintain a structure that can expand or adjust if you need to in the future.
Does size matter?
You may already have a range of content you feel is ready to publish within your website. The keyword mapping process will help identify gaps in your content and what pages should be built out to attract more traffic. For websites that are highly niched, or local businesses with little competition, a one-page website may be all you need however it will be difficult to rank for a broad range of keywords which is why single page websites often end up adding a blog. A blog is a simple way of building out more content so you can rank for more keywords.
Step 1: Create a broad range of keywords
Start with a few phrases you intuitively know might be good keywords to target and then conduct further research to find deeper opportunities. It’s usually worthwhile working with keywords you already rank for but don’t limit yourself to just these phrases. Think broadly and creatively about your target market and what they might be searching for.
Using keyword suggestion tools, you should create a long list of potential phrases. From this list you’ll probably find some keywords are a great match for your website and others that are not suitable. Audit your list to ensure they are all a great fit for your website.
Step 2: Categorize your keywords
Grouping your keywords into similar topics and you’ll begin to formulate ideas for a suitable website structure. If keywords are addressing the same topic, those keywords should be grouped together.
If you are planning a large, content rich website you may choose to have a structure that includes sub-categories. How many categories you choose to work with is completely up to you. Consider what would make best practical sense given your niche.
You’ll probably find some keywords may be suitable for a couple of different categories, so work through a logical process of making an assessment of where a keyword may best fit. Using the data you might identify some categories you’d like to target but have very few keywords so you may choose to revisit step one and build out a broader range of keywords to expand that category.
Step 3: Create your sitemap
If you’ve done a great job of step two, your sitemap may feel as though it almost falls into place. For large, content rich websites it may be more complex. It’s important to consider the hierarchy of your content and where it all best fits into you keyword map.
Planning out your sitemap is simply working out what pages your website will need based on the categories you have and along with any other pages you may need (home, contact, privacy etc).
This process can be done on a spreadsheet however you may find it easier on scraps of paper that you can shuffle around. Write down the page name on a separate piece of paper and define how they should all fit into a website menu structure. This process works great on sticky notes you can place on a wall and step back to review and then rework.
A common mistake is getting too attached to your old website structure. For this process you should ignore what you previously had including any content you might already have. If the old content you had doesn’t serve the new strategy you’ve developed it should be reworked or rewritten.
The journey from here
Once your keyword mapping is complete, it’s time to prepare the content and build it out using best practice SEO strategies. You’ll work out URL names as a starting point, ideally using URLs from the old website or creating redirects from the old URLs to the new in the most appropriate manner. You might also need a fresh new website design or may be able to rework what you already have if it’s well built and suitable for optimization.
Here at Brandignity we love all things digital marketing including SEO, website design and development. We also provide internet marketing consultations for those who just need a little online guidance and support. Book a chat so we can discuss your goals and options.
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