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What Is Keyword Mapping and Why Is It Important?

Posted at Jul 11, 2017 1:14:09 PM by thatagency | Share

As an inbound marketing agency, we’re constantly exploring businesses’ goals and how to help them achieve the ideal level of awesomeness they have in their heads.  However, often times when we ask them what their goals are their answer is, “I want my site to rank number 1”.  While this answer uncovers a few misconceptions about seo, I’m not going to focus on that.  Instead, I’m going to dive deeper into keyword mapping and explain why it’s important to get the right pages on your site to show up for the right searches.

What is Keyword Mapping | THAT Agency

What is Keyword Mapping?

Keyword mapping is the process of assigning relevant keywords to the different pages on a website based on thorough keyword research.  It’s an important aspect of on-page search engine optimization that will allow search engines to see the page’s relevancy based on a user’s search. 

If you skip the initial keyword research and mapping process, you’ll be shooting in the dark when it comes to creating content and showing up on search engine result pages (SERP). 

What does it look like?

Depending on the software at your disposal, the keyword mapping process could take on a few forms.  For instance, if you’re a HubSpot customer, you have an incredible keywords tool.  You also have a content strategy tool to use in order to determine relevancy, overall estimated search volume, as well as how difficult it would be to rank for that specific keyword.

However, the more traditional and tedious way to map out keywords is typically in a spreadsheet document with each row being a page on your site.  The columns are assigned a specific on-page seo element to focus on so you can ensure each element is aligned with your ranking goals.

Regardless of how you decide to set up your map, it’s important to have this information in one centralized location so you can refer back to it, and make changes if necessary.  Keep in mind that results from seo can sometimes take a little time to “kick-in”.  Give it some time, and trust the keyword research you’ve done. 

Keyword Research

Thorough keyword research sets the foundation to a strong keyword map.  This process can also look a bit different depending on the tools you use.  There are a few things to be sure to take into consideration during the research process.

Search Volume

This number will give you an estimation of the average monthly searches a specific keyword gets.  This is important to look at because it will give you an idea of the reach your ranked page could get from a single keyword as well as the amount of traffic it could generate.

Short-Tail vs. Long-Tail

It can get a bit overwhelming if you focus on broad search terms.  For instance, if you’re in the business of selling athletic shoes, the short-tail keyword “shoes” will probably be close to impossible to rank for, especially if you’re just starting out.  Focusing on more specific search terms such as “Women’s athletic shoes” or “long-distance running shoes” would have less competition and could therefore be more beneficial to optimize around.  


This number will give you an idea of how much effort you’ll have to put in to rank for a certain keyword based on the current status of your site.  Typically, short-tail keywords have a much higher-ranking difficulty than long-tail keywords, so the more specific you get, the easier it gets. 


Relevancy is extremely important during the content mapping process.  This is because search engines are constantly on the quest to deliver the highest quality and most relevant content to users.  Relevancy also is important when getting your “site” to rank on the first page.

One of the most common misconceptions about seo is thinking that sites rank.  In reality, pages on websites rank, however it can be possible for you to have multiple pages on your site to rank on the first page.  Developing relevant content and through strong internal linking it’s possible to completely own the first page of search engines, it’s just incredibly difficult and uncommon. 

If this is your goal, make sure you pay close attention to relevancy.


In my experience, usefulness has never showed up in the keyword research process.  It’s not a number that you can measure.  It’s the human aspect of seo.  With updates to search algorithms search engines are increasingly focusing on search intent.  This means they’re not only looking for content that is relevant, but more importantly useful.

Think about how your content answers a user’s question or helps them solve a problem.  This way, you’ll lower bounce rates, increase time on site, and overall engagement.

Why is Keyword Mapping Important?

Setting up a keyword map is important because it sets the tone for the rest of your content and digital marketing strategy.  With the rise of search engines and their uncanny ability to scour the web and find the content we’re looking for; your keyword map is the backbone of your digital strategy.

It gives your content marketing direction.  When you know what people are searching for and how relevant it is to what you have to offer them you can set out to create content that continuously provides users with value.  Instead of just being a site that sells something, you’ll be a useful resource people will turn to. 

Unless you’re launching a new site, a keyword map will give you an idea of your current position in the market.  Thorough keyword research will show you ranking opportunities that could expand your business and reach your target audience in a way you never thought.  The market is always changing, and that doesn’t change when it comes to digital.

Developing a keyword map sets up your digital campaigns for success.  If you need help developing a keyword strategy or simply don’t have the time, an inbound marketing agency will be able to explore your goals, develop a keyword map, and develop a plan of action to reach the right people at the right time.

Don’t skip the process of developing a keyword map for your site.  This and other seo services will help you understand how the pages of your site are viewed in the eyes of search engines and identify any opportunities to more effectively reach your target audience.

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Tags: SEO, Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing

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