september 22, 2016
Do you have a great product/service but feel you are not getting enough qualified organic traffic to your content? Of course you do, because there is no such thing as ‘enough’. The real question is where will you invest your time that will produce the biggest benefit? Start with a keyword map.
Keyword mapping provides guidance on how your target keywords are performing, and more importantly it supplies tactics that can provide a consequential boost to achieving your business objectives. To help further illustrate the value, I added an example of a keyword mapping spreadsheet below, which we will go into finer detail (‘scenario’ column is included just for reference purposes).
Note: Your keyword map may include additional columns that can provide additional insights, and also assist with prioritization.
Let’s go through each of the 7 scenarios in this keyword spreadsheet, and identify tactics that can provide meaningful SEO improvement.
In Scenario 1 (Mobile Friendliness):
It’s clearly evident that mobile ranking is suffering from the URL not being mobile friendly.
Making this page optimized for mobile, should provide significant boost to mobile ranking for this keyword.
In Scenario 2 (Link Building):
All the on-page metrics are pretty good, with the exception of the link counts. Links are important indicators to Google that signal a page’s importance and authoritativeness.
Developing a plan to create more links to this page both internally and externally, should increase importance and trust signals which should ultimately increase rankings.
In Scenario 3 (Click Through Rate):
All the keyword metrics for this URL are very good, with the exception of organic search traffic. A URL in the #1 position should expect to drive a higher percentage of organic visits for this keyword.
Note: organic visit metric is the total number of visitors that came organically from Google to the page. This number does not represent visits only from that keyword, as this data is not available (it can be estimated).
Examine the meta-description and title to see if there is an opportunity to tweak the copy to inspire more clicks.
Caution: title is a ranking signal, so be sure that the title includes the keywords and remains relevant to the searcher’s intent
In Scenario 4 (Minor Content Tweaks):
According to most of the indicators, the page generally satisfies the searcher’s intention and ranks in the middle of page 1. If you notice, the content could benefit from a relevancy boost to potentially move inside the top positions.
Read through all the content on the first page for the keyword. Identify context that may be missing from your page. I recommend reading through the content that is ranking higher to get a sense of missing context. Pay particular attention to co-occurrence and entity salience.
In Scenario 5 (Rebuild Content):
The page is not satisfying the searcher’s intention for this keyword (evident by the bounce rate, and the low content grade).
Revisit the goal and intended audience for this page. Recommend reviewing all pages that are ranking on page 1 to get a sense of searcher’s intent, content that may be missing, and relational keywords. Your content must provide higher value than the other pages that are ranking. This will likely require the most significant amount of effort. Great content takes time.
In Scenario 6 (No Keyword Targeted):
There are pages on site with no intentional keywords.
Note: there may be valid reasons why a page does not have intentionally targeted keywords (i.e. restricted/gated page)
As a general principle, if a page is consuming crawl budget and being indexed, it should serve a search intention. I would generally recommend any page being indexed should have at least one keyword target.
Note: A page can have multiple keyword targets, but all the keywords should have similar searcher intention.
In Scenario 7 (No Page Exists):
There is no specific page that serves the searcher’s intention for a target keyword.
Keywords listed in this map are valuable, and as such should have content that fulfills the searcher’s intention.
These are just a few of the insights that can be derived from your keyword mapping spreadsheet. Start building your own keyword map today and start reaping the benefits. If you require any assistance, please reach out, we’d be happy to offer support.