When you keyword research a topic, pick a suitable keyword, and start writing a blog post on it… that’s a mundane content strategy. 😟
But when you plan out a detailed roadmap of the existing and upcoming contents of your blog, which is technically called Keyword Mapping… that’s a very smart content strategy. 😃
When you do it correctly, the keyword mapping strategy can bring you higher search engine rankings, better content engagement, authority, and trust. 😉
In this guide, you are going to learn the step-by-step process of Keyword Mapping and how to apply it effectively to the content of your website.
Now, take a deep breath and let’s jump right in.
What is Keyword Mapping?
In layman’s terms, Keyword Mapping is a post-keyword research process (i.e. after you’ve done keyword research) in which you assign a unique keyword or a key phrase to each and every page of your website.
Why Keyword Mapping is Needed?
Keyword Mapping is needed because it helps you to optimize each and every topic of your website. In the long run, it’ll help you establish topical authority within your targeted niche.
As you might aware of the fact that Topical Optimization (Topical Authority) has become a new standard of getting higher rankings on Google.
What are the Benefits of Keyword Mapping?
As I already implied above, keyword mapping has many different On-Page SEO benefits to get your site established as an authority in a specific field.
Some of the benefits of keyword mapping are:
- It allows you to get rid of duplicate contents or Keyword Cannibalization.
- It allows you to compete with higher authority sites even if your site’s DA (Domain Authority) is significantly lower than them.
- It allows you to get higher rankings in a relatively shorter period of time.
- It allows you to build more authority within your niche.
- It allows you to build more trust around your targeted audience as well as search engines.
- It allows you to imprint a sense-of-expertise on your prospects and search engines.
- See… How it helps you to optimize for Google’s E-A-T.
- One more thing is that it could even help you gain more leads and conversions.
Now, the most important question is:
How to Map Keywords for Topical Relevance?
Before you get off to a good start, the following factors are the pre-requisites of keyword mapping process:
Keyword Difficulty: Keyword Diffculty has to be sync with your domain strength. If your site’s DA (Domain Authority) is relatively low or you have a brand new website, you must go only with low difficulty keywords.
Keywords with the difficulty score of less than 30 (based on Ahref’s suggestion) is a good keyword to target.
And if you can manage to find keywords with the difficulty score of less than 10, then it’s goldmine.
Search Volume: The next thing you need to make sure is the number of times your target keyword is searched for.
I’d suggest you to go with a minimum of 100 per month search volume keywords. Otherwise, your article will hardly get any traffic from Google.
However, there’s an exception:
If your keyword is transactional, you can go with search volumes as low as 10 per month.
You know why?
Because these types of keywords are highly converting. And that’s why a fairly low search volume keyword can bring in some revenue.
To get the best result…
Just follow this rule:
Informational Keyword: Low KD, Only High Search Volume (at least 100 to ∞)
Transactional Keyword: Low KD, High/Low Search Volume (10 to ∞)
SIDE NOTE: I’m giving you the above suggestion by assuming you have a fairly new website or a low DA website. If your site has a fairly high DA (could be 40+ or 45+) you can go with tough keywords as well.
Now, let’s start mapping keywords:
Take a fat head keyword (or seed keyword) that belongs to your niche. But this time, you should ignore the KD score (KD will be an important factor in the next step).
The fat head keyword is a very broad term which covers lots of sub-topic around it.
Suppose your blog is in the Digital Marketing space, in this case, you can pick the term “Social Media Marketing” as a broad term.
Now, your goal is to topically optimize the term “Social Media Marketing” on your blog by writing various related topics about it.
Uncover Relevant Keywords of the Fat Head Keyword
By taking the example of the same key phrase “Social Media Marketing”, I put this phrase into Ahrefs…
…And found the following relevant terms:
What is Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing Strategies
Social Media Marketing Benefits
Social Media Marketing Tools
Agora Pulse Review
Social Pilot Review
Hootsuite vs Buffer
Agora Pulse vs Social Pilot
I’ve also found some terms exclusively related to Facebook Marketing:
Facebook Messenger Marketing
Facebook Marketing Tools
After Facebook, I’ve found terms related to Twitter:
Twitter Marketing Tools
And again some terms related to Instagram:
Instagram Marketing Tools
SIDE NOTE: I’ve excluded synonymous keywords and phrases from this list, such as; taking social media marketing strategies and excluding social media marketing strategy, taking twitter marketing tools and excluding tools for twitter marketing, etc. The same thing you should follow to filter out synonymous keywords.
Now, the things is:
Each of these related keywords are your targeted keywords and also for each keyword you’ll write individual posts.
Keyword Mapping can be visualized and documented (for detailed record-keeping) by using a mind mapping software.
Visualize and Document Keyword Mapping Using a Mind Mapping Software
To Visualize Keyword Mapping Using a Mind Mapping Software is quite easy.
I’m gonna show you this with “XMind 2020”. If you don’t have this application on your PC, download it from here.
Open the application.
Click on the “Central Topic” button and write your website’s central topic.
Click on the grey buttons (sub-topics) and replace their default text with your own.
To add more sub-topics, click on the red-colored “Central Topic” button and select “Subtopic” from the top menu.
To create sub sub-topics, follow the same procedure by clicking on the sub-topic button.
After you finish creating your mind map, click on the menu, and select “Save as” for future reference.
The following is the full keyword map I’ve created from the aforementioned example.
The next step is the DOCUMENTING OF THE MAPPED TOPICS for future reference.
Dcumenting means keeping records of the competitive factors, such as; Keyword Difficulty, Search Volume, and other essential on-page elements, such as, permalink, SEO title, etc.
To do this just go back to your mind map and click on an item and then select “Note” from the top menu.
Enter all the necessary details as shown in the image below:
Here URL is signifying the desired slug you want to give to respective page.
Title is for the desired page or SEO Title.
And the Level is signifying the stage of the customer’s journey that the target keyword belongs to (will talk about it later).
Enter these details for all the keywords that you’ve mapped.
For the keywords that you’ve already written content, you can add their hyperlink also. To add one, click on the keyword, press CTRL+K (or navigate to Insert>Hyperlink>Webpage), and enter your URL there.
One useful feature XMind provides is that it lets you mark keywords of the map.
You can mark such keywords after you finish writing about a particular topic.
To mark a keyword, click on the topic and then select “Icon” from the top menu. And under the “Marker” tab click on an icon. You can choose a “Check Mark” icon or another icon as per your choice.
You can use this feature to memorize the topics that you already wrote about to avoid end up writing the same or a very similar topic twice.
XMind also lets you search for keywords and all the data you’ve entered into your mind map (KD, Volume, URL, etc.).
To search for your required data, goto View>Show Navigation Panel.
You can enter keywords and numbers to find topics, KDs, Search Volumes, etc. and it’ll start showing you matching results.
So if you want to find:
…Then start typing first few characters or the full keyword or phrase.
If it’s KD, then type “KD” or append a number with it if you want to find certain topics with certain KD.
For volume, do the same.
For URL, do the same.
For Title, do the same.
For Level, just do the same.
That’s it! This is how keyword mapping is done.
But before I close this article, I want to teach you a very basic principle which you must adopt to get the most out of keyword mapping.
After keyword mapping, Content Mapping is the thing which brings fruits to this strategy.
Keyword Mapping to Content Mapping: The ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu Approach
Here two things apply…
The first one is writing content according to the INTENT OF THE KEYWORDS…
…And the second one is the INTERNAL LINKING STRUCTURE.
Let’s first understand the concept of writing contents using ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu with a funnel in mind to sync with the intent of the keywords.
As you might already know that keywords can shape themselves in three ways in search engines as queries.
And they are:
INFORMATIONAL is when someone types a query only to gather information.
NAVIGATIONAL is when someone types a query to visit a website or login page (e.g. Facebook, PayPal Login, etc.).
TRANSACTIONAL is when someone types a query to read reviews of products, product comparison articles, or to buy something from an online store.
ToFu (Top of the Funnel)
ToFu is the abbreviation of the Top of the Funnel. This refers to the first major stage of a sales funnel.
ToFu keywords are the informational keywords (or queries) that a user searches only to educate himself on the subject matter.
The keywords I’ve taken as fat heads are pure informational keywords.
Keywords like Social Media Marketing Guide, Facebook Marketing Guide, HowTos, etc. come under ToFu phase of the funnel.
Under these keywords and phrases just concentrate on your visitors’ pain points and try to solve their problem from the best of your knowledge.
MoFu (Middle of the Funnel)
MoFu is the abbreviation of the Middle of the Funnel. This refers to the second major stage of a sales funnel.
MoFu keywords are the semi-transactional keywords (some SEOs call it Investigational Keywords) that people search to educate themselves about a product before they make a buying decision.
In this stage, you can choose keywords like benefits of social media marketing (to refer them to your review articles of SMM tools, best SMM tools, etc.), increasing page load speed using a premium CDN service or why you need to choose a premium CDN service (to refer them to your review articles of CDN providers, best CDN providers, etc.) and lots of other ways. You just need to be creative here.
At this stage, help your visitors aware of how a particular product or service could help them make their life easier and better (benefits, features, or advantages of such product/service).
Having said that, review or comparison articles (come under Investigational Query) also come under this stage. So, try your best to help them make a decision about which product to buy.
SIDE NOTE: Some people might argue that keywords like benefits of social media marketing, why you need to choose a premium CDN service, etc. are actually ToFu keywords. Yes, this can be true to some individuals, after all, it’ll depend on how you are modeling your sales funnel.
BoFu (Bottom of the Funnel)
BoFu is the abbreviation of the Bottom of the Funnel. This refers to the final stage of a sales funnel, in which a lead converts into a buyer.
BoFu keywords are the transactional keywords that people search to buy a particular product or service.
At this stage the customer already took his decision and is ready to buy.
Keywords under this stage are the easiest to convert.
And the queries that come under BoFu are…
PRODUCT NAME + COUPON CODES
STORE NAME + COUPON CODES
PRODUCT NAME + BUY ONLINE
PRODUCT NAME + BUY NOW
CHEAP + GENERIC PRODUCT NAME (e.g. cheap headphones)
PRODUCT NAME + CHEAPEST (e.g. iPhone 11 cheapest)
GENRIC PRODUCT NAME + UNDER $200 (e.g. closed back headphones under $200)
SIDE NOTE: I’ve marked keywords that come under review, product comparison, etc. as BoFu because they are at the bottom of the funnel on your website in a relative way. Because they are under money keywords. This thing especially applies to affiliate websites.
However, this might be different depending on your content strategy.
If you have articles on your site, such as products under $100, coupon codes, etc. then review or comparison keywords could become your MoFu keywords.
Content Mapping to Internal Linking: The Inner Mechanism of the Strategy
I told you that I have to say something about Internal Linking pattern.
Let me elaborate:
The post you’ll write based on the fat head keyword (ToFu), which is purely informational, put links to relevant MoFu keyword based articles.
If the ToFu content is on “Social Media Marketing” (an in-depth guide) link to your “Facebook Marketing Benefits” or “SMM Tools” article or any MoFu based article.
Do the same with MoFu, means refer to BoFu from MoFu.
Just do always make sure the link is contextual and relevant, not forcefully imposed.
Even if your linked content from your ToFu content is not a transactional one, it is still considered as conversion since the visitor is moving forward in your blog’s funnel.
Keyword Mapping is nothing but a Pre-Content Mapping process.
Without a proper content mapping strategy keyword mapping is meaningless.
It is an ever evolving process, means you need to consistently improve and monitor your keyword map for success in content marketing.
You might not see results in the first few months, but in the long run this strategy will definitely give you massive results.
Have you found this article helpful? Decypher your thoughts into words in the comments section below. ☺