Understanding Keyword Mapping - SEO Tips From Semalt

Keywords are indeed a delicate part of SEO. For this reason, there are many terms and aspects to consider when implementing keywords to a website. One thing we at Semalt understand to a great degree is keyword mapping.

Keyword mapping is the process where each page is assigned to a specific keyword cluster. All through 2020, we saw several changes to keyword mapping, which has contributed to making keyword mapping as important as it is today.

In a nutshell, keyword mapping is one of the ways websites can meet a user's search intent. What that means is that with keyword mapping, web pages can get behind the reason why searches are done. That way, these pages are specifically designed to be very helpful in helping webpages rank better and provide content which their target audience wants to read.

If you can provide the best answers to search queries, Google will think of you as the most relevant website and reward you with the ranking and traffic you desire. Imagine ranking top for your keyword? No doubt that will make you feel quite amazing.

Keyword mapping explained

As we've mentioned, keyword mapping is the process of assigning a page on your website to a specific keyword cluster. In case you may not have known, Google ranks based on specific URLs. To know what to rank for, each URL needs to be optimized for targeted keywords. 

A target keyword cluster usually has the main keyword that clearly describes the topic's message and the page. There are also other keyword variations that are used as support for the main or focus keyword. There is typically one main keyword; however, you can have hundreds of supporting keywords that help keep your article forever green.

What makes keyword mapping important to your SEO strategy?

In recent years have there been any changes? Will keyword mapping remain an important way to optimize websites in 2021? These are questions that website owners are looking to own the market ask to prepare adequately.

Thanks to keyword mapping, you have a better understanding of how to use your keywords. With mapping, your keywords wouldn't be all over the place. We can target your specific audience and get you the right traffic. Thanks to keyword mapping, websites can enjoy large volumes of inbound traffic and the right audience demographic.

Keyword mapping can be used in the following ways:
  • To have a complete view of your page's performance by allowing you to observe how each page is ranked, and it shows you the specific keywords responsible for its ranking.
  • It helps determine the priorities of your optimization efforts. Pages and keywords aren't equal. When you have all your keywords and web pages laid out, coupled with tier SEO stats, it becomes easy to see which keywords and web pages are more important and which ones will come second place. You can deduce what will need to be optimized immediately and what you can postpone. 
  • It helps structure your internal linking efforts. When you have your keywords organized into topics and allocated to certain web pages, it becomes easier to efficiently organize your internal link building strategy.
  • Everyone on your team understands what each page should be optimized for. Thanks to keyword mapping, teams do not get confused about what keyword to optimize on certain pages. When you have a large team, some members may not have a clear understanding of what the page should be optimized for. In such cases, having an up-to-date keyword map helps you solve that problem immediately.
  • It effectively stops keyword cannibalization. By evenly distributing keywords across your domain, keyword mapping can stop or significantly reduce the chances of keyword cannibalization. Keyword mapping gives a clear view of what keywords have already been used on certain pages; hence you do not optimize them on a different page.

How to go about mapping your sub-topics and supporting keywords

This is the part where you have to pay close attention. In the end, this part explains why keyword mapping isn't something to joke about.

Today the supporting keywords that rank best include variations such as: 
  • What is {topic}
  • Define {topic}
  • {topic} definition 
  • Goal of {topic}
  • {topic} management 
  • {topic} examples 
And many other variations but you get the idea. 

In short, your article should cover every question a reader will have regarding the topic. Readers with first time encounters with your topics should have answers to every question they may come up with. Do you think that would be impossible to do in a single article? Are you tempted to feature your subtopics as a series of articles instead? If you choose to do that, is it possible that you end up missing the search intent and lose out on your opportunity to rank highly? As a result of the series, you create keyword cannibalization where several of your articles fight for the attention from the same keyword?

All these factors can be helped by keyword mapping. 

By working on your keyword mapping, you clarify to Google which page should rank for which keyword.

Another reason we advocate proper keyword mapping is that Google is getting better, and it will continue to get better at understanding the intent of search queries. 

Therefore, they will be able to discover the most relevant subtopics to meet the search intent.

Mapping your target keyword alone wouldn't suffice enough for search engine optimization. You should take time and get a good sense of the supporting keywords you'll need to fully cover your primary topic and meet your target audience's search intent.

You should avoid spreading the keywords through many pages, which, if you do, will only leave you with pages that have competing articles. Instead, your time and effort should be spent creating great and evergreen content that satisfies the search intent.

How to avoid keyword cannibalization

Keyword cannibalization is more common than you may think. Many times website owners do not realize that they are their downfall. That is why it's important to run regular website evaluations to avoid such mistakes.

Suppose you have many similar keywords and subtopics; it's common to be confused on whether to map them on the same page or to different pages. One effective way to come to a decision is to review the page.

To do this, you can simply go to incognito mode on your browser and compare the results pages for the different keyword variations. If your search results keep giving you the same or very similar search results, it means that you can and should map that set of keywords to the page.

On the other hand, if the search results are radically different, you shouldn't be mapping that set of keywords to the same page. Instead, you should create different pages answering or providing information on the two distinct keywords. The chances are that your competition has already done this, so not only have you avoided a mistake, but you now have another way to catch up or surpass your competition.

There are also SEO tools that can help you figure out keywords that should be mapped together and keywords that should have different URLs. 

An SEO tool like Aherfs is great. There's keyword explorer has one useful function named "traffic share by pages".

If we were to enter two very similar target keywords into the keyword explorer, for example:

Time management and time management tips show that 8 of the first ten search results target these two keywords on the same page. That tells us that we should follow suit and map both keywords in the same URL.

If we were to shake things up a bit and change our keywords to "time management hacks" and "time management skills", we see a different result. In the result displayed, we see that SERP pages about "time management skills" aren't common in the SERP results for "time management hacks". What we learn from this is that we shouldn't map these keywords under the same URL. Instead, we should create distinct pages and map them to their respective keywords.

As you must have guessed, the people who will require time management hacks are different and most likely have different reasons, needs, or intent from people looking to master the skill of time management.


Now you can use this information we've provided to beat your competition to the top. With the services of Semalt and our professionalism and understanding of your needs, we can tailor you the perfect website. We can enter some of your best-performing pages into our SEO tools to get a clearer picture of what keyword cluster enables them to rank. No doubt we will come up with a list of several 100 words.

With our help, you no longer have to worry about how challenging it can be to develop the habit of regularly checking for keyword cannibalization when planning your content to make sure that you aren't making any mistakes with your keyword mapping. 

Hire us today and let's get you to the top of SERP.

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