Keyword research can do more than find you profitable keywords to target. With Wordtracker's Keywords Tool you can also plan a site structure optimized for search engines. Mark Nunney explains how.
So you found some keywords
Keyword research can find you plenty of keywords to target with search engine optimization (SEO).
To get search engine traffic from those keywords they must be used on the pages of your website.
But not all on the same page.
And different pages shouldn’t target the same keyword.
To simplify a point to make it clear – each target keyword needs its own page. Each page is then optimized for its keyword.
Just remember that phrases need pages. (I'd say 'keywords need pages' but it doesn't rhyme.)
Group pages into categories
Those pages will need to be organized into groups which I’ll call categories.
So keyword research should be more than just finding keywords to target. You’re building websites. (Or organizing existing sites.)
In other words, keyword research can be used to plan the structure and content of your website. This is one reason SEOs always groan and roll their eyes when they hear that SEO has not been considered until after a site’s content has been planned.
Let’s look at how a site might be structured. Keeping things simple, you have the:
• Home page
• Category pages
• Content pages
Let’s get visual. Here’s that structure for a simplified site with just three categories and three pages in each category …
I'll call each category a target market. And each category has a category home page that links to content pages, eg, articles, blog posts, products and videos.
Using the example of a site selling gourmet tea, a simplified site plan might look like this:
Let’s look in some detail at what that site structure is achieving …
The home page targets the tea keyword niche (tea has been mapped to the home page).
We might add some modifying keywords to tea so the page can target some less competitive target keywords, eg, buy tea online.
So the home page:
• targets the highly competitive keyword niche tea.
• targets some less competitive child niches, eg, buy tea, tea online and buy tea online.
• supports (links to) category pages for three target markets (green tea, herbal tea and oolong tea). (Your site might do more but I'm keeping things simple here).
One category targets the green tea market and therefore the green tea keyword niche (that is all keywords containing green tea).
That category’s home page will focus its SEO on green tea.
If green tea is too competitive a niche then in the same way that our home page also targeted some easier child niches, so can a category page – again you might add some modifiers like buy and online.
Content pages (eg, articles, videos, news stories, blog posts) that are linked to from the green tea category page are about aspects of green tea. They focus their SEO on appropriate ‘child’ keyword niches, eg:
green tea benefits
chinese green tea
green tea caffeine
A second category targets the herbal tea market and keyword niche.
That category’s home page will focus its SEO on herbal tea.
Content pages (eg, articles, videos, news stories, blog posts) that are linked to from the herbal tea category page can contain writing about aspects of herbal tea. They focus their SEO on appropriate ‘child’ keyword niches, eg:
herbal tea benefits
camomile herbal tea
lemon herbal tea
Note I’m targeting benefits again – creating a theme. So work targeting green tea benefits will help get results for herbal tea benefits and vice versa.
A third category targets the oolong tea keyword niche in a similar way.
Remember, this is all very simplified still. What you really need to learn here is that:
• Your chosen target markets are mapped to categories on your site. Each category has a category home page.
• Category home pages list links to relevant pages, eg, the green tea category links to pages about green tea, each targeting a child niche of green tea like green tea benefits.
• Your site’s home page links to your category pages.
And this bit is really important …
• Don’t yet worry about what your content pages will be about.
• Your job (at this stage in the keyword research process) is to plan the structure of your site.
• Always get your site structure right first.
How Wordtracker can help
With keyword research and Wordtracker you can build a list of possible target markets like this:
With a few clicks, the markets you like can each be made into their own Lists and added to a Project like this:
This Project page is like your site's home page.
Each List is a target market and a category on your site.
Visiting a List on Wordtracker is like visiting the category home page on your site (or the site you are planning). But instead of pages, you see ideas for pages ...
... hundreds of real searches (keywords) and each is a keyword niche for you to consider targeting with a page.
You can use Wordtracker's searches and competition data to evaluate how popular each keyword is and how hard it will be to beat the competition.
About Mark Nunney
Mark Nunney has been a successful professional SEO since 2000. He is CEO of The Website Marketing Company and he publishes Leadership & Management Review from ThinkingManagers.com, the business management website.
Mark wrote SEO for Profit, Wordtracker Masterclass: Keyword Research book and co-wrote Wordtracker Masterclass: Link Building with Ken McGaffin. He is also the founder and project manager of Wordtracker Strategizer.