Keyword Mapping for SEO: What Is It & How To Do It As a Beginner in 2024

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine like Google.

If you want to rank higher in Google and get more search traffic to your website, you need to do keyword mapping. It is the process of assigning relevant keywords to each page on your website. 

The BIGGEST benefit of keyword mapping is that it helps search engines understand what your website is ALL about and which pages are relevant to specific search queries.

If you’re just getting started with keyword map, this FREE guide is just for you, where you’ll find;

  • What is keyword mapping
  • How to do it properly 
  • Including real-life examples, tips, and more

Are you ready? Let’s get started. 

How to do Keyword Mapping With Examples and Tips

keyword mapping for seo

What is keyword mapping?

Keyword mapping is the process of assigning relevant keywords to each web page on your website so that each page is optimized for a specific set of keywords (or search intent).

When you have a solid keyword mapping strategy, you can optimize your website content, titles, meta descriptions, product pages, etc to rank higher in SERPs for your target keywords.

Let’s take a real-world example of Semrush.

Semrush is a SaaS company that sells SEO software, so it often tries to rank for keywords related to SEO software on each product page. 

For example, on the product page for its keyword research tool, Semrush might target keywords like “keyword research tool,” “best keyword tool,” and “how to do keyword research.”

That’s how it can map relevant keywords to each web page on its website.

The benefits of keyword mapping are;

  • You can make sure that your website is well-organized to target keywords
  • Helps you prevent keyword cannibalization
  • It makes it easier to navigate your web pages for both users and search engines
  • Improves the internal linking structure of your website, which ultimately helps with better crawling and passing link juice to other relevant pages
  • You can group the keywords into related categories and more

Let’s now talk about how to do keyword mapping in 2024 for a better keyword strategy.

Step 1: Use a keyword mapping template

You need a keyword mapping template to organize ALL your keyword ideas in one place. We recommend Google Spreadsheets to store your website keywords (we use the same).

You can use our FREE keyword mapping template from Google Spreadsheets. 

Quick note: This is the similar keyword template we use on BloggersPassion for organizing each and every single post.

You can create a copy of the template and rename it however you want.

Here’s what it looks like;

keyword mapping template

As you can see, we added the most important keyword metrics, including;

  • Primary keyword
  • Secondary Keywords
  • Search Volume of Each Keyword
  • Keyword Difficulty%
  • Target URL, etc

Feel free to add any new column you want, such as domain authority, anchor text, etc.

That’s it, you’re now ready to fill out the spreadsheet with a new set of keywords relevant to your website.

Here are some of the benefits of using a keyword mapping template:

  • You can include all of the important keywords that you want to rank for
  • You can organize your keywords into groups and categories, which will make it easier to create targeted content.
  • You can track your keyword ranking progress and see how your keyword map is working in the long run
  • You can easily share your keyword map with others, such as your team members or clients.

Step 2: Do keyword research 

Keyword research is important when it comes to SEO keyword mapping.

Keyword research is the process of finding relevant keywords for your products, services, or website.

For keyword research, we use the Semrush keyword magic tool as it has the largest keyword database with over 25 billion keywords.

If you’re getting started, you can also try free keyword tools like;

  • Ubersuggest
  • KeywordTool.io
  • Answer The Public

Here’s an example of keyword research with Semrush;

semrush keywords

As you can see above, Semrush gives you access to a wide range of keyword metrics, including;

  • Related keywords 
  • Question keywords
  • CPC
  • Keyword difficulty 
  • Global search volume and more

The key here is to find at least ONE primary keyword and several secondary keywords.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend you check out our free guide on how to do keyword research like a pro to learn how to find great keywords.

Step 3: Keyword clustering

Once you’re done finding primary and secondary keywords, it’s time to cluster keywords.

Keyword clustering is the process of grouping together similar keywords based on search intent.

Here, you need to consider the important keyword metrics. When you are keyword mapping, you MUST consider the following factors:

  • Search intent: What are users trying to find when they search for a particular keyword?
  • Keyword relevance: How relevant is each keyword to the content on the page?
  • Keyword competition: How difficult is it to rank for each keyword?

The above 3 keyword metrics will help you identify the RIGHT keywords that you can use for keyword clustering.

Above all, keyword INTENT is important in clustering similar keywords together.

Again, you can use different tools to find the intent of your primary and secondary keywords. 

One best way is to use Semrush, as it shows the search intent for every keyword. Here’s what it looks like;

keyword intent

When clustering keywords, it is important to group together keywords that are all related to the same topic and have the same search intent. 

Here’s a real-life example of a keyword cluster;

  • Topic: How to start a blog
  • Keywords: how to start a blog for free, how to create a blog in 2024, how to build a blog and make money 

As you can see, the keywords in the “How to start a blog” cluster are all relevant to finding information on how to start a blog.

You can learn more about it using our free guide on how to do keyword clustering in 2024.

Step 4: Find missing keywords

Want to take keyword mapping to the next level? Then, find missing keywords.

Missing keywords are keywords for which your competitors rank in the top 10 search results, but you don’t. These provide an excellent opportunity to improve your website’s SEO and visibility in Google search.

You can use an SEO tool like Semrush to explore the keyword gap between your website and your competitors’ websites.

Here’s a quick tutorial on finding new ideas from your competitor keywords.

Once you’re on the Keyword Gap tool from Semrush, enter your website and your competitors’ site and click on the Compare button.

keyword gap

Once you hit the “Compare” button, you get a pie diagram showing the keyword overlap you both have in common. 

Have a look;

keyword overlap

As you can see, you’ll see the top keyword opportunities in the “Missing” section to find out the keywords our competitor site ranks for, and we don’t.

Step 5: Create a keyword map

Once you’re done with all the five steps, it’s time for you to create a keyword map for your website.

A keyword map can be used as a blueprint for how you will optimize your website for each topic cluster.

Remember, your keyword map should include the primary keyword for each cluster, as well as the related keywords that you will target on each subtopic page.

Here is an example of a keyword map for the topic cluster “best SEO resources”; (image source: MeisterLabs.com)

Here’s the explanation for the above keyword map;

keyword map example

Pillar page: Best SEO resources

Subtopic pages:

  • On-page SEO resources
  • Off-page SEO resources
  • Technical SEO resources

Primary keyword: best SEO resources

Seondary keywords: 

  • Crafting great titles for SEO
  • Schema markup best practices 
  • A  simple guide to link building
  • And the list goes on

This keyword map can be used to create targeted content for each subtopic page. 

For example, the “On-page SEO resources” page could include a list of the best on-page SEO tools, tips, and strategies.

Similarly, the “Technical SEO resources” page could include information on the different technical SEO factors that you need to consider to improve your search rankings.

Here are some tips for using a keyword map;

  • Make sure that your keyword map contains a comprehensive list of keywords and includes all of the relevant primary and secondary keywords for your topic cluster.
  • Make sure that your content is relevant to the keywords that you are targeting.
  • Optimize your existing content for the keywords that you are targeting. Use tools like Rank Math or Surfer SEO for optimization.

Best Practices for Keyword Mapping

Here are some of the best practices for keyword mapping.

  • Don’t use the same overlapping keywords for more than one page, as it can lead to keyword cannibalization (which can hurt your rankings).
  • Start by conducting in-depth keyword research to identify HIGHLY relevant keywords for your website. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, Semrush, Ubersuggest, etc to find related keyword phrases that are relevant to your target audience.
  • No matter what keywords you want to target, consider the intent behind each keyword. Are users looking for information, trying to make a purchase, or searching for product deals? You can prioritize the keywords based on informational, navigational, or transactional intent and create relevant pages that match the intent.
  • Assign keywords to individual pages based on relevance. Each page should target a primary keyword and related secondary keywords that align with the content.
  • Once the mapping is done, make sure to optimize every page on your site properly. Include your target keywords in title tags, meta descriptions, image ALT tags, URLs, etc.

FAQs on SEO keyword mapping

Here are some common questions most people ask about keyword mapping.

Why is keyword mapping important?

The advantages of keyword mapping are it helps you create structured content that helps with better navigation, better user experience, improved rankings, the ability to group similar keywords together, and more.

Is keyword mapping a good SEO practice?

Absolutely yes. Keyword mapping allows you to assign keywords for each web page. The ultimate goal of keyword mapping is to help improve your website’s overall SEO quality and keyword strategy.

How to get started with keyword mapping?

To get started with keyword mapping, you’ll need to:
– Identify your target keywords
– Group your keywords into related clusters 
– Assign keywords to pages on your website
– Use a keyword map template

What are some common mistakes to avoid when keyword mapping?

Here are some common mistakes to avoid when keyword mapping:
– Avoid keyword cannibalization (don’t create more than 1 page or article that has the same keyword intent)
– Stop targeting irrelevant keywords
– Not grouping your keywords into topics.

What are some tools that I can use for keyword mapping?

Here are some of the best tools that you can use for keyword mapping:
– Semrush
– Ahrefs
– Moz Keyword Explorer
– Ubersuggest

Related Posts:

Final thoughts on what is keyword mapping

You can’t ignore keyword research in SEO. Similarly, you can’t randomly target keywords. 

Here’s where keyword mapping comes into play, as it allows you to assign specific keywords to individual pages on your website. It helps search engines like Google to understand the content and purpose of each page on your site.

So, what are your thoughts on keyword mapping? Did you find this guide helpful? Have any more questions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Jos Tran

Jos Tran

I'm Jos Tran, the author behind Smart Passive Income (SPI), a blog dedicated to online business and entrepreneurship. I started this blog in 2008, following in the footsteps of Pat Flynn, the founder. Being one of the leading business blogs globally, SPI attracts over 2 million readers each month. Through my content, I aim to assist individuals in generating passive income from various online sources. Join me on this transformative journey as we delve into the world of online business and uncover the strategies and tactics that have led to tremendous success for myself and countless others.

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