How to Successfully Do Keyword Mapping

How to Successfully Do Keyword Mapping

How to Successfully Do Keyword Mapping

A content strategy is crucial to a business's success. A 2022 CMI Report stated that 77% of organizations have a content marketing strategy, but only 29% said their organization successful in content marketing.

A proper plan for your website's content may be the difference between a successful or ineffective content marketing strategy.

Among all the different types of content strategy planning, Keyword Mapping is arguably one of the most effective forms of planning to perfectly lay out how you should tackle your upcoming content marketing effort. 

Now, let us dive into what keyword mapping is.

What Is Keyword Mapping? What Is It For?

Keyword Mapping is the process of mapping your target keywords to their intended web pages and then drawing out the relationship between all these keywords.

A keyword map can be imagined as a hierarchical mind map that interlinks all your related keywords. Something like this:


When done correctly, keyword mapping would help you to visualize the relationship of all your target keywords.

From the image above, the direction of the content I'm writing would be a step-by-step educational page that teaches readers how to make blueberry pancakes, so interlinking those keywords would make sense.

Now, why do we, the SEOs, do keyword mapping? While it differs between persons, in a typical scenario, it is to help us better visualize and plan three things:

  • Website Structure
  • Backlink Profile
  • Content Silos


For this article, I will focus on keyword mapping to plan content silos which is one of the most effective ways to improve your site's SEO.

Content silos are a method used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) that involves structuring the content of your website around keyword-based themes. Essentially, you are grouping related and relevant content into distinct categories.

Why is Keyword Mapping Important?

Keyword Mapping is one of the most fundamental concepts of SEO. Planning your content is the primary method to drive the success of your website/business and increase your organic traffic.

Here are some reasons why it is crucial to map out your keywords.

1. Have Your Content Crawled, Indexed, and Ranked Easier By Google

Mapping your keywords also means setting up a clear page hierarchy for your content. Google has stated the importance of having a clear conceptual page hierarchy. This helps Google understand your pages better, resulting in a more accurate and higher ranking on SERP.


2. Target The Right Keywords And Increase Organic Traffic

Mapping out your keywords gives you an overview of all your keywords and, most importantly, the general intent of your keywords. You can discover sub-topics, topic clusters, or intent that your content silos have not covered to increase your organic traffic. Having metrics such as Opportunity Score alongside your Keyword Mapping also helps you target and focus more on profitable silos/keywords.

3. No More Keyword Cannibalization

Google can't discern which content to rank higher; sometimes, Google might rank the page you did not intend to prioritize. Having your keywords mapped out allows you to easily identify duplicate keywords and content that may affect your content ranking.

4. Drive User Conversion By Internal Linking

By mapping out your keywords, you can build an internal link structure in your site to improve user navigation without rows and rows of spreadsheets. Interlinking related content drives your target audience towards a sale or directs them to the most relevant content, eventually turning them into leads and customers.

Before diving into keyword mapping. Here are some of the questions that you should consider before mapping out your keywords:

  • What is my target audience?
  • How will I promote the content once it has been published?
  • How will my audience find the content?
  • What type of content do I plan to create?
  • Where and when will I be publishing my content?
  • How does my content interlink with each other?
  • What are topics missing from my content?

Doing Keyword Mapping The Conventional (and BORING) Way Using Spreadsheets?

Keyword Mapping is one of the most fundamental concepts of SEO. Planning your content is the primary method to drive the success of your website/business and increase your organic traffic.

Here are some reasons why it is crucial to map out your keywords.

Step 1: Find Your Keywords

To start your keyword research journey, you would need to first brainstorm seed keywords for the topics you want to focus on.

Once you have brainstormed your seed keywords, you would then want to expand on those seed keywords. Let's take the keyword 'buffalo wings' for example. I would like to think of some keyword phrases related to that keyword. These phrases might include:

  • What are buffalo wings?
  • How do I make buffalo wings?
  • Boneless
  • Chicken
  • Spicy
  • Buffalo wild wings
  • Oven baked buffalo wings
  • Buffalo wings recipe
  • And the list goes on!


This process helps you think of potential phrases customers might use to search for content related to your seed keyword.

If you are having trouble thinking of related terms for your seed keyword, you can use the SERPs to think of related search terms. Just scroll to the bottom of the SERP, and you'll see some related search terms recommended by Google. Use these search terms to find more related search terms.


Step 2: Group Keywords Into Content Silos

After you have gathered your related keywords, you want to group them to form content silos. The question is, how should you group your keywords?

  • Similar Keywords And Keywords That Answer The Same Question

    Keywords that are largely similar and answer the same questions should be grouped. One example is the keywords 'oven baked buffalo wings' and 'buffalo wings in oven.' These two keywords are largely similar, so they should be grouped together.

    Another example is the keywords 'buffalo wings recipe' and 'how to make buffalo wings'. These two keywords have the same content, teaching readers how to make buffalo wings. Hence, you should group them.

    You should do this for all keywords throughout your content. This is to prevent content that is mainly similar from competing against each other. This practice can also prevent duplicates of similar content.

  • Search Intent

    You should also group keywords that have similar intent together. This is to prevent conflicting search intent. You would be unable to target the right audience if multiple search intents exist on a single page.

    Take the keywords 'best buffalo wings' and 'buffalo wings restaurants.' Both have local intents, so it is best to group them. However, if you try to group keywords like 'buffalo wings recipe' and 'best buffalo wings,' there is no way that Google will rank your page as both have conflicting intents.

Step 3: Create Content Silos And Plan Your Website URL Structure

  • Map content silos into a hierarchy

    Now that you have grouped your keywords, you would want to map out your keywords into a hierarchy that makes sense.

    Using the seed keyword “buffalo wings” as an example, I mapped out a homepage with the seed keyword “buffalo wings.” This was followed by sub-topics that are interlinked with the homepage.

    You should create content that provides your users with relevant content. You'll be a helpful resource that people will turn to by providing your readers with value in your keyword hierarchy.

  • Plan Your Content URL

    When planning your content, you would also want to write down potential URLs for your content. This gives you an overview of your URLs to keep them readable, organized, and consistent throughout your website.

    Planning your URL structure is also essential in ensuring that your URL contains the right keywords and is structured in a best-optimized way for search engines.

    If you use a spreadsheet, allocate an extra column to write down potential URLs for your content pages.


Step 4: Create And Publish Your Content

Once you have mapped out your keywords into spreadsheets, you should start writing your content.

In your content silo, choose the keyword that you would most like to rank for and make that your primary keyword. One important thing is to ensure your primary keyword should be the main focus of the entire article. Other keywords that you are not targeting should merely be there to provide more context for your primary keyword.

Other factors you should consider when writing your content are the content target intent, content outline, the readability level of your content, and more. There are many more factors that you should consider, and you can find out by just looking through our guide: How to Kickstart Your SEO Writing in 6 Steps.

PS: Doing Keyword Mapping the normal way is not something I would recommend. Using rows and rows of spreadsheets makes you prone to errors, not to mention all the hassle. If you want to do Keyword Mapping the RIGHT way, continue reading.

How To Do Keyword Mapping With SurgeGraph?

SurgeGraph offers a keyword mapping feature called the Planner to help you do keyword mapping more conveniently. Below are the steps to do keyword mapping using SurgeGraph:

Step 1: Find Your Keywords

First, you must find keywords that will maximize your rankings and bring unstoppable traffic. I suggest you look at our guide on How to Effectively Conduct Keyword Research In 3 Steps.

Metrics such as trends, search volume, Keyword Difficulty (KD), and Opportunity Score (OS) help you choose keywords with the highest potential to rank.

Type in your seed keyword, select your language and location, and you will have your keyword suggestions within seconds.Mapping101-img5.png

Step 2: Group Similar Keywords And Keywords With Similar Answers

Once you are done with your keyword research, the next step is to categorize/cluster your keywords into content silos.

Simply access your saved keywords in the Planner dashboard and group your keywords into content silos. Have all the metrics you need alongside your keywords during keyword mapping.


1. Similar Keywords And Keywords That Answer The Same Question

You should group similar keywords and keywords that answer the same question when grouping your keywords.

Sometimes, it may be hard to group your keywords. SurgeGraph's topical cluster makes your job easier and helps you group your keywords by topics.


2. Search Intent

You should group similar intent keywords like 'buffalo wild wings near me,' 'buffalo wings restaurant,' etc. Grouping them into a single piece of content would help you streamline your content and target the right audience.


Unsure of your keyword's intent? SurgeGraph has you covered.


3. Sort Keywords By Potential

Some keywords are easier to rank than others. You would want to organize keywords that have similar potential together.

Metrics such as Opportunity Score lets you identify which keywords will give you the best potential return with the least effort.


Step 3: Create Content Silos And Plan Your Website URL Structure

  • Map content silos into a hierarchy

    After sorting out your keywords, you will want to arrange your keywords into content silos to set up the structure of your website and plan potential pages/content.

    In the examples below, I mapped out a sub-category that shows a logical path between the main topic (buffalo wings) and the sub-topic (buffalo wings recipe) along with other sub-topics to create a content silo.


    With the Keyword Mapper, you can simply DRAG and DROP your saved keywords and map them into content silos.

    You can place them anywhere on the dashboard and link your keywords together with arrows to visualize how you want your content structure and website to look.

  • Plan Your Content URL

    Using SurgeGraph's Keyword Mapper, you can add labels with descriptions or links for keywords right within the Keyword Mapper dashboard.


Step 4: Write, Optimize And Publish Your Content

After you have mapped your content, you would want to write out your content based on the outline in your Keyword Mapper.

With the Keyword Mapper, you can start writing your content immediately by clicking on the keywords in your content silo.


As site owners, writing content that ranks high and brings in high traffic is always the top priority. But if you don't know how, we've got you covered. Read the tutorial on SEO writing to learn how you can rank top of SERP and bring in unstoppable traffic. 

Additionally, SurgeGraph's Content Writer lets you target up to three keywords and provides optimization suggestions to ensure your content achieves a high ranking on SERP.

Screenshot 2022-11-14 at 11.35 1.png

Keyword Mapping Best Practices

Now that you have mastered keyword mapping, I'm going to let you in on some best practices that you should implement in your keyword mapping to take it to the next level.

1. Use The Right Tools

Ideally, you should use keyword research tools when conducting your keyword research so that you can have access to metrics such as Keyword Difficulty, Search Volume, and Opportunity Score. As a last resort, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner tool to access metrics such as Monthly Search Volume and Competition, provided you have a Google Ads account.

2. Same Same But Different

Keywords that answer the same question may not always be similar in phrases. Take the above keywords, for example, 'buffalo wings recipe' and 'how to make buffalo wings' are very different, but they are grouped because they answer the same question.

There are numerous guidelines to follow when grouping keywords. However, the essential factor would be to group your keywords based on what you think is natural and best for your content.

3. Keep The Difficult Ones Closer

You should map content silos with higher Keyword Difficulty nearer to your homepage. Content silos with an overall lower Keyword Difficulty can be placed far away from the homepage and still bring you good traffic volumes. Conversely, content silos that have a higher Keyword Difficulty will require high-authority pages to have any use at all.

4. Know Thy Enemy

Before writing your content, it's best to refer to top-ranking pages and find their readability level, content outline, intent, etc., using SurgeGraph's SERP analyzer. Identifying these data manually on Google is tedious and may be prone to errors, so I recommend using the SERP Analyzer feature to get the most accurate results.

However, if you skipped this step, the Content Writer's suggestions help you optimize your content using top-ranking pages for your target keyword as a benchmark.

Keyword Mapping Never Ends!

After you have completed mapping out your keywords, it doesn't mean that you can rest on your laurels. You should periodically check your keyword map and revisit this process.

Once you have identified your non-performing content, you should revisit your keyword map. Revisiting the keyword mapping process helps you explore topics/verticals that you haven't targeted before or spot additional questions and sub-headings you can address that will improve your article and problem-solve for your readers.

Suppose you are having difficulty exploring verticals or spotting additional questions. You can always analyze the content of top SERP pages to identify gaps between you and the competition.

However, if you are pressed for time, you can always utilize the SERP analyzer in SurgeGraph to instantly look into how top-ranking pages structure their content. Look into their content outline and popular questions to spot topic or sub-topic opportunities.


Manually looking at top-ranking pages, you may overlook content opportunities as they are buried in rows and rows of text. So why don't you give SurgeGraph's SERP analyzer a spin?

Final Reminder

Mapping out your keywords is crucial for your website's success. Mapping your keywords makes your content creation a much easier task. If you map out your keywords correctly, it ultimately helps you get high rankings, maximizes traffic, and creates a funnel to increase your site's conversion.

While you can manually plan out your content in a spreadsheet, using SurgeGraph's Keyword Mapper lets you visualize your content silos and better strategize your content silo to maximize your reach.