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Keyword Basics Part 6: How to Create a Keyword Map

Posted by Mal Darwen
Keyword research
Map your keywords with Wordtracker, the leading keyword research tools

In this sixth article in the Keyword Basics, Mal Darwen explains how you can use Wordtracker’s Keywords tool mapping to help you plan and display a clear website structure that Google will love.

If you’re planning or managing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaigns you’re going to have a list of target keywords. You’ll need to build a page for each of your target keywords. And you’ll need to organize those pages into a site structure. Here's how to get started with that:

Step 1 - Getting started with Keyword Mapping

Google's search engine results list pages rather than whole websites. Each of your site's pages has more chance of getting to the top of Google’s results if it targets one primary keyword.

It’s important to map each of your target keywords to a page on your site. You must decide which page should be used for each target keyword.

The image below illustrates a simplified example of target keywords being mapped to different types of pages on a site:

Site mapping

Let’s have a look at how that might look in Wordtracker’s Keywords tool, for a simplified site that targets chocolate:

Site mapping

As we can see, there is a clear site structure. On the home page we’re targeting the keyword chocolate. On our category pages we’re targeting terms such as chocolate gifts, chocolate truffles, and dark chocolate. Just as importantly, our visitors (and the search engine robots) can find a logical path from the home page through the site.

Each individual page should target a primary keyword. We’ll make sure the page is well optimized and we’ll try to attract quality links from other sites. This will improve our chances of ranking for our target keywords.

Setting up your website structure

The Keywords tool can help you speed through the process of setting up your website architecture.

You can create a keyword structure for a site that already exists (even if the pages aren’t well optimized yet), or for new pages that you haven’t yet created.

The first thing you’ll need to do is to set up your work in an organized way so that you can keep track of it. There are four levels to the process:

  • Campaigns - you’ll probably want to set up a Campaign for each website you manage,
  • Projects - use Projects to manage your work. You might create a new Project for each country you work in, or for different sections of your site.
  • Niches - each page on your site should target a Keyword Niche (a group of keywords) What’s a Niche? Well, a Niche is a group of keywords all containing the same keyword - so white chocolate truffle, best chocolate truffle, sweet chocolate truffle and chilli chocolate truffle are all part of the chocolate truffle Niche.
  • Keywords (we know which keywords are, right? If you’re unsure, watch this video, Why Keywords Matter, which explains that keywords are things you put in specific parts of your pages so that search engines know what the page is all about).

So, here’s how to set up your first Campaign:

i) Create a new Campaign using your website name.

ii) Add a Project. Your Project name will be the starting point for your research, so choose a relevant name. If your site sells chocolate, then name the Project 'chocolate'.

Step 2 - The Keyword Map

When your new Project opens, you’ll see something like this:

Site mapping

Each of the keywords shown in the screenshot above represents a Keyword Niche. When you open the Niche, you’ll see all the relevant keywords from the Wordtracker database. Open the ‘dark chocolate’ Niche and you’ll see all the keywords containing dark chocolate - such as dark chocolate benefits, dark chocolate facts, dark chocolate gifts, and best dark chocolate.

You can drag relevant keywords from the ‘unassigned’ lane into the map. For example, you might create a new Sub-Niche, a page for chocolate gifts:

Site mapping

3 - Create a sitemap by dragging keywords into the Keyword Map

Once your Keyword Map is open, it’s easy to start setting up your site architecture. A short video explains this better than a picture, so here’s how to start:

4 - Create new Keyword Niches

It’s easy to open a Niche to find more keywords. Click the arrow button on the right of a Niche icon and choose ‘Open’.

Site mapping

You’ll then see your Niche open on the screen, with your Wordtracker list already prepared. Here’s that chocolate Niche:

Site mapping

Just click the ‘Add Niche’ icon in the list (that right hand column) to add a new Niche to your Keyword Map. If I click the icon alongside chocolate cake, we can see that it’s added to the correct place in my architecture.

You can repeat these steps as many times as you need to. Eventually, you’ll end up with a map that starts to look a little like this:

the keyword map

Your own site will take its own shape. If you’re building a new site we recommend that you should aim for three levels on your site (these might be the home page, category pages, and product pages).

You’ll notice that the left hand bar on each Niche has a color - a gray bar means the Niche hasn’t been opened yet. A red bar means that the Niche has been opened, but there are no targets set. A green bar tells you that you’ve set targets for this Niche.

Keyword Niche colours

Another great feature of the Keyword Map is the Export function. Once you’ve set Targets in each of your lists, you can export the entire list to one file which contains all your Niches and target keywords, along with search volumes and competition metrics:

Site mapping

You can then use this as a reference for mapping keywords to pages. Or you can share it with your client or your team - they’ll have a great overview of the keyword planning for the site you’re working with.

Keyword research doesn’t stop

Once you’ve completed your Keyword Maps, identified your targets and exported the data, don’t stop. There are always other Niches you could target - have you used the ‘Get Related Keywords’ search to find them? Do you have the best keywords for all of your pages? You should regularly revisit the work you’ve done - search volumes change over time, and you want to make sure you’re not missing out on new terms.

Keyword Basics

Here are links to the other seven articles in this series:

Keyword Basics Part 1: How search engines work

Keyword Basics Part 2: Finding keywords

Keyword Basics Part 3: Understanding a keyword's structure

Keyword Basics Part 4: Targeting your primary and secondary keywords

Keyword Basics Part 5: How to narrow down your keyword list

Keyword Basics Part 7: Using keyword modifiers

Keyword Basics Part 8: Building keyword rich inbound links

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The more relevant keywords that you rank well for, the more business you will do. You can start researching keywords today with a free 7-day trial of Wordtracker's Keywords tool